Showing posts with label Ed Sheeran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Sheeran. Show all posts

Monday, April 30, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 4/30/2018

Happier - Ed Sheeran

I was beginning to think Ed Sheeran was turning into Adam Levine, hooking up with a new hot chick in every music video. But here he is back to having a stand in. But didn’t he already do puppets in the Sing video.

Friends –NONONO

From time to time I like to check in on One Hit Wonders to see if they are worthy of a second hit. Then does beg the question is NONONO even a One Hit Wonder. Their song Pumpkin Blood did chart of four different genre chart but not very high on any of them. The song was also used in a shampoo commercial I think as well as a Freeform ad campaign so the song did sort of permeate America. I do not think their new song will do much better despite being a little catchy, but still kind of dark at the same time.

Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Q-Tip feat. Demi Lovato

I cannot imagine things I need less than hearing Q-Tip dueting with Demi Lovato on Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

Heart to Break – Kim Petras

Well this was cheesy eighties fun from Kim Petras. But I do have to wonder if the light up floor is a Billy Jean homage because it is so eighties or if someone this young has never actually seen the Billy Jean video.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 2/20/2018

River - Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran

Beyonce was wise to sit out the Walk on Water video (though it would have been wiser to skip the song entirely), poor Ed Sheeran got roped into this Eminem video. At least he did not appear as the other man.

Volcanic Love - The Aces

The Aces landed three songs on my list of the 100 Best Songs of 2017 list off their strong EP. Now they are ramping up to release their first full length album and, well, the first song release is just alright. Not as good as those first songs. Extended a one syllable work into multiple syllables has always annoyed me. But hay, the videos for those songs did not feature weird fruit art.

Wait - Maroon 5

What happened to Maroon 5? Their first album was decent if not top heavy with a lot of filler. Their music got progressively mediocre with every album. Then Adam Levine gets cast on The Voice and they have not released a good song since, and disturbingly became even more popular while becoming mainstays on my Worst Songs of the Year lists. But hey at least they cast Alexandra Daddario in their video so there is that. I just have to utilize the mute button.

Wild Love - James Bay

When James Bay came out, I for a second thought it was John Mayer, he looked and sounded just like him. For his second album, dude got a hipster haircut that does not fit him and is sounding more like James Blake, which again, does not fit him. What is wrong with cheesy pop-rock songs?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 1/16/2018

End Game - Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran and Future

I have said it before, but let me say it again: I miss the old Taylor Swift. Seriously, why is she making a nineties rap video? Now that I think of it, is Reputation Swift’s attempt at a hip-hop album? She needs to go back to making folk pop.

Reasons - Jillian Jacqueline

Taylor may not be doing the country pop thing anymore, but newcomer Jillian Jacqueline is filling that void very nicely with a stellar EP she released last year, the best to combine country and old school pop music since Swift's heyday at the start of this decade. Bonus points for the Wes Anderson inspired music video.

Fireworks - First Aid Kit

Oh my, eighties hair on the ladies of First Aid Kit. Though the Farrah Fawcett wave is kind of a cheat. If you are doing eighties hair, you have to go full bad perm. Although this begs the question, did they have bad Jersey mall hair in the eighties in Sweden?

Finesse (Remix) - Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B

Okay let’s move up one decade with the new Bruno Mars video. Unfortunately he brought Cardi B with him. Goodness those vertical color stripe shirts are horrible. I had about five. But it did get me to go down an In Living Color YouTube rabbit hole.

Monday, November 27, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 11/27/2017

Wolves - Selena Gomez and Marshmello

Wolves - Selena Gomez was having a pretty good year musically; Bad Liar is best song yet, Fetish was weird but still mostly enjoyably (though I could have done with Gucci Mane), she also scored one of the few EDM-pop songs that does not suck with It Ain’t Me (maybe the second best ever after Wake Me Up), but her new EDM-pop song is just as bland and unremarkable as all the other bland emotionless EDM-pop songs that liter the radio. And for forks sake, anyone who is making a video with their phone, turn it the fork sideways. I hate these forking videos everywhere with the vertical forking view. Oh, I guess that is not the official video, the second one is. Model looking Selena in a pool locker room. Alrighty.

