Archive | December, 2021

Best Moments of 2021

31 Dec

From good to #1 moment:

-US WBB won gold in Olympics

-Katie Hobbs is running for Governor

I think this is great news!  AZ has a lot of corrupt wakadoodles, and she is not one of them.

https://azsos.gov/about-office/secretaries-since-statehood/katie-hobbs

-early June vax gave us relative freedom from Covid

-Suns made it to the playoffs

The Phoenix metro-area can’t agree on very much.  We all think our Governor, Doug Ducey, sucks-but for very divergent reasons.  But we really came together as a community when the Suns made the Playoffs, then the Western Conference Finals.  It was fandimonium!

-Increasing Goose’s BP helped

-Chinese New Year decorations & food

-Mardi gras decorations & food

-getting 3 audits OT

Audits are what they give us if we process a claim incorrectly.  Audits impact our quality, and end of the year performance review.  Also, our bonuses are calculated based on production and quality, so every audit takes money out of your bonus check.  I got these turned over, because I was able to show that I followed the workflows we’re supposed to work off of.

-we got access to the Olympics for the first time in a decade

-The cats all mostly get along

-walking w/Cool

-pubcast & pieces outside on weekends

-podcasts at work

-parents got vaccinated & boosters

-Manny said I wouldn’t be fired for “working off the clock”

Kyle accused me of working off the clock (a fireable offense) the DAY AFTER I said I was escalating my harassment complaints to HR.  This is a slide from one of the company’s mandatory trainings:

-Manny and I had a good meeting and I was actually cheeky and more myself (for the first time at a job since I had left the YMCA in 2015).

Honestly, I just wanted to show you guys that I’m good at my job, because from all the negativity in the last post you might have been under the impression I somehow deserved it.  I am supposed to do 8 claims an hour to get 100% of my production goal.  In June and July I was in training and not processing claims on the floor.  Here are my numbers:

-got covid vaccine

-Discovery plus!

-rain made summer better

-The abx inj took away Goose’s cough

-drank from watermelon & coconut & pineapple at different times

Swimmingly

-Got Angus

-got put in FL & left alone!

-working from home

Worst Moments of 2021

31 Dec

This list goes from the worst to the absolute #1 worst:

 

-Mercury made finals, but only 1 game was on a channel we get, the community didn’t GAF, & they lost

Especially compared to the hype and excitement of the Suns making it.

 

-variants nullified our vaccine & we were mostly back in quarantine

-Brnovich & Yee are running
 
 
Kimberly Yee publicly came out against prop 208 which taxed the highest earners on their personal income only to help AZ schools.
 
 
-missing out on activities bc of high risk of Delta variant
 
 
 
 
-Doug Ducey didn’t get recalled, ironically bc they couldn’t safely gather enough signatures in the pandemic
 
 
 
-realized NBA is rigged (covid playoff states, Giannis/shaq)
 
It’s no accident the NBA finals ended up being in two states with no Covid precautions/laws (AZ & WI).
 
 
 
 
-found out our Senator, Kyrsten Sinema sold out
 
 
 
-dad lost a hearing aid
 
-mom cancelled her vax bc she was listening to dis/mis-info
 
-missed Kathleen Madigan & Fortune Fenster & Lord Huron bc delta variant
 
 
 
-dad lost his 2nd hearing aid
 
-prop 208 was undermined by ducey’s new statute
 
 
-my parents were out & about w/high covid risk. Won’t listen.
 
-mom said she thought dad didn’t love her anymore (I hope/think it’s probably his depression)
 
-the heating pad burned Steins tummy
 
 
 
-mom saying trumpy talking-points
 
-Kyle accused me of excessively routing & holding claims too long
 
He said I would need to sit side by side with our mentor so she could tell me what I was doing wrong…  I told him (for at least the 7th time, between emails and verbally on phone calls) that even this phone call gives me anxiety.  And I asked if I could just do the work and send the claim for her to check it.  He did not listen.  He did not try to work with me.  He did not see any other way to accomplish the goal other than the one method he stated.  Kind of annoyed I was asking for accommodation for my anxiety disorder, he said she would  be side by side watching me do the claim so she could tell me what I was doing wrong in real time.  I was upset bc I do have anxiety, and have emailed him at length about that, and even talked about getting an ADA for anxiety, but he would not work with me.  After a long pause, where I was considering bringing up the ADA or alternate methods to achieve the goal, I just said I understood—mostly bc he never listens to me anyway, so why bother?
 

5/18/21:  Kyle’s recap of our 1:1

I understand that your anxiety can get really bad, however, it is best for someone to sit with you on a live claim example. This way there is no confusion and they would be able to see first-hand what’s happening and possibly propose a solution. This will also aid in your questions in regards to the Xref claims.

I do mostly Zx claims all day long, and they are my favorite.  

The auditors have looked them over many times, and the Zx claims passed as correct. 

I do not have questions about Zx claims.

There are many correct examples of Zx claims that I complete every day and claims that have passed audit.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t do those random 6 that came through unpaid, for the reasons I explained verbally in the 1:1, and wrote out in an email recap of the 1:1 bc I could tell Kyle wasn’t listening to me. 

He is STILL under the impression I am doing them wrong even though I do them all the time.

 
 
-Julia micromanaged me

-Kyle said “we need more”
 

I emailed you back regarding your email, but I think it got confused within the chain.  In the email, I told you I originally provided:  The claim #, pend, the auth #, how many units it was over, the problem that it’s split into a decimal, a picture of the calculator showing the days split into a decimal, and a pic of the wf tab, and wf box # I got to.  Also, it wasn’t my question—it was a directive of the wf to send it to TL.   And I asked what else I need to do.  I really need to know what else to send to clear up future confusion, as this is a persistent problem.

I asked what else was needed, because I felt like I had sent everything, and rather than admitting he didn’t read the email chain before admonishing me, he gaslighted me and said a vague:  “We need more.” And that’s all he would tell me.  By the end of the call, I was literally screaming, “What else do you need????!!!!”
 
 
-We pinched Bison’s neck in his collar & he said he always hated us so he wanted to move out
 
 
-EEOC didn’t even open my documentation & got everything wrong in the 1 paragraph they wrote!
 
As a last resort, I went through with reporting my work harassment and retaliation to the government.  I spent 3 hours on the phone telling my caseworker the specific details of what happened.  Then I spent 5 hours on a weekend, trying to make all my documentation understandable to an outsider.  It contained a lot of jargon and technical information.  I sent a whole zip file of the documentation because it was SO much evidence.  The day before the case was to be finalized, my case worker emailed asking me to call her a 2nd time.  I was only able to speak to her for 10-15 min during my lunch break.  And guess what?  I could tell 
 
SHE HAD NOT TAKEN ANY NOTES DURING OUR FIRST 3 HOUR CONVERSATION, AND SHE SAID SHE WAS UNABLE TO OPEN MY ZIP FILE, SO SHE HAD NOT READ A SINGLE WORD OF MY DOCUMENTATION.
 
I felt like it was a colossal waste of time, and hopeless.  When she finally did start my case, the one paragraph was full of incorrect information, and did not identify the correct problem.  #$%^@*
 
-dad drove recklessly and was lucky he didn’t cause an accident, and wrecked the car
 
-Kyle said I worked off the clock
 
Employee Handbook: Timekeeping Violations As a company founded on ethical behavior, we take timekeeping violations seriously. It is a violation of company policy for anyone to work off the clock, incorrectly report hours worked, or alter another employee’s time records without a legitimate reason or authorization to do so. It is also a violation to instruct, encourage, or pressure someone to engage in any of these acts. Any employee who engages in behavior that results in inaccurate timekeeping or incorrect payment is subject to discipline up to and including termination.
 
-dad weird sex-talk
 
-HR didn’t help me

-Goose has a mass in his diaphragm

Dr., 
 
I have been thinking of what to say, and sorry, if this is all over the place.  I’m concerned with the density on x-ray too.  I want everything for Goose, and want to have him (happy and comfortable) as long as possible.  I was trying to imagine what it could be to foresee what the treatment could be. . .  
 
If it was a tumor, most the time there would be some anomaly on bloodwork, is that true? And I didn’t think he was really at risk for diaphragmatic hernia at his age/activity level (I’ve heard about it in regards to very young puppies)? And if it was fluid, he would still have a “wet” sound or some respiratory symptoms?  I guess I’m not actually asking for the textbook of the various possibilities.  
 
My real question is:  Out of all the possibilities your knowledge and experience can think of–what is most likely, and are any of them completely reversible for Goose, & what timelines should I prepare for?  I don’t feel at his weight/age he’s a very good candidate for any surgery–do you think he would be? I wouldn’t want to lose him in trying to heal him w/sx, especially if it was uncertain to work, or only bought him a little more time.  Because, honestly just knowing what it is but not having a viable/affordable/long-term treatment would be more horrible than just not knowing for some reason.
 
I would only want to do u/s if it would absolutely tell us what it is, if there is definitely a treatment, and if that treatment worked for Goose long-term.  Which is to say, I know you’re not prescient, but you do have tons of experience.  Please be candid.
 
In every scenario, I’d like Goose to be as comfortable as possible.

Thank you so much,

 
 
Reply:
 
My biggest concern/worst case scenario for that area in Goose’s x-ray would be a cancerous mass.  However if surgery would not be a possibility then I agree the ultrasound would be a bit of a moot point. 
 
As long as he is comfortable, I think it would be reasonable to do some watchful waiting for him. If his respirations change, he is not eating, has vomiting, or any other signs he is not feeling well, we could repeat x-rays and address any findings at that time.
 
As long as he is happy, that is all that counts.
 
Warm regards,

Albums Countdown to Best Set of Songs in 2021 [full list]

31 Dec

Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles.  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored awesomes.  Streaming is harsh.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A LOT of cheatee, not actually new, music was put out in 2021:

Sam Smith-Love Goes (live) & soundtrack produced by him?

