I firmly agree with this. I am a HUGE fan of JT’s first two albums, and the word “disappointed” doesn’t even begin to capture how I felt about the first 20/20. This one feels like more of the same. Where his first two albums felt exciting and different, these have both felt supremely lazy. Everybody seemed afraid to say it with the first record, but I guess maybe folks are coming around to say it for the second.
Mixtapes are the same as albums, but just way cooler.
At this point, well over a decade after File Sharing has been a common thing, it is insane that we are still debating whether it’s moral or immoral. There is no question: it is immoral to steal something that you should be paying for. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I wish this industry would stop treading water and face reality: people will steal music. Wrong though it may be, it is a fact. The music industry has been desperately floundering and trying to stop downloading and pirating, and it’s just a waste of time. A generation that has grown up with the ability to download music for free with very little effort will NEVER go back to the model that was in place before said downloading existed. The sooner we all just say “Okay, downloading is a thing, it may not be right but it is reality,” the sooner we can figure out how to readjust the model into something that works with the current situation. I have no idea what the new model of income will be, but I can 100% guarantee you that shutting down Pirate Bay is not going to be the final answer that will have us all running to Tower Records again! The music industry has only existed for 100 years, it came about because technology enabled people to commoditize music into a tangible product. And now, 100 years later, technology has made that model obsolete. All of our “Oh, I download ___ albums but then I buy ____ albums and then I go see ____ bands and buy their merch, am I a bad person?” arguments and David Lowery’s calculations about how much money we all owe to the bands we’ve stolen from are, frankly, totally irrelevant.
I’ll save my comment for when Lana Del Rey cancels her Israel show.
Agreed, though I think the Woodkid one is beautiful.
I guess I’m just doing a really poor job of saying what I mean to say. I am not arguing that it’s raw talent that got her on SNL. My point, basically, is — why aren’t Blonds getting constant coverage? Why haven’t they been shot to superstardom? On the flipside, why doesn’t Katy Perry get written about on Stereogum or Pitchfork? LDR is a case of a pop singer whose label did an immaculate job of selling her to the indie kids. As such, she got shot to the highest of heights way before she was ready. Way before she toured in a van for years like every other indie band, or way before she had to crank out hit singles like every other pop star. And now she’s being crucified for being popular before she might deserve it, as though she should have decided to hide in a cave and scorn all the praise she was getting. Of course it’s her decision to be on SNL, but if you were in her shoes would you turn down the chance out of fear that you weren’t ready? Maybe you would. I probably would. But it’s not so deplorable that she didn’t. She is an artist whose marketing exceeds her know-how. All I’m saying is that I don’t think she’s necessarily to blame. If you’re upset that better bands aren’t getting more coverage, blame the people covering worse bands/artists, not the worse artists for getting covered.
You are essentially proving my point. She’s been pushed on the mainstream media through a new way of advertising, and everybody bought into it whole hog. Is she really to blame for that? Is she really any more “fake” than any other pop singer? Do we really think that Lady Gaga believes the bullshit she’s peddling? The difference is that LDR got fast tracked to superstardom by blogs, Pitchfork, etc. If she weren’t beloved by indie blogs, if she were just a regular radio pop singer with a fake name and fake persona who put on a bad SNL performance, nobody would give a fuck. If you think I’m wrong, just ask Ke$ha.
Ya know, people are being so fucking cruel about this performance. I’ll be the first to admit it was not good. At all. And I’m sure she’d admit the same upon watching back. But the truly valid criticism made here by Brian Williams is that she is wholly inexperienced, and for that she is not to blame — the internet is. We have a habit of skyrocketing green talent to absurd heights far before they’re ready, and as a result they come crashing down. As a musician, nerves have caused me to bomb even tiny shows. I can’t fathom being thrown on SNL with so little performing experience. I hope she’s around long enough to see if she can do better with a tour under her belt, unless the internet that created her decides that this totally botched performance should mark the end for her. Either way, I don’t hold her responsible for being booked on SNL “based on the strength of her TWO SONG web EP” — one doesn’t turn that opportunity down in the hopes that it comes along again tomorrow. Next time maybe folks should have a little patience and be a little less hyperbolic before an artist has time to develop.
Paul McCartney sounded awful last year, and it was entirely a mix issue. I know that’s just one example, but he’s a guy who can definitely sing, and his band can definitely play. The mix was a disaster.
