Talkin’ Tunes 9/26/19: The Superbowl Halftime Show Is Too Average (Again), Greta Thunberg’s Favorite Songs, and Kanye? More like De-Lay!

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This is a long one folks but it’s worth the read. We take some wild twists and turns. From talking about some of the best new rap singles to talking about a beautiful new alternative rock album from Alabama Shakes’ frontwoman Brittany Howard. We also get into why I’m boycotting the new Zac Brown album, in part because Luke Bryan is old. I get into what I think climate activist Greta Thunberg has in heavy rotation on her iPod (or whatever the greenest way of listening to music is). We also discuss why if you’re happy with J. Lo and Shakira being the Superbowl Halftime Show this year you need to higher your expectations. And we finish off talking about Kanye West’s new album Jesus Is King…or the lack of said album, rather. All that and more below!

What’s Good

“Family and Loyalty” -Gang Starr (feat. J. Cole)

This song has a ton of nostalgia to it. The beat is something you’d expect MF DOOM to be rapping over, it’s simple and mellow but a perfect background to spit BARS on and that’s what Gang Starr does. Not to mention, Cole throws in a feature with a pretty unique flow, maybe because he’s trying to switch it up as he said this feature would be his last for a long time. He obviously blessed us with features on 21 Savage’s album, Anderson .Paak’s album, Young Thug’s “The London”, and a ton on Revenge of the Dreamers III so looks like we’re going to have to savor this verse until the next solo project comes out.

“God Is a Dancer” -Tiesto & Mabel.

I want to be more into EDM than I am. I love a good fun electronic dance song. I’m young. I’m youthful. I like “sick drops”. But when there’s so much other stuff coming out I definitely let it slip by the wayside sometimes. This song comes from Tiesto who usually makes these kind of fun party bangers and this one especially has a real fun chorus and a deep deep bass which I’m always a fan of.

“Intro” -Dababy

This song is hot. Dababy is certified hot right now. He’s obviously had massive success this year hopping on remixes from Lizzo and Lil Nas X, having features with J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, and Post Malone, and his own song “Suge” going platinum. This song is serving as the intro to his album “Kirk” which is dropping this Friday (up against Kanye’s Jesus is King).

He’s got a lot of gas behind him right now and I am extremely excited for this album. For the most part with a lot of the newer trending rappers emerging from the scene nowadays, I’m not very pumped. People like Juice Wrld and Trippie Redd and all those guys just don’t really do it for me for some reason, but Dababy I’m all in on. I think it’s because he’s a little bit more traditional of a rapper and he has a very unique flow and tone. I’m all in. And the tracklist looks FLAMES.

01 “Intro”
02 “Off The Rip”
03 “Bop”
04 “Vibez”
05 “Pop Star” (Feat. Kevin Gates)
06 “Gospel” (Feat. Chance The Rapper, Gucci Mane, & YK Osiris)
07 “iPhone” (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
08 “Toes” (Feat. Lil Baby & Moneybagg Yo)
09 “Really” (Feat. Stunna 4 Vegas)
10 “Prolly Heard”
11 “Raw S**t” (Feat. Migos)
12 “There He Go”
13 “XXL”

Migos? Kevin Gates? Chance and Gucci on the same song? Nicki? It looks like the perfect combo of solo songs and strong features that could lead to a classic. Not to mention it isn’t 23 songs long like every other album to release this year. If it was coming out any other week this would easily be my most anticipated release but Ye will always be number 1 (if his actually comes out…more on that later).

“On Sight” -Free Nationals (feat. JID, Kadhja Bonet, and MIKNNA)

If you’ve liked the past Free National Releases with Daniel Caesar, Kali Uchis and Mac Miller you’re going to like this too. Has their same funky sound that you’d expect out the band that plays with Anderson .Paak often and with a fire verse from one of the hottest rappers of the year (JID) this is a very fun track.