Kelly Clarkson-Christmas

Madonna-True Blue (35th Anniversary Edition)

Green Day- Insomniac (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Rufus Wainwright-live

Blondie-Spanish

Sarah Bareilles-live

The Black Keys- remastered, live

Pink-remixes

Jason Isbell- live

I’m treating the Taylor Swift re-recordings as EPs w/new (vault) songs eligible only (10 min ATW is new)
And I usually don’t rank music released in December.  December is too late, not long enough to listen, ruins my flow that I’ve set up all year.  But mostly.  December belongs to Christmas.
So Avril Lavigne- Bite Me; Metallica; and maybe others didn’t get judged.
#50
Vampire Weekend-
tot = nope
Too experimental & discordant)

#49

John Mayer-Sob Rock

I was torn about even reviewing this album.  John Mayer has been a long time staple of mine, but new information has come to light (Jessica Simpson) and I feel like it isn’t all that ethical to support him.  But I thought I’d at least give it a chance.  Well, I shouldn’t have.  It’s nothing special.  Nothing much was going on in the songs.  Borning.  And by the time I got to the baby-talking track (cringe!) I was over it.  There are just too many albums this year to fuss about with a meh one.  So I aborted mission halfway through.

tot = NOPE

Last Train Home M

Shouldn’t Matter but It Does G

New Light M

Why You No Love Me S (baby talk)

Wild Blue M

Shot in the Dark

I Guess I Just Feel Like

Til the Right One Comes

Carry Me Away

All I Want is to be With You

#48

Neil Young Crazy Horse-Way Down the Rust Bucket-Live

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 2Great8; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 5Meh-15; 2Skip-24 = tot-20

Country Home- S (pretty bad singing)
Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleeze- S (bad)
Love to Burn- N
Days that Used to be- G
Bite the Bullet- M
Cinnamon Girl- M
Farmer John- M
Over and Over- G
Danger Bird- N (terrible singing knocks it down)
Don’t Cry No Tears- G
Sedan Delivery- G
Roll Another Number (for the Road)- M (bad singing)
Fuckin’ Up- M
T-Bone- S (like 5 words in song)
Homegrown- N (good harmonies)
Mansion on the Hill- S (bad)
Like a Hurricane- Gr (probably best on album)
Love and Only Love- Gr
Cortez the Killer- G

#47
Doja Cat- Planet Her:
I like the title of the album, and that’s about it for me.  And that’s OK.  Not every album is made for me, nor enjoyed by me.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G3; 1G-N1; 1G-M0; 3N-3; 7M-21; S = tot -9
Woman- G (Repetitive.)
Naked- N
Payday- Gr-G (Good ambient sounds, but Minnie Mouse singing.)
Get Into It (Yuh)-  Gr-G (Baby-voice is ehhhh, but rap is good and fast.)
Need to Know- Gr (Catchy and I like the repeated words)
I Don’t Do Drugs- N (Xylophone is interesting and different, but the rest of the song is kinda boring.)
Love to Dream- M
You Right- N
been Like This- N-M (Somewhat high note is good, but the song is just boring.)
Options-Gr (Moag!)
Ain’t Shit- M (The only thing I liked was the counting.)
Imagine- M
Alone- M
Kiss Me More- G-M (Disco sound)
You Right (Extended)- G (The duet is probably the best on the album.  I also liked the breathes/breathing.)
Up and Down- G-N
Tonight – M
Ride- M
Why Why- M

#46

Kaleo

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 0Great; 2Good6; 2N-G cusp2; 2Neutral-2; 1M-N cusp-2; 4Meh-12; 0Skip =tot-8

Brother Run Fast G

Break My Baby N-G

Alter Ego G

Free the Slave N-G

Skinny N

Hey Gringo M-N

My Fair Lady M

I Want More M

Backbone N

I Walk on Water M

Into My Mother’s Arms M

#45

Aly & AJ:  a touch of the beat…[title is long and annoying]

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 3G-N3; 2N-2; 3M-9; 1S-6 = tot-7

Pretty Places M

Lost Cause G-Gr (I love a bitter song)

Break Yourself S (I died of boredom)

Slow Dancing M

Paradise N

Symptom of Your Touch Lucky to Get Him G-N

Listen!!! N-G (the brr brr noise saves it.  and nice piano)

Don’t Need Nothing N-G (finally, a beat!  is this what the album is missing?)

Stomach N

Personal Cathedrals Gr-G (a better singing style, more lyrically intricate)

Hold Out M

#44
Billie Eilish- Happier Than Ever:
I almost aborted listening, because the entire first half of this long album was pretty background music, boring.  But it bothers me to not finish things so I pressed on a little more, and I’m kinda glad I did, bc it did get better.  Track order is a major problem here!
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 6M-18; 1S-6 =tot -3.5
Getting Older-M
I Didn’t Change My Number- G
Billie Bossa Nova- N
my future- M
Oxytocin- G-N (Good base n moag)
Goldwing- G
Lost Cause- M
Hailey’s Comet- N-G (Sounds a lot like 1930s type of singing/crooning.  This goes on for too short of a time.  There’s a pause and then it seems to be a whole different song?  Then, that’s too short as well.)
Not My Responsibility- S (Need to sing)
Overheated M
Everybody Dies- M (I can hear her breathes a lot, and it doesn’t sound good. Big yawn.)
Your power- G
NDA- Gr-A.  (catchy . Same tune as  her 1st album. Good moàg)
Therefore I Am- N
Happier Than Ever- Gr
Male fantasy- G
M (Glitch is always welcome.  Has rap :-/  .)

#43

Shovels & Rope- Busted Jukebox Volume 3 (is this supposed to be a kid’s album? Title it better)

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 3Neutral-3; 2Meh-6; 1Skip-6 =tot-1

Hush Little Baby- S (wtf is this shit?)
In My Room- G
What a Wonderful World- N (great song, played too slow. Whistle & talking sucked)
You Are My Sunshine- N
Cry Baby- G
My Little Buckaroo- M
Everybody Hurts- N (weird choice for a kid’s album, if this is…)
Mother Earth and Father Time- M
The Ants Go Marching- A (fucking great syncopation!)
Tomorrow- G

#42
Tori Amos- Ocean to Ocean:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; Gr; 4G16; 2N-2; 3N-M-6; 2M-6; S = tot 2
Addition of Light Divided- N-M
Speaking with Trees- G  (The low notes are very catchy. Like this one a lot better than the last. Guitar at end sounds good.)
Devil’s Bane- N-M
Swim to New York State- G (Boring but orchestral brings it up.)
Spies- M (On-brand. Seems pretentious.)
Ocean to Ocean- M
Flowers Burn to Gold- N-M (Slow. Piano.)
Metal Water Wood- N (relieved it’s faster. Touch of orchestra is not enough. weird accent.)
29 Years- G (More upbeat.)
How Glass is Made- N (Music changes and gets faster. Flute.)
Birthday Baby- G (Good instrumentals. Nice tango thing going on.)
#41
Third Eye Blind- Our Bande Apart:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 3Gr-G10.5; 1G3; 1N-1; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot 4.5
Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen- Gr-G (the waltz beat is interesting here.)
Box of Bones- M (the singing is more remincent of their older stuff. Choral backing is OK.)
Again- N (more upbeat is a relief.)
Silver lake Neophyte- G (these song titles are so pretentious! Specific lyrics are good.)
Dust Storm…- Gr-G (good guitar. Interesting beat with many paused lyrics.)
The Dying Blood- Gr (a running beat. Emotive singing. The fast singing is catchy and fun. Guitar at the end is unique.)
Funeral Singers- M (multiple singes gives this a cheesy vibe.)
To the Sea- S (I don’t like the talk-singing or the glitch.)
Time in Berlin- Gr-G (the piano is very pretty.)

#40

Weezer-OK Human:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

3awesome15; 0Great; 3Good9; 2Neutral-4; 3Meh-9; 1Skip-6 =tot 5

All My Favorite Songs-A
Aloe Gobi-G
Grapes of Wrath-A
Numbers-N
Playing My Piano-N
Mirror Image- M
Screens- M
Bird with a Broken Wing- M
Dead Roses- G
Everything Happens for a Reason- S (it’s an interlude)
Here Comes the Rain- G
La Brea Tar Pits-A

#39
Lil Nas X:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 2Gr8; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 2N-M-2; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot 6
Montero- N
Dead Right Now- M (Repetitive.)
Industry baby- G (Catchy. Call-backs.)
That’s what I want- Gr (There’s more singing and hook so I like it more. Catchy. Claps make it enthusiastic.)
The Art of Realization- S (Short unnecessary.)
Scoop- M (Funny. Female rapper sounds too babyish. Too many scoop.)
One of Me- N (Trash talkin’.)
Lost in Citidel- M-N (I like the lyrics. The music is waaaay too 80s.)
Dollar sign slime- G (I call B’s on Megan not having surgery.)
Tales of Dominico- G (It’s a bit slower and lower so that’s nice.)
Sun Goes Down- G (Talks about race and physical appearance. Good sentiment.)
Void- N-M (Echo sounds good. Optimistic lyrics.)
Don’t Want It- N-G (Syncopated.)
Life After Salem- N-G *(Bass is Exciting.)
Am I Dreaming- Gr (Miley sounds great with him. Add s to the music.)

#38

Imagine Dragons-Mercury Act 1

They are really trying to be something they’re not, screaming a lot.  And I’m here to tell them, that’s not what I liked about them.  They’ll never be Linkin Park, and I don’t really want that from them.  I like the anthemic songs, but that doesn’t require screams, just passion, high notes, and instrumental builds.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2Gr8; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G8; 2G to M-S cusp-3; 1N-1; 1M-3; 1S-6 -= tot 6.5

My Life G (Good build at end, more yell than sing)

Lonely Gr-G (falsetto back phrase. Catchy. Like end cut.)

Wrecked G (epic backing.)

Monday N

#1 G (uplifting message)

Easy Come Easy Go G to M-S cusp (the rap is bad.)

Giants S (scream ruined it.)

It’s OK G (positive message.)

Dull Knives M (The high note on the word “day” sounds good.  I like the pause-I wondered if the song just ended, or if Spotify dropped, as it does. Too screamy though, I’m pretty worried for his voice.)

Follow You Gr (Catchy. The fast words sound good, and makes the song different from the rest.  I love the repeated words within a phrase, because it makes it faster, without actually making the music fast.  I like the backing. Fav on album?)

Cutthroat G to M-S cusp (goddammit with this screamy shit. Hate scream. Like the quieter singing. Like discordant. But the screaming chorus “only one of us will make it out alive…” ruins it-I don’t like that AT ALL.  And it’s too bad because other elements are really, really good.)

No Time for Toxic People G (Nice sentiment. I like rounds and layered sound.)

One Day Gr (good singing. Emotional. Great instrumental build.)

#37

Foo Fighters-Medicine at Midnight:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 2Neutral-2; 2Meh-6; 0Skip =tot7

Making a Fire- G
Shame Shame- N
Cloudspotter- G-N cusp
Waiting on a War- G
Medicine at Midnight- M
No Son of Mine- N
Holding Poison- G
Chasing Birds- M
Love Dies Young- A

#36

Thomas Rhett: County Again (side A)

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 4G12; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot7

Want It Again N

Growing Up G

What’s Your Country Song G

Where We Grew Up M (already redundant in album on only song 4)

Heaven Right Now M

To the Guys that Date My Girls S (I thought this might be humorous, but it’s saccharine and sexist)

More Time Fishin’ G (good sentiment, and violin & beat are good)

County Again G-N

Put It On Ice Gr-G

Blame It On a Backroad Gr-G

Ya Heard G (nice to hear some higher notes.  Like the harmonica)

#35

The Killers:  Pressure Machine

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 1G-N1; 3N-3; 2M-6; 0S =tot 7

West Hills- N (weird talking prior to music; Echo. Tells a story. Harmonica at the end.)

Quiet Town- Gr (I have to say I’m loving all the harmonica this year. Tells about the opioid epidemic ravaging small towns.  I like the changed sound at the end of the song.)

Terrible Thing- Gr-G (Very quiet song, it’s detailed storytelling reminiscent of the folky Neil Young combined with the gritty subject matter of Bruce Springstein.)

Cody- Gr (Same Neil-Springstein story vibe, stronger guitar and maybe some brighter trumpet(?) too.  It makes the song triumphant and adds glory.)

Sleepwalker- N (A ‘lil pitchy.)

Runaway Horses- M

In the Car Outside- G (catchy.  Sounds a little bit more like their older music, minus anything electronic.)

In Another Life- G-N (So far it seems like the latter half of the album features more of their original sound.  But low-key.  Gone are the danceable hooks and futuristic sound.)