That being said, the mix was definitely NOT the issue last night. I feel bad for her because I’m sure she can sing fine, but she was just totally not ready for this. She also desperately needs to figure out a way to move better onstage because she looks extreeeeemely uncomfortable. But I do think she has some really great songs, and her image is immaculately crafted, so I guess we’ll see where it goes from here.
Ya know, not that my opinion on this matter is particularly important, but I just can’t get into Drake and can’t get into this record. The frustrating part of it is that I SHOULD love this record because it fits right in with other stuff that I love, but something about Drake’s content just always falls flat and doesn’t resonate with me. I guess I’ll keep giving it a shot for a little while, but thusfar I have consistently felt that the worst part of every Drake song and album is Drake himself.
God I loved them. I haven’t liked their last few records, but I still stand by Pearl Jam with a vengeance.
Just a thought. It’s your blog, not mine : )
I guess the thing I find confusing about these features is that they aren’t really double-takes at all. I think it’d be interesting if you re-reviewed an album that you had reviewed and changed your mind about. For instance, when the new LCD came out last year and I listened a bunch I thought it was half baked and underwhelming. I let it sit for a month and then went back to it and ended up LOVING it. I’m not a professional critic or writer, so who the fuck cares about my opinion. But you guys are! So it’d be interesting to see when/why these changes of opinion occur.
These double-takes seem to just be cases where an album was reviewed in a way with which Brandon disagrees, then after some amount of time he comes out and says as much?
I had heard of The Wrens but never heard their music when I went to go see them super late at the Mercury Lounge a few years back at CMJ. It was one of the only times in my life that I was utterly blown away by a band in a live setting without knowing a single song going in. It was such an amazing and moving performance. I’ll forever have the utmost respect for this band, and I can’t wait for a new record.
I actually think this is pretty killer!
Except that Eric is the bass player. Travis Morrison is the frontman.
God I fucking love this band.
I guess arguing with somebody about whether or not they should like an album feels silly to me. I agree that music and music journalism suffer from Group Think, but I happen to think this is a fantastic album, and I tend to think that it has a LOT of heart — which I find to be missing from most music these days, whether it’s pop or indie or whatever. So yeah, I wholeheartedly disagree that it’s all style or that it’s hollow, and I disagree with the sentiment that people overreacted and inaccurately praised it. But I guess at the end of the day I love this album and you don’t, so that’s about all there is to it! Free country and all that.
Best cover of Halo, by Harper Blynn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMpQ2Ct0d34
I can definitely understand having a problem with his persona, though I personally think there’s something so genuine about it that it doesn’t bother me. But to discredit sampling in 2010? Seems like an outdated argument. He has definitely created new music with the samples that is both creative and original, and it’s definitely worthy of its praise. If sampling this well and this creatively is so easy then everybody would be creating albums this good, but the fact is that they’re not.
Lot of Kanye hate going on in the comments! I honestly and sincerely believe that his album was BY FAR the best album of the year. I mean, in my personal opinion it’s the best album of the last several years, but that’s just me. I think it was a huge step forward for him creatively, I think it was a really interesting album as both a pop album and a hip hop album, and I think it deserves to top all the year end lists.
Ha I know, I just wanted to provide a counter-comment to all the annoying “WHAT?! GLASSER SHOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH HIGHER!” comments that are going to come in. As long as the good stuff is on there somewhere I’m happy.
Regardless of assorted placements (my personal number 2 spot goes to LCD. I think that record was one of the best I’ve heard in a long time), I think this is a nice list and includes all the things I would have chosen to include.
I’d also like to note that I think the forward is particularly on point — most of the things that blew me away this year were released by veterans. Plenty of very solid new music this year, but I’m hopeful that in the near future a newcomer will come along and make waves in a way that seems long lasting and Bigger than just blog love. RIP Chill Wave (2010-2010)
This is amazing, but am I the only person who thinks that the idea of Pitchfork throwing a three day #Offline Festival in New York while CMJ is going on is really lame? It just kind of seems like to a chump move to throw a “We’re going to have our OWN festival” Festival…when there is already a Pitchfork Festival! CMJ Should throw a #BlowMe festival in one of the Pitchfork Tents next year.
I like that I got a downvote for saying that this sounded nice. What a world!