The first TT of the new year. 2018 has been weird for me already to say the least. The first day I spent tired and miserable from the night before. The second day I felt awful about wasting the first day of the new year. The third day I wrote a blog about my resolutions, went for a run, was feeling pretty good…until the fourth day. When, with my new found energy, I applied to a job and felt great for about 2 hours until I realized I made a stupid mistake in my writing that was a job solely based on how attentive I was to details…in writing. So now here I am, day 5. Is it time to get back on the horse and hit the reset button on 2018? Yes! but starting monday. It is the weekend after all. This past week I haven’t had much new music to listen to because the last friday of the year was garbage for music releases, but we got a boat load of great stuff to choose from the first friday of 2018, let’s take a look.
5. “I Can’t Quit” -The Vaccines.
To be honest I know only one other song by these guys “I Always Knew”, which is the song that played as Jess and Nick drove to Mexico in New Girl. It’s an unreal song and was at a critical moment in one of my favorite shows so I like it idc if that’s weird. But this song has some sweet guitar, some cool grungy singing and I liked it when I stumbled upon it in the Best of the Week Apple Music playlist.
4. “If You Leave Me Now” -Charlie Puth (feat. Boyz II Men)
Alright, I’m going to admit I usually hate Charlie Puth. I think his music is annoying, cheesy, and his name is dumb. Did nobody go up to him before trying to become famous and was like “uhhh hey man, Puth is just such a nerd name. Change it to something cool. Like “Moonwood”, Charlie Moonwood, doesn’t that sound cool? On second thought, change Charlie too. Maybe Chuck? Chuck Moonwood? No that sounds like a beaver who works at a strip club. Idk man just change your name.” It’s hard to believe against all odds he made it far enough to get Boyz II Men on a song, but it’s great. Charlie’s vocals are pretty gorgeous and with the Boyz singing back up with their signature snapping and some sleek vocal riffs on the side…this song is a must listen.
3. “Filthy” -Justin Timberlake.
Ok, look, I’m a huge JT guy. Dude has made hit after hit since “Rock Your Body”. So when he came out with his trailer for his new album Man of the Woods, I was ecstatic. Let’s take a look at this thing before we even get into the new song.
Man of The Woods. A personal album about Justin’s family and where he’s from. I’m expecting him to pull a similar move to John Mayer with Born & Raised after that video. The trailer displays him wading in the river fully clothed, long strands of wheat eclipsed by the glare of the sun, and a bonfire illuminating the darkness that surrounds them in an empty field. So how does he embody that energy into a song? WITH A SEX ROBOT DOING THE ELECTRIC SLIDE AT A TED TALK IN THE FUTURE. Are you kidding me Justin? I wanted you strumming a guitar quietly in front of a hibernating bear in a cave, angelically ensuring he stays asleep until the March sun melts the snow away, and I get that??? After listening a few times, it’s not a bad song. It’s just not what I expected. The beat is definitely weird but I was bobbing my head to it. The lines are sexy, per JT usual, and fun. I said the same thing in a blog when “Suit & Tie” first came out and that’s now in my top 50 all time songs probably. So, although this is my #3 now, it’s almost definitely going to move up in my mind due to it just being the almighty Timberlake.
2. “Finesse (Remix)” -Bruno Mars & Cardi B.
Just when I thought Cardi B was entering “overhyped” territory we get this surprisingly unbelievable combination. Most people know I hated Bruno until “Treasure” came out and then I fell in love with his modern Michael Jackson-esque style. So when I heard he a remix coming out with Cardi B, like almost every other artist in the music industry right now, I was skeptical. Then the song starts off and Cardi raps over the drums like she took a time machine from the 90’s hip-hop scene. It was dope. Add in Bruno with a flawless performance and you’ve got yourself a fun single to add even more to the Cardi B hype.
1. “All the Stars” -Kendrick Lamar & SZA.
If you haven’t seen the trailers for Black Panther yet, you need to. I’m a huge superhero movie fan so when I heard there was one with the director of Creed reuniting with Michael B. Jordan I was all in. The trailer shows a sick world and is set to some very cool music, it turns out there’s going to be a sick soundtrack now executive produced by no other than Kendrick Lamar. This song in particular has him and his TDE co-star SZA singing and rapping over a minimalist beat that seems to fit the tone of the film perfectly. I’m excited to see what else comes off this album, I’m sure we can expect some other great artists if Kendrick’s involved, and even more excited for the movie now.
Bonus: Please Help Me
If you’ve been reading Talkin’ Tunes for the past few weeks you’ve probably noticed I’ve been talking a lot about unique and different sounds. I love rap music, I love EDM music, but it seems like that’s all I’ve really been listening to lately. I spent the majority of yesterday listening to music I liked in high school: The Kooks, Young the Giant, the Lumineers…all cool music that’s more alternative/folky/just not trap music. Does anyone know of any artists similar to this who I could really get into? Preferably something kind of new like an album or two out? I’ve only really listened to Rex Orange County and Greta Van Fleet as far as an alternative sound goes and even Rex has some rap-like influences. Any suggestions would be appreciated.