Desperate Things- M (Slow, quiet, but long, very long.)

Pressure Machine- G-Gr (The singing is nice on this one.  As is the strings at the end.  It’s funny The Killers have gone more blue collar, but it doesn’t feel phony or like a put-on.  I think it’s a nice change, though it would be cool if they incorporated more of their old electronic dancy vibes just sparingly, in the future.)

Getting By- N (I hated the random talking between each track.  Mostly bc I was listening at a quiet volume, so I could hear words but couldn’t make them out.  Probably extraneous?  I did like the train sounds to end the album, very fitting.)

#34

Taylor Swift: Fearless Vault

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 1G3; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 1M-3; S = tot 7.5

You All Over Me- G (Marin sounds good in the limited capacity she’s involved.  Lyrically tells a story.  I like the sparing touches of harmonica.)

Mr. Perfectly Fine- Gr-G

We Were Happy- N

That’s When- Gr (Keith Urban and Taylor sound great together.  It’s also really sentimental because they were peak country artists at the time of original release.  I think the lyrics were repurposed for a Kaylor break-up.)

Don’t You M (IDK if these are known to be the original lyrics.  If not, definityly re-worked for Karlie.  If they were as-is–it’s picked for a reason.)

Bye, Bye Baby- G-N

#33

Maroon 5-Jordi

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 4N-4; 1M-3; 1S-6 = tot 8.5

Beautiful Mistakes G (They know how to make a catchy song, and they did.)

Lost Gr. (I like the syncopation, and repetition.  The moag and beat add something without being OTT.  The strong moag along with the echo-singing build a mood to make the song exciting.)

Echo G (The concept of echo where my heart used to be tells the story in a visual, interesting way.  The fast singing in falsetto sounds really good, and catches the ear.  They know repetition makes songs earworms and use that to the max.  The rap breakdown was ugh, and unnecessary.)

Lovesick N

Remedy N

Seasons M

One light N (After awhile, the songs sound formulaic.  Catchy, repetition, falsetto notes, rap breakdown…  We know they can make a catchy earworm, I would like to hear something really out of the box.  And I’d like to hear one that is lyrically deep.)

Convince Me Otherwise Gr-G (The deeper tones sound good, and make this one slightly different.  Like the beat, like the voices together, and love the high notes.  The guitar sounds a bit funk in places, and that’s cool.)

Nobody’s Love N

Can’t Leave You Alone G

Memories A (This gets stuck in my head-EVERY time.  It’s sentimental and current, but also classic.)

Memories Remix S (The rap ruins it.  It isn’t on any key, so it’s jarring in such a lovely tune.)

Button G

Lifestyle G (Not the strongest finish.)

#32

Gorillaz- meanwhile EP:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; Gr; 2Gr-G7; 1G3; N; M; S = tot 10
Meanwhile- G (Deeper voice than I remember! )
Jimmy Jimmy- Gr-G (rap is catchy reminds me of love lockdown. Weird harmonica? They used to use all the time.)
Deja vu- Gr-G (Caribbean vibe but weird accents )

#31

Coldplay- Music of the Spheres

Just…no. The emoji song titles are too much.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N cusp 0.5; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 2Gr8; 1Gr-G3.5; 2G6; 1G-N0.5; 1N-1; 1M-3; 3S-9  =tot 10

planet emoji  N (short, unnecessary)

Higher Power G-N (catchy. Churchy. Repetitive.)

Humankind G (Good build. The random alien words need to go-dumb.)

star emoji S (It’s really annoying this 5 second sound isn’t jus attached to the next track.  Why aren’t artists thinking about streaming at all?)

Let Somebody Go M (good singing, quiet)

heart emoji Gr (This sounds like a hymnal with distorted singing.)

People of the Pride A (Good guitar. Good baseline. Nice orchestral breakdown.)

Biutyful S (WTF with the baby singing.  NO.)

planet emoji S (It messed me up on what song I was ranking because it’s so short.)

My Universe Gr-G (Pandering to a Spanish audience. It’s catchy, yet repetitive. Finishes on some (very 80s backing.)

infinity emoji G ( Cool space sound. Great piano.  Goes into a hymnal sound.)

Coloratura Gr (This reminds me of their older stuff, with more singing than the rest of this album.  I like the instrumental background making it sound more full as well.)

#30
Ed- =:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
1A5; Gr; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 5G-N5; 1N-1; 1N-M-2; 3M-9; S = tot 10.5
Tides- N (Good beat.)
Shivers- G-N (Fake claps. The triple beats are super- catchy.)
First Times- Gr-G (Slow.  Romantic. Sweet.  The strings add a lot.)
Bad Habits- A (I hate how much I love this song.)
Overpass Graffiti- N-M (Same beat.)
The Joker and the Queen- M
Leave Your Life- G-N
Collide-M  (echo autotune is different.)
2step- G (The fast parts sound good.)
Stop the rain- G-N (High note good.)
Love in Slow Motion- G-N
Visiting Hours- M
Sandman- G (Pretty cute lullaby.)
Be right Now- G-N (1980s running beat. Instrumental is good. Singing boring as usual.)
Tides- G (Amped up beat.)

#29

Alan Jackson-Where Have You Gone

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N cusp 0.5; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 4Gr16; 3Gr-G10.5; G; 2G-N1; 4N-4; 4N-M-8; 3M-9: S = tot 11.5

Where Have You Gone- Gr (deeper, more resonate voice than I remember. Old school country backing. Strings sound good.)
Wishful Drinkin’- Gr-G
I Can be that Something- N
Where that Cottonwood Grows- Gr (it’s like a more updated version of Chattahoochee.  I think it might be the same underlying melody even. Not an awesome bc it wasn’t amped up enough.)
Way Down in My Whiskey- Gr-G  (slow. Very old-timey outlaw country ballad.)
Things That Matter- N (slow. Detailed story.)
Livin’ on Empty- Gr (what a relief to hear something a bit more upbeat!  Good strings.)
You’ll Always be My Baby (for daughter’s wedding)- M
Where Her Heart ha Always Been (Mama’s funeral)- N-M
The Boot- M
Back- A (thank goodness a fast one! Fast poems sound great. Catchy. This is really where AJ shines. Clever, fast, lyrics, with some sass.)
Write it in Red- N-M
So Late So Soon- N
This Heart of Mine- N-M
A Man Who Never Cries- N (churchy. Good fiddle.)
Chain- G-N
I was Tequila- Gr-G (interesting lyrics. Nice use of pause. Instrumentals are waltz during verse and old country on bridge.)
I Do (written for daughters weddings)- M
That’s the Way Love Goes (tribute to Merle Haggard)- N-M (instruments sound nice.)
Beer:10- Gr (Finally another fast one! Some parts sound like the’didn’t even know her name’ tune.)
The Older I Get- G-N (Nice strings throughout the album. But too many slow songs )

#28

Melissa Etheridge- One Way Out

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1A-Gr4.5; Gr4; 2Gr-G7; G; 4G-N4; 1Gr-S -1; 1N-1; M; 1S-6 = tot 11.5

One Way Out Gr-G (harmonica. Bluesy flavor)

As Cool as You Try Gr-S (terrible singing, good concept. Like the backing.)

I’m No Angel Myself S (her voice is very degraded and pitchy.)

For the Last Time A-Gr (like the speaking intro & bluesy instrumental. The rough singing actually fits the blues tradition. Frenzied at end.)

Save Myself G-N

That Would be Me G-N nice rock backing. Harmonica sets the mood.

Wild Wild Wild G-N (I think this is a reboot of an older song?  More rock. There’s a lot of repetition.)

You Have No Idea- live G-N (sounds very classic ME.  It’s a lesbian sex song, so that’s always a hit with this audience. Too many sh la la. and they end up pitchy/off key. But after that the notes are good, so it kinda makes up for it?)

Life Goes On- live Gr-G (like the lyrics and crowd sounds. Good telling of lesbian struggle. Terrible awful singing.)

#27

Jason Aldean- Macon:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G6; 5N-5; M; S = tot 12
After You- N
Over You Again- N (seems formulaic.)
That’s What Tequila Dose- N  (slow)
Small Town Small- G (I like the pro small business sentiment.)
If I didn’t love you- Gr-G (Carrie? She brings the notes always!  Also, I hate when duets aren’t credited–she was a whole-ass co-writer!)
Story for another Glass- Gr-G
Heaven- Gr Country cover of Brian Adams? It’s a nice song. Identical to the original, I think . Twang is a lot.)
The Bar Doesn’t Work Anymore- N (the titles are so promising and I want to love these songs. But there’s really nothing special, interesting, spectacular…)
The Sad Songs- G (the fast part moves this up a level.)
Watching You Love Me- N (Another cover?)
Lives (not released in 2021, not eligible.)

#26

The Wallflowers-Exit Wounds

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 3Gr-G10.5; 2G6; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1N-M-2; 0M; 0S =tot 14.5

Maybe Your Heart’s Not in it No More N

Roots and Wings G-N

I Hear the Ocean (When I Wanna Hear Trains) G

The Drive Bar In My Heart G

Darlin’ Hold On N (Duet with a lady that has a smoker voice.  Repetitive.)

Move the River Gr-G (More of their typical sound.  Lyrics are more detailed.  Like the pre-chorus instrumentals.)

I’ll Let You Down G-N (But Will Not Give You Up)

Wrong End of a Spear N-M (Don’t like the talk-singing, even if it’s reminiscent of his dad. The song drags on without much excitement.)

Who’s that Man Walking ‘Round My Garden Gr-G (I like the faster pace.)

The Daylight Between Us G-Gr (Nice little musical interludes, catchy.)

#25

Aimee Mann- Queens of the Summer Hotel:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 3Gr12; 6G18; N; 1N-M-2; 4M-12; S = tot 16

You Fall- M (Flute.)

Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath- G (A lot of orchestral touches. Bridge(?) has a waltz beat.)

Give Me Fifteen- Gr (I like the instrument drums on the end of phrases.  I like that the album is telling a story.  The strings are fun toward the end.)

At the Frick Museum- M

Home by Now- G (Lovely piano backing. If you lived here you’d be home by now, is a good lyric.)

Checks- M (I seriously don’t understand why interludes have come back this year?  In the age of streaming?)

Little Chameleon- G (The irregular tempo makes this one different and distinguishable.  I also think I hear a cello?  The deep sounds great. Pretty short though…)

You Don’t Have the Room- N-M

Suicide is Murder-  G (I’m liking the piano. And the continuation of a story through the songs.)

You Could Have been a Roosevelt- Gr (It’s nice to hear someone that did some really good things get glorified, instead of just the most beautiful and wealthy (Kennedys)).

Burn It Out-  G (The singing is right on pitch.  Instrumentals are pleasing.)

In Mexico-  Gr (Another waltz tempo.  The 2nd voice sounds rich and goes with it well.  I love the quiet, but circusy piano!  And how it beaks down to end the song.)

Check (reprise)-  G (Nice cello and plucking.  Short, but not obnoxiously.)