Lemon - N.E.R.D. and Rihanna

Recently word was spreading around the internets that new N.E.R.D. was imminent. I got a excited for a day, but when Lemon actually dropped, I realized, oh yeah, N.E.R.D. is a weird vanity project that can be a hard listen at times.

Perfect - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran used to never appear in his video and in his last two he has cast Saoirse Ronan and Zoey Deutch as love interest. The guy is turning into Adam Levine. Hopefully Ed’s music doesn’t start sucking massively too.

Obsession – OK Go

And now it is time for what seems to be a yearly cool video (and mediocre) song from OK Go. Pretty fascinating, it took me a couple seconds to realize that it was probably mostly stop motion filming. Still cool.

Monday, August 07, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 8/7/2017

Perfect Places – Lorde

Pure Heroine was a great album that I had on heavy rotation, I just realized that I listened to the new Lorde once when it came out and that is out. Perfect Places was my favorite track off that album, I may have go back and revisit it. I do really like the video; it reminds me a time when people actually spent money on videos by going to exotic locations. Just imagine how great those Rio-era Duran Duran videos would have looked in hi-def.

Bibia Be Ye Ye – Ed Sheeran

How do I put this nicely: Ed Sheeran is very white so it is weird to see a bunch of black people sing his songs. But I wonder if Ed has a Graceland in him, that could be interesting.

Boys - Charli XCX

Charli XCX can be very hit or miss for me and I am learning towards the latter for my early assessment of Boys. I like the chorus but the repetitive chorus may get very annoying.

Feels Like Summer - Weezer

Feels like Summer is another in a long line of underwhelming Weezer singles, but you gotta love the Guns N' Roses circa Paradise City send up.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 5/16/2017

Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran only had blink and miss it in his early videos, but ever since dancing in his Thinking Out Loud video he has been front and center in all ofg them. I guess he is back to not wanting to be in front of the camera instead letting the camera stay focused on Saorse Ronan while he remains POV. I just wonder if those are actually his arms or someone put on fake tattoos.

Good Goodbye - LINKIN PARK feat. Pusha T & Stormzy

So is the new LINKIN PARK video supposed to be a dark version of NBA Jam or am I just seeing things where there are none because I love that game?

No Coffee – Amber Coffman

This video from Amber Coffman started sweet and fun enough, but ended up getting really weird.

Bon Appétit - Katy Perry feat. Migos

Speaking of getting weird quick, Katy Perry is mostly disgusting in this video.

Monday, February 06, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 2/6/17

Shape of You - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran really is going all in on his music videos for the new album. Except Maroon 5 recently did their own boxing themed music video and that one featured Lyla Garrity. Oh Lyla Garrity, why are you no longer on my television every week in this age of too much TV? She could at least be a supervillain on Supergirl. Oh wait, plot twist, it is not a boxing video, but a sumo wrestler video, okay, that was kind of funny.

On + Off - Maggie Rogers

My first music video round up of 2017 was dedicated to On + Off - Maggie Rogers after two strong debut song and she gets the trifecta with her third single off her upcoming EP. Now I am always do for a one take music video but the close up where they switch her pants was kind of long and mostly seemed unnecessary. And why are you sining into an industrial fan? And the water bottle curls?.

So Good – Xara Larsson featuring Ty Dolla Sign

Up to this point Zara Larsson has been releasing mindless EDM-pop that is easily skippable, but is the first song of hers that perked up my ears thanks to the vaguely nineties feel in the sound and video. Okay so the song mostly rips off Ariana Grande’s The Way (which literally sampled nineties track Still Not a Player) complete with an unnecessary rap verse but I guess it is better than being just another mindless EDM pop song.

Pure Comedy – Father John Misty

Too soon Father John Misty, too soon.

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 1/30/17

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (From "Fifty Shades Darker") - ZAYN and Taylor Swift

50 Shades of Grey started as a joke, it was fan fic of Twilight turned into an SnM story. Everyone who read it claimed to only doing so to see if it was really as bad as everyone said. Eyebrows were raised when it was announced to be made into a movie with big names attached. Except it ended up being Don Johnson’s kid and the dude from Sons of Anarchy. The latter of which dropped out because of embarrassment (or as he told it, scheduling conflict). But bizarrely when no one wanted to be associated with the film, somehow they managed to amass some big names for the soundtrack, most notably Beyoncé but it also spawned two hit songs and pretty muh launched The Weeknd as a pop star. The film was routinely mock upon the release and again everyone who saw it claim to do it ironically. Bizarrely they are actually doing another one and again recruited another major pop star for the soundtrack. But where Beyoncé exudes sex, Taylor Swift is very open about how she does not want to be a sex symbol. And really beside the Bad Blood video, she has succeeded at it. So it is really weird to she her parade around in her underwear in an ad for a crappy SnM movie. Meh. I am ready for her to go back to making cheesy county pop songs.

