i do dig me some music. and i’m old school — i still buy it (as in, download it from the itunes store; though i get a ton of awesome indie free stuff from noisetrade). in the last few weeks, i’ve totally overshot my normal purchasing rate, because i’m weak, and there have just been too many amazing albums.
here’s what i got, and a peek into my eclectic-but-specific-and-opinionated taste:
Shovels & Rope: Little Seeds
pre-ordered this one, and have two songs so far. i found Shovels & Rope a couple years ago via a free download on noisetrade, and have become a huge fan. bluesy, indie, husband and wife duo, with amazing harmony.
The Bad Plus: It’s Hard
TBP is, hands down, my all-time favorite jazz act. i have 13 of their albums. a jazz piano trio (piano/bass/drums), every member is a virtuoso. i love their original tunes, but i fell in love with them because of their inventive cover songs. they haven’t had cover songs on their last few releases, so it’s a massive treat that this album is all covers.
Crowder: American Prodigal
another pre-order. what’s to say, other than i dig both the man and his music. always have.
Jon Batiste: Jazz is Now
you might recognize jon batiste as the band leader for stephen colbert. that’s where i was introduced to him. i love his style and decided it was time to pick up one of his albums. i chose this slightly older release over his newest stuff with his current band (Stay Human), and have almost worn out its digital grooves. (btw: Christianity Today recently listed him in their article on culture shapers.)
Jack White: Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016
jack white is the man. jack white is to me what 21 Pilots is to a 13-year-old girl. he’s musical crack for me — everything he releases. this is a compilation of acoustic recordings (some in original form, some stripped down versions) that span various bands and jack iterations. oh, and it’s double-length. yee-haw.
you know, that girl who had the mega-popular song Paper Planes (“All I wanna do is / And / And take your money”) a few years back. i’m not normally a fan of dance music, but i love the world music influences and pretty much everything else about her music. it’s PUMP YOU UP music.
Macy Gray: Stripped
ah, the voice of macy gray. how to categorize her: post-soul? r&b? all i know is her voice is amazing, in a gritty, sexy way. this album shows maturity (we’re all getting older, after all), and leans well into jazz on some tracks. it’s mellower than some of her angrier stuff of the past, and i like it.
normally an amazing alt-rock band (last year’s release Star Wars was UH-MAZING), this time around they go with a WAY-stripped down, almost acoustic album full of inventiveness and lyrical depth. so good, in a more chill way than past releases.
Frank Ocean: Blond
despite the buzz, i hadn’t planned on getting it. but my son’s strong suggestion (begging?) caused me to give it a listen. and — wow. reminds me of a guy version of beyonce’s lemonaide, a little in sound, but more so in its variety and creativity. i guess the genre is called ‘post-soul.’ but all i know is i’ve been listening to it nonstop for 3 days.