Jaime -Brittany Howard

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The lead-singer of one of the coolest bands memory, Alabama Shakes, has released her first solo album titled Jaime and folks…it’s gorgeous. It has the same effect on me that most Alabama Shakes songs do (basically make me think about any and every relationship I have ever had in my entire life and want to bawl my eyes out) but in a whole new way. I don’t want to compare it too much to their sound, because despite it sounding similar with her vocals I’d say this one is a little more experimental, and it pays off.

The opening track “History Repeats” shows this well. It’s got the same funkiness you’d expect from a fun Shakes song but just enough off-beatness and vocal distortions from Howard that you’re like “oh this is something else”.

We then get an awesome awesome stretch of songs with “He Loves Me”, “Georgia”, and “Stay High” that all showcase her insanely passionate vocals. You love hearing a song that clearly has personal connection and the singer wants to deliver as much emotion as possible. You can hear this on this album so perfectly and it’s what differentiates it from a lot of the other albums I’ve heard this year.

As the album goes on it definitely gets a little more instrumental, but in a great way. We get to see the raw guitar riffs and drums that you’d expect from Brittany Howard but a little more stripped down and drawn out than usual, again, in a great way. “Short and Sweet” is exactly what it’s titled, “13th Century Metal” has some wildly awesome production on it, and “Presence”  is just straight up beautiful.

All the meanwhile we hear stories from Howard’s life, from relationships she’s had to her family facing discrimination for being biracial. The powerful and emotional instrumentals are equally matched with the lyrics and vocals and it all comes together to form a sweet savory buffet of DOPE ass music. Huge fan and definitely worth a listen for anyone looking for something new.

This also got me thinking, how many bands I that I loved in High School are just gonna come out with FIRE albums this year out of no where? Brittany basically just dropped another Alabama Shakes album, The Lumineers dropped a gorgeous album last week, Bon Iver’s i,i is one of the top albums of the year in my opinion, and Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride is maybe my favorite album of 2019 so far. Ya love to see it.

Tell Me If I’m Wrong But…I’m Not Going to Bother Listening to this new Zac Brown Band Album

I don’t like country music. If you asked me if I do maybe 10 years ago, that’d be a different story. I sort of got into it in my middle school days when Darius Rucker had first dropped songs, my parents liked a lot of Kenny Chesney, Keith (Toby and Urban), and Zac Brown Band had just started to pop off. We’d listen to country radio in the car, I liked the story-telling aspect of the genre, a lot of the instruments I thought were unique and interesting…and then a bunch of rich kids from Florida found out about “the rap music” and started a brand new wave of absolute garbage music and a fan base of the worst people on earth.

I’m talking about Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, and FORTY THREE YEAR OLD LUKE BRYAN.

Yup. Forty Three. He’s still making songs about being on Spring Break and shit. Dude GO START A FAMILY. This man is really out here making songs about hanging out by the creek drinkin ice cold beers while the cheerleaders skinny dip? This man should be sitting on the sidelines of a youth soccer game, drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, watching his son try to flimsily kick a goal on the wrong net. GROW UP.

Sorry about that. I just hate this poppy country blend that has had a meteoric rise over the past few years. Which is why I was disappointed when one of my favorite country acts, ZBB, started dipping their toes into this madness. I really liked Jekyll + Hyde, their album from 2015 that dove into several different genres. “Mango Tree” was a jazzy music number, “Castaway” checked the box for their fun tropical song, “Junkyard” was very rock-oriented, and then there were songs like “Beautiful Drug” and “Tomorrow Never Comes” that were borderline EDM songs and trash…but popular.

I listened to one song off their new album Owl and it goes like this.

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He really said “pocket dial” 3 times in the first 10 seconds of the song. Dude, pocket dials don’t exist anymore. I know you’ve got money and literally anyone you’re texting has enough money to not be using a freaking ENV3 where a butt dial could actually happen. The iPhone 11 Pro Plus Max or whatever literally unlocks your phone by looking at your FACE. Not your ass.

