When Meghan Trainor’s Title was released in 2015, it was occasionally a breath of fresh air. It subverted classic 60’s and 50’s pop by singing about modern ideas. It was very similar to Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. The bops were there. “All About that Bass” and “Lips are Movin'” were genuine hits, and most of the best moments on the album signaled the energy of those two songs. Whether it was the doo-wop of “Credit” or corny white-girl rap “Bang Dem Sticks,” there was something mystifying about Trainor,which the industry obviously sees since she’s appeared on a bunch of singing shows and the Grammys. What’s most puzzling about Trainor though is her appeal to (much) younger listeners, which her latest EP, The Love Train answers (sorta). Continue reading
I recently started compiling this playlist called “Music That Can Play Really Loud But Still Feel Like Background Noise.” None of these songs are really bad, and the title is something of a joke. Currently the playlist features the likes of Deafheaven, Radiohead, and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, and none of these artists make boring music. That being said, if I’m going for a long drive where I’m going to talk to someone, but I still want music to play; I’d be more inclined to put on this playlist than my collection of metal or songs with literary references. Astronoid takes the shoegaze and atmospheric elements of those bands that I like and pumps them up with a power metal like brightness that really makes their self-titled third album kind of a drag. Continue reading
Despite 2015’s Shame being a powerful debut filled with pounding hits (“Tommy”) and emotive ballads (“Heaven”), it didn’t really deliver nearly as much as one would hope a debut would. Kiley Lotz, Petal’s songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, revealed in a recent piece for Out that this would be the first album where she has songs about her sexuality. Magic Gone sees Lotz jumping over any hurdles that Shame couldn’t completely clear. The songs are fearless and well-crafted on Magic Gone. Lotz retains the charm of her first album, but she holds nothing back here. Continue reading
Frank Turner isn’t exactly a musician out of time. He’s made a career embracing the past while making fairly relevant music. He’s also noted for having a diverse taste in music. If one had to guess, he has an equal affinity for ABBA and Queen as he does for Rancid. He also will unashamedly speak his political views and point a finger at those he sees as fallacies and evil. Be More Kind sees Turner seeking empathetic people while taking a step away from his folk and punk roots and leaning into a more radio-friendly indie rock sound. Continue reading
Philadelphia punks The Wonder Years have continually shown that they’re more than just punks. Since the release of Suburbia, they’ve never really had an adequate match within the Warped Tour scene that they’re often lumped into, and they don’t really mesh with the artsy DIY punk scene that creates artists like Long Neck or Pinegrove. This is all to say that even though Sister Cities isn’t their best, The Wonder Years are still in a class all their own. Continue reading
This is not the folktronica reinvention we were promised. Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods was hyped to sound like it was his 22, A Million. To be fair, this was all speculation; all we had confirmed was that this was going to be a return to Timberlake’s Tennessee roots. In a sense, it succeeds. JT has gone bro-country; save for some of the extra synth’s thrown in. Man of the Woods is an earnest attempt at artistry, but it sees Timberlake slouching into his iconic status. Continue reading
Welcome to the inaugural Burger-A-Day podcast. On it BurgerADay.com contributors James Crowley and Marisa Winckowski discuss music, movies, and pop culture. On this debut episode, they discuss Richard Linklater’s 2003 musical comedy School Of Rock-its lasting impact, mass appeal, later adaptations, and how the view towards it changes with age.
Hanif Abdurraqib is one of the most unique voices in modern journalism and poetry. His 2016 poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much was a standout last year, and his often calm delivery of poetry is hypnotic. Like Crown, this essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us is a beautiful meditation on pop culture, race, personal history, and the places where those conversations meet. Abdurraqib sculpts his prose in a conversationally engaging but also comforting tone. Continue reading