Saturday, January 3, 2015

Music-to-word ratio

I did some thinking not long ago about what I'd like to see from reviews of music, movies, and video games.  I don't really consider what I do here to be "reviews" per se as I make no attempts to be objective, but I'm going to try taking my own advice and be terse, but still highlight the best parts worth listening to.  (Which is good, because I've been listening to a bunch of stuff since the last one of these posts.)  Because really, the vast majority of the words in any given review of something convey no actual useful information.

Google and Microsoft gave away a ton of albums for free last month, so a bunch of the things here are not my usual cup of tea.  I imagine that'll continue for a while, but it'll be nice to run into some new stuff.

Demi Lovato—Demi: 4/10
Highs: Two Pieces, Heart Attack
Generic-sounding pop anthems with an indistinguishable voice.

U2—Songs of Innocence: 2/10
Highs: California, The Miracle
This is the one that Apple threw at everyone and people dodged out of the way like it was a blood-soaked ebola rag, and then complained it was still overpriced.

Ariana Grande—My Everything: 5/10
Highs: Love Me Harder featuring The Weeknd, Problem featuring Iggy Azalea
Only those two tracks escape the realm of "okay."

Enrique Iglesias—Greatest Hits: 7/10
Highs: Not in Love featuring Kelis, Tired of Being Sorry, Bailamos
Definitely better than I was expecting; cautiously recommended if pop with a slight tinge of Latinness.

deadmau5—"> album title goes here <": 6/10
Highs: Professional Griefers featuring Gerard Way, Telemiscommunications featuring Imogen Heap, October
A dance album that doesn't really stand out to me in any particular way.

deadmau5—4x4=12: 4/10
Highs: Sofi Needs a Ladder, Animal Rights featuring Wolfgang Gartner
Nothing noteworthy on this one.

J. Cole—Friday Night Lights (free): 6/10
Highs: You Got It featuring Wale, Blow Up, Higher
A few particularly good tracks and some other stuff that's, well, free.

J. Cole— Born Sinner: 6/10
Highs: She Knows featuring Amber Coffman, Power Trip featuring Miguel, Villuminati
Finally, a rap album with an extensive collection of songs about having sex with women instead of violence, drugs, and having sex with women!  And on top of that, a couple truly excellent songs; most of the rest is merely okay.

Lorde—Pure Heroine: 5/10
Highs: Team, Royals
She's like Lana del Rey but doesn't say "fuck" as much, and is even weirder.

Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1: 3/10
Highs: Blue Swede—Hooked on a Feeling, Jackson 5—I Want You Back, Rupert Holmes—Escape
Not my kind of music, but there are a few likable classic hits on there.

Hunter Hayes—Storyline: 4/10
Highs: You Think You Know Somebody, Secret Love
Not a fan of country music at all, but there are a couple good rock-infused tracks on here.

Kid Ink—My Own Lane: 7/10
Highs: Murda featuring Pusha T, The Movement, No Miracles featuring Elle Varner and MGK
Pretty good pop-rap album with a bunch of solid tracks but only Murda being great.

Lecrae—Anomaly: 8/10
Highs: Runners, Messengers featuring For King and Country, Give In featuring Crystal Nicole
Lots of really great tracks on one of the best rap albums I've bought in a while.  Definitely recommended if you don't have a strong aversion to occasional Christian overtones.

Mark Ronson—Version: 7/10
Highs: Toxic featuring Tiggers and Ol' Dirty Bastard, God Put a Smile Upon Your Face featuring The Daptone Horns, Stop Me Medley featuring Daniel Merriweather
Surprisingly charming jazzy pop music with a lot of tracks that surprised me.  Recommended.

Jason Derülo—Talk Dirty: 7/10
Highs: Talk Dirty featuring 2 Chainz, The Other Side, Zipper
A bunch of disgustingly catchy pop-R&B songs, many of which should probably make me feel slightly ashamed for enjoying them.

Recommended singles: 
Röyksopp and Robyn—Do It Again: Excellent, dance
Rob Cantor—Shia LaBeouf: Excellent, indescribable
Porter Robinson—Lionhearted featuring Urban Cone: Very Good, dance
AlunaGeorge—Attracting Flies: Very Good, pop
AlunaGeorge—Your Drums, Your Love: Very Good, pop
Beats Antique—Elephant Survival: Very Good, electronic+world
Beats Antique—Brain in a Fishtank: Very Good, electronic+world