You’re Lost- M

I See You- N

#23
Modest Mouse- The Golden Casket:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
1A5; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G6; 1G-N1; 4N-4; 1M-3; S =tot 16
Fuck Your Acid trip- Gr (great running beat! Scary sounding voice )
We Are Between- N
We’re Lucky- G  (appreciate what you have? The brass is unique and good. Rounds sound good.)
Walking and Running- Gr-G (Talk-sing reminiscent of their past sound. The shouts in the chorus is Exciting.)
Wooden Soldiers- N-G (depressing beat, rough singing. I do like high pitched xylophone sounds and echoing sound . Strings at the end and civil war drum beat are strong.)
Transmitting Receiving- M (Sounds muddy.)
The Sun Hasn’t Left- N
Lace Your Shoes- N (Deep and dark singing and backing. Low register work is good.  Kinda catchy though repetitive.)
Never Fuck a Spider on a Fly- G (Sounds like classic them. Shouty and a bit jokey. )
Leave a Light on- G-Gr (beat is sweet.)
Japanese Trees- A (the fast lyrics!)
Back to the Middle- N (I like the changing speed. Why does the guitar sound so muddy?)
#22
Rod Stewart- The Tears of Hercules: 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4Gr-G14; G; 2G-N2; 1N-1; M; 2S-12 = tot 16.5
One More Time- Gr-G (the string backing sounds good and goes with it. Not jarring like you might think. And when the strings get louder it’s even better.)
Gabriella- Gr-G (A disco instrumental with Abba-sounding backing. Chorus is fuller. Hints of bright brass are a positive addition. Funky break. I’m impressed with Rod stepping out of the box.)
All My Days- A (lyrically similar to his past stuff. There is Spanish-flair though. Mexicana brass. Morracca backing. I like the new flavor. It’s Jimmy Buffet, but more west.)
Some Kind of Wonderful- G-N (Good cover. More Amped up.)
Born to Boogie- G-N (Catchy. Sounds more classic rod.)
Kookakioarumba- S (the electric sounds make it interesting. The brass adds brightness. Not in love with the lyrics 😬 it gets worse- sex noises 😱😱😱)
I Can’t Imagine- Gr (romantic lyrics. Tambourine! Bright sounding.)
The Tears of Hercules- S (bad voice for a ballad. Weird Renfest music.)
Hold On- N (hymn with choral backing.)
Precious Memories- A-Gr (1950s barbershop quartet sounds. Of the time instrumentals.)
These are My People- Gr-G (A fucking bagpipe?! I like the inclusion of more experimental instruments to take this out of the realm of dentist songs or adult contemporary. Also like the sentiment of going home to ‘your people’ I feel like that in Montana.)
Touchline- Gr-G (Tells a very detailed story. Sentimental. A positive cats in the cradle.)
#21
Anderson East- Maybe We Never Die:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 2Gr8; 3Gr-G10.5; 2G6; 2G-N2; 2N-2; M; 1S-6 = tot 18.5
Maybe We Never Die- G-N (always love high notes even if they’re draped in autotune.  Good strings. Keyboard is welcome.)
Lights On- G (horns and xylophone sparkle s are both nice touches.)
Madelyn- G-N
Drugs- Gr (funky 70s sound. Flute? Don’t love the lyrics, but a lot was happening in this song which made it interesting.)
I Hate You- Gr-G (strong, emotive singing. A touch of xylophone.)
Hood of My Car- S (sex on a car. Complete with sex-moan sounding phonemes. 😬)
Falling- Gr (70s sound. Falsetto. Prince-inspired bridge and instrumentation.)
Jet Black Pontiac- N
Like Nothing Ever Happened- N (Beautiful piano. Repetitive lyrics.)
If You Really Love Me- Gr-G (backing music is nice. Some good higher notes. Very orchestral.)
Just You and I- G
Interstellar Outer Space- Gr-G (sounds best when he hits notes and sings with passion. There’s only a hint of that here. There’s also hints of xylophone and sparing choral backing. I’d like to hear this faster and more upbeat.)

#20

Florida Georgia Line- Life Rolls On

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

4awesome20; 0Great; 6Good18; 1G-N cusp1; 3Neutral-3; 1Meh-3; 2Skip-12 =tot21

Long Live- G
Life Looks Good- G
Countryside- N
Always Gonna Love You- N
I Love My Country- N
Hard to Get to Heaven- G
Long Time Comin’- G
Interlude- S (negligable)
Ain’t Worried Bout It- N-G cusp
Beer:30- A
New Truck- S (pandering; repetitive)
Eyes Closed- G
Second Guessing [Songland]- A (rated prior to seeing it’s from 1 of my fave shows)
Good to Me- A
U.S. Stronger- M
Life Rolls On- A (like the fast parts)
Lil Bit- G

#19
Blake Shelton-Body Language:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 3G9; 1G-N1; 4N-4; M; S = tot 21
Minimum Wage- Gr (I love the down to Earth sentiment.  Love is worth more than money, and keeping up with the Joneses is stress, not happiness.)
Body Language- N
Happy Anywhere- Gr-G (duet with Gwen. She is SUCH a cool girl. Idk why she always mirrors her boyfriends. They sound good together though. Nice plucking. Banjo?)
Now I Don’t- Gr (rough voice. Ohhh the shade.)
Monday Mornin’ Missin’ You- G-N (A drinking song. A break up song.)
Corn- N (I like the cheeky instrumentals. But I’m not sure about singing about corn. Beer? Yes. Jeans? Maybe. But feedstuffs Might be a bridge too far.)
Makin’ it up as You Go- N (nothing really special.)
Watcha Doin’ Tomorrow- N
The Girl Can’t Help It- G
The Flow- Gr-G (the faster singing is catchy.)
Neon Time- G (you know how much I love the kindergarten instruments.)
Bible Verses- G ( It’s slow and pleasant. Rectifying lifestyle and religion. I like it for marginalized people, but it’s a little hard to take a rich, white, male celebrity seriously…)

#18

Adele-30

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 2Gr8; 3G9;  1A to M-S split0.25; 1N-1; 1M-3; 1S-6 = tot 21.75

Strangers by Nature N (sounds circa 1937 swing, with Snow White stuff at the end)

Easy On Me A (showcases her beautiful singing)

My Little Love S (I can’t stand when artists insert their kids on the track, and there a lot of talking clips on this. The feelings are real, and powerful, but I’d like to hear them written within lyrics, not just taped talking.)

Cry Your Heart Out G (The distortion sounds good and is unique in that it’s still singing, not obscuring bad singing.  The syncopation made the song interesting.)

Oh My God Gr (catchy, the claps are natural and not too forced or out of place)

Can I Get It G (the whistling is…  It’s OK.  I didn’t expect it from an Adele song, and it’s good for the album, as it differentiates it.)

I Drink Wine A-Gr (note-I scored this before knowing the title.  I like that it tells a story and features notes.  I do NOT like that I can hear shimmer in Adele’s voice, probably from her smoking.  What a fucking stupid habit for a singer to have! Oh goddamn it–more talking?  That took it down a level for me.)

All Night Parking G (I especially liked the piano, it transported me to a jazzy wine bar).

Woman Like Me M

Hold On Gr (the backing chorus does a lot to make this song soulful and bigger in the room.  This is Adele’s sweet spot, in my opinion.  She sounds amazing fronting a churchy-sounding choir.)

To be Loved 0.25 (best singing technique on the album, but the song itself was boring af.  So I split the difference between A =5 and M-S cusp =-4.5)

Love is a Game A (this loops back to the tone and style of the first song.  There is all the hitting of the rough notes, Adele is known for, a choir that brings out her vibe so well, and a flute.  There is also a motown-flavor to the brass backing and falsetto repeated phrases.  It’s a good finish to the album.)

#17

Lord Huron-Long Lost

I super like the vibe of this album, even if it’s kind of low-key and doesn’t exactly spark the enthusiasm of a series of awesome songs.  The album is cohesive and has technical skill throughout.  This album isn’t exciting on first listen, but it’s the type of album where the complexities become more and more clear with every listen.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 4Gr16; 5G15; 1G-N1; 2N-2; 2M-6; 1S-6 =tot36.5-14 = tot 22.5

The Moon Doesn’t Mind G-N (I love the cowboy on a lonely night ride sound to the singing and guitar, but in the age of streaming, we don’t need a 10sec intro song.)

Mine Forever A-Gr (They do such a good job of making the beat of the song similar to a horse’s gait, it just screams cowboy. The strings are such a welcome and pleasant surprise.  I also like the echoed singing.)

(One Helluva Performer) S (I guess I don’t understand the interludes.  I remember them from physical CDs in the 1990s, but the whole listening experience has changed, so they’re just extras now.  And they can’t stand alone which is a problem. So it’s a skip because it’s unnecessary, not because it’s bad).

Love Me Like You Used To G

Meet Me in the City Gr-G (The vibrato singing is just so skillful.  And I like the swirling instrumentals along with the plodding horse beat.  The use of orchestral strings is bringing a lot to the table and filling out the sound without removing the lonely cowboy vibe.)

(Sing for Us Tonight) N (it’s just 1 line so it’s unobtrusive.  I guess I would like these interludes better if they were attached to the following track.  Because I know they’re either going to be weird alone, or get skipped in a shuffle).

Long Lost Gr-G (This singing reminds me of Strange Trails album which I really loved.  The low singing tones do a lot for the song, and differentiate it from the rest of the album.  It’s a catchy one also.)

Twenty Long Years G

Drops in the Lake G (Sounds really good when the backing instrumentals hit some higher notes.  I also like how the instrumentals sound haunting and really take your mind to a location.  Despite being calm, this album is very conducive to bringing a visual message to the listener.)

Where Did the Time Go M

Not Dead Yet G (A more upbeat song is welcome. The guitar makes me excited.)

(Deep Down Inside Ya) M

I Lied Gr-G (The harmonies are beautiful.  I like the lyrics, they tell a surprising story.  Showing unexpected releif at the dissolution of a relationship made the song unique.  I enjoyed how the instrumentals told the story for a whole phrase.  It was like the lyrics said it in English, then the instruments conveyed it through feelings.  The build up was exciting at the end.)

At Sea G (I like how this is a continuation of the story told in the prior song.  After the break-up, he is independent, yet lonely.  The flair of a Hawaiian/Calypso sound fits just right with a sort of rebound time in a person’s life.  They made the instruments sound sparkly then like water.  The bells sound reminds me of spurs.  It blends so seamlessly into the final song that I didn’t know it happened.)

What Do it Mean Gr-G (I only knew this was the next song, because it builds to sound triumphant.  The final interlude is catchy, and feels like the heroic moment after a shoot-out or something.  It sounds really good the way the vocals are echoing.  And there are percussive elements that remind me of snakes in the desert, the calls of bugs, and horse footsteps.  There are just so many small elements in the music that lend to visualization.)

Time’s Blur N (It adds finality and closes the album in a way that makes sense).

#16

Dropkick Murphys-Turn Up That Dial

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 4Great16; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 3Neutral-3; 0Meh; 0Skip =tot 23

Turn Up That Dial N

L-EE B-O-Y cusp of N-G

Middle Finger G

Queen of Suffolk County G

Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding N

H.B.D.M.F. Gr

Good As Gold Gr

Smash Shit Up Gr

Chosen Few Gr

City By the Sea G

I Wish You Were Here N

#15

Brandi Carlile: In These Silent Days

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N to N cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 2A-Gr9; 0Gr; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 1G-N1; 1G-N to N cusp 0; 0N; 0M; 0S = tot 23.5

Right On Time A-Gr (Those notes!  It’s a good opener for the performance and excitement, but also the beginning of the album’s story.)

