Τρίτη 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
Δευτέρα 29 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
I cannot understand why people still listen to Thom Yorke. I cannot understand why the Swans are still alive and not dead by their own boring music. I cannot understand why my beloved Beck has found himself critically acclaimed with the "Morning Phase". And, at the end of the day, why can't we all accept that Nicki Minaj and her asses have recorded a very good album? Here are the 47 albums of 2014 that I have listened to (horny) with pleasure and respect. Lykke Li #not, too.
47. Metronomy - Love Letters
46. Alt-J - This Is All Yours
45. Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything
44. Kiesza - Sound of a Woman
43. La Roux - Trouble In Paradise
42. Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
41. Kimbra - The Golden Echo
40. Royksopp - The Inevitable End
39. Prince - Plectrumelectrum/Art Official Age
38. Various Artists - Begin Again (OST)
37. Kelis - Food
36. Jessie Ware - Tough Love
35. tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack
34. Iggy Azalea - The New Classic
33.Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
32.Young Fathers - Dead
31. Various Artists - The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 (OST)
30. Dum Dum Girls - Too True
29. Jack White - Lazaretto
28. The Roots - …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
27. TV on the Radio - Seeds
26. Banks - Goddess
25. Mary J Blige - The London Sessions
24. Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear
23.Kele - Trick
22. Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste
21. Joas As Police Woman - The Classic
20. Katy B - Little Red
19. You+Me - rose ave.
18. Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were
17. Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint
16. Taylor Swift - 1989
15. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
14. Hozier - Hozier
13. The Smashing Pumpkins - Monuments to an Elegy
12. Ed Sheeran - x
11. Kasabian - 48:13
10. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Give the People What They Want
9. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
8. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
7. Chet Faker - Built on Glass
6. Interpol - El Pintor
5. D'Angelo - Black Messiah
4. Charli XCX - Sucker
3. FKA twigs - LP1
2. Neneh Cherry - Blank Project
1. Tinashe - Aquarius
Δευτέρα 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
When I heard "Anaconda" for the first time, I thought "This is one of the worst things I have ever heard". And I am a human being who has listened to a whole Aqua album. And a whole B*Witched album. Even a whole David Guetta album. I am patient when it comes to music and new albums. So when "The Pinkprint" was released, I motivated myself to be patient on this. And I was patient. Many times. But you cannot be patient many times on something you don't like, right? So I came to a clear conclusion: "I like the new Nicki Minaj album. In fact, it's fucking brilliant."
The tracks here have melodies. Till now, most of Nicki Minaj's songs were big studio productions, collaborations with all her industry friends, butts and penises, EDM samples and videos directed by Hype Williams. This is the first time you can only focus on the deep rhythm sections and basslines, the reverbed keys and her raw lyrics. It's just that and nothing more. And it's more than enough.
"Four Door Aventador" is something Missy Elliott could have recorded and it's addictive till the last kick. In "The Crying Game" Minaj has used Jessie Ware's soulful vocals, something she is not repeating on the dope female anthem, "Feeling Myself", with Beyonce - highlights, both of them. At some point, you can skip "Anaconda", because it's in there. But you can dance your ass off with "Trini Dem Girls" and "The Night Is Still Young", that's acceptable. "Bed of lies" is like a Rihanna/Jay-Z collaboration and probably the most radio-friendly record in the album, while "Only" (feat. Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown), the fourth official single, is probably the best hip-hop track of the year.
Take that leap of faith and try "The Pinkprint". And if you don't like it, well, "Blame it on the weatherman" (B*witched).
Κυριακή 21 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
On the other hand, Marilyn Manson (the band, not the person) have a little trouble this time in the songwriting process. I don't mean that the songs are bad in general. But I should say that: They should have released an EP with 6-7 songs in it. It might have a better potential, because there are some killer tracks in "The Pale Emperor" and some boring ones, too.
"Deep six" serves as the first single and it works fine, I guess. Apart from the boring video of course. Manson looks tired and bored to death. But if you try to focus on this, you will realize that he is just older. And no heavy make-up can deal with aging, even if people call you "Madonna". Anyhow, to the point again...
