Song of the Day #2,185: ‘Air Balloon’ – Lily Allen

lily_allen_sheezusMy only musical real disappointment of the year so far is Sheezus, the long-awaited third album by British star Lily Allen.

Allen’s first two albums were unpredictable delights, brimming with creative arrangements, snarky lyrics and a brash attitude that set her apart from her contemporaries.

Following her second album, she went on hiatus, having a couple of kids and threatening to quit the music business.

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Song of the Day #2,184: ‘No Sir’ – The Both

the_bothFollowing up on yesterday’s Broken Bells post is another release by an indie supergroup. Of course the phrase “supergroup” is a bit of a stretch for either of these bands, given the relatively low profiles of their members.

The Both is a collaboration between Aimee Mann, who I adore, and Ted Leo, who is completely new to me. Leo is a punk-rock songwriter and performer who has been recording with various bands for 23 years. He and Mann have been friends for the past decade and started this professional partnership in 2012.

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Song of the Day #2,183: ‘Control’ – Broken Bells

broken_bells_after_the_discoThis has been a slow year for new music, so far. Or at least for new albums that have crossed my particular radar.

Over on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see the six albums I’ve bought this year and how I rank them. Two I’ve already written about (Shakira’s Shakira and Beck’s Morning Phase) and the rest I will cover this week.

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Song of the Day #2,182: ‘Same Song & Dance’ – Eminem

relapseEminem couldn’t have picked a more appropriate title for this lazy effort from his 2009 album Relapse.

This track is a sloppy retread of a dozen other, and better, songs about Slim Shady working out his issues through violence against women. What was edgy and disturbing — and a catalyst for discussions of how far art can go — nearly a decade earlier is yawn-inducing here.

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Song of the Day #2,181: ‘Walking On Air’ – Katy Perry

katy_perry_prismKaty Perry’s Prism hasn’t exactly lived up to the performance of its predecessor, Teenage Dream, but that isn’t really a fair comparison given the historic chart results of the latter.

‘Roar’ and ‘Dark Horse’ have certainly been juggernauts, but does anybody think ‘Birthday’ is destined for greatness?

And ‘Walking On Air,’ another single and today’s random SOTD, fell pretty flat.

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Song of the Day #2,180: ‘In the Way’ – Tift Merritt

tiftmerMy desert island countdown continues (see last Monday’s post for the full explanation).

Desert Island Musical Artists – Honorable Mention – Tift Merritt

Merritt has only five albums to her name, which worked against her in the desert island showdown, but it’s hard for me to imagine never hearing any of them again.

Her sensitivity and humanity shine through every chord she plays and every line she sings. She might be the warmest performer in my entire music collection, and that’s a quality I’d want access to while stranded.

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Song of the Day #2,179: ‘The Luckiest (Live)’ – Ben Folds

benfolds2My desert island countdown continues (see last Monday’s post for the full explanation).

Desert Island Musical Artists – Honorable Mention – Ben Folds

Ben Folds is another slam-dunk for this list who nevertheless failed to make the top five because, well, five is just a ridiculously small number. I might have swapped him in for Elvis Costello, but the breadth of genres Costello has covered won the day.

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