Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In Defense of Adele (Or maybe not...)

With Adele coming back and basically being everywhere, lately I've been thinking about her and what my opinion is of her - sometimes I'm like, "wow, 'Rolling in the Deep', 'Someone Like You'...she is pretty good!" and then other times I'm like, "Okay, she can sing. And her songs sound like she can be a little bit of a crazy ex-girlfriend. I'm not impressed." I'm not exactly sure why but I feel like I WANT to like her. I mean, she writes her own songs and they're actually good, she can sing ridiculously well and she doesn't seem to get caught up in the paparazzi-media drama, which is honorable and very hard to come by these days - you can tell she's in it for the right reasons - she's here for her music and her work. Not to be photographed on the red carpet and have everyone ogle over her designer dress.

Before I go on, let me share part of a conversation I had with a friend in the car about Adele after we watched her performances on Saturday Night Live (and I'm paraphrasing here because I don't quite remember everything):

"I get that she's "technically" a good singer, but I don't really feel anything when she sings. Like, I prefer John Legend's covers of her songs, because at least when he sings, it sounds like there's something else there." - my friend

"Yeah, I know what you mean! There's something missing with her - like, okay, your songs are good, your voice is good, I don't really mind you as a person, from what I can see...why can't I just accept her and be like, 'yeah! Adele!' like literally everyone else?" - Me

"I feel like when she writes songs, she can write stories, which is important but her lyrics are a little...jumbled? Like, 'Hello' doesn't sound like an authentic story - are you really leaving a message like that on someone's phone, Adele? That bothers me about her too." - my friend

"Yeah and also you feel like you relate to it but do you really? Like, would you really call your ex-boyfriend and be like, 'oh you've moved on, let me talk more about how bad I feel and revel in our bad relationship.'" -Me

"Exactly! I think we both just feel that she's good but there's not a lot there." - my friend

She's a little boring. That's my conclusion of why I have issues with the fact that everyone acts like she's God's gift to earth. And trust me, I don't want to say anything bad about Adele because I don't think she deserves it. She's a solid artist but due to the lack of diversity in her songs, I can't keep pretending that she's this second coming to music. Also, every song she writes is pretty much the same. It's either "my ex is an asshole" or "I'm an asshole for breaking up with my ex". And trust me, there are tons of people writing the same damn thing over and over again but the songs at least SOUND different. Enough is enough, Adele. Write something new. Then maybe I will see why the music industry has a huge hard on for you.

Another thing that's interesting though is that her mediocrity could be WHY she's so popular too. People can definitely relate to "my ex is an asshole" or "I'm an asshole for breaking up with my ex". In fact, I'm willing to bet that almost everyone on earth can relate to that. So if you add bonafide talent behind these simple songs, you got yourself a successful pop artist.

I absolutely hate the fact that it sounds like I'm bashing Adele - I like to think this blog post is more like calling her out and challenging her to do more with her talent. She's good. She's proven that but what is she going to do with this success? Write the same damn song? That's boring, Adele. You're better than that. There are many people out there who can write a good break up song. Do something more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Probably the easiest list I've ever made...

Top 10 2015 first draft

1. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell
3. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I just sit and think...
4. Frank Turner - Positive Songs for Negative People
5. Best Coast - California Nights
6. Natalie Prass - Self Titled
7. Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface
8. Good Old War - Broken into Better Shape
9. The Front Bottoms - Back On Top
10. Laura Marling - Short Movie

Missy Elliott "WTF (Where They From)"

While you were watching the "Hello" video for the millionth time, Missy Elliott came back! Her new single is called "WTF (Where They From)" featuring Pharrell Williams (of course). The only information we know about her upcoming seventh studio album Bloc Party is that she's working with Williams and Timbaland (of course). No word on a release date yet.

Also, check this out, while researching what Missy Elliott is doing these days, I found out that Missy saw a 2,500% increase in sales of her music after her appearance with Katy Perry at this year's superbowl - 2,500% increase?!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Playlist Paragraphs: Best of 00's Emo [Apple Music]

Here's the first installment of a column I think I'm going to create on this blog called Playlist's pretty self explanatory...just read it.

Track Listing - Best of 00's Emo from Apple Music:

1. Dashboard Confessional - "Hands Down"
2. Armor for Sleep - "Car Underwater"
3. Coheed and Cambria - "A Favor House Atlantic"
4. Say Anything - "Alive with the Glory of Love"
5. Straylight Run - "Existentialism on Prom Night"
6. Piebald - "American Hearts"
7. All-American Rejects - "Swing, Swing"
8. Rival Schools - "Everything Has it's Point"
9. Thursday - "Understanding a Car Crash"
10. Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"
11. Motion City Soundtrack - "Everything is Alright"
12. At the Drive-In - "One Armed Scissor"
13. Thrice - "Artist in the Ambulance"
14. Saves the Day - "At Your Funeral"
15. Brand New - "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad"
16. Elliott - "Calm Americans"
17. Death Cab for Cutie - "A Movie Script Ending"
18. Taking Back Sunday - "Cute without the "E" (Cut from the Team)"
19. My Chemical Romance - "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
20. Panic! At the Disco - "I Write Sins not Tragedies"
21. Hey Mercedes - "Quality Revenge At Last"
22. Paramore - "Pressure"
23. Cursive - "The Recluse"
24. Fall Out Boy - "Sugar, We're Goin' Down"
25. Saosin - "Voices"

This playlist is a warm welcome to anyone who wants to go back to 2003 for a little while. There are some bands on here that could be replaced by maybe Fenix TX, Sum 41, The Starting Line, New Found Glory or The Early November but regardless of that, the duds still have a place in pop punk (in my opinion: Elliott, Rival Schools and Piebald). What's cool is that they included some bands that are a niche in the genre - I'm looking at you, At the Drive-In! Not to mention Thrice, Straylight Run, Saosin, Thursday!? This playlist also chose to include some eclectic sounds from the pop punk genre - Thursday, At the Drive-In, again, are perfect examples, while balancing the powerhouses - Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! At the Disco, Say Anything, Saves the Day, etc. By the way, whoever compiled this gets a gold star for including "Cute without the "E" (Cut from the Team)" because really, if you're going to include Taking Back Sunday on a "Best of 00's Emo" playlist (and why wouldn't you?), there's no other option than to choose that song.

Check out this playlist by clicking here. (You also need an Apple Music subscription but you get the first three months free so, why not?)