It was smart enough to release "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge" as the promotional single before the album release. This track is probably the best in here, indicating the band's turn to simple rock productions without all the glam stuff of the past. "Birds Of Hell Awaiting", "Cupid Carries A Gun" and "Fated, Faithful, Fatal" are also about that genre turn.
Even though "Killing strangers" and "Odds of even" are kind of predictable at some point (pop power ballads with distorted guitars), you can just skip them and focus on the good stuff. "The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles" and "The Devil Beneath My Feet" are among those worth listening songs and obviously closer to their own industrial rock profile. With a mainstream twist, needless to say.
The sound similarities with The Smashing Pumpkins' early work (or the 90's alternative rock blossom in general) is more than obvious for some reason in here. If the songwriting was better, then "The Pale Emperor" could have been brilliant, even though retro. So I will insist on my earlier statement: They should have released an EP with 6-7 songs in it. It might have a better potential, because there are some killer tracks in here and some boring ones, too.
Πέμπτη 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
The first episode from the third season of the sci-fi series is dedicated to us being victims of our own nature and greed to know and control everything. Social media and avatars, ethical codes and software replicas of our brains, punishments and convictions - all being filtered, written and directed with cinema wisdom and modern cynical justice. Today, you can block someone on facebook. In the near future, you will block someone in total.
Joh Hamm, Mad Men's Don Draper, gives a smart performance with a serious twist in the end, while Rafe Spall is a true revelation, combining the episode's sentimentalism and relentlessness. "White Christmas" serves as the best thing you can watch on television this period of time. Besides the second season of "The Comeback" I mean.
Τρίτη 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
That x-factor is called "personality". It's easy to state the obvious and say "But, come on, Rihanna has a big personality and does her own thing and does not give a fuck, blah, bluh, bleh...". That's true. But what have all these No 1 artists done so that they don't record the same tracks over and over again with different lyrics and tempo? How many of them have taken the leap of faith and risk their beauty or their voice or even their fanbase, in order to create something they can call their own and not the industry's? Well, to sum up, Tinashe could have been the new Ciara or the new Rihanna or even the new Christina. But she is not. Because she has taken that leap of faith, the same that Janelle and Jessie and Twigs have taken in the past few years. Plus, she is hot, but this is not the case.
"Aquarius" is an album that makes you dance, makes you have sex, makes you wet, makes you notice the production and the powerful Mariah-esque vocals, makes you push the "repeat" button, makes you addicted to it and its performer charms. Tinashe has mentioned that her favorite album of hers is "The Velvet Rope" by Janet Jackson. And this is actually the best comparison as far as this album is concerned. It's as old-fashioned as Janet's smooth and soulful music, but at the same time the singer embraces the new era, thus being edgy, angry, hip and 2015.
"Bet", probably the strongest mid-tempo song in the project, gives Beyonce and Solange a reason to sue Blood Orange for not delivering the demo to their managers. "2 on", the first single of the album, is as urban as it can be and a top-30 hit in the Billboard Hot 100. In "All hands on deck" Tinashe delivers a solid vocal performance, accompanied by a flute loop, a raw bassline and some killer synths, while "Far side of the moon" is a track that even the duo of Timbaland/Justin could be jealous of.
If you are a fan of the r'n'b genre, you will adore this album if you haven't already. Tinashe should be the biggest female act of 2015 if there's any music justice out there. And if there's not, oh well... let's count on the Universe's poetic one.
Δευτέρα 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
Πέμπτη 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
Her sound is unique. But not as unique as you think, since it reminds you of Sia, Sky Ferreira, Haim and other similar power-pop female acts with an indie twist. For her third album she has collaborated with many producers. So many, that you could end up listening to a synth chaos. Nope, though. Greg Kurstin is also one of the album's producers, thus reminding us that the Grammy Academy MUST give him the award for the producer of the year, cause any other choice will be simply annoying at the end of the day.
