I wrote about two of the most exciting songs of 2014 so far, Future’s “Move That Dope” and Jeremih’s “No More,” for Diffuser. See the piece here. Both songs rely on nasty sounds to create propulsion, and in both tunes, language seems to break down. In today’s pop climate, it’s rare to here songs that sound like they exist in their own world, without instantly recognizable touchstones from the past. Below, “No More,” from Jeremih and an L.A. producer who goes by the name Shlohmo.
Posted by signothetimesblog on March 9, 2014
I wrote about the new album from the rapper Rick Ross, titled Master Mind. (Here’s hoping he names the next one Minder Mast.) Ross put out a powerful album in 2010, Teflon Don; since then, he’s been moving sideways. How long can an artist tread water?
See the piece here. Below, one of the singles from the new release, “Devil Is A Lie,” which features the best guest verse Jay-Z has delivered in some time.
Posted by signothetimesblog on March 8, 2014
I wrote about a famous English record label from the ’80s and ’90s, Creation Records, for Paste. See the piece here. In 1991, the label put out several highly influential albums, including My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Below, a song from Primal Scream.
Posted by signothetimesblog on March 7, 2014
I wrote briefly about Prince’s appearance last night on the Arsenio Hall show for DiffuserFM. Read the piece here.
Posted by signothetimesblog on March 6, 2014
I wrote about two new albums from Dawn Landes and Lydia Loveless for Splice Today. Both women get a lot of mileage out of classic pop themes–Landes leans towards folk and country, while Loveless works more in the Tom Petty/Pretenders/Stevie Nicks mode. Below, the title track to Landes’ album “Bluebird.” Read the piece here.
(The dancer in this video, Storyboard P, recently earned a profile in The New Yorker.)
Posted by signothetimesblog on March 1, 2014
I wrote about Babyface–a songwriter, producer, and singer who has a Motown-like ability to get smooth black pop accepted by white audiences–for Splice Today. Babyface recently put out an album with the singer Toni Braxton, a frequent collaborator. Read the piece here and check out a Babyface-Toni Braxton #1 hit from the ’90s below.
Posted by signothetimesblog on February 24, 2014
I wrote about three new rap mixtapes that all play around with vocals for Splice Today. See the piece here. “Dirty Dancing,” from Young Hoodchiano, below.
Posted by signothetimesblog on February 20, 2014
I wrote about an English pop singer, Katy B–whose second album just hit #1 in England–and a large group of artists devoted to the ’90s R&B singer Aaliyah. Check out the piece over at Firedoglake. Aaliyah released just three albums before dying tragically in a 2001 plane crash. Here’s her singing “Giving You More:”
Posted by signothetimesblog on February 18, 2014
I reviewed a book about the famous indie label 4AD–whose famous artists include the Cocteau Twins, the Pixies, and the Breeders–for Paste. Read the piece here. Below, the Cocteau Twins’ “Heaven or Las Vegas.” The vocals are handled by Elizabeth Fraser, who was dubbed “the voice of God.” Unlike many indie labels that started in the ’80s, 4AD is still going strong today. For related reading, check out this old Spin article on Kim Deal, who fronted the Breeders.
Posted by signothetimesblog on February 12, 2014
I wrote about two new country-leaning albums from Doug Paisley (Strong Feelings) and Robert Ellis (Lights From The Chemical Plant) for Splice Today. See the piece here. For the Times‘ Jon Caramanica on Ellis, see here. Ellis performs his grim “Only Lies” below.
Posted by signothetimesblog on February 11, 2014