Top 40 Albums of 2018

40. Re:Piano by Chad Lawson Chad Lawson re-imagines piano composition.   39. Disease by the Beartooth With an interesting mix of hardcore, pop punk, and hard rock, Beartooth provided the most intriguing heavy music for my listening palate.   38. Black Panther: The Album by Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists I haven’t seen the movie. Hopefully someday. But, the soundtrack is out of this world. Kendrick Lamar’s verse in “King’s Dead,” is probably the rap highlight of my year.   37. Lost Friends by Middle Kids This debut shows the songwriting chops of this Australian band. I expect even better as this group matures.   36. Just for Us by Francis and the Lights Francis masterfully blends electronic soundscapes with… Read More →

Top 40 Albums of 2017

40. Every Valley by Public Service Broadcasting Post-rock with layered public radio announcements. Perfect for studying.   39. Wild Alee by the Talos Everyone is trying to rip off the Bon Iver thing this year. Of the imitators, I think Talos did it best.   38. Saint or Sinner by Sir the Baptist An absolutely infectious single and honest commentary on the lived experience of marginalized communities.   37. Colors by Beck After a critically acclaimed turn toward singer-songwriter introspection, party-Beck is back. 36. Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works by Max Richter Ever since Max Richter’s melodic touch scored The Leftovers’ theme, I’m now game for any of his compositions.   35. Drool by Nnamdi Ogbonnaya Drool provides a… Read More →

Album Review: Days Are Gone

Days Are Gone by Haim

Days Are Gone by Haim (Columbia, 2013. 44 minutes) Haim is a band from Los Angeles, California comprised of sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim. A Trend Is But a Repeat of the Past With music, it seems as if we’re repeating ourselves every 20 years. The 90s mirrored the 70s. The aughts mirrored the 80s. Now it sounds like we’re giving a run at the 90s. When I was heavily involved in music during high school and college, I had a tendency toward demonizing these repetitions. I would mock popular music and be the first to point out how a musician sourced influences from the past. If I had to look at it introspectively, I would say my views… Read More →

Album Review: The Heist

The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Macklemore LLC, 2012. 61 minutes) Macklemore is the moniker for Seattle-based rapper, Ben Haggerty. Macklemore has worked closely with his producer, Ryan Lewis, to release 2 full length albums and 3 EPs. Macklemore’s latest album, The Heist, debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200. Call Me Never Never a big fan of Top 40 radio, you can often hear snarky comments and extensive criticism from me whenever the radio is on. Most often, my critique falls sharply on menial lyrics. The songwriters behind the biggest hits know how to write music. Sadly, they also realize the average listener requires no challenge from the lyrics. Take, for example, the current hit, “Call Me… Read More →