Song of the Day #2,929: ‘Wristband’ – Paul Simon

paul_simon_stranger_to_strangerAt the start of the year, if you’d told me I’d be more excited by new Rihanna and Ariana Grande albums than the newest Paul Simon release, I’d have called you crazy. But that’s the case.

Simon’s 13th solo studio release, Stranger to Stranger, comes five years after the late-career triumph So Beautiful Or So What. I was surprised to see that album came out way back in 2011. It still feels vital and fresh, and unfortunately this new release lives in its shadow.

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Song of the Day #2,928: ‘Bad Decisions’ – Ariana Grande

ariana_grande_dangerous_womanIt’s a familiar phenomenon — the Disney child starlet releasing her first real “grown-up” album, embracing frank sexuality in a bid to shock the pop culture system and free her of those PG shackles.

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera made the move in the early 2000s. Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez did it in the past couple of years. And now it’s Ariana Grande’s turn.

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Song of the Day #2,927: ‘Young At Heart’ – Bob Dylan

bob_dylan_fallen_angelsFallen Angels is the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album since the album he released a year earlier, Shadows in the Night. Both records are tours through the Great American Songbook, specifically standards once recorded by Frank Sinatra.

I call these albums unlikely, but the truth is Dylan fans know there’s no such thing. By now, the man has released music in every genre short of opera, and don’t be surprised if he announces his take on La Boheme for the Fall.

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Song of the Day #2,926: ‘Love On the Brain’ – Rihanna

rihanna_antiBack from a splendid vacation on the islands of Hawaii, I’ll resume blogging with a week dedicated to five new albums I’ve bought this year.

I’ve purchased a total of eight albums in 2016, but I already covered David Bowie’s Blackstar and Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20, which I featured track-by-track over three weeks, much to the dismay of some readers.

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Song of the Day #2,925: ‘You Walked Through the Door’ – Josh Rouse

josh_rouse_embers_timeHere’s one of those very rare occasions where the Random iTunes Fairy serves up two songs by the same artist on the same weekend. I can’t remember the last time this happened.

The odds of a second Josh Rouse song popping up after the first one are about 1 in a 100, given the number of Rouse songs in my library (137) vs. the total number of songs (12,425). Not exactly like winning Lotto, but certainly a long shot.

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Song of the Day #2,924: ‘Little Know-It-All’ – Josh Rouse

rouse-homeRandom iTunes Weekends often serve as a reminder of how quickly time passes. Today’s selection is a perfect example.

I still think of Josh Rouse as a recent discovery, but I just realized that Nashville — the album that caught my attention as a new release — came out 11 years ago. Rouse’s debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, was released in 1998, nearly two decades ago, making him a grizzled veteran.

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