Thursday, May 12, 2016

Loosies Of The Week, May 6-12

Welcome to yet another Loosies Of The Week, a wrap-up of this weeks singles, throwaways, leaks, and any other loose tracks I find. Radiohead returns to take full glory with the Thom Yorke following music video 'Daydreaming,' while Justin Timberlake attempts a summer Pop anthem and Desiigner attempts to stay relevant.

Desiigner - Moon People

Bye bye Mr.Panda. Surprisingly it happened sooner than I thought but Desiigner proved himself to be a one-trick pony with 'Moon People.' When Kanye West helped 'Panda' reach the #1 spot in the country many were rightfully perplexed, the dude only had a handful of songs to his name, a struggling Soundcloud rapper would've been a compliment. But 'Panda' took off, with some unique moments mixed in with spots of banger glory, it was, and still is, a wonderful radio hit. It was also clear, to me at least, that Desiigner was not the type of artist to amass critical glory after striking gold with a one-hit wonder. There's always artists like this coming and going, he's no different.

And yup, 'Moon People,' featuring Boyd(?) proves this. Kanye's going to ditch him, leave him as a dead dog by the roadside, and the lofty comparisons to biting Future (of which he did on 'Panda' but not to the extent I believed) are completely full proof here. This is 100% a Future song, embarrassingly so. It's not even like he's trying to hide it now. Instead of making his voice as different as possible to prove people wrong he conforms even more, slurring his words and using just the right amount of auto-tune to make their voices nearly indecipherable. The lyrics are the same as Future too, drug and sipping references abound. Boyd is just a wash, who cares. And the chorus comes and goes without so much as an interesting point to make. At least the title, of which he centers the track around, is just as pointless as 'Panda,' albeit much less legendary.

Radiohead - Daydreaming

It's funny, the main genres you can attribute to 'Daydreaming' all have Pop at the end, despite the song itself featuring almost no catchy elements. What Radiohead's second single does accomplish though is a nice, lush dreamscape for listeners to dive into, even if it is a bit dull. If you had to make comparisons, 'Daydreaming' follows relatively close to Amnesiac's softer tunes, with string and piano arrangements that dip and glide over haunting, and mildly distorted, background vocals. In fact, those background vocals that rustle the fabric of the other sincere track bear close resemblance to Thom Yorke's Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, which saw glitchy elements disrupt linear vistas.

Overall though the single doesn't really accomplish anything too bold. It's just a nice self-reflective track that hazily moves through weary compositional pieces. The extended outro with the voices collapsing in the fray, laced over building orchestral fragments is a really nice touch though. It's as if the manufactured vocals are taking form over the organic instruments, causing them themselves to stutter and stagnant. The violins for one show the same quick-bolted cries of the voices. The track closes out with these, what used to be uniform and orderly is now dark and ugly.

Tory Lanez - Unforgetful

I know 'Say It,' that's it. And guess what, 'Say It's' great so let's check this out. Gotta say, Tory Lanez is obviously not an original musician, he's following trends and sounding like half a dozen current Alt R&B artists (The Weeknd, dvsn, even Anderson .Paak) but I still enjoy him and his aesthetic. It's the same thing I said with dvsn, they aren't original, but what they do is incredibly well. 'Unforgetful' is more of that, just less of that pinpointed ooh and awe's of 'Say It' and its sample of Brownstone's 'If You Love Me.' Just an all-around sensual R&B track and there's nothing wrong with that.

At times he leans towards Hip-Hop, nasally splicing his crooning through quicker corners, coming off direct and tight. Much of that is bolstered by London on da Track's production, which, if you didn't know, is Young Thug's main man, along with much of the South. But guess what? If you didn't know and had to guess where Lanez originates from it's not Atlanta, but the second most obvious guess; Toronto. This sound is very manufactured, another in a long line of north/south mash-ups, and what a sound it is. Gets old sure, but London does some interesting things with the production, including warping things forward and back, and Lanez croons like some of the best out there right now.

It seems this is how Swans plans to roll-out The Glowing Man, through small snippets of larger works. I quite like it. Nothing revolutionary or anything, but taking their work out of the substantial context in which they'll soon exist is an interesting way of going about things. With 'When Will I Return?,' as was the case with 'The Glowing Man,' a limit of two minutes to guesstimate a sound seems par for the course. While the latter pushed through at breakneck speed, 'When Will I Return?' feels foreboding, massive, and anthemic. 

Now, just like you all have those songs that ill-advisedly judged your future tastes, there's also the opposite of that. Artists that you just met at the wrong time in life, ignorantly choosing to despise them because your tastes distance themselves so much from it. That's Swans for me, and more specifically To Be Kind. Boy did I hate that album. Still kinda do, for reasons unrelated to the music itself, more so the structure. I have a new-found respect for the group though, and 'When Will I Return?' continues that, with devilish singing and a hodgepodge of instrumentation that bear similarities to their older works. Still drones on though, we'll see if the full song mixes things up or not.

Atmosphere - Windows

I have no idea what Atmosphere are doing. No album in sight and yet 2016 is littered with singles, complete with artwork that all features the same aesthetic. I'd like to say this is some elaborate build-up to an album, but of all artists to try this, Atmosphere would be the least fruitful to work out. Not to mention, these singles, four so far this year and two at the tail end of last, might be some of the duo's worst, making it even more difficult to gain traction. On 'Windows,' Ant attempts to bring a good ol' Country two-step in, with some acoustics and a thumping drum playing off some handclaps and chirps. The result is enjoyable for one go around, but virtually empty in regards to repeated listens.

At least compared to 'Selma Hayek,' another single released this year that I took a look at, Slug's rapping is much improved. That song featured some of his worst ever so that's not hard to beat, but, with 'Windows,' Slug snugly fits into the loud and proud beat, combining the two so he's never the center of attention. However the duo enlists Prof, another Minnesota-based musician, to complete the chorus. He's not bad, and his passion for joining this sound is admirable, but the end result is something that seems tongue-in-cheek but isn't good enough to move past that. Largely another dud.

Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling

I feel oddly dirty when listening to 'Can't Stop The Feeling.' No, not in a sexual way like some of Justin Timberlake's other songs do to me, but in a commercialistic, promotional type of way. Yes, there is the obvious fact, that they aren't trying to mask at all, that this is for the upcoming soundtrack to Trolls the movie. And yes, the 'music video' features a who's who of B-list celebrities dancing to this song as if they weren't told to. These celebrities just so happen to all be credited voice actors in the movie, which I've always seen as a cash-in, but I digress. But most glaring is JT himself and the fact that the song is so not him.

It's vapid Pop meant for the dance clubs. One of those songs, a la The Black Eyed Peas more recent works, that aim to nest in your ear without any care for how they aim to do that. This means, 'Can't Stop The Feeling' takes the easiest path, the least interesting, and the one that's been so overused in Pop music in the past decade or so. Repeating lyrics over a repeating bass line that repeats over a repeating beat. Very, very one-dimensional, and starkly in contrast to some of Timberlake's better works, even some of those that appeared on the radio ('Sexyback,' 'Mirrors'). This is one of those songs a one-hit wonder music industry Disney star plant creates. Or a band at the tail end of their fading career attempting one shot at the glory. Not Justin Timberlake, unless he's reached that stage, and let's hope he hasn't.

No comments:

Post a Comment