Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Focus and headaches

Man, it's been so long since I've written anything.  I've had a busy summer, but not busy in a way that makes for too many exciting ideas of things to write about.  Got a few rainy day topics, but I haven't had the focus or motivation to write them.  I've been pretty unfocused in general—it comes and goes, worse when my headaches get worse.  And my headaches are worse in the summer, and most of my energy has been going toward work stuff and my boyfriend, so I haven't had much left to power any sort of creativity.  But I can feel it coming back now that the weather is turning.  I'm always pretty miserable in the summer, so I welcome the turning of the leaves more than just for visual appeal.

I went to the hospital today for a planned procedure in which some tubes were stuck into my nose and they squirted some high-powered anesthetic up in there.  I'll know more in a couple weeks if it's really helping.  After dealing with this headache non-stop for these eleven years or so I'm pretty desperate for anything.

I haven't been listening to music a whole lot except for in the car, and a swath of Seattle summer concerts.  It's been too distracting to have any sort of sound around me; what would normally be a pleasant experience has been turned by my headaches into a taunt that prevents me from doing anything else.  But despite all that, I've still managed to make it through a few new albums in the past few months.

Olly Murs—Right Place Right Time: 6/10
Highs: Heart Skips a Beat featuring Chiddy Bang, Army of Two, Dear Darlin'
Reasonably solid pop music, but the album gives me the simultaneous impression that it has potential and that it's not living up to it.

Nico and Vinz—Black Star Elephant: 6/10
Highs: Am I Wrong, Last Time, Miracles
The term "world music" always seems at best condescending and at worst racist, but somehow fits here.  Decent overall, and I think most of my problems with the album are production: vocal recording quality, instrumentation, and how the beats feel.

J. Cole—2014 Forest Hills Drive: 5/10
Highs: Apparently, Wet Dreamz, No Role Modelz
This album got a lot of acclaim and I don't think I agree... JC's talented, but this largely isn't life-changing stuff.

Muse—Drones: 5/10
Highs: Dead Inside, Reapers, Psycho
More 1999 Muse than 2013 Muse.  The instrumentation is quality rock, but the songs don't impress me.

Kid Ink—Full Speed: 5/10
Highs: Faster, Body Language featuring Tinashé and Usher, Round Here
Faster is really excellent, but the album leans toward generic too often.

Mika—Mika: 8/10
Highs: Staring at the Sun, Good Guys (Night Time mix is a little better), Promiseland
Lovingly-crafted good pop music all throughout, even though few tracks really stand out as memorable.

The Bird and the Bee—Recreational Love: 6/10
Highs: Will You Dance?, Runaway, Please Take Me Home
A little too sleepy and lacking in the energetic charm of their previous albums.

The Weeknd—Beauty Behind the Madness: 9/10
Highs: Tell Your Friends, Can't Feel My Face, Often
Tell Your Friends is an R&B masterpiece... a filthy, filthy masterpiece.  If this is what we get when The Weeknd turns a little more radio-friendly then I think I'm completely okay with it.

Singles worth a listen:
Fort Minor—Welcome: Excellent, rap (free!)
OOAH and M!NT—If the Smoke Clears: Good, dance (free!)

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