While 2019 didn’t give me as many new albums to get truly excited about as a normal year would, the silver lining is that there also wasn’t much that I truly hated, either. I’d say most of the stuff I listened to this year ranged from “promising but flawed” to “moderately disappointing”, with only a few albums standing out for eliciting overly negative emotional reactions from me. Notably, these are all releases from artists I’ve enjoyed in some capacity in the past – I don’t make these lists to pick on easy targets or styles of music that would have been outside my wheelhouse to begin with. Here are the few 2019 releases that I would wholeheartedly recommend avoiding at all costs (and where applicable, embedded audio/video for the rare songs from these albums that I actually did enjoy).Continue reading
Here are my first impressions of the latest from Wilco, Derek Webb, Elbow, Jimmy Eat World, Alter Bridge, Coyote Kid, Northern Abbey, and Darlingside.Continue reading
Here’s the stuff that just didn’t do it for me this year. With one or two exceptions, I don’t listen to these artists expecting their music to be bad… I’ve heard at least a little something I enjoyed from everyone on this list in the past. Some of them just got lazy this year, while others seem aggressively committed to being the most obnoxiously lowest-common-denominator version of themselves that they can be. Neither of those things will land you on the good side of my year-end list-making bonanza. Having said that, I’ve made a good faith effort to embed a song I kinda liked from each of these albums, just to show that these records aren’t all bad.
Here are my first impressions of the latest releases from Glass Animals, Wilco, KT Tunstall, Paper Route, and Crowder.
Here are my first impressions of the latest releases from Noosa, Nate Ruess, Joy Williams, mewithoutYou, Wilco, Owl City, Gungor, Jon Foreman, and Umphrey’s McGee.
Here are my first impressions of the latest releases from Aphex Twin, Thom Yorke, Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil, Copeland, TV on the Radio, Wilco, and House of Heroes.
What was going on in my life back in the fall of 2009? I can remember going to a lot of concerts – at least four in the span of two months, if my math is correct. All of them rank among the most jaw-droppingly stellar performances I’ve ever seen from any live band – which includes the absolute largest concert I will probably ever attend, by a world-famous band that has been making music for as long as I have been alive. I can also remember the usual activities that I love to partake in most years at around this time, like going on a church retreat up in the mountains, and seeing fall colors and autumnal decorations at a nearby botanical garden. Beautiful places that sparked reactions of awe and admiration and a sense of peace. As I go through these songs I picked to represent the fall months of that year, I’m struck by how many of them also inspire a sense of awe, trying to express in the limited medium of sound what it would look like or feel like to approach heaven, eternity, the presence of God, etc. With that said, there’s also a lot of melancholy stuff here that deliberately contrasts upbeat and colorful musical performances with kinda depressing lyrics. What can I say – I’ve developed a weird affinity for that sort of songwriting, which has been true even in seasons of life where I would have considered myself relatively happy.
In with the New:
Out with the Old:
Listen on Spotify:Continue reading