viernes, junio 28, 2013

J. Cole: the sound of a conflicted success

A few years ago J. Cole emerged as one of the freshest voices in hip-hop. And even when he has been often compared to Jay-Z in terms of his phrasing and inventiveness, J. Cole offers a very distinct discourse indeed. Born sinner (2013), his latest LP, deals with the challenge any young artist faces after achieving success: turning that initial naïveté into relevance. J. Cole is simply rapping about enjoying notoriety without abandoning integrity. If success represents a struggle, then Born sinner comes out definitely as a triumph. This is a very good album in terms of its coherence, tone and structure. It also features the rapper’s impressive potential as a producer. J. Cole may have found glory, but he remains loyal to his original ambition: to offer a unique sound within a genre that’s always threatened by the menace of predictability.

This is the video for Power trip ft. Miguel

martes, junio 25, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age: solid as a rock

Hard rock has been one of those genres that haven’t delivered great material in large quantities lately. …Like clockwork (2013), the latest release by Queens of the Stone Age, is a marvelous exception. Josh Homme and his peers made a record that has managed to come off as concise while catching a wide range of sonorities at the same time. The array of moods has been handled proficiently: the heavy tunes are stunning and the ballads are arrestingly delicate.  The piano and its versatile sonic palette definitely stands out (Elton John is featured artist.) …Like clockwork is one of the most solid albums I have come across this year. Its strength lies in an impressive management of melody and the fearlessness a band shows after realizing there are no boundaries holding its music.

This is a live performance of …Like clockwork

lunes, junio 17, 2013

Laura Marling: an irresistible tale of intimacy

When it comes to listening to music, I consider myself a little bit conservative: I love listening to records in their entirety. So when I get to discover such a well-crafted record like Laura Marling’s Once I was an eagle (2013), I can’t help but feel grateful. Marling is an emblem of British indie-folk, but she approaches it with so much freshness that it almost feels as if you were hearing a different genre altogether. Once I was an eagle embodies a delightful contradiction: it comes off as spontaneous, like being made quick and easily, but you can also tell Marling was very careful when she wrote it considering its delicate arrangements and the cohesiveness of its overall tone and structure. Laura Marling is pleasantly irresistible. This is one of the most intimate albums I have listened to this year; it’s elegant and tender -it’s sexy.

This is a live performance of Once

jueves, junio 06, 2013

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell: singing to the greatest arrival of all

I’ve said it before: I’m a huge fan of Steve Martin. The thing is that, while I had enjoyed his brilliant comedy in films and his stupendous sense of narrative in his writing, I hadn’t checked out his music. It turns out, not surprisingly, that his musical facet is equably impressive.
Love has come for you is a delightful record featuring the gentle, warm voice of singer Edie Brickell. This album consists of little marvels of music enriched by Martin’s competent banjo playing and Edie’s alluring vocal melodies. The overall tone is a pastoral one, meaning that it has the ability to take you out to a different place; and the lyrics are generally optimistic and naïve, which is precisely the type of things you want to sing about when love comes knocking at your door.

This is a live performance of When you get to Asheville