Her smart songwriting is not as mainstream and straightforward as Taylor Swift's ability to write hits. But it's still fresh in tracks like "Boom Clap", "Breaking up", "London Queen" and "Famous", combining electric guitars, raw synths, drum machines and streetwise wit in the lyrics. Now I am begining to think that it's not fresh or smart, it's just British! Her vocals are not impressive, but her tone is distinctive and that's the case in the music industry today. You are not supposed to sound like the new Whitney or the new Christina, you are just supposed to sound like... yourself?
Anyhow, "Sucker" has the potential to be big, even though it may not be, because Charli XCX's case reminds me of Sky's album last year. Great songs and attitude, great reviews, bad sales. Still, a top-20 album for 2014.
Δευτέρα 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
"Monuments to an Elegy", their tenth album, is a part of the project "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" and it's actually, as Corgan stated himself, "Guitars, guitars and some more guitars". It's the first time in years they are releasing a pure rock project (just skip "Run2me", it's an electronic pop mistake in the recording sessions) and it's the first time ever they are releasing a half an hour album, which is peculiar and maybe a reason to question the songs' potential. Don't let that piece of information mislead you though, we are talking about good music here.
The guest surprise is called Tommy Lee, playing drums on all nine tracks. The first two, "Tiberius" and "Being beige", remind you of their first three albums - light, almost pop songwriting, accompanied by heavy guitar production and rough vocals. The overall production is aware of the electronic orientation in music business today, so synths and pads are almost everywhere and in between the drums and Corgan's voice. At the end of the day though, songs like "One and all" and "Monuments" prove that The Smashing Pumpkins simply cannot record bad songs. And if they do, well... they are just ok.
Παρασκευή 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
Album of the Year:
"Morning Phase" – Beck
"Beyoncé" – Beyoncé
"x" – Ed Sheeran
"In the Lonely Hour" – Sam Smith
"G I R L" – Pharrell Williams
Who will win? First of all, "GIRL"? Seriously? Well... This is the most important award of the show and yet the most boring one. Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are about to win the big award. Sam Smith is more obvious, Ed Sheeran is more of a surprise.
Who should win? Beyonce, of course. She had a masterpiece album, a crazy and out of the blue release, killer collaborations, great videos, A-class production and a concept. Even Beck in this category can be jealous of Beyonce.
Who we want to win? Beyonce.
Record of the Year:
"Fancy" – Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX
"Chandelier" – Sia
"Stay with Me" (Darkchild Version) – Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" – Taylor Swift
"All About That Bass" – Meghan Trainor
Who will win? Taylor Swift, cause she has never won this category and the Academy voters should be ashamed of themselves (not). Also cause the track is a killer pop record.
Who should win? Meghan Trainor, cause she came out of nowhere, she made her own success story, the song is still a huge hit and she is an absolute inspiration for every female songwriter and producer out there.
Who we want to win? Oh well, Sia. Just because.
Song of the Year:
"All About That Bass", Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor)
"Chandelier", Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia)
"Shake It Off", Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
"Stay with Me" (Darkchild Version), James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)
"Take Me to Church", Andrew Hozier-Byrne , songwriter (Hozier)
Who will win? Sia, cause not only she's the best songwriter out there, but she sings her heart out as well. Not to mention that she has penned half of the songs released in 2013-2014 for many other artists. Seriously, half of them.
Who should win? Sia, cause this is her year.
Who we want to win? Well, Hozier, cause "Take me to church" is an absolute masterpiece straight from Ireland.
Best New Artist:
Who will win? Sam Smith, cause Adele will sue the Academy. Plus, he is nominated in every other category, apart from the rap solo performance. Or is he?
Who should win? Haim, cause they had one of the best and fun albums of 2013. Yeap, last year's breaking news. ERROR.
Who we want to win? Haim, cause Bastille and Sam Smith, the only equally good ones here, are not that fun.
Best Pop Vocal Album:
Ghost Stories – Coldplay
Bangerz – Miley Cyrus
My Everything – Ariana Grande
Prism – Katy Perry
x – Ed Sheeran
In the Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
Who will win? Sam Smith, cause his album is not pop, but his image is. LOL
Who should win? Ed Sheeran, cause his songs are like drugs.