Castle on the Hill - Ed Sheeran

I always roll my eyes when conservative firebrands rail against the “mainstream media” and its anti-conservative bias (and roll even harder when normal citizens spot these same absurdities). Although I may be warming up to that bias when I recently read a headline that said (and I am paraphrasing) “Ed Sheeran fans, blame Donald Trump for having to wait until the New Year for his new album. Despite the obvious click bait headline, I still clicked on it and it turned out Sheeran’s record label had planned to release the album the week of the election but decide to delay until later because that news sucked all the air out of the room, because, you know, Sheeran fans across the world were so focused on the American election. And then since Bruno Mars already had a release date the next week and The Weeknd after that the label decided to postpone the release until after the start of the year because the crossover with these two artists and no one could possibly buy two albums the same week. No wonder the music industry is dying.

But Sheeran should have taken those extra months to try some new some new songs because the first single sounds like a cheap Coldplay rip off, complete with Sheeran walking with purpose like Chris Martin in the music video (maybe Ed should have stuck to not appearing in his videos except maybe a small cameo). But I do like him sticking to the math themed albums. I cannot wait until his eighth album differential.

Party Monster - The Weeknd

The Weeknd had one of the weirder assents to the top of the pop music. He made moody shoe gazing RnB and then out of nowhere he decided he wanted to be Michael Jackson. Now he is getting weird again hooking up with Daft Punk on his new album. But I am beginning to wonder if all his power was in his hair because I am ambivalent to his latest songs as I was towards his shoe gazing phase.

Trainwreck - Banks

I wonder if the kind of faceless men in the new Banks video were inspired by the faceless men in The Wall because that was the impression that I got.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 5/28/15

She's Not Me Jenny Lewis

It would be hard for Jenny Lewis to follow up Just One of the Guys, but it looks like she did just that with her new video, this time recruiting SNL vets Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armison along with fellow singer-songwriter Fiest to poke fun as Lewis's time as a child star when she guested on Golden Girls and starred in movies like Troop Beverly Hills and the video game championship epic The Wizard starring Fred Savage (which begs the question where is the reboot starring Luke Dunfey as Fred's son? Actually why is Boy Meets World the only reboot in the Savage clan? Where are the reboots to The Princess Bride, Vice Versa, or Little Monsters?)

1,2 1,2 - Raekwon featuring Snoop Dogg

After some embarrassingly bad years it is weird hearing Snoop Dogg on an actual hot track.  There is one that is kind of good that was also released on his album out last week (the embarrassingly titled Bush) but it is not nearly as hot as this song with Raekwon with its nineties remix posse vibe for the video.

California Roll - Snoop Dogg featuring Stevie Wonder

As for the previously mentioned Snoop Dogg, this is probably the best song off of the new album except that I would actually would like the song much more if the song was just Pharrell and Stevie Wonder instead. And is this video supposed to be a tie in to Tomorrowland?

Photograph - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran does not really like being in his own music videos (Think Out Loud being the lone exception), it is weird to see he really mugged for the camera as a child.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 4/21/15

American Oxygen - Rihanna

Before I even heard the new Rihanna song (I had to wait because, though I may subscribe to a streaming music site one day, it certainly will not be Tidal where the song had its exclusive premiere) I read an interview with the song's songwriter who cited Born In the U.S.A. This piqued my interest because the Bruce Springsteen song on its surface sounds like a jingoistic anthem, is really dark condemnation of the Vietnam War. Of course Springsteen can bring up darker moments in our history coming from New Jersey, Rihanna, a pop singer from Barbados may be a harder sale. Not only are the lyrics of American Oxygen touch on hardships of the nation, the video double downs on this spanning from the Klan to Eric Garner. But the songs's worst crime is that it just is not very good. But personally I cannot wait until some Republican mistakes the lyrics and using it in their 2016 campaign the way Reagan try to co-opt Born in the U.S.A. I predict Rand Paul.

Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy

Babe of the nineties are really having a moment, first Michelle Pheiffer gets a shout out from Bruno Mars in the biggest song of the year, now Fall Out Boy has devoted an entire song to her Pulp Fiction dance. This makes me wonder what Kathy Ireland is up to these days. The video is sort of entertaining in a Up For Anything Bud Light commercial kind of way that get tiring easily.

Still Want You - Brandon Flowers

Last month Brandon Flowers released his first single off his sophomore album which was met with a resounding yawn and general, so when is the next The Killers album coming? I do actually kind of like the new single even if it is a bit on the cheesy eighties side of things (the music video only makes it cheesier). It is probably his best solo song yet. Still, I would rather have another Killers album instead.

Catch in the Dark - Passenger

In this week's installment of One Hit Wonder Watch, Passenger had a surprise hit two years ago with the sleepy Let Her Go in a time when radio was only play annoyingly upbeat songs. He followed that up with a faux rap song in the style of Ed Sheeran that failed to gain any steam. He is back with another sleepy song off his second album since the one featuring Let Her Go, but Catch in the Dark lack the instantly recognizable hook that Let Her Go had so it looks like Passenger will be saying in One Hit Wonderdom for a bit longer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 3/26/15

Famous - Charli XCX

Last year YouYube created their own award show which was widely panned as being unnecessary. Of course that did not stop them from doing another one. But they did change things up this time around. Instead of creating live music videos at the last awards and handing out fan voted awards, the winners got their own music videos as an honor, or at least I think, it is kind of hard figuring out what is actually going on with the YTMA's. All I know is because of it we get a new Charli XCX music video, a creepy-fun ode to our devotion to our mobile devises. I do wonder if having to watch an ad to get into a room is a not so subtle dig at the ads in front of YouTube videos.

Bloodstream - Ed Sheeran featuring Rudimental

Ed Sheeran also got the YouTube Music Award music video treatment but where Charli got a bunch of mobile zombies, Ed get Ray Liotta. So maybe not all YouTube Awards are treated equal. Is Ray playing old Ed? Am I supposed to think of Taylor Swift's Blank Space while watching (it takes place in a mansion, there is a random horse for no apparent reason, destruction of property). Whatever the case, the YTMA's are still pretty unnecessary.

Nobody Love - Tori Kelly

As a pretentious music blogger I have an image to uphold only only like the greatest most snobby music being made, but even us pretentious music bloggers have our guilty pleasures (Ariana Grande) and songs we like semi-ironically (Teenage Dream). Now I know this Tori Kelly song is not good, the singing like a baby girl in the pre-chorus is kind of embarrassing, there is an unnecessary Mariah Carey type vocal gymnastic as if she were trying out for some crappy karaoke show. But I have to admit it does not suck massively either. The verses give off a cool eighties RnB vibe to it like it could have been a hit for The Jets (which begs the question, whatever happened to The Jets?) three decades ago and following the unnecessary vocal gymnastic is a pretty awesome horn breakdown. Now I need to decide on whether this song deserves to be filed away in my guilty pleasure folder or like ironically.

Lampshade om Fire - Modest Mouse

Pretentious blogger confession number two: I have never been much of a fan of Modest Mouse. With that said, I do kind of like their new song (I really like the line, "this is what I really call a party now" line, but a party never really starts until someone starts fire to a lampshade and wild, ADD inducing new music video.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2014

