Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm So Sick of Those Same Old Songs: Six-Song Review

Sheer Mag "Nobody's Baby"
The drums are tinny and hissy and the vocals are compressed and verbed into a shoebox with a canyon inside it, but the song is rifftastic and Christina Halladay's growl comes through strong. She may lament her shabby treatment by someone who won't dance with the one they brought, but something in that strength suggests independence over loneliness.

Selena Gomez "Same Old Love"
Her beauty is all youth and makeup, a pretty doll without distinction. Her singing is much the same. Good song choice though, from Charli XCX and Stargate: the spooky lines of this slinker weave through fingersnaps and breezy synths, suggesting it's all late-night and grown-up. What a sentiment! She's so sick of that same old love. I like this song, but I wish it weren't so heartbroken, that she was expressing boredom in a relationship, and the desire to sleep with someone new. That's something people feel but rarely sing about, not in the way this song should. Instead it's that same old relationship angst.

PJ Harvey "The Community of Hope"  
PJ, PJ,'re interesting, but to be interesting you have to sometimes be tedious, to take the risks that fail. Case in point. I actually liked her last album, a bunch of dirges about the death sprawl of World War I. This one is from The Hope Six Demolition Project, which seems to be an album about about city planning gone awry. It's dancing about architecture! The chorus to this song is "The Community of Hope," which flows lyrically about as well as you'd expect. Interesting! 

Parquet Courts "Outside"  

Holy Husker Du, Batman! Maybe Andrew Savage isn't emulating Bob Mould, maybe he's just another nasal singer, but like the Du, we have choice melody over a (more sedate) form of punk rock with production that feels very 1984 DIY. Catchy, but check back in a week to see whether I'm actually caught. 

Lake Street Dive "Side Pony"
Destined for a public radio feature story. Jazzbo's playing light funk. She can sing like a teetotal-ling Amy Winehouse, and scat too! Unbearable. 

Katy B. Craig David, Major Lazer "Who Am I?"
Who ARE you? Another whiner who has no identity without a lover. Some more of those same old drum patterns with that easy epic sound. Listen to some Sheer Mag.

--Dan Kilian

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