It’s crazy how artists quietly put together careers that start to feel like legacies. Take Beck, who still has the impish charm of the nerd-punk who crashed MTV with “I’m a Loser,” yet somehow is entering his 25th year as a recording artist.
This year’s Colors is Beck’s 13th studio album, released three years after the unlikely Album of the Year Grammy winner Morning Phase. Somehow, this is the first traditional pop album he’s recorded. Or at least as traditional as an oddball like Beck can get.
If you had told me in 2010, after the release of ‘Tik Tok,’ that I would one day not only own a Kesha album but really enjoy it, I’d have thought you mad.
That song was like an R-rated version of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday,’ and Kesha (then Ke$ha) seemed just as packaged and talentless.
What a difference seven years, an eating disorder and alleged sexual harassment and rape by producer Dr. Luke makes.
John Mayer released his seventh album, The Search For Everything, over the course of several months, putting out two 4-song EPs before dropping the full 12-song set. To me, that’s a little like watching 2/3 of a movie before it finally gets a theatrical release. But I’m old-fashioned.
Rollout strategy aside, The Search For Everything is a strong return to the soulful pop of 2006’s Continuum, probably still his best album though he hasn’t released a bad one since.
Back in March, when Lana Del Rey released the first single from her new album Lust For Life, I made this statement: “One thing I love about Del Rey is how little she seems to care about bending her sound toward the fads of the day. You won’t find a rap break in any of her songs.”
Six songs into Lust For Life, she made me eat those words, as rapper A$AP Rocky shows up to deliver a verse on the track ‘Summer Bummer.’ He sticks around for the next song, ‘Groupie Love,’ as well.
When George Martin and his son Giles were tasked with crafting the soundtrack to The Beatles’ Cirque Du Soleil show, LOVE, they must have lit up like kids in a candy shop.
The producers had free rein to cull recordings from the entire Beatles catalog, both released and unreleased, and twist it all together into something new. The result is a brilliant mash-up of familiar songs made fresh, and an eye-popping performance I was luck enough to see performed in Las Vegas this past summer.
Today’s Random Weekend track comes from Sarah McLachlan’s lackluster 2010 album Laws of Illusion. Released seven years after the decent Afterglow, this album failed to meet mounting expectations.
It was especially disappointing because this was McLachlan’s first work following the dissolution of her marriage, and I love me a good heartbreak album. Instead, we got a boring one.
More than a year ago, I called Fallen Angels, Bob Dylan’s second album of standards, “the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album since the album he released a year earlier, Shadows in the Night.”
I guess that makes Triplicate the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album of them all. Not only has Dylan released his third straight album of stately covers from the Great American Songbook, this one is a three-disc set. As Rolling Stone pointed out in their review, Dylan “has now made more successive albums in this idiom than in any other style since his world-changing mid-1960s electric trinity, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.”