You and Me on the Rock N-G

This Time Tomorrow G

Broken Horses A

Letter to the Past G-N to N (The metaphor bothers me.)

Mama Werewolf A-Gr (I just know this will be wildly popular with Brandi’s fans .  I like it and appreciate the symbols and the singing, but it doesn’t make me enthusiastic like a true awesome should.)

When You’re Wrong G (This 1 tells a complete story. It’s brutal.)

Stay Gentle G (Good sentiment.  Don’t think I missed that call-out to (straight) Evangeline who loves Coyote, ‘Stay wild’)

Sinners Saints & Fools A

Throwing Good After Bad G-Gr  (Depressing. Great singing. Bleak.)

#14

Twenty-One Pilots- Scaled and Icy:

It’s weird-I couldn’t tell if this was a new album, or if it was just older songs remixed.  And adding livestreams to the thing made it unruly and long.  I had to look up if this album was in fact new after I had listened to it.  So that’s not great.  The album wasn’t memorable, unique, or cohesive.  It did, in fact, sound like a handful of songs from various albums thrown together in haphazard manner.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N to N cusp 0; A to S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 8G24; 3G-N3; 1A-S-1; 4N0; M-3; 1S-6 = tot 51

23 songs, but are the same so I’m only judging the 11 brand new songs.

A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 3N-3; M; S = tot 24

Good Day G (It doesn’t really sound like the same band. Not a heavy opener, which would have been better. It’s a pleasant song.)

Choker G (More electronic sounding, but subdued.  Talk rap was a relief to hear, bc I finally knew what band this was.)

Shy Away G (Catchy beat. The end is briefly great, the rest is repetitive and forgettable.)

The Outside A-Gr (Syncopated like they did before, so it is catchy.  Some electronic flair.  Probably the best song to this point.  Just enough talk-rap to satisfy.)

Saturday G (Catchy.)

Never Take It N (I’m not really a fan of fake claps, as it gives thinks a superficial, 80s vibe.  The lyrics are a bit heavier than the lightness of the instrumentals conveys.)

Mulberry Street Gr (This just isn’t as inventive or unique as their first albums.  But there are hints of that older stuff, like the shouted, talk-lyric phrasing, and the slower words. This is like them, but if they took an Ambien before playing, not as high energy, or clickin’.)

Formidable G (The beat is nice on this one.)

Bounce Man N (I don’t care for that “‘ol lady” stuff.)

No Chances Gr-G (OK, this album is too long already.  But some electronic unique noises were very welcome, as was the talk-rapping they’re known for.  I love the darker/deep aspects of this one, it reminds me of like, living in a 1984, doing work watched by robots, vibe.)

Redecorate N (I guess I wasn’t listening super-closely, but is there suicide ideology in this one?  It’s a bummer, either way.)

Choker/Stressed Out/Migraine/Morph/Holding On to You G (talk rap. Weird transition. Last 1 a little screamy. Interesting version of stressed.  Didn’t like 3rd song w/crowd)

Mulberry Street (livesteam)- G-N

Lane Boy/Redecorate/Chlorine G-N (Like the rapping best so far on album.   Choppy transition)

Shy Away (livesteam) G (hate scream but that background instrumental)

The Outside (livesteam)- G-Gr (It’s such a fun rap.  Off key for brief moments of crowd-work.)

Heathens/Trees/Saturday/Level of Concern/Ride/Car Radio A-Gr (like this low-key version. Quiet but not boring.  Fun to hear Heathens acoustic.  Smooth transition to Trees-a true hybrid.)

Jumpsuit/heavydirtysoul- A-S (Fast lyrics sound great!  But I’m pretty sure this is not new material.  Exciting. Good guitar, but it sounds muddy.  The screaming kills it for me.)
Sat/level of concern-  (IDK why it’s a medley when they are played as completely different songs. 1st was G. 2nd the horn is a neat addition Gr. Ride also transitions as completely different songs. Went from depressing to screamy. S)
Never take it Livestream-N
Level of concern- G-N (Like the jazz beat. Like the sparse baking. Nice pause. Like lower key rapping.)
#13
Liz Phair- Soberish:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1M-3; S = tot 25
Spanish Doors- Gr (The rounds sound awesome, and the layered sound is nice.)
The Game- G (Pleasant singing and moderately catchy.)
Hey Lou- N (The singing sound “off” but intentionally so, is it in a minor key?  The pause was different and tricked me.)
In There- N
Good Side- G-N (The voice sounds multi-dimensional but not exactly layered.)
Sheridan Road- M (Quiet.  Missable.)
Ba Ba Ba- A-Gr (Catchy, held notes sound good.  Fast part is interesting.  More rounds)
Soberish- G
Soul Sucker- G-N (The autotuned ending fast, layered part is the best part)
Lonely Street- G (The higher key does a lot for the poetry, very emotive.)
Dosage- G (This one reminded me of a 1990s rom-com movie montage.  Complete with na nas.)
Bad Kitty- Gr-G (The fast list is the best part of this song. )
Rain Scene- G (Just short rain sound to end.)

#12

Lady Gaga-[anniversary; remix;] Love for Sale

OK, I was hard on ‘ol Tony Bennett throughout my review because it was difficult to hit the right pitch, sustain notes, and he had some jitter and shimmer.  I thought it was same sexism stuff, overlooking the men’s vocal faults while being hyper-critical of women’s voices (and that’s still a thing). But I found out later he has Alzheimer’s which can do all those things to your voice.  So I’m not going to rewrite every review, but just know I’m not a total asshole.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; S A-Gr cusp to S -0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 3Gr12; 3G9; 2G-N2; 1A-Gr cusp to S-0.75; N; M; 1S-6 = tot 25.75

It’s De-Lovely Gr (Old singing style, fits the 1930s swing style.  A lot of jazzy notes.  They sound good together.)

Night and Day G (She does such a good job singing in that old timey way without being obviously over the top or cringe (and very good enunciation).  He sounds a little pitchy, and his voice has aged.  The backing music is lovely.  The piano interlude sounds good, as does the last high note.)

Love for Sale A-Gr to S (He sounds like Shit on this one-shouldn’t let him sing alone, especially longer phrases.  OH my gosh-smile becomes a smirk! Where have I heard that before? TS.  Gaga is very on-point in the singing style and she really carries the tune.  The brass sounds great, and is the best thing about this song.)

Do I Love You G-N (It’s just a quiet little song with Lady Gaga solo.  Her singing sounds nice, but instrumentals are sparse, and not a lot goes on in the sing.)

I’ve Got You Under My Skin Gr (This has a very clean swing beat & tune.  The harmonies are on-point in this one.)

I Concentrate on You G (Some flute along with some nice brass backing.  I was serious about not letting Bennett sing alone for too long, his voice is not on pitch.  Gaga really hits her sections though.  And ending on high flute notes?!)

I Get a Kick Out of You G

So In Love S (He sounds terrible, terrible!)

Let’s Do It A (These are such fun lyrics and Lady Gaga sounds just the right way technically, and brings a cheekiness to it.  Taylor is better at pulling off cheeky, but Gaga’s got that high note in the end.)

Dream Dancing G-N (I like the jazzy drums, especially.  This feels like a good wine bar soundtrack.  It’s more background music though, not super-special.)

Just One of Those Things Gr (Very swing.)

You’re the Top Gr-A (Nice harmonies.  I like the playful drums. That last note!)

#11

Taylor Swift:  Red Vault

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; A-G cusp 4; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 1A-G4; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; G; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 1M-3; S = tot 26.5

Nothing New- Gr-G (Repeated motifs of everything at 18, nothing at 22.  “…meet her.”)

Message in a Bottle- N (It’s a fun-vibe with some echo and 80s flair.  Seems more like a 1989 sound though…  It’s a bit flat, and repetitive, I can see why it was cut, actually.)

I Bet You Think About Me- A (It opens sounding both country and cheeky, which is my favorite Taylor, honestly.  Also, I can tell this song was at least modified for Karlie.  Do you hear that ‘Betty’ harmonica? The duet sounds natural and nice.  I really don’t like how TS tries to play it off like she grew up on an agricultural farm though–her family was always loaded *eye roll*  It’s cool how she’s calling out gold-digging so harshly though-I love a feisty-Tay!!!)

Babe- A Nobody can convince me this song is not entirely for, or re-purposed recently for Karlie.  It’s got some super-pointed lyrics that pertain to the situation.)

Forever Winter Gr-G

Run- M (Ed manages to make me fall asleep with boredom every time he sings.  I don’t get it?)

Ronan- Gr (What a very sad song.  It’s a very detailed story.)

The Very First Night- G-N (Um. This rhyme scheme is SO gay.  “her” is most definitely the word that fits.)

Better Man A-Gr (Good harmony. Bitter.)

All Too Well (10 Minute Version) A-G cusp (I think the new Kaylor lyrics make the song less boring for me. I thought it was super overrated before but now there’s a little something for the Gaylors. The singing is better too. And I do like the different cadence near the actress part now.)

#10

Buckcherry- Hellbound:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 3Gr12; 2Gr-G7; G; 1G-N1; 2N-2; M; S = tot 27.5

54321- A-Gr (A bit loud at times, but high energy to start the album.)

So Hott-Gr (The guitar runs are catchy.  The beat is amped up.)

Hellbound- Gr-G (base makes it exciting and edgy. Guitar breakdown is rockin’.)
Gun- G-N (I never thought I would say 2021 is the year of the harmonica, but here we are.)
No More Lies- N
Here I Come- Gr (I don’t like all the yelling but the fast drums and faster guitar is nice! Explosion is last sound.)
Junk- N (instrumental break is energetic.)
Wasting No More Time- Gr (It’s a relief to hear more of a singing song vs. yelling. Catchy. Rounds and harmonies sound real good.)
The Way- A (I like the deeper lyrics. A love song is a good change of pace. The playing is sweeter and a bit anthemic.)
Barracade- Gr-G (Catchy. The triple guitar notes sound great.)

#9

Barenaked Ladies- Detour de Force:

This is another album that would have benefitted from a different track order.  Two of the most upbeat, examples of their former work were right at the beginning and in a row.  And two of their quieter, more subtly great songs were next to each other to close the album.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 2A-Gr9; Gr; 3Gr-G10.5; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1N-M-2; M; S = tot 29.5

Flip- G (Upbeat, still their clever, fast-singing, as is their signature.  Still got that catchy hook.)

Good Life- G (I like that this album has a positive vibe, so far, without being too saccharine or over the top.  There is a rap interlude, and it’s good.)

New Disaster- Gr-G (I love that they are able to use SAT words and still sound natural in songs.  The fast part reminds me of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ one of my fave songs.)

Big Back Yard- G-N (As a Millennial, I can get behind this dream-of wanting a home.  Good piano interlude.)

Live Well- N (The singing style reminds me of Neil Young.)

Flat Earth-  Gr-G (The background music sounds fun-z-fun.  The chorus has a fun na-na-na-na-na tune.)

Here Together- N

Roll Out- Gr-G (Another upbeat song is welcome.  I like the ‘hey’ and the Backstreet Boys call out.  The drive around in circles is neat, because the lyric becomes visual with repitition.)

