Every week, I listen to the all the records in the Tidal “Suggested New Albums” carousel. Every album gets at least two tracks from me (not counting an intro). If I like the two tracks, I listen to the rest of the record. If I don’t, I move on to the next. Most artists put their best tracks up front, so I figure if I don’t like the first two enough to keep going, then I might as well move on. And that’s how I pick my songs of the week. If it’s not in that carousel, then I don’t get to hear it (apart from a random Prince single now and again!)
So… songs of the week for the release date of 7/24/2020
Artist: Taylor Swift
Notes: Well, I mean, what good would this be if I didn’t put a new track from a surprise Taylor Swift record in here. The album is what you make of it – a whopping 16 tracks of mellow pop/folk-ish records that meander along harmlessly. It’s a weird record where none of the songs are bad but I felt like I had spent hours and hours trying to get through it.
Artist: The Naked and Famous
Genre: Indie Electronic
Notes: Recover is the 4th record from New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous and is filled with catchy pop and electronic tunes, though a bit long with 15 tracks.
Artist: Neon Trees
Album: I Can Feel You Forgetting Me
Notes: Shit, this is like a 2020 version of a Kenny Loggins soundtrack tune from the mid-80s. So addicting.
Genre: Indie Pop
Notes: Between Neon Trees and this, I am hearing 80s pop influence everywhere!
Album: No Pressure
Notes: My 11-year old son says that Logic is “trash” and “done with” – so I guess it makes sense that his 44-year old Dad still likes him. Logic, you on the Dad circuit now.
Artist: Sarah Reeves
Song: “Heart First”
Notes: This 31-year old singer who looks like she’s 16 has always been a contemporary Christian artist but it seems like she’s decided to crossover to the dark side and become a pop artist now. And this 4 song EP is a great start.
Artist: Jim Gaffigan
Song: “Moose – Canadian American”
Album: The Pale Tourist
Notes: There aren’t too many comedy records that end up in the recommended carousel but I’m happy to see this one as I think Gaffigan is an incredibly funny and unique comic. The album is filled with tracks about different countries – the first part being all about Canada – and it’s funny as hell, eh.
I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.
So… songs of the week for the release date of 7/17/2020
Artist: The Aces
Song: “My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me”
Album: Under My Influence
Notes: These four ladies from Utah, have released four songs as singles from this album – their second – and none of been a hit, which is very surprising considering their sound on this album is very much what’s on the major hit channels on Sirius/XM at the moment. Maybe they just need to do a remix with a rapper.
Song: “Blood River”
Album: The Kingdom
Notes: I think Bush have to be called Post-Grunge now since grunge as a genre really doesn’t exist any longer and let Bush are still creating pretty much the same sound they had back in their heyday (of which, they were never fully grunge to begin with). If you’ve liked Bush at any point in their career, there’s virtually no reason to not like this album too, even if Gavin Rossdale is kind of a one-trick pony at this point.
Artist: The Chicks
Notes: Now known as just “The Chicks” these former Dixie Chicks have put out their first album in 14 years after being run out of town for being way too vocal in their political views. I’m not sure I can think of any other musical act that went from superstars to nothing so quickly. But after 14 years, I suppose they decided enough time had past and so, a new record. And this title track is one of the best songs of the year. I’m not a fan of the group, so the album doesn’t do much for me but this song is fire.
Artist: Oliver Tree
Album: Ugly Is Beautiful
Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop/EDM
Notes: This is the type of artist that makes me feel old. Oliver Tree is a dorky looking white dude that after a few internet searches is being described as “part meme.” I don’t have a clue what that means and my 44-year old ass feels like I need to get on my game here.
Artist: The Pretenders
Song: “Turf Accountant Daddy”
Album: Hate for Sale
Notes: I feel like as long as Chrissie Hynde is involved in the songwriting, it would be hard to get a bad Pretenders records – so you can at least expect something above average and that’s what you get here. Not quite classic Pretenders, but very good and with the typical sound that’s been a staple 40+ years.
Song: “The Absence of Presence”
Album: The Absence of Presence
Notes: I haven’t followed anything from Kansas since the 80s but even so, I wasn’t expecting anything nearly this heavy and while the entire album isn’t like this, there are a few tracks that definitely have a heavier progressive rock, almost metal vibe to them.
Song: “Michigan Hammers”
Album: Ultimate Success Today
Notes: A chunky, political, angry set of post-punk tunes.
Notes: I’m calling the genre post-pop even though I think it’s the first time I’ve heard that label used but Madge doesn’t really fall into any nice genre. She’s a little pop, a little punk, a little hip-hop, a little dance and a little cool. Alright, maybe a lot cool.
Artist: Gang of Four
Song: “Forever Starts Now”
Album: Anti Hero EP
Notes: Andy Gill passed in February, so Gang of Four as we know it, is done but thankfully we get a few more tracks here as part of a quick 4-song EP from these post-punk legends.
Artist: Creed Bratton
Song: “The Ride”
Album: Slightly Altered
Notes: Yep, the same Creed Bratton from the Office right here. If you didn’t know he made music, he was actually a member of the 60’s folk rock band, The Grass Roots, before making a better living off acting and of course, now probably somewhat rich from The Office. This is Bratton’s second solo record since the Office ended and is a mix of rock and blues. “The Ride” is more on the rock side of the fence.