1. Girl in a Country Song - Maddie and Tae

2. Just One of the Guys - Jenny Lewis

3. My Song 5 - Haim featuring A$AP Ferg

4. Sweatpants - Childish Gambino featuring Problem

5. Word Crimes - "Weird Al" Yankovic

6. Our Time - Lily Allen

7. I Blame Myself - Sky Ferreira

8. Foil - "Weird Al" Yankovic

9. Blank Space - Taylor Swift

10. URL Badman - Lily Allen

11. Tacky - "Weird Al" Yankovic

12. The Writing's on the Wall - OK Go

13. Water Fountain - tUnE - yArDs

14. Break the Rules - Charli XCX

15. Air Balloon - Lily Allen

16. If I Could Change Your Mind - Haim

17. Yellow Flicka Beat - Lorde

18. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

19. Shesszus - Lily Allen

20. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers

21. Magic - Coldplay

22. Talk (Expletive Deleted), Get Shot - Body Count

23. Something Bad - Miranda Lambert featuring Carrie Underwood

24. Ain't It Fun - Paramore

25. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson

26. Fever - The Black Keys

27. Desire - Meg Myers

28. Stay Awhile - She and Him

29. Shake it Off - Taylor Swift

30. Sing - Ed Sheeran

31. Make You Better - The Demberists

32. Let Her Down Easy - George Michael

33. Paris - Magic Man

34. Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

35. Katie Queen of Tennessee - The Apache Relay

36. Mission Statement - “Weird Al" Yankovic

37. The Walker - Fitz and the Tantrums

38. Think Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

39. Understand - The Roots featuring Dice Raw and Greg Porn

40. A Sky Full of Stars - Coldplay

41. Do You - Spoon

42. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo

43. Guilty All the Same - Linkin Park featuring Rakim

44. High Ball Stepper - Jack White

45. Don't - Ed Sheeran

46. Back to the Shack - Weezer

47. All Washed Out - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

48. Heart Is a Drum - Beck

49. Headphones - Matt Nathanson featuring LoLo

50. Hayloft - Nickel Creek

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 7/21/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Angel in Blue Jeans - Train

Sure the new Train song kind of sucks in a jumping on the folk rock trend two years too late kind of way but if you are going to release a bad song you might as well pay Danny Trejo copious amounts of money to lip-sync your lyrics making an actual entertaining video. So congratulations to Train, you almost got me to almost like your crappy Mumford and Sons rip off simply by getting me to watch the music video multiple times.

You and I (Nobody in the World) – John Legend

Just when you think John Legend was going to release yet another music video based around his Sport Illustrated it turns into a very real look at the various types of women that populate the nation. It is empowering and heartbreaking at the same time. Seriously, if you did not break out crying at the breast cancer victim, you very well may not have a soul.

Try - Colbie Caillat

If that is not enough real women for you Colbie Caillat takes that John Legend idea one step further (to be fair, Try hit YouTube two days earlier and is exactly what the song is about; I just put You and I first because it is a much better song) as Colbie and another group of ethnically diverse strip themselves of all their numerous beauty products.

Mother and Father – Broods

We have hit that time a year when people start posting their silly half-year lists. One thing that stuck out to me on these lists is that music so far this year kind of sucked. Making things worse is that are not many good new artists. Around this time last year there were already great albums or EPs from Lorde, Haim, Kacey Musgraves, Daughter, and Chvrches. It is depressing to think Iggy Azalea is probably going to get a Best New Artist nomination basically there is no one else (granted since Ed Sheeran got nominated in the category last year, maybe Lorde will get nominated this year) even though she only has only been on two songs anyone cares about and is the worst part of both songs. Sure there have been a couple songs by new artists that have piqued my interest this year but I really not interested in full albums by Hozier, Bleachers, Jamie N Commons, or X Ambassadors (I have not even been bothered to see if the last two are the same act or two separate ones collaborating on Jungle; which is not to be confused with the new band Jungle that I do not really care for that much) but there is only one group that I am looking forward to hearing more from and that is Broods. They put out a solid EP earlier this year and next month they are releasing their debut album Evergreen (apparently it will not be released stateside until October but sometimes these foreign releases show up on Spotify here before we Americans can buy them). The first single from the album is actually better than anything on that original EP and shoots the album up my list of what may be a crowded most anticipated fall albums (even though many of the biggest names do not have a release date as of now).

Monday, June 30, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 6/30/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Somethin' Bad - Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood

I have long lamented the slow death of rock and roll and a while back I read someone who said rock and roll is not dying, it just moved to Nashville. They had a point because you will see a few lengthy guitar solos if you went to an Eric Church or Keith Urban concert not to mention ZZ Top and Lenny Kravitz opened up the last two CMA Awards. And take the new Miranda Lambert song which sounds like it could have been produced by eighties uber-hair metal producer Mutt Lang if he was listening to We Will Rock You too many times in a row.

Hayloft – Nickel Creek

When I reviewed the latest Nickel Creek album, I pointed out Hayloft because it was a weird danceable country dance song (and I meant that in a good way, not a Cotton Eye Joe kind of way). Now the song gets its own weird animated video to go along with it.