Bylaw- G (I like the 1950s rock and roll sound of the verse-very throw-back. Weird end.)

God Forbid- G-N

Paul Chambers- N-M (It doesn’t sound like them at all.  Low key and jazzy, and different, softer singing.)

The National Park- G (I like the 70s instrument snippets, and piano scales.  The end reminds me of being in a forest, or hearing an echo in nature.)

Man Made Lake- A-Gr (Good syncopation.  Catchy.  Visual lyrics.  The background sounds like stars outside might.)

Internal Dynamo- A-Gr (The beginning has kind of a western feel.  Low-register singing sounds great.  Music becomes more upbeat, with rougher singing.  Then reverts back.  Expertly changes singing, instrumentals, and vibe of song without being all over the place.)

#8
Joe Bonamessa- Time Clocks:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
3A15; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 1G-N1; 2N-2; M; S = tot 29.5
Pilgrimage- N (too short)
Notches- A (Excellent beat, such a dancy song!)
The Heart That Never Waits- Gr  (Chorus sounds full. Bluesy guitar. Rocking.)
Time Clocks- A-Gr (Less beat, more lyrically driven. Backing chorus. Slight epic. Driving beat and baseline at end are nice. Guitar really gets goin toward real end.)
Questions and Answers- A (In the tradition of blues. Instrumental tells a story.)
Mind’s Eye- Gr-G (Quieter song. Powerful singing w/chorus backing. Darker instrumental r on bridge.)
Curtain Call- A (Exciting opening. Like TSO + beats antique. The bass! Instrumental fragments sound so good and get me amped up.)
The Loyal Kind- Gr-G (Flute? Sounds like 80s adult contemporary but w/choral backing and heavier guitar. End instrumental is really catchy.)
Hanging on a Loser- G-N
Known Unknowns- Gr-G.  (Guitar solo on the bridge bring it up 1.5 levels ! Piano smashing!)
find this–>12 A. fast guitar fingering interludes. True blues. Put this on guitar heroes. Oran keyboard always reminds me of Nothing but Trouble.

#7

Deathcab for Cutie-The Photo Album (did not include duplicate songs in alternate versions)

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 3Gr12; 1Gr-G3.5; 6G24; 1G-N1; 3N-3; 1S-6 = tot 31.5

Steadier Footing N

A Movie Script Ending M

We Laugh Indoors G-N

Information Travels Faster G

Why You’d Want to Live Here Gr

Blacking Our the Friction Gr-G

I Was a Kaleidoscope N

Styrofoam Plates Gr

Coney Island G

Debate Exposes Doubt Gr

20th Century Towers S (discordant, slow, not a bunch of instrumentals)

All Is Full of Love (a lot of random drumming) G

Stability G (waltz tune)

Gridlock Caravans G

I Wanna be Adored- live N

Corny Island- Studio Outtake G

#6

Natalie Imbruglia- Firebird:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 2Gr8; 5Gr-G17.5; 2G6; 4N-4; M; S =tot 32.5
Build it Better- G (Sounds like an adult, more mature voice. Catchy.)
Nothing Missing- N (Sounds like Britney in early days when she sang.)
What it Feels Like- N (Adult contemporary with 80s flair.)
On My Way- Gr (Catchy.  Motivation and positivity to be your own person.)
Maybe It’s Great- Gr-G (Voice too thin. It seems like a bitter song in the lyrics, which you know I love. Lots of 80s touches: beat, na nananaaa backing, speeding up, slow w/less in parts. Could be a Tiffany song.)
Just Like Old Times- A (Relatable lyrics. Reminiscent of an old relationship. Transitioning to be without that person. Wondering if they miss you too.)
When You Love Too Much- Gr (ballad. Very sweetly sung. Nice lyrics.)
Not Sorry- Gr-G (Catchy and biter chorus. ‘ha!’ call out.)
Human Touch- N (Too slow and plain for me.)
Change of Heart- N (slow and quiet. Reminds me of Kandi Moore a little.)
Invisible Things- Gr-G (Nice piano. Catchy. Good sentiment.)
Dive to the Deep- Gr-G (Good harmonies. Piano on bridge is nice. Catchy. Great symbolism.)
River- Gr-G (Catchy. Good symbolic lyrics. The repetition reminds me of a river flowing.)
Firebird- G (Stripped down piano driven. Longing singing with small harmony. Slightly haunting.)

#5

Daughtry-Dearly Beloved

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; A-N cusp 2; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 3Gr-G10.5; 1G3; 1A-N2; 2G-N2; 1N-1; 1N-M-2; 0M; 0S =tot 33

Desperation- G (heavier than I remember.)
World on Fire- Gr-G
Heavy is the Crown- Gr. (Kind of acoustic echo sound that really captures their signature sound. Ending gets more urgent and serious)
Changes are Coming- Gr-G. (guitar solo is gr. The scream/passionate lyrics are just the max I like. Not too much.)
Dearly beloved- G-N (Catchy but repetitive)
Cry for Help- G-N
Asylum- A-Gr (Exciting start! Love the beat/bass?  Pressed!)
Evil- Gr-G
The Victim- A (I like the sentiment. Catchy . Rocking. Guitar solo w/ squeaks and fast! Choral echo lyrics drive point home.)
Somebody- A-N (Good high notes towards end . boring to that point.)
Call You Mine- N-M (A bit much. Lyrics too saccharine to be disingenuous.)
Lioness- N (Powerful singing and strong heavy playing but kinda plain and cliché? Like the last lyric best in whole song.)
Break into my heart- A  (I like the changing seed of beginning lyrics. End of phrases are faster. Nice stripped down piano. Feels earnest. Good hitting of notes. Slow but it sounds beautiful and honest and passionate in a softer way)

XXXX

Mika-French language-live [this doesn’t count toward the finals, bc I think all of these songs were already out.  It’s a fun listen though.]

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

6awesome30; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 1Meh-3; 1Skip-6 = tot 33

Grace Kelly- A (damn that falsetto!)
Toy Boy- N
Over My Shoulder- G
Ice Cream- G
Without Her- M
Last Party- N
Origin of Love- A
Underwater- G
Lollipop- A
Good Guys- A
Elle De Mit- G
Les Baisers Perdus- S
Tomorrow- G
Love Today- A
Relax, Take It Easy- N
Happy Ending- A

#4

Olivia Rodrigo-Sour

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 4Gr-G14; 1G3; 1G-N1; 0N; 1G-M0; 0M; 0S = tot =35

brutal A-Gr (Love the fast singing and relatable lyrics. The beat and guitar are nice. The more screamy singing is fun and edgy.)

traitor  Gr-G (The singing sounds nearly identical to Billie Eileish, in my opinion.  The lyrics are so relatable for a toxic relationship & break up.  Manipulative partner gaslighting about emotionally cheating.  Good high notes, but a pretty quiet song.)

drivers license Gr-G (Passionate. Good piano.)

1step forward, 3 steps back G-Gr (A quiet little song. Beautiful piano.  This is so relatable of a feeling.  The breakup stuff resonates hard)

deja vu G-Gr (cool zinging 80s guitar/synth(?) sound in chorus accents.  This must be the song Taylor got some credit for, bc the fast singing with the screaming does remind me of the Lover album. Bitter lyrics. Slow.)

good 4 u Gr-A (I like the fast and sort of punk sound.  This must be the one Paramore got some credit for, bc it does sound kind of like them.  I love the anger in this song, and the harder rock.  A catchy chorus, bitter, punky. Good instrumental break. Rocking.)

enough for you Gr (very emotive. Very pretty song, and fuck this guy.  The hurt and anger are conveyed clearly.)

happier N-G

jealousy, jealousy Gr (I like the beat, and I like how the singing becomes conversational.  Catchy chorus. Love the breakdown.)

favorite crime G

hope ur ok M-G (Tells a full story. Too slow and down though.)

#3

OneRepulibic-Human

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 3Gr-G10.5; 3G9; 1GN1; 2N-2; 1NM-2; 0M; 0S = tot 43.5

Run G (I like the fast speed already!)

Distance Gr-G

Someday Gr (Catchy and a good message. The instrumentals sound like Pachelbel’s Cannon, one of my favorite songs of ever).

Didn’t I A-Gr (repeated didn’t Is are very catchy.)

Rescue A-Gr (catchy! I like the sparse chorus. The high notes convey emotion & desperation)

Savior N (it blends in and you miss it)

Take Care of You N (It’s OK, the high notes are good as always, but the song isn’t unique enough, backing is very full).

Forgot About You G (I love a bitter song but this is very repetitive)

Somebody to Love A (Songland was my favorite.  I dropped Hulu when they didn’t do another season.  This song is catchy and soaring and Ryan Tedder’s voice is showcased perfectly.)

Wanted G-N

Take It Out On Me N-M

Better Days A (Very on-brand.  It’s catchy, there’s an uplifting message, Ryan’s voice sounds amazing.)

Wild Life Gr (The high notes really get me every time. Big song, very full sound.)

Ships + Tides Gr-G (beautiful orchestral background matches the singing tone.)

Someday- Acoustic Gr-G

Lose Somebody G

#2

Lauren Alaina-Sitting Pretty on Top of the World

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

5A25; 3Gr12; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 2N-2; 1M-3 = tot 44.5

It Was Me G

If the World was a Small Town G (Good strings. Good ind exercise.)

Getting Good A (Is this a song from last yr? Love it as a duet!)

Same Story, Different Saturday Night A (This is the same as last year too?  Kinda cheating, but I think there are new songs as well.  I’ll have to check, because if I’ve already ranked all of these, this album doesn’t count because it was already released in EPs last year).

On Top of the World A

Run A (I like all the different things that run.  I like the freedom of the song.  It’s a very visual song.  The backing music/beat reminds me of her first ever single that attracted me to her music in the first place. There is a hopefulness in it that sounds motivating and soothing simultaneously.)

What Do You Think Of? Gr (Good singing.)

I’m Not Sad Anymore A (They sound good together. Notes!)

Getting Over Him Gr (Catchy. Notes.)

Good Ole Boy M (It’s not as clever as she was hoping.)

When the Party’s Over Gr (I like a song about setting boundaries. Especially when thee are high notes involved)

You Ain’t a Cowboy Gr-G (I like how she’s saying being shitty doesn’t make you a cowboy.)

Goodbye Street N

Written in the Bar N

Change My Mind G (It’s strong singing, but it’s not saying anything super-different.  I’d like the same tune and notes, but more meaningful or unique lyrics.  Not a great closer.)

#1

Demi Lovato- Dancing with the Devil…The Art of Starting Over:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

6A30; 2A-Gr9; 4Gr16; 4G12; 1G-N1; 4N-4; M; 1S-6 = tot 58

Anyone- Gr (This recoding sounds like a live, but isn’t marked that way?  She always sings beautifully, but this version is a tad pitchy.  But per the usual-whoa those notes!)

Dancing with the devil- A (Very relatable lyrics.  Fighting with your own willpower.  Your mind fighting with itself-cheat or hold on?  Super-notes again.  The moag really brings the darkness.  Piano at crescendo with choral backing and the high notes sounds good!)

ICU (Madison’s Lullabye)- G (Beautiful piano.  A song talking to someone younger.)

