Saturday, April 29, 2017

A lot of bands really like the date April 28

Yesterday while driving home from Ithaca, I had a lot of music listening time and what better day to do that than Fridays - now the day albums release in the United States. The following albums came out yesterday:

-Sylvan Esso, What Now
-Feist, Pleasure
-Gorillaz, Humanz
-Drake, More Life
-New Found Glory, Makes Me Sick

Among many others including Thurston Moore's new band, The Best Day, The Cranberries and Glee alum Lea Michele. Spring has sprung in more ways than one. Evidently, I have three picks from the variety of new music choices:

Gorillaz, Humanz
I have to say, I love Gorillaz very much - "Clint Eastwood," Damon Albarn's first single under the cartoon band creation and the band's first big hit, came out in 2001, which is when I started high school, so their prime continued throughout my teenage years. I have many good memories of "Feel Good Inc." playing at high school graduation parties - that came out in May 2005. But even their alleged last hurrah, The Fall in 2010 was not the best. Boring is a word that comes to mind but I think that's because the people making the music were also bored. Humanz is still not Gorillaz, Demon Days or Plastic Beach but it definitely seems like the guys behind this project are rejuvenated and ready to create again. The music on Humanz is fresh and if you've looked at their YouTube channel recently, they're releasing a lot of story line content about the band members and unique, plot heavy music videos, which is part of why Gorillaz are so awesome. The band is not only audio, they're also visual and they think about that aspect way more than other bands, probably due to the fact that they're people behind cartoons; an obvious conscious decision they made when starting this project. So it makes sense the visuals have to be on point with the music. It's impressive when you can still make music, have all these different characters/personas on screen and then you can go about your day and go to the bodega without being noticed in 2017. Damon Albarn might be the exception since he does have previous success from Blur. The last two things I will say about this revamped version of Gorillaz are:

1. I've noticed they're focusing more on the rap and hip hop elements of their music. I wish they wouldn't do that but it's not my decision, I guess. "Ascension," their first single off of Humanz, was like, 95% rap. That's okay. I guess.

2. Their animation game has gotten way more advanced! I'm not sure if I like that either. I liked the DIY, gritty feel to them.

Feist, Pleasure
I surprisingly absolutely love Feist's new album, Pleasure. Metals didn't do anything for me, so I thought maybe The Reminder was just a fluke. But Pleasure reminds me of a Feist album that is on quaaludes and I'm okay with that. It's slower than my usual liking but there are some gems on there - for example, "I Wish I Didn't Miss You," "Century" and "Any Party". Definitely recommended for some late night studying or if you're sick/need to rest in bed and want to listen to something mellow.

Sylvan Esso, What Now
I save my favorite recommendation for last - Sylvan Esso! I feel like there is a lot more pep to their songs on the self titled but regardless, What Now is a great sophomore album and there are still some really good songs on there like "Radio," "Die Young," "The Glow" and "Just Dancing." Out of all the albums that came out yesterday, this is of course, my favorite and most recommended choice. I'll be seeing them in Albany (they're playing at the mall, of all places,) at the end of May so definitely look out for a concert review of that.

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