Kingdom - Common

I just started playing Watch Dogs (which is your basic Grant Theft Auto knockoff except instead of working for a drug kingpin you play a hacker) set in Chicago and it is interesting to see some of the same sights in the new Common video that I have traveling around virtually. Well at least into the prologue, I have get to travel to the ghetto yet nor I have run into a strip club yet which there are plenty of in Liberty City.

Jungle – X Ambassadors and Jamie n Commons

Tomorrow is the half way point of the year which means we will be inundated with silly half year lists (I have already seen a few). But these got me thinking, where are all the new artists? This point last year we had very good albums, or at the very least EP’s from Lorde, Kacey Musgraves, Haim, Daughter and Chvrches. Broods released a decent EP but that is pretty much it. It is depressing to think Iggy Azalea may get a Best New Artist Grammy nomination by default (granted if Ed Sheeran could get a nomination, then maybe Lorde will get one this year along with four others we would have never thought were eligible). Jungle may be my favorite song of the year so far by a new artist, but it does not really inspire me to check out anything else. Plus I am not entire sure who is most responsible for the song: X Ambassadors or Jamie N Commons (I would be more inclined to check out the dude with the long hair, not the frat boy with the backwards hat). But anyway. The song should be required to be played at every sporting event for the next decade or so (it is about time someone replace Gary Glitter, for more reasons than one) even though there is a World Cup inspired remix with an unnecessary verse from Jay-Z. But that video / advertisement for Beats by Dre does feature Luis Suárez who probably is not listening to Jungle, but instead Maneater by Hall and Oates.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Listen to Sad Songs, Singing About Love and Where it Goes Wrong

dx - Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran is one of the rare popular new artists this decade than managed to get his sizable fan base by pure hard work and not having a massive radio hit. His first album went Gold here and despite the lack of massive radio hits, three years after the release of that album most everyone is now familiar with The A-Team, Lego House, and Give Me Love. Making Sheeran’s success more surprising is that the singer / songwriter era of the early 00’s that he would have fit very well into is long over. The last massive hit from a member of The Mellow Show was Jason Mraz’s 2008 I'm Yours.

With his sensitive singer / songwriter image, it was jarring that the first single off his sophomore album x (pronounced “multiply”, not the letter) was the ultra poppy Sing. It may have been the most jarring first single since U2 spent the early nineties getting weirder and weirder only to close the decade out with the Pop opus Discotheque. The song is instantly Sheeran’s most (really only) danceable and inexplicably borrowing an acoustic guitar from The Doobie Brothers Listen to the Music (much like when the heavily Got to Give It Up sounding Pharrell produced track Blurred Lines last year, The Doobie Brothers are not credited). Of course the song went on to be Ed’s first instant hit and biggest to date stateside.

Unlike Pop, x is not a complete sea change. Most of the rest comes straight out of the + playbook of mainly simple acoustic tracks with confessional lyrics. The other overtly pop song follows Sing on the album and this time Don't is co-produced by Benny Blanco (who has produced ultra-bland pop songs for Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Maroon 5) and Rick Rubin. Another small block of hip-hop influenced songs appears later on the album which include another Pharrell assisted track Runaway which is followed by the early nineties inspire hip-hop beat The Man which unfortunately features Sheeran fake rapping which were the worst parts of + too. There is probably a reason why there has not been a successful rapper with a British accent since Slick Rick.

The best of x remains when Ed sticks to his bread and butter of confessional acoustic based tracks. Instead of evolving with an in your face pop song like Sing, a better evolution would have probably been a smaller tweak to his sound like Bloodstream (also produced by Rubin) where he adds a subtle bass sound to the existing acoustic sound. But there is plenty of good here that maybe Ed Sheeran will eventually get to his seventh album: .

Song to download - Bloodstream

x gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2014

Okay, let’s be honest, there is only one album to get excited about this summer and that is a new “Weird Al” Yankovic. There are a couple others that may be good, but Al’s is the only one that is going to get to check YouTube hoping the first video is released yet. Granted another reason is that most of the non-Al marquee names that will probably have a new album out by the end of the year have not released official dates meaning we will not be getting them until closer to Christmas. Here are the ones that will actually hit shelves (or digital shelves) before the leaves start to change colors. Click the album name or cover to preorder on Amazon (where available) or the artist’s name to be taken to their iTunes page.

