Chipotle

Comments from Chipotle

"The nature of conservatism, after all, is to avoid risk at all cost, and the polarized state of American politics should tell you that for every pop listener in search of the cutting edge, there’s another fan out there seeking comfortable old archetypes." I really do like a lot of Chris's writing but projecting a neat left-right spectrum onto music is one of the things that bothers me about music writing today. So much of criticism now seems to be just a vehicle to write about identity before anything else. The Pitchfork review of the Led Zeppelin reissues had do a solid paragraph of throat clearing about how they were #problematic before getting to anything else. I also like Beyoncé, but Drake does many times the sales with exponentially fewer think pieces.
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September 22, 2016 on Who’s Shawn Mendes? You’re About To Find Out, Whether You Like It Or Not
Yup. As long as the act's politics are OK, they're tolerated. If they represent an unstylish demographic (21 Pilots or Chainsmokers), they become passé. Hard to see how the Chainsmokers make music any worse than Selena Gomez.
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September 19, 2016 on Chainsmokers Singer Explains Why They Sounded Like Shit At The VMAs: “I Was Set Up To Fail”
Way too many guitars for radio right now.
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September 9, 2016 on Kings Of Leon – “Waste A Moment”
Coke jokes aside, there seems to be a major trend now of R&B/hip-hop artists being heavily influenced by white rock artists while indie/rock itself has a rough year. Thinking Frank Ocean and the Beach Boys, Radiohead, and The Beatles, Beyoncé and Jack White, Rihanna and Tame Impala, etc. etc.
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September 6, 2016 on The Weeknd Talks New Album Inspired By Talking Heads, Bad Brains, & The Smiths
I think it's obviously a categorically different record than Channel Orange, but I like it more than anything else I've heard this year. I don't remember what the songs sound like as much, but when I'm listening I still get engrossed. I love the guitars all over it - feels like his attempt to make a Radiohead record, which makes it odd that most publications I've read seem to have glossed over the Jonny Greenwood contributions. I hear lots of echoes of Tame Impala in the chord choices too. Bob Ludwig has a long history of working with rock artists as well. Anyway, it's one of the most abstract pieces of (pop) music I've heard in a while, and I think it's great.
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August 22, 2016 on Premature Evaluation: Frank Ocean Blonde
I will always have a soft spot for Kings of Leon. I know they're the furthest thing from what's considered cool now (and have been for a while), but at their best they write great, durable rock songs. Supersoaker and Wait for Me from the last album are still in rotation. Can't say I'm hugely optimistic about this one though.
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August 22, 2016 on Kings Of Leon Appear To Tease New Album Walls
I also don't quite agree with the thesis of this article. I'm in college and I don't know anyone who doesn't listen to Drake or at least like a few of his songs. He's that ubiquitous. With the massive success of If You're Reading This and What a Time (not to mention "Hotline Bling," which my mom knows), he set himself up to have a massive summer album. To and from work this summer, I would also hear this album's songs blaring out of speakers all the time, far more than any other, and when I got to work, you would hear Drake (and Rihanna) songs all the time. You can say it's because of a relative drought in other big summer releases, but Drake really is that big. Ticket sales for his sold out Summer Sixteen tour also don't lie. I'll be the first to say Views wasn't that great (coming from someone who has been a fan since So Far Gone), but you can't deny its commercial success.
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August 6, 2016 on Skewed VIEWS: The Huge Truth About Drake’s Record-Breaking Chart Run
Just doesn't seem like there's a comparable band today that's connecting with both the pop and indie/rock worlds.
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August 1, 2016 on The Killers Announce Sam’s Town 10th Anniversary Reissue And Shows At Sam’s Town Hotel
Hard to say, but they get heavy rotation on rock radio anyway and market themselves like a rock band, even if they don't use guitars.
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July 22, 2016 on Views From The Top: The Undying Popularity Of Drake’s Unending Album
Not so. Whatever you think of them, 21 pilots are huge with the kids. Also a lot of those same kids are playing Blink-182.
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July 21, 2016 on Views From The Top: The Undying Popularity Of Drake’s Unending Album
Love the production on this, much prefer it to their last LP.
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July 13, 2016 on Preoccupations – “Degraded”
I'm reminded of this Hunter S. Thompson quote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” That said, it does seem like artists and the industry will be in dire straits until they can figure out a way to make streaming and music on the internet more generally profitable. I agree with Michael as a music consumer that I would hate to lose access to great, free bootlegs for instance on Youtube, but it's sad that Young Thug will likely make far more from appearing in a #mycalvins ad than he will from all the streams of Slime Season 3. I love these critiques but a solution is sorely needed, and there will definitely be a lot of winners and losers either way. If people are putting pressure on Spotify to pay artists more, I don't see why Google/Youtube (which is exponentially larger) shouldn't have to do the same.