Who we want to win? Ed Sheeran, cause "x" is pop at its best. Second best? Miley. Seriously. Blame it on the weatherman.
Best Pop Solo Performance:
"All of Me" (Live) – John Legend
"Chandelier" – Sia
"Stay with Me" (Darkchild Version)– Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" – Taylor Swift
"Happy" (Live) – Pharrell Williams
Who will win? Sia, cause, as I already mentioned, 2014 was her year. Plus, that killer voice. God, that broken, crying voice.
Who should win? Sia (read above).
Who we want to win? Sia (read above and then above again).
Best Rock Song:
"Ain't It Fun", Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters (Paramore)
"Blue Moon", Beck Hansen, songwriter (Beck)
"Fever", Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney & Brian Burton, songwriters (The Black Keys)
"Gimme Something Good", Ryan Adams, songwriter (Ryan Adams)
"Lazaretto", Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
Who will win? Jack White, cause he is the Grammys favorite.
Who should win? Jack White, cause he had a crazy year and a dope album.
Who we want to win? Jack White, cause The Black Keys and Beck were not at their best this time.
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Sail Out – Jhené Aiko
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
X – Chris Brown
Mali is... – Mali Music
G I R L – Pharrell Williams
Who will win? Beyonce, cause she wins a Grammy every time she opens her mouth (to sing).
Who should win? Beyonce, cause her album is a pasterpiece.
Who we want to win? Beyonce, cause she has no competition in this category.
Best Alternative Music Album:
This Is All Yours – alt-J
Reflektor – Arcade Fire
Melophobia – Cage the Elephant
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Lazaretto – Jack White
Who will win? Arcade Fire, cause, let's be honest, "Reflektor" is the definition of a well-written and well-produced (alternative) album.
Who should win? Arcade Fire or St. Vincent. They should just both win.
Who we want to win? Arcade Fire, cause Jack White is not quite alternative. GRAMMY CATEGORY ERROR AGAIN.
Best Rap Album:
The New Classic - Iggy Azalea
Because the Internet - Childish Gambino
Nobody's Smiling - Common
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - Eminem
Oxymoron - ScHoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood - Wiz Khalifa
Who will win? Iggy Azalea, cause she had a great year and everybody is tired of Eminem's wins. Plus, she will be the first ever female winner in this category. Missy Elliott, that's called injustice.
Who should win? I haven't heard all of the albums.
Who we want to win? Iggy. Because she will be the first female winner in a man's rap world.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
"A Sky Full of Stars" - Coldplay
"Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
"Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj
"Dark Horse" - Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
Who will win? That's a tough one. Iggy and Charli had a huge hit, but voters love Christina and breakup ballads. On the other hand, Katy Perry has never won a Grammy. Hmmm... I say Katy Perry for once.
Who should win? AGBW and Christina, cause it's all about a good vocal performance.
Who we want to win? Well... Jessie, Ariana and Nicki. Cause it's a great pop record, a great vocal performance and a fun song.
Best Dance Recording:
"Never Say Never" - Basement Jaxx
"Rather Be" - Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne
"F For You" - Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige
"I Got U" - Duke Dumont Featuring Jax Jones
"Faded" - Zhu
Who will win? Disclosure, cause Mary J is a big American asset and the voters will support the unexpected collaboration.
Who should win? Disclosure and Mary J, a breath of fresh air in dance music.
Who we want to win? Disclosure, duh.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
"Cheek To Cheek" - Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
"Nostalgia" - Annie Lennox
"Night Songs" - Barry Manilow
"Sending You A Little Christmas" - Johnny Mathis
"Partners" - Barbra Streisand With Various Artists
Who will win? Tony/Gaga or Barbra. No comments.
Who should win? Annie Lennox, cause, to me, she has no competition in this. She owns the category with her new album, as simple as that.
Who we want to win? Annie Lennox, hands down. Second best? Barbra. Just in case.