1. Mandatory Fun – "Weird Al" Yankovic (July 15): It has been three year since the last Weird Al album which featured him poking fun at Taylor Swift and still the Hanna Montana era Miley Cyrus. There have been plenty of parodyable songs to come out since then. Currently we do not know much about whom he will be targeting this time around except Patton Oswalt said he has heard that album and will be parodying one of his favorite bands of the nineties and a gossip site saying Al ambushed Iggy Azalea for permission to parody one of her songs. Since there is no track listing yet, here is a Power Ranking of songs I hope made the cut:

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen: No song in the past decade screams out for an parody from Weird Al than Call Mew Maybe. I do not want to live in a world where there is not a Weird Al Call Me Maybe parody.

Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra: When Al teased the Russian themed artwork my first thought was “Soviet That I Used to Know must be the first single.” (Call Me Ruskie was my second thought.) On the other hand, half the time the cover art has nothing to do with any of the parodies like last album’s Alpocalypse.

Royals – Lorde: There is an obvious Game of Thrones parody as low hanging fruit in there somewhere for Al.

Roar – Katy Perry: She was the biggest pop star in the nation when the last Weird Al album dropped on her way to tying a Michael Jackson record for most number ones from one album but not one song from Teenage Dream got parodied. None of them even made the polka (I Kissed a Girl did though). Roar is some overtly cheesy it was almost as Katy was begging for a Weird Al parody with it.

Pharrell: Take your pick: Get Lucky, Blurred Lines, Happy. Really Al could just do a medley or give Pharrell his own polka from Rump Shaker (yes a nineteen year old Pharrell wrote the Wreckx-n-Effect classic) to Happy. And if not a Pharrell polka…

Folk Polka: When it came to thinking of songs I would like to hear Weird Al parody, a few folk songs came across my mind like Ho Hey and Little Lion Man, but I actually would rather here those songs as part of a polka instead.

2. Get Hurt – The Gaslight Anthem (August 18): Two years ago the band released their first major label record and I thought they were poised for a Black Keys type breakout. The album was good, it just did not hit with the general public. Granted The Black Keys did not break out until their second major label album, hopefully The Gaslight Anthem follows suit. So far I have only heard about thirty seconds of the album but the band promises something completely different.

3.  x - Ed Sheeran (Tomorrow): It seems like the singer-songwriter era that John Mayer kickstarted at the start of the millennium ended right around the time he spouted off about his racist genitalia, really the only dude with an acoustic guitar with any success since them was Ed Sheeran. So it was jarring when the first single off his sophomore album was a Pharrell produced dance song built around that acoustic guitar (which bears a striking resemblance to The Doobie Brothers). Everything that has been released since (which seems like the whole album by now) does fit more with his earlier motif so it may not be a complete sea change of an album.

4. The Golden Echo – Kimbra (August 18): Most people in America only know Kimbra from the Gotye song but her debut album ended up being much better than the Goyte song was featured on. Her follow hopefully will feature a song that will end up being her first solo hit. But that will probably not be first single 90’s Music which sadly does not sound like alt-rock or something produced by Babyface (the two things I think of when I think 90’s music).

5. Wish I Were Here Soundtrack (July 15): Ten years ago, Natalie Portman promised that The Shins would change my life. It did not. But you know whose lives it changed: The Shins. And really indie pop in general as The Garden State Soundtrack brought the sub-genre to the masses going platinum and winning a Grammy. For his next film Wish I Was Here, of course The Shins are featured on the soundtrack with a brand new song. Also making a retuned appearance is Coldplay, this time as a duet with Cat Power and Paul Simon. The soundtrack also features two songs from Bon Iver.

Here are some more albums that will be at the very least worth a spin on Spotify.