Intro- N (Another interlude!  This one at least has a meaningful message.)

The Art of Starting Over- Gr (I’m really exited she’s showcasing her powerful voice in nearly every song.)

Lonely People- A (I love that she says she’s not sorry as a call back, and also fitting in with the theme of this album.  Positive message.)

The Way You Don’t Look at Me- N (Tells a specific story.)

Melon Cake- A (A song about eating disorders.  Hearing about staff getting fired for chocolate in the back seat, and eating melon on a birthday explains how sad attaining that body can be.  I like how she uses the word “starving” to mean two different things.)

Met Him Last Night Gr (The strings add a lot to the song.  The duet sounds nice, though I know that both of them can hit crazy notes.  I would have liked to hear that.)

What Other People Say- A (The song sounds a bit like a hymn.  Jesus, Demi can fucking sing!  It sounds so good, and impressive without detracting from the overall vibe of the song.)

Carefully- Gr (Catchy.  As a Cancer-Sun, this really resonates with me.  I like the idea of asking someone to be careful with your heart.  More really good high notes.  If you can sing–you should!)

The Kind of Lover I Am- S (Ugh, I hate the polyamorus, like pansexual stuff.  It’s find.  This song is just not aimed at me–I don’t need every song.)

Easy- A-Gr (OMG their voices sound angelic together.  It’s a really great choice for a duet.  And all the notes are what I wanted for the Ariana duet.)

15 Minutes- A (It’s nice how the thirsty 15 minutes of fame seeker went full circle to you have 15 min to pack your $hit and get out.  Also, more  great note-hitting.)

My Girlfriends are My Boyfriend- N

California Sober- N (Catchy.)

Mad World- G (It’s a very haunting version.  Suits her.)

Butterfly- N-G

Good Place- G (A post rehab song.)

I Love Me- A (So catchy, so uplifting, so empowering.  I like this song, and its message!)

I’m Ready- A-Gr

OK Not to be OK- G

2021 Album Ranking [Top 5 Overall]

27 Dec

These are the top of the top. I was true to the quantitative scoring system (below) and this is how it all shook out.

Here’s the scoring system again:  Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6
 

OneRepulibic-Human:

Ryan Tedder is super-talented!  He knows how to write and produce bangers, and he can sing.  I pretty much love everything he touches.  Human was no exception.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 3Gr-G10.5; 3G9; 1GN1; 2N-2; 1NM-2; 0M; 0S = tot 43.5

Run G (I like the fast speed already!)

Distance Gr-G

Someday Gr (Catchy and a good message. The instrumentals sound like Pachelbel’s Cannon, one of my favorite songs of ever).

Didn’t I A-Gr (repeated didn’t Is are very catchy.)

Rescue A-Gr (catchy! I like the sparse chorus. The high notes convey emotion & desperation)

Savior N (it blends in and you miss it)

Take Care of You N (It’s OK, the high notes are good as always, but the song isn’t unique enough, backing is very full).

Forgot About You G (I love a bitter song but this is very repetitive)

Somebody to Love A (Songland was my favorite.  I dropped Hulu when they didn’t do another season.  This song is catchy and soaring and Ryan Tedder’s voice is showcased perfectly.)

Wanted G-N

Take It Out On Me N-M

Better Days A (Very on-brand.  It’s catchy, there’s an uplifting message, Ryan’s voice sounds amazing.)

Wild Life Gr (The high notes really get me every time. Big song, very full sound.)

Ships + Tides Gr-G (beautiful orchestral background matches the singing tone.)

Someday- Acoustic Gr-G

Lose Somebody G

 

 

Lauren Alaina-Sitting Pretty on Top of the World:

This album confused me nearly as much as her EPs confused me last year.  I always had in the back of my mind that these WERE those same songs just on one album. 

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

5A25; 3Gr12; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 2N-2; 1M-3 = tot 44.5

It Was Me G

If the World was a Small Town G (Good strings. Good ind exercise.)

Getting Good A (Is this a song from last yr? Love it as a duet!)

Same Story, Different Saturday Night A (This is the same as last year too?  Kinda cheating, but I think there are new songs as well.  I’ll have to check, because if I’ve already ranked all of these, this album doesn’t count because it was already released in EPs last year).

On Top of the World A

Run A (I like all the different things that run.  I like the freedom of the song.  It’s a very visual song.  The backing music/beat reminds me of her first ever single that attracted me to her music in the first place. There is a hopefulness in it that sounds motivating and soothing simultaneously.)

What Do You Think Of? Gr (Good singing.)

I’m Not Sad Anymore A (They sound good together. Notes!)

Getting Over Him Gr (Catchy. Notes.)

Good Ole Boy M (It’s not as clever as she was hoping.)

When the Party’s Over Gr (I like a song about setting boundaries. Especially when thee are high notes involved)

You Ain’t a Cowboy Gr-G (I like how she’s saying being shitty doesn’t make you a cowboy.)

Goodbye Street N

Written in the Bar N

Change My Mind G (It’s strong singing, but it’s not saying anything super-different.  I’d like the same tune and notes, but more meaningful or unique lyrics.  Not a great closer.)

 

 

Nothing But Thieves- Moral Panic:
 
I was very relieved to hear several alternative bands again this year.  It was like the genre died for awhile.  But some old staples put out some music, and these guys haven’t been gone as long as others, but I do think they took a bit of a pause, so it was nice to have something new.
 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Gr-S cusp-1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
3A15; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 5G15; 1G-N1; Gr-S-1; 1N-1; M; S = tot  44.5
 
This is Not What You Think It is- A (electric high tech. Also 1980s Thomas Dolby. Catchy. Lots to listen for.
 
Futureproof- G (moag. Good vocals. Breakdown is interesting.)
 
Is Everybody Going Crazy- Gr-G ( Really fun work with different beat. Catchy. Timely lyrics. )
 
Free if We Want It- N
 
Miracle, baby- A (A lot of moag and that’s a good thing. Also strong base and a synthesizer bridge. Alarm alert sounds. Heavy.)
 
Impossible- Gr-G (passionate. Nice dramatic ending.)
 
If I Were You- A-Gr ( really like the heavy instrumentals. There’s a ton of detail to listen to in this song.)
 
There was Sun- G (I was going to give this N-M until I Heard the robot break! It’s real cool.)
 
Can You Afford to be an individual- G (more their classic sound that turns screamy.)
 
Phobia- A (lotta fun changes in this song. Pace/speed.  Whisper. Beat differences. Talk-singing. A bit haunting. Complex.)
 
Before We Drift Away- Gr (Really like the synthesizer. When the drum comes in it’s even better. Catchy.)
 
Ce ne’st rien- Gr-S (This is way too much scream. Like the fast snare though. Like the heavy instrumenting but would prefer hook with it. Is that car horn? Interesting.)
 
Moral Panic- G (change from intro is cool.)
 
Real Love Song- G-N (The singing is the most like their last album. My favorite part of the song is the deep piano at the end.)
 
This Feels Like the End- G (Reminds me of a heart beat. I think I can hear the croaking of frogs. I like a last song that talks about the end, even if it’s on the nose. I don’t know how I feel about the talking newscast.)
 
 
 
Blues Traveler- Travelin’ Blues:
 
The vibe of this album is so fun!  I really liked everything about it.
 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
4A20; 1A-Gr4.5; 4Gr16; 2Gr-G7; G; N; M; S = tot 47.5
 
Funky Bitch- A (the blues instrumental breakdown was awesome.)
 
You Got Me Running- A-Gr (Duet. Piano is the star. I feel like I’m in a smoke-filled club in NOLA. Then the muted horn?!)
 
Tore Down- Gr (Rocky’s harmonica! Blues guitar. High note.)
 
Ball and Chain- A (Super- blues! Harmonica. Baby woo-wee note!)
 
Crazy- Gr-G (did a good job but Gnarles Barkley did exceptional. Don’t really care for the duet. Instrumentals we’re good.)
 
Sittin’ On Top of the World- Gr (Good start with jazzy piano followed by harmonica. True blues lyrics. Love the duet, voice is also Super-blues. )
 
Need You Love So Bad- Gr-G (slowed down. Duet matches style well and they sound good together. Stays within the genre.)
 
Roadhouse Blues- A (Amped up beat. Fun call and response instrumentals. )
Call Me the Breeze- Gr (Catchy. )
 
Trouble in Kind- A (I like how the duets add to the album. It’s not just a duet for the sake of doing one. They sound great together. I love this one, especially the high notes, and especially the high notes on instruments.)
 
Keep Your Light on Mama- Gr (Guitar is really catchy. Mult voices feel Fuller and makes it a more punchy ending.)
 
 
 

Demi Lovato- Dancing with the Devil…The Art of Starting Over:

I think this album won because Demi can SING her ass off!!!  And she does that in nearly every song which is so amazing.  It also won for the sheer number of not just songs, but good to awesome caliber ones.  Neutral and below score much lower that good ones gain points, and nothing really pulled this album down in that way.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

6A30; 2A-Gr9; 4Gr16; 4G12; 1G-N1; 4N-4; M; 1S-6 = tot 58

Anyone- Gr (This recording sounds like a live, but isn’t marked that way?  She always sings beautifully, but this version is a tad pitchy.  But per the usual-whoa those notes!)

Dancing with the devil- A (Very relatable lyrics.  Fighting with your own willpower.  Your mind fighting with itself-cheat or hold on?  Super-notes again.  The moag really brings the darkness.  Piano at crescendo with choral backing and the high notes sounds good!)

ICU (Madison’s Lullaby)- G (Beautiful piano.  A song talking to someone younger.)

Intro- N (Another interlude!  This one at least has a meaningful message.)

The Art of Starting Over- Gr (I’m really exited she’s showcasing her powerful voice in nearly every song.)

Lonely People- A (I love that she says she’s not sorry as a call back, and also fitting in with the theme of this album.  Positive message.)

The Way You Don’t Look at Me- N (Tells a specific story.)

Melon Cake- A (A song about eating disorders.  Hearing about staff getting fired for chocolate in the back seat, and eating melon on a birthday explains how sad attaining that body can be.  I like how she uses the word “starving” to mean two different things.)

Met Him Last Night Gr (The strings add a lot to the song.  The duet sounds nice, though I know that both of them can hit crazy notes.  I would have liked to hear that.)

What Other People Say- A (The song sounds a bit like a hymn.  Jesus, Demi can fucking sing!  It sounds so good, and impressive without detracting from the overall vibe of the song.)

Carefully- Gr (Catchy.  As a Cancer-Sun, this really resonates with me.  I like the idea of asking someone to be careful with your heart.  More really good high notes.  If you can sing–you should!)

The Kind of Lover I Am- S (Ugh, I hate the polyamorus, like pansexual stuff.  It’s find.  This song is just not aimed at me–I don’t need every song.)

Easy- A-Gr (OMG their voices sound angelic together.  It’s a really great choice for a duet.  And all the notes are what I wanted for the Ariana duet.)

15 Minutes- A (It’s nice how the thirsty 15 minutes of fame seeker went full circle to you have 15 min to pack your $hit and get out.  Also, more  great note-hitting.)

My Girlfriends are My Boyfriend- N

California Sober- N (Catchy.)

Mad World- G (It’s a very haunting version.  Suits her.)