And even if you somehow put it in your pocket how could it possibly navigate to the person you’re trying to call? I don’t even know how to do that on purpose anymore I just tell the slave inside my phone Siri to do it.

The lyrics are so stupid and so is the music and it’s so upsetting cuz I used to love these guys. Maybe I got too ticked off at the stupidity of this song and missed out on a good album, in which case let me know, but after that travesty I don’t trust any song on this could be remotely good.

16 Year-Old Greta Thunberg Came to America From Sweden On an Emission-less Boat…Here’s What I think Her Voyage’s Playlist Looked Like

This 16 year old Swedish kid came to the UN with a VENGEANCE. When I was 16 I was begging my mom to let me stay out past my 11 o’clock curfew so I could stay at Sky Zone till close with the cool kids, this girl is begging the UNITED NATIONS to straight up STOP OUR PLANET FROM DYING.

I haven’t been able to sleep this whole week because I can’t wrap my head around why I should even bother getting out of bed in the morning if the planet is going to burn to ashes in the next decade…but hey! That’s just me! I’m a weak man ready to die in the fiery flames of a self-induced planetary explosion, but not my girl Greta. No way. Greta is going to save the people of this world even if she’s gotta kill a few of them. She rode all the way here from Sweden on an emission-free boat knowing damn well we’re all dead if she doesn’t piss off the boomers. So what music did she listen to on the voyage over? Here’s a few predictions.

Kind of depressing, kind of angry, slightly fun if you don’t think about the lyrics…not bad taste Greta!

Shakira and J-Lo Are This Year’s Superbowl Halftime Show…Fine. Why Not. Who Cares.

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People have been on edge wondering who the Superbowl halftime show is way more than usual this year I feel like. Has it ever been this early that’s been talked about even? Or was Maroon 5 just THAT lackluster of a band to play it that I didn’t care last year?

Regardless, both these women are known great performers and both have some great throwback bangers. I’m sure they’ll do a fine job. But I feel like the halftime show has just gotten less and less important with the years. You’d think with Jay Z partnering with the NFL we’d be able to get some A-listers but instead we’re getting the hottest acts of the early 2000s? Nothing against these two, I love their music, but if they got the most popular acts in the world RIGHT NOW to play (Post Malone, Lizzo, Drake, Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers…ok now we’re going back to 2000s but still you know what I mean), I would be way more hype. If you’re freaking out about these performers, set your expectations higher. The NFL makes unfathomable amounts of money and you had to watch Adam Levine’s nipples blow in the wind last season during the most important sporting event of 2019. DEMAND MORE.


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Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 7.26.59 PM.pngYou’ve got to be kidding me. This was the only thing getting me through this miserable week. The promise of new Kanye.

I was ready to come back to God. I ironed my Sunday Slacks ready to walk into the chapel and praise the Lord this Sunday. Now? Satan is tempting me to lie on my couch and simultaneously watch football and play Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch all day. YOU DID THIS KANYE. YOU FORCED MY HAND.

What a disappointment if this is true. He DOES have a special Sunday (Friday?) Service planned for tomorrow at noon, which still makes me think there’s a chance we’d get the new album after the concert maybe? Regardless, I can’t trust him. After he pushed back Yandhi last September to last November, and then pushed it off from last November to completely shelving the project. I don’t know where to turn. That’s what it’s like being a Kanye stan though, you love the man so much you end up hating him. So what can get me through this trying time if he DOESN’T drop his album tomorrow? I guess listen to the other 8 immaculate albums he has. Which brings us to…

The Question of the Week:

What is your favorite Kanye song???

It can be one from his own album, one from a collab album (Cudi, G.O.O.D. Music, Jay-Z), or even just a guest verse. Let me know so I can listen to all of them tomorrow while crying about not having 12 brand new Ye tracks to run into the ground.

Thanks for reading this took forever please comment or text or like or share or subscribe or email it if you liked it. Preciate it.

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