Best RnB Album:
"Islander" - Bernhoft
"Lift Your Spirit" - Aloe Blacc
"Love, Marriage & Divorce" - Toni Braxton & Babyface
"Black Radio 2" - Robert Glasper Experiment
"Give The People What They Want" - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Who will win? Toni Braxton and Babyface, cause Grammy voters are the same age with those two and extremely old-fashioned when it comes to some baby-making r'n'b.
Who should win? Aloe Blacc or Sharon Jones.
Who we want to win? Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, cause it's a shame that this is their first ever nomination.
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:
"Frozen", Christophe Beck
"Gone Girl" - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" - Alexandre Desplat
"Gravity" - Steven Price
"Saving Mr. Banks" - Thomas Newman
Who will win? Steven Price, cause the Oscar buzz is always something in order to vote for.
Who should win? Alexandre Desplat, cause he has done miracles in this film.
Who we want to win? Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, cause they have surpassed every expectation. Plus, they rule.
Best Song Written for Visual Media:
"Everything Is Awesome!!!" - Tegan And Sara Featuring The Lonely Island, "The Lego Movie"
"I See Fire" - Ed Sheeran, "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug"
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" - Glen Campbell, "Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me"
"Let It Go" - Idina Menzel, "Frozen"
"The Moon Song" - Karen O, "Her"
Who will win? "Let it go", cause there is no hope for other songs in here.
Who should win? Karen O, cause the song is like puppies cuddling on a velvet cloud, eating candy.
Who we want to win? Karen "fucking" O.
Producer of The Year, non-classical:
Who will win? Greg Kurstin, cause it's his time, they owe him.
Who should win? Greg Kurstin, cause he made some A-class productions and collaborations in 2014.
Who we want to win? Greg Kurstin.
Τρίτη 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2014
Anyone can assume that a new project by Mary J would be a list of uptempo soulful tracks combined with killer vocals. Well, you can count only on the second part. Because most of the songs here are written and produced by the house duo of Disclosure, the male version of Adele, Sam Smith, the person that has produced records for Florence and Adele, Eg White, and the UK's sweetheart, Emeli Sande. So, actually, the sound in "The London Sessions" is far from a Diddy or a Dre or even a Neptunes piece of work.
Everyone can relate to some drama songs, especially when they are sung by miss Mary J. No woman in the music industry can "hurt" her vocal chords like her, so that she makes you feel her pain. Thus, songs like "Therapy", "Not Loving You" and "Whole Damn Year" are all about breakups, crying, pianos and heavy songwriting by Sam Smith and Emeli Sande. The thing with this album, though, is that it's also a lot of fun. Disclosure and Rodney Jerkins have contributed their talents in tracks like "Follow", "Right Now" and "My Loving", creating an electronic, deep house profile for the singer, which is so unexpected and fascinating at the same time.
If you are a long time fan of Mary J Blige, then it's possible that you won't appreciate this effort. Or, at least, you won't cry that much. Smart move, you have to admit it. She recorded a great album with a european touch for a change, so that she can come back in a couple of years with some big drama songs, expanding this way her drama legacy. Kudos.
Η αλήθεια είναι πως ασχοληθήκαμε με την μουσική έως και αποκλειστικά την χρονιά που πέρασε. Το πιθανότερο είναι να κάνουμε το ίδιο και την επόμενη με την περισσή πάντα, ασυνέπεια που μας διακρίνει. Δηλαδή όποτε μας κάτσει κάτι υπέροχο η απαίσιο –την ίδια ένταση συναισθημάτων προκαλούν άλλωστε. Έχουμε αφήσει ολίγον στην άκρη τα υπόλοιπα. Αν δεις την αρχή του μπλογκ, αφορούσε και φιλμς και εκθέσεις και φεστιβάλ. Αλλά ακόμα και ένα απλό μπλογκ θέλει την αφοσίωση και τον χρόνο του…την φροντίδα του εν τέλει.Εύχομαι απλά αυτό τον χρόνο να είναι όλα πιο ήρεμα και εμείς να κάνουμε αυτό που αγαπάμε συχνότερα και εντιμότερα.
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