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July 8, 2016 on But Who’s Buying? A Column About The Music Business
Hasn't the point of a lot of pop music always been to provide mindless escapism? "I Like to Move It Move It" and "Who Let the Dogs Out?" (not to mention American Idol) were huge long before Trump ran for president. Going further back, I don't think the point of something like "MmmBop" or "Summer Girls" was to provoke deep contemplation.
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July 7, 2016 on Lip Sync Battle, “Carpool Karaoke,” And America’s New Wave Of Viral Singing Shows
Agreed. The garage rock/post-punk revival lasted the better part of a decade. The 80s synthpop thing seems like it will be played out pretty soon, but if you look at the Blood Orange record and others, it's still going to be around for a little while. I'm also not sure if just because Blink-182 has a hit, we can say we're on a full-fledged pop-punk revival. Not sure what's next either.
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July 2, 2016 on I Guess This Is Growing Up: Blink-182 Are Back For Mall Punk’s Classic Rock Phase
Point taken. I guess it just feels like (as Nick Harley points out below) these days music writers are incapable of saying something nice about that band without also criticizing them. Loved your piece on First Impressions btw.
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June 30, 2016 on I Guess This Is Growing Up: Blink-182 Are Back For Mall Punk’s Classic Rock Phase
I seem to recall someone calling 1989 "a laser-guided new pop masterpiece." Another example is To Pimp a Butterfly, which I still love, went back to the 50s jazz and 70s soul for some of its sonic inspiration and it never got the "retro-fetishist" tag.
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June 30, 2016 on I Guess This Is Growing Up: Blink-182 Are Back For Mall Punk’s Classic Rock Phase
I think it's honestly because Blink-182 is better than those other bands. They have a sincerity those other bands lack, and they were/are better songwriters. I didn't like them growing up (they were what I thought I was supposed to be defining myself against, naively), but they really captured what it felt like to be aimless, wistful, and confused in the suburbs in the late 90s and early 2000s. Kind of like how people still love The Strokes but don't really care about The Vines. Speaking of The Strokes, it's weird to me how they're criticized for tagged for recycling "decades-old sounds," but when artists today borrow from Madonna, Chic, or Prince that's considered progressive (not that I don't love those artists too). Taylor Swift literally named her album 1989, for instance.
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June 30, 2016 on I Guess This Is Growing Up: Blink-182 Are Back For Mall Punk’s Classic Rock Phase
As a Ye fan I agree with that assessment.
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June 30, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
I just think Future has a very Southern, distinctly American sound that's less likely to connect worldwide. Kanye and Drake (and even Kendrick) are much more palatable to a European audience or a South American one.
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
According to Spotify, he's the 20th most streamed artist and "Famous" for one has 90 million plays.
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
I agree Dark Fantasy is his best LP but Pablo is really connecting with a pop (and hip-hop audience) to a degree that one didn't.
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
Nothing but respect for you and your writing Tom, but what makes you not think at least commerically the Future/Atlanta sound can't keep getting bigger? Part of what seemed to make Pablo so much more widely embraced than Kanye's previous 2 LPs was that he really incorporated a lot of that in the album.
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
He's definitely getting bigger, but it seems to be more with indie, EDM, and festival audiences than in the hip-hop community.
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
I think it's more than a little premature to say "the Future era is over" when he's about to headline the biggest tour of the year with Drake and millions of people are still just discovering the guy. "Low Life" and "Wicked" from EVOL are still climbing up the charts (not to mention "Grammys" with Drake which is bound to be a huge hit), and he also just got put on the cover of Rolling Stone. I think just because they guy makes an eh mixtape or two doesn't mean he's done (anything would be an off year compared to his 2015), not to mention that Desiigner just jacked his sound all the way to Number 1. I think people who consume and/or write about a ton of music are liable to get tired of certain artists and sounds more quickly than others and project that onto the general public. http://www.billboard.com/files/media/future-RS-Cover-billboard-1240.jpg
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June 29, 2016 on The Future Era Is Over
I love the "I won't look down your dress/But you bend down as a test" and then what the video does with that.
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June 29, 2016 on The Strokes – “Threat Of Joy” Video
Heart in a Cage and Razorblade have some serious Morrison and Tom Jones vibes to them (as does most of First Impressions for that matter). Phrazes also has some great loungey moments; that record is so underrated IMO.
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June 29, 2016 on The Strokes – “Threat Of Joy” Video
I never realized how Strokesy they sound at times.
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June 27, 2016 on Porches – “Car” Video
Yup. It's hypocritical for white critics to champion an art form like hip-hop to predominantly white audiences and then be angry when people within that same audience produce art that is influenced by or co-opts hip-hop culture, particularly when "white" art forms like traditional indie or rock are attacked as passe.
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June 27, 2016 on Justin Timberlake Apologizes For Commenting On Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech