Song of The Year-Sinner’s Prayer by Lady Gaga
I have a lot of important mixtapes to listen to from very important up and coming artists but I would be lying if I pretended to knowing anything musically but Joanne right now. I’ve had the new Lady Gaga album on repeat for days just soaking it in.
I am in the exact opposite position of your average critic. At peak Gaga meat dress time-frame I couldn’t care less. Pop music generates big voiced divas who boom over the same electro-pop , for me at that time, she was just one of that group.
Joanne is the first time I’ve felt close to her music. You can attribute the adventurousness of it to Ronson or Bloodpop or any number of the important collaborators who do great work. Joanne says a lot about Gaga and how intelligent she is.
That classic country sound has incredible malleable warmth to it and smart people get it. Springsteen talks about its influence on The River, Bob Dylan fell in love with it and produced my favorite albums (Nashville Skyline, The Basement Tapes). Joanne is part experimentation part the Gaga you expect. Some critics mourn the loss of their ‘classic’ Gaga while I am listening on a loop enthused by the new path. The big voice, the gorgeous melodies, the well written songs(Sinner’s Prayer is my absolute favorite) and many influences (some great classic soul on Joanne) are evidence of an artist with interesting wings to expand.
This song just hits everything right. It has no fat on it while never coming off as anything but honest and organic.
In a year of dense albums that ache to say everything Joanne feels very self-assured and sleek. Maybe she was always this good and I just sucked at figuring it out? Oh well, anyone who goes around saying she doesn’t pull off what she tries to accomplish on Joanne is wrong and the fact that I’m so protective says a lot about the vivid personality of the album. I’m glad she wore the pink hate on Saturday Night Live. It’s the album; a simple but enduring image that will stick in your mind while not obscuring your path to her.
Song review-City Boy Blues by Action Bronson Chauncy Sherod produced by 88-Keys and Party Supplies
Modern movies aren’t sleek anymore. You can’t get out of a romantic comedy nowadays under three hours running time and the director will try and make you feel better in interviews by specifying that the REAL cut was four hours; they had to trim it down. A lot of albums are very similar; three or four bonus tracks, lots of bad songs you have no idea why they exist, albums running way over an hour.
I had my concerns about what Action Bronson’s proper album debut would sound like. My hope above all else was that it would be weird; the stranger the sample, sloppier the guitar riff, the more comfortable Bronson is. It turns out Mr. Wonderful is weird and then some. He tones down the off putting hooker talk and keeps the whole album around 45 minutes with no fat on it. Yes he spins high energy pop fun with a Billy Joel piano sample on Brand New Car but the risks he takes are what I like the most.
City Boy Blues is something I never envisioned hearing from Action. I love 88 Keys and Party Supplies production so their powers combined create something truly funky/sloppy. Bronson really goes full blues singer on this track and it sounds like the lost lead gem of a single for some obscure 70’s funk troupe from Buffalo. Mr. Wonderful is an affirmation that weird is not outside his wheelhouse it is his wheelhouse. If you still want a reason to buy it let me give you the production listing; Statik Selektah, Party Supplies(4), Mark Ronson(2), Oh No, The Alchemist(3), and Noah “40” Shebib. This is the kind of album that is much better than its reviews because while it may not represent the voice of a generation…it’s impossible to get away from this jubilant a listening experience, and you can’t help but feel how sleek is.
Song Review-1 Minute by Gucci Mane
Being a Gucci Mane fan is what I imagine life is like as a NY Giants fan. You think the team might barely make the playoffs, they win the Superbowl. You think they can win the Superbowl, they don’t make the playoffs. Gucci goes on brilliant runs where he raps words around beats in a way that’s positively stymying genius…he’ll follow that up with 4 or 5 bad projects in a row. When he releases an album or a mixtape the quality is of no difference. His projects have titles but rarely back them up with flushed out foundations supporting them. He’ll beat you down with stuff that sounds tediously similar, unnecessary guest features, and conceptless songs.
This is still trap production; big, plodding and very 1017 Brick Squad but would you want it any other way? As monotonous as it is when done wrong, would you be ready for a Gucci album produced by Mark Ronson? Not me. The difference between bad Gucci and on fire Gucci is Gucci not the soundscape behind him. He’s been in the game long enough to have an entire murderer’s row of producers in his pocket. Songs like this and mixtapes like his newest Mr Clean, The Middle Man work so well when Gucci becomes Gary Oldman as Drexl in True Romance; a sneering, scary, unlikable dickface. At his best he’s a necessary antagonist and a genius at it. If you don’t believe me do the listening yourself and prepare for a new listening lifestyle.
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Tagged 1017 Brick Squad, 2015 mixtapes, Atlanta hip hop, brick squad, Drexl, Gary Oldman, Gucci Mane, Mark Ronson, Mr Clean, Mr Clean Mixtape, Song Review, The Middle Man, True Romance