I'd like to say for the record that three of these albums were being given away for free. (Guess which.)
There is no reason to own this album, or even stream it on Spotify for any reason other than curiosity.
Jessie J—Sweet Talker: 4/10
Highs: Ain't Been Done, Burnin' Up featuring (ugh) 2 Chainz, Bang Bang featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
It's like a NOW That's What I Call Music sampler of pop music from the last couple years.
Foster the People—Supermodel: 7/10
Highs: Pseudologia Fantastica, Are You What You Want to Be?, The Truth
Rock music solid enough to make me overlook how little I like the lead singer's voice.
Tove Lo—Queen of the Clouds: 8/10
Highs: Moments, Habits (Stay High), Like 'em Young
A mature pop album with no bad tracks. Particularly impressive for a debut, though I'm not sure how much that matters in an era of modern production.
Jason Derülo—Everything is 4: 3/10
Highs: Want to Want Me, Cheyenne
A couple worthwhile pop-R&B songs wedged between some intolerable crap.
Clean Bandit—New Eyes: 7/10
Highs: Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne, A+E (Live) featuring BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Telephone Banking featuring Love Ssega
I waffled a lot on this one but decided to pick it up. Nothing on the 29-track two-disc set is bad, though there are plenty of songs that are just okay, balanced out by several that are quite good.
Caravan Palace—<|°_°|> (aka Robot): 9/10
Highs: Lone Digger, Midnight, Wonderland
Infectiously delightful modern swing music. Would see in concert again in a heartbeat.
Don't miss these excellent singles:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis—Downtown featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, and Grandmaster Caz
Miike Snow—Genghis Khan
Not even once:
Dizzy Wright—The Growing Process
Giorgio Moroder—Déjà Vu
Kid Cudi—Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven (would still be abominable even if it weren't for the 8-10 minutes of Beavis and Butthead impressions tacked onto the end of various tracks, such as Adventures at 4:18)