One More Around the Sun – Mastodon

June 27
Ultraviolet EP – Owl City

July 1
Legend - 30th Anniversary Edition (CD + Blu-Ray Audio Disc)Bob Marley
We Are Only What We Feel NONONO
PaulaRobin Thicke
RemedyOld Crow Medicine Show

July 8
Beautiful Goodbye – Richard Marx
1000 Forms of FearSia
"Now (Chicago XXXVI) - Chicago
Redeemer of SoulsJudas Priest
Shutup&Jam!Ted Nugent

July 15
No Fools, No Fun - Puss N Boots (Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones, Catherine Popper)
Strange Desire - Bleachers
Yes!Jason Mraz

July 21
Nobody Smiling - Common
Trouble in Paradise – La Roux

July 29
Hypnotic EyeTom Petty and The Heartbreakers
The Voyager - Jenny Lewis
The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)Eric Clapton and Friends
A Life Worth LivingMarc Broussard

August 5
They Want My Soul – Spoon
Tough Love – Jessie Ware

August 19
In Motion: The RemixesAmy Grant

August 26
Brill BruisersThe New Pornographers

September 2
V – Maroon 5

September 9
All Together Now – Better Than Ezra
Goddess – Banks
El PintorInterpol

September 16
Bulletproof Picasso - Train
Sukierae – Jeff Tweedy
World on Fire - Slash

September 22
Strut – Lenny Kravitz
This Is All Yours – alt-J

September 30
Collide – Boyz II Men

October 28
With a Little Help From My Fwends – The Flaming Lips

Everything Will Be Alright in the End - Weezer
Dear You - Meiko
Plain Spoken – John Mellencamp
24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault – Stevie Nicks
Somewhere Under Wonderland – Counting Crows
Deeply Rooted – Scarface
Mr. Wonderful – Action Bronson
Now We Even – Mase
Big Boi
Billy Idol
Bob Dylan
Christina Aguilera
Foo Fighters
Guns N' Roses
Kanye West
New Order
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Wanting Blue
Robert Plant
Ryan Adams
The Lone Bellow
The Ting Tings
The Veronicas

And of course here is the obligatory maybe this is the quarter we get to hear Detox from Dr. Dre.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 5/28/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Sing – Ed Sheeran

I liked Ed Sheeran’s first album as much as every other sensitive dude of the nineties. Sure the faux rapping got a little silly. Following that sensitive singer-songwriter esthetic with a dance track over a Doobie Brothers type acoustic guitar produced by Pharrell may be the most head scratching turn since U2 launched their Pop album with Discotheque. But hey, puppets in your music video make everything more palatable.

Let Me Down Gently – La Roux

I sometime wonder why artists that you obviously know will be one hit wonders do not just drop their mic and walk off like the dude from the New Radicals. I was pretty content putting La Roux on my list of The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 00's despite their one song only being a couple months old at the time. It seemed like the duo did drop the mic and walk away considering it has been five years since they released Bulletproof. Oddly enough for their follow-up to the dance song, they went with a melancholy track. It is catchy, but I do not think I will need to update that One Hit Wonder list just yet.

Double Bubble Trouble – M.I.A.

I do not get it, what exactly is M.I.A. trying to say mixing 3-D modeled firearms with twerking and crappy EDM infused reggae?

Pittbull Terrier – Die Antwoord

Speaking of controversial music video, the weird South African rap duo Die Antwoord apparently does not like Pitbull like pretty much everyone else in the world. But at this point, isn’t taking down Pitbull, who at this point is just the Hispanic Vanilla Ice, a little too easy?

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 5/19/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Part II (On the Run) – Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé

Okay this is less a music video for the Jay-Z song and more a teaser for the upcoming Jay-Z / Beyoncé summer tour. And for those that did not stick around for the end, the movie is “coming never” but I actually enjoyed the generic trailer if just for Rashida Jones and Kat Dennings as a police officer. Oh, wait, that was Emmy Rossum? Ooops.

Understand – The Roots featuring Dice Raw and Greg Porn

I do not sure if it is true or not, but I am just going to go ahead and believe the latest The Roots music video is an homage to two great 80’s videos Rockit by Herbie Handcock and Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel.

Appreciate – Paul McCartney

So the I, Robot robots really do take over the world and then create own Night at the Museum scenario with Paul McCartney.

We Exist – Arcade Fire

So in the last month, Spider Man has dressed in drag for Arcade Fire and made out with Chris Martin… is he trying to say something? I hope he is trying to say Gwen Stacey is available, I personally would be happy to take her off his hands. I hope he is not saying he wants to star in a Flashdance remake even if he’s about a good a dancer as Jennifer Beals. But if it did happen, who should sing the theme song? Keeping with the gender bending theme maybe Ed Sheeran.