Butterfly- N-G

Good Place- G (A post rehab song.)

I Love Me- A (So catchy, so uplifting, so empowering.  I like this song, and its message!)

I’m Ready- A-Gr

OK Not to be OK- G

2021 Album Ranking [Into the Greats]

26 Dec

 
Now we’re into the top 10 albums of 2021.  Since two of my laptops quit on me, I’m posting for timeliness, but I plan to flesh out these entries more once I get my technology situated.
 

Here’s the scoring system again:  Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6
 
 
Joe Bonamessa- Time Clocks:
I loved this album so much, that I’m shocked it didn’t win numerically.  Listening to this jazzy/blues/swing/rock was fun and amped me up every time.  I felt like Bonamessa stayed true to who he is as an artist, but also branched out and experimented a bit. 
 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
3A15; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 1G-N1; 2N-2; M; S =tot 29.5
 
 
Pilgrimage- N (too short)
 
Notches- A (Excellent beat, such a dancy song!)
 
The Heart That Never Waits- Gr  (Chorus sounds full. Bluesy guitar. Rocking.)
 
Time Clocks- A-Gr (Less beat, more lyrically driven. Backing chorus. Slight epic. Driving beat and baseline at end are nice. Guitar really gets goin toward real end.)
 
Questions and Answers- A (In the tradition of blues. Instrumental tells a story.)
 
Mind’s Eye- Gr-G (Quieter song. Powerful singing w/chorus backing. Darker instrumental r on bridge.)
 
Curtain Call- A (Exciting opening. Like TSO + beats antique. The bass! Instrumental fragments sound so good and get me amped up.)
 
The Loyal Kind- Gr-G (Flute? Sounds like 80s adult contemporary but w/choral backing and heavier guitar. End instrumental is really catchy.)
 
Hanging on a Loser- G-N
 
Known Unknowns- Gr-G.  (Guitar solo on the bridge bring it up 1.5 levels ! Piano smashing!)
 
 
find this–>12 A. fast guitar fingering interludes. True blues. Put this on guitar heroes. Oran keyboard always reminds me of Nothing but Trouble.
 
 

Deathcab for Cutie-The Photo Album (did not include duplicate songs in alternate versions)

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 3Gr12; 1Gr-G3.5; 6G24; 1G-N1; 3N-3; 1S-6 = tot 31.5

Steadier Footing N

A Movie Script Ending M

We Laugh Indoors G-N

Information Travels Faster G

Why You’d Want to Live Here Gr

Blacking Our the Friction Gr-G

I Was a Kaleidoscope N

Styrofoam Plates Gr

Coney Island G

Debate Exposes Doubt Gr

20th Century Towers S (discordant, slow, not a bunch of instrumentals)

All Is Full of Love (a lot of random drumming) G

Stability G (waltz tune)

Gridlock Caravans G

I Wanna be Adored- live N

Corny Island- Studio Outtake G

 

 

Daughtry-Dearly Beloved:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; A-N cusp 2; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 3Gr-G10.5; 1G3; 1A-N2; 2G-N2; 1N-1; 1N-M-2; 0M; 0S = tot 33

Desperation- G (heavier than I remember.)
 
World on Fire- Gr-G
 
Heavy is the Crown- Gr. (Kind of acoustic echo sound that really captures their signature sound. Ending gets more urgent and serious)
 
Changes are Coming- Gr-G. (guitar solo is gr. The scream/passionate lyrics are just the max I like. Not too much.)
 
Dearly beloved- G-N (Catchy but repetitive)
 
Cry for Help- G-N
 
Asylum- A-Gr (Exciting start! Love the beat/bass?  Pressed!)
 
Evil- Gr-G
 
The Victim- A (I like the sentiment. Catchy . Rocking. Guitar solo w/ squeaks and fast! Choral echo lyrics drive point home.)
 
Somebody- A-N (Good high notes towards end . boring to that point.)
 
Call You Mine- N-M (A bit much. Lyrics too saccharine to be disingenuous.)
 
Lioness- N (Powerful singing and strong heavy playing but kinda plain and cliché? Like the last lyric best in whole song.)
 
Break into my heart- A  (I like the changing seed of beginning lyrics. End of phrases are faster. Nice stripped down piano. Feels earnest. Good hitting of notes. Slow but it sounds beautiful and honest and passionate in a softer way.)
 
 

Mika-French language-live:

I listened and ranked this one early on, and I hadn’t realized it was all older work until I was a fair way through.  So I posted this for funsies, but this doesn’t count toward the finals, bc they have to be 2021.  It’s a fun listen though-what an exceptional vocalist!

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

6awesome30; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 1Meh-3; 1Skip-6 = tot 33 old albums are ineligible

Grace Kelly- A (damn that falsetto!)
Toy Boy- N
Over My Shoulder- G
Ice Cream- G
Without Her- M
Last Party- N
Origin of Love- A
Underwater- G
Lollipop- A
Good Guys- A
Elle De Mit- G
Les Baisers Perdus- S
Tomorrow- G
Love Today- A
Relax, Take It Easy- N
Happy Ending- A

 

 

Olivia Rodrigo-Sour

This album got a lot of buzz this year.  I liked it.  I liked that the songs were cohesive as an album, yet with each track something different was brought to the table.  Though Sour wasn’t in my top 5, I do see a lot of potential in Rodrigo and think she will put out some amazing material in the future.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 4Gr-G14; 1G3; 1G-N1; 0N; 1G-M0; 0M; 0S = tot 35

brutal A-Gr (Love the fast singing and relatable lyrics. The beat and guitar are nice. The more screamy singing is fun and edgy.)

traitor  Gr-G (The singing sounds nearly identical to Billie Eileish, in my opinion.  The lyrics are so relatable for a toxic relationship & break up.  Manipulative partner gaslighting about emotionally cheating.  Good high notes, but a pretty quiet song.)

drivers license Gr-G (Passionate. Good piano.)

1step forward, 3 steps back G-Gr (A quiet little song. Beautiful piano.  This is so relatable of a feeling.  The breakup stuff resonates hard)

deja vu G-Gr (cool zinging 80s guitar/synth(?) sound in chorus accents.  This must be the song Taylor got some credit for, bc the fast singing with the screaming does remind me of the Lover album. Bitter lyrics. Slow.)

good 4 u Gr-A (I like the fast and sort of punk sound.  This must be the one Paramore got some credit for, bc it does sound kind of like them.  I love the anger in this song, and the harder rock.  A catchy chorus, bitter, punky. Good instrumental break. Rocking.)

enough for you Gr (very emotive. Very pretty song, and fuck this guy.  The hurt and anger are conveyed clearly.)

happier N-G

jealousy, jealousy Gr (I like the beat, and I like how the singing becomes conversational.  Catchy chorus. Love the breakdown.)

favorite crime G

hope ur ok M-G (Tells a full story. Too slow and down though.)

 

Those were the 30 point contenders.  Tomorrow, I’ll post the very top of the list!

2021 Albums [Upper Echelon on Mediums]

23 Dec

If you can believe it, not 1 but 2 of my desktops crashed.  So this was very time-consuming to post.  I’ll jazz it up when I sort out my technology situation.

Here’s the scoring system again:  Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6

Florida Georgia Line- Life Rolls On

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

4awesome20; 0Great; 6Good18; 1G-N cusp1; 3Neutral-3; 1Meh-3; 2Skip-12 = tot21

Long Live- G
Life Looks Good- G
Countryside- N
Always Gonna Love You- N
I Love My Country- N
Hard to Get to Heaven- G
Long Time Comin’- G
Interlude- S (Negligable)
Ain’t Worried Bout It- N-G cusp
Beer:30- A
New Truck- S (Pandering; repetitive)
Eyes Closed- G
Second Guessing [Songland]- A (Rated prior to seeing it’s from 1 of my fave shows)
Good to Me- A
U.S. Stronger- M
Life Rolls On- A (I like the fast parts)
Lil Bit- G

Blake Shelton-Body Language:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 3G9; 1G-N1; 4N-4; M; S = tot 21
Minimum Wage- Gr (I love the down to Earth sentiment.  Love is worth more than money, and keeping up with the Joneses is stress, not happiness.)
Body Language- N
Happy Anywhere- Gr-G (Duet with Gwen. She is SUCH a cool girl. Idk why she always mirrors her boyfriends. They sound good together though. Nice plucking. Banjo?)
Now I Don’t- Gr (Rough voice. Ohhh the shade.)
Monday Mornin’ Missin’ You- G-N (A drinking song. A break up song.)
Corn- N (I like the cheeky instrumentals. But I’m not sure about singing about corn. Beer? Yes. Jeans? Maybe. But feedstuffs Might be a bridge too far.)
Makin’ it up as You Go- N (Nothing really special.)
Watcha Doin’ Tomorrow- N
The Girl Can’t Help It- G
The Flow- Gr-G (The faster singing is catchy.)
Neon Time- G (You know how much I love the kindergarten instruments.)
Bible Verses- G ( It’s slow and pleasant. Rectifying lifestyle and religion. I like it for marginalized people, but it’s a little hard to take a rich, white, male celebrity seriously…)

Adele-30

For such a highly anticipated album, I found myself wanting more…  It’s good, but not her best work.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 2Gr8; 3G9;  1A to M-S split0.25; 1N-1; 1M-3; 1S-6 = tot 21.75

Strangers by Nature N (Sounds circa 1937 swing, with Snow White stuff at the end)

Easy On Me A (Showcases her beautiful singing)

My Little Love S (I can’t stand when artists insert their kids on the track, and there a lot of talking clips on this. The feelings are real, and powerful, but I’d like to hear them written within lyrics, not just taped talking.)

Cry Your Heart Out G (The distortion sounds good and is unique in that it’s still singing, not obscuring bad singing.  The syncopation made the song interesting.)

Oh My God Gr (Catchy, the claps are natural and not too forced or out of place.)

Can I Get It G (The whistling is…  It’s OK.  I didn’t expect it from an Adele song, and it’s good for the album, as it differentiates it.)

I Drink Wine A-Gr (Note-I scored this before knowing the title.  I like that it tells a story and features notes.  I do NOT like that I can hear shimmer in Adele’s voice, probably from her smoking.  What a fucking stupid habit for a singer to have! Oh goddamn it–more talking?  That took it down a level for me.)

All Night Parking G (I especially liked the piano, it transported me to a jazzy wine bar).

Woman Like Me M

Hold On Gr (The backing chorus does a lot to make this song soulful and bigger in the room.  This is Adele’s sweet spot, in my opinion.  She sounds amazing fronting a churchy-sounding choir.)

To be Loved 0.25 (Best singing technique on the album, but the song itself was boring af.  So I split the difference between A =5 and M-S cusp =-4.5)

Love is a Game A (This loops back to the tone and style of the first song.  There is all the hitting of the rough notes, Adele is known for, a choir that brings out her vibe so well, and a flute.  There is also a motown-flavor to the brass backing and falsetto repeated phrases.  It’s a good finish to the album.)

Lord Huron-Long Lost

I super like the vibe of this album, even if it’s kind of low-key and doesn’t exactly spark the enthusiasm of a series of awesome songs.  The album is cohesive and has technical skill throughout.  This album isn’t exciting on first listen, but it’s the type of album where the complexities become more and more clear with every listen.