Bette Midler "It's The Girls"
Still has a good voice, but sings the standards in an unremarkable way. Next!
Azealia Banks "Broke With Expensive Taste" 1/2 *
Okay, I said last time that I missed albums poorly made and shittily executed, and here we are a mere blog entry later and YAY! We found the suck! If early 90's B-Movie Hip-Hop was a genre, it would be this album! It's really lame, but not in the same way as everyone else, so I'll give her half a point for trying something different! (But DAMN is this record crap!)
Tenth Avenue North "Cathedrals"
The same as every Christian rock band from the last...ten years? So hard to hear uniqueness in this genre. I don't have a problem with wanting to say something you believe in with your music. I just don't like lame soft rock. Later.
The New Basement Tapes "Lost On The River" [NEGATIVE 1 STAR]
Just like any other indie folk thing you care to mention, but somehow more so. Just really irritating in its refusal to be substantial, or even to be here at any point.
Machine Head "Bloodstone & Diamonds" ***
Now we're talkin'. If you're familiar with Machine Head, you know what you're getting into. The album has problems: Some songs are a little too much like "Meh"chine Head, if you know what I'm sayin', "Night Of The Long Knives" works in context with the album but by itself is ham fisted at best, and the last four tracks could disappear and I'd never notice, since I'd hit stop after "In Comes The Flood" (which feels like it should have closed anyway). But there are some cool surprises like "Sail Into The Black" (one of the more dynamic songs they've ever done) and "Beneath The Silt" (their first eight string venture and a welcome surprise in the middle of the album). A few other songs are decent, and like I said, shave the last four tracks off and you have an album ready to fight. But only if you're really in the mood for it and are sick of "The Blackening", "Unto The Locust", "Through The Ashes Of Empires" and "Burn My Eyes".
Teyana Taylor "VII" **
Some modern soul? I can dig it. Unfortunately, it gets unbearably repetitive by track four (which is a shame, because "Just Different" and "Request" really caught my ear).
Angie Miller "Weathered"
Shamelessly panhandling at the intersection of Kelly Clarkson and fun. .
Knife Party "Abandon Ship"
The title is the best idea they had. RUN AWAY BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY!!! (Though maybe I should give them points for being self-aware enough to make a song called "EDM Trend Machine"? I...NOPE. Song's garbage.)
Migos "Rich N**ga Timeline"
I had fun listening to the samples, I gotta admit. Migos is Mike Jones levels of bad at rapping. This album scores a zero, but we'll just say those two asterisks in the name serve as a reminder to listen to this shit at least once. Seriously, go to iTunes, look this shit up and click play on at least the first four tracks. Tell me that didn't at least make you chuckle.
Royksopp "The Inevitable End" *
I've enjoyed Royksopp from time to time, though I confess I checked out around "Junior" in '09. ("Eple" is a fucking BANGER.) If this is any indication of what they've been up to, I can't say I'm sad to see them go (this will be their "last album"), but hey, "Save Me" is pretty good. (The rest is an extremely cut-rate Daft Punk.)
The Lox "The Trinity 2nd Sermon" * and 1/2
I was just lamenting 2014's almost complete lack of good rap earlier today. The Lox try, but it's just not the same, in spite of sounding like they dug five songs out of Double R's vault and put them out as an EP of new material. But somehow, this would make the top five for rap releases this year. THAT'S how dry it's been in '14.
Nick Lachey "Soundtrack Of My Life"
Much like Bette Midler, Lachey goes the standards rout, but covering more modern songs like Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes", The Goo Goo Doll's "Iris" (for those who wanted to like the Goo Goo Dolls' version, but felt it was just way too hardcore), Dido's "Here With Me", Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (see "Iris", yet put in 1998 Aerosmith), the most pansiest version of "What A Wonderful World" you'll ever hear, and fucking "Streets Of Philadelphia", I shit you not. What vengeful God was wronged in what ways for this to be foisted upon an unsuspecting populous?!?!?!? Oh woe is mankind!!!
Bobby Schmurda "Schmurda She Wrote"
Take Migos and add it to...pop radio? Definitely more commercially palatable than Migos on track 1, but with about as many N-Words per second or more. But hey, autotune singing in the hook! That's HOOD!
Kyuhyun "The 1st Mini Album [Kanji I can't translate] At Gwanghwamun"
Stereotypical K-Pop ballads. South Korean teenage girls get it in, yo! (Think Backstreet Boys but halfway across the globe.)
Jon McLaughlin "The Christmas EP"
Damn, this is the worst Mahavishnu Orchestra album of all time.
Okay, that was another train wreck. But wasn't it fun?!?!? Let's do it again sometime!