Future

I’ve written about things I don’t care about,

But none were as important as you.

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Future

The Worst of 2015

Alright, like with Adele, I haven’t heard this album, but my position would probably remain the same if I did hear it. I have to once again say that I don’t understand the majority of popular music. I get One Direction, and Katy Perry (not hard, that one), but the appeal of Miley Cyrus is beyond me. Oh the crazy life of millionaires. Do we care because it gives us a taste of what it would be like to be that rich and have so few responsibilities?

Anyway…

I feel responsible to finish this series of posts on music from my year. I’m almost positive no one has read it, though, if you have, thank you very much, I only wish I could return the favor (and silently judge your musical taste HA!).

I haven’t listened to anything this year, on purpose, that I’ve hated. Therefore, to call this a worst of the year list is somewhat disingenuous and I will re-title this,

2015: Disappointing Records That Were Still Relatively Good, Though, Possibly, Simply, Not as Good as I Expected Them to be, Which, Admittedly, is my Own Fault:

(Obviously a terrible title for a blog post)

1. Refused – Freedom

I feel a bit bad putting this album on this list because there was probably nothing Refused could release that would equal their last album in my eyes, ears, heart, and life. Refused released The Shape of Punk to Come in 1998, then broke up. Over the years they grew a huge fan base they never had while an active band. Then they reunited to play a few shows. The communists made some money, then decided to record an album. This rubbed some people the wrong way. I didn’t and don’t care. The album is pretty good. It could never reach The Shape of Punk but that’s my fault.

2. Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed

This album is one of few that actually let me down. They released three or so songs before the album came out and I loved each one. There were two just awesomely fun pop-punk-rock songs and then one heavier, grunge-y song about depression that was equally great. Then the album came out and there are so many slow songs. They aren’t necessarily bad but the album drags so much and, more to the point, let me down. I was excited for a good, fun/serious, almost early Saves the Day style pop-punk-emo. I haven’t heard much of that style for a long time. So maybe it was all expectation.

3. And So I Watch You From Afar

I always enjoy ASIWYFA albums. There aren’t many instrumental bands I can listen to from start to finish, but they are one of them, until this album. I’m not sure what it was that I didn’t like. Some of the songs shred but some fall short for some reason.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions (Left Off The Best of List for Little or No Reason):

Doomtree – All Hands

Again, slightly inconsistent for me. Not that any part is bad, just doesn’t resonate with me.

Mouse on the keys – The Flowers of Romance

Jazz fusion indie rock from Japan. Haven’t heard enough of it to jump fulling on-board.

Icky Blossoms – Mask

Fun dancey music that I can dig in short bursts. That’s simply personal preference, though, not a comment on the songs/song writing/talent.

Diamond Youth – Nothing Matters

Another that I’m a big fan of but haven’t listened to enough to call it a best of the year. Fuzzy guitars, rock and roll, goodness. (old music video, but I love it)

Tiny Moving Parts – Pleasant Living

Love the technical aspects of this band. I can see their next album being really, really good. Fingers crossed.

The Worst of 2015

Taylor Swift Can’t Sing?

I am fairly uneducated when it comes to Taylor Swift. I had heard one song in which she sings about waiting for a guy to get tired of dating some hot girl, so he’ll come date her (and I think the conceit of the song is that she is NOT a hot girl). That was the extent of my Taylor Swift awareness until last week when Screaming Females covered Shake It Off on The A.V. Club.

Just to clear things up. I don’t think I’m too cool to have heard many Taylor swift songs. It’s quite the opposite actually. I am so painfully lonely that I haven’t even been in the position to hear the songs in passing. No parties or clubs or bars or clothing stores (I don’t recall hearing pop music at the grocery store, but maybe I simply don’t notice). I don’t have enough friends to overhear it on the radio. There may have been a time or two I heard her music at a restaurant, but I wouldn’t be able to pick it out of a lineup, so I can’t say for sure. Now, I don’t usually look down on pop music as a source for entertainment (I heard the chorus of Shake it Off and it was pleasant enough), we just live in different worlds for the most part. I’ve also never worn a kilt. Nothing against either things, just different worlds.

Anyway, I did not know Taylor Swift can’t sing. The off-key stuff is bad enough but her voice is super weak in the video.

I know tons of alternative, indie (hipsters) love Taylor swift and I always assumed it was because she was actually a talented musician and singer. But that performance was terrible. So I clicked on another live version and it’s worse.

I actually thought it was a parody video, a la the Jessie J acoustic version of Bang Bang.

 

All that’s inconsequential to me. She’s very, very famous and makes music that I don’t know much about. My existence means nothing to her and I don’t pretend my opinion matters, either. But the Screaming Females version of Shake It Off is badass.

As I’ve talked about before, I don’t mind when people have odd voices, as long as they use them well. Marissa Paternoster has a super strong voice and she uses it to add to songs and play with expectations as well as anyone. It is strange, to me, that when you strip pop songs down to their basic elements (live guitars and drums) that they immediately sound better. This is, of course, just my opinion. I enjoy the sound of a live bass and live drums. I think about 98% of the time, they sound better than super produced or prerecorded instruments. The taped band has no punch. The dynamics are weak. There’s no skill and creativity in the form of improvisation. It’s almost glorified karaoke. It’s just disappointing.

I realize that about 100x the people who dislike Taylor Swift will dislike this version of it. It’s fairly off putting if you listen to mostly pop music. I get it. But even those who hate it have to admit that Marissa throws in a sweet guitar solo in place of the cringey chant.

Taylor Swift Can’t Sing?