Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Music Spotlight – Favorite Music of 2013: Part 5

Talib Kweli – It Only Gets Better
It Only Gets Better is off of Talib Kweli’s album Prisoner of Consciousness. It features Marsha Ambrosius and is produced by J. Cole. The song quickly kicks off to a great start with Cole’s infectious production, while Ambrosius is fantastic on the hook. Kweli, too, is in top form as his verses feature his usual social consciousness and word play. Kweli continues to be a vital part of hip hop’s social and political voice, and this track proves that he is still a relevant member of hip hop’s current sound as well (which seems to have mostly shifted to more mainstream artists). Available for download: here

Tegan and Sara – Closer
Closer is off Tegan and Sara’s new album Heartthrob, and it is produced by Greg Kurstin. The Quin Sisters have always firmly had a foot placed in pop music, but with Closer they seem to have fully jumped into radio-friendly pop music (and not in a bad way). The song just explodes with noxious pop fun from the beginning. It has that great quality (mostly exhibited in 1980s’ pop classics) by which its listener immediately finds themselves in a good move, and more than that ready to just gleefully bounce around. Available for download: here  

Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster
Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster is off of Thee Oh Sees’ album Floating Coffin. What stands out right away about the song is the wonderful heavy distortion on the guitar. It is all-consuming and takes us back to our fond memories of grunge. But, the song is not very grunge-like when the distortion cuts out and we are left with a much more psychedelic comedown, content to merely frolic in the clouds. On a side note, the album cover is terrifying and oddly engaging. It is weird, but I love it. Available for download: here

Wampire – The Hearse
The Hearse is off of Wampire’s debut album Curiosity. The Portland, Oregon, duo delivers a fun and fantastic indie rock/pop song with a horror theme. The song is very catchy with its pop sensibilities but also has a nice creepy vibe and texture to it. Speaking of album covers. I am not sure if Wampire has 2013’s best or worst. It is brilliantly tacky. Available for download: here

The Weeknd – Kiss Land
Kiss Land is off The Weeknd’s debut studio album Kiss Land (following up three brilliant mixtapes). Like the song above, Kiss Land has a very creepy vibe to it, as Able Tesfaye sings about being on the road forever and being intoxicated for most of it (which is warping his perception of the world). Silkky Johnson’s production is both inviting and alienating – this is because in moments it pulls in the listener with engaging drums but then starts to create a feeling of uneasiness, as the music seems to spiral (as if the listener too is trapped in a constant state of drunkenness, past the point of elation). Available for download: here

No comments:

Post a Comment