Where has That Music Junkie Been?
It has been a minute since my Last Post, and I apologize for that. I took some time offer creative reasons, as well as to see to some major family issues that occurred. My head just wasn’t in the right place, and I didn’t want to write anything that my heart and head wasn’t 100% in.
I do want to talke a moment to thank my readers for baring with me through this brief hiatus, as well as to those who reached out to me during this time. I have some exciting things to share with you, and I’ll address that at the end of this article!
That being said, I think it’s high time I play catch up, don’t you? Here we go!
A Brief Overview of Some Fantastic Albums That Have Been Released This Year.
“Blueprint” by Alice Bag
The legendary Punk rock singer, author, musician, and activist is back with her third Solo album entitled “Blueprint.”
She pulls no punches with this album, and the message of Feminism is heard loud and clear. I think it’s absolutely brilliant, and she addresses major issues such as equal pay in the single “77.”
Alice Bag has been such an important figure for Feminism going all the way back to when she started out in the 70’s, and I honestly feel like her music is incredibly relevant, iconic, and again important.
I had the opportunity to see her live last year while I was still living in SoCal, and I was absolutely blown away.
“Eat the Elephant” by A Perfect Circle.
I know you guys were anxious for this one. Again, I apologize for the delay in talking about this much anticipated release.
Maynard James Keenan and company is back with this jazzy follow up to 2004’s “eMOTIVe.”
You read that date correctly.
It has been a solid fourteen years since the last time the band released an album. Keenan’s vocals are eerily soothing throughout most of the record, and the music has an obviously heavy jazz influence, but it works in the best way.
Then there’s the single “The Doomed” which is more along the lines of previous APC music. Unsettling album artwork aside, this album is definitely a major player in this year’s releases.
“Years” by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers.
I’m doing something I’ve never done on this site before: I’m going to talk about a Country album.
Now before I get all the “Country sucks,” “Ugh I hate Country music!” and other such comments, rest assured that there is a reason I picked this album. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers are more along the lines of the almost forgotten “Cowpunk,” subgenre of Country music.
Where a lot of modern day Country goes on about trucks, cold beer, and pandering to national pride, “Years” is a nitty gritty hard look at real life. Sarah Shook sings in her whiskey croon about alcoholism, infidelity, struggling relationships, and unhealthy coping mechanisms all in a way I honestly have never heard from a “Country” artist before. I say that with confidence as my mother is from Kentucky and I grew up hearing a lot of Country music.
The first song of her’s I ever heard was “The Bottle Never Lets Me Down” and I was so intrigued that I had to check out the whole album, which I pretty much immediately fell in love with.
“Bad Witch” by Nine Inch Nails.
The band’s ninth studio album is also their shortest one, clocking in at a mere 30 minutes. I know, it’s like OFF!’s “First Four EP’s.”
What was suppose to be the final installment in a planned trilogy that includes 2016’s “Not the Actual Events” and 2017’s “Add Violence,” Trent Reznor and company decided to alter course as they felt the releases were “becoming predictable,” as Reznor said.
So instead of being the final part of a trilogy, they decided to rework it and release it as the official ninth album. It’s nothing like previous albums such as “The Downward Spiral” or even “With Teeth,” but it definitely holds it’s own as a NIN album, including the trippy single “God Break Down the Door”
“Primal Heart” by Kimbra.
I want to start off by saying that I love Kimbra. She’s a fantastic vocalist, her music is always super enjoyable, and man do her songs get stuck in my head!
I know this is technically a “Pop” album, and I’ve expressed my feelings about the genre in a Previous Post, but baring her doing something ridiculous or completely changing who she is as an artist, I will always make an exception for Kimbra.
This album’s sound is all over the place in the best possible ways, from the pure hype of “Top fo the World” to the soulful “Recovery,” I genuinely enjoyed this record from start to finish. I’ve raved about Kimbra before, and you can read it Here.
“The Now Now” by Gorillaz
“Didn’t ‘Humanz’ just come out last year?” Yes, yes it did. But it seems like Gorillaz just had some more in them.
They took a brief hiatus after seminal “Demon Days” album, then came back with “Plastic Beach” five years later and have regularly released new music since. “The Now Now” opens with the catchy single “Humility” feat. George Benson, and continues on in the classic Gorillaz standard.
I actually enjoyed this album more than “Humanz,” which I though was a bit odd and abstract an album for the band. I also always get a kick out of people’s reaction when I tell them that Gorillaz creator and frontman Damon Albarn was also the lead singer for the 90’s Britpop band Blur.
“Rainer Fog” by Alice in Chains
The iconic Grunge band is back with this true-to-form album. Everything about it is fantastic and classic Alice in Chains. It’s heavy, crazy vocals, depressing at times, and man is it intense!
Jerry grew his hair back out, and the single “The One You Know” feels like it’s right from the band’s heyday. I have long counted Alice in Chains as one of my all time favorite bands, and “Rainer Fog” does not disappoint.
Honestly, I really can’t think of a bad album that they’ve ever released. From “Facelift” to the seminal “Dirt,” their live albums, and even their first album post- Layne Staley “Black Gives Way to Blue,” Alice in Chains has proven time and again that they’re a force to be reckoned with.
“Marauder” by Interpol.
Ok, I saved the best (to me) for last. NYC indie titans Interpol is my absolute favorite band, so you can imagine the hype I felt when they first began teasing this album.
Once they released the video for the single “The Rover” I swear I must have watched it at least a dozen times! I even got the “Indie Record Store Exclusive” cream colored vinyl when it came out.
It’s amazing how you can tell that with this album and the previous “El Pintor” Interpol entered a new phase with the way their music is written, yet it still retains that very established Interpol sound.
There are a ton of albums that have come out this year, but unfortunately I neither have the time nor you the patience to go through them all. The above mentioned albums are all fantastic, and I wanted to make sure to mention “Love is Dead” by CHVRCHES, “Prequelle” by Ghost, “Petaluma” by This Wild Life, and of course the fantastic “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” by Deafheaven.
What Is To Come
Thank you so much for sticking around to the end of this article! I know it was a bit of a long one, but hey I had a lot to go over! I hope you enjoyed it, and would love to hear what some of your favorite albums that have been released so far this year are.
While I was away, I had been doing some planning for things I want to bring to you guys for this site. I relaunched my Store over on TeeSpring, and I’m planning out some new merchandise to post on there for you guys.
In addition to that, I’ve also been reworking my YouTube page and have a brand new show that I’ll be bringing to you! It’s going to be similar to shows like “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” over on FS1, but about music instead of sports. I’m really excited to show you guys, and I can’t wait until its live!
Thank you guys again for your patience and your support. It really means a lot to me, and I promise there won’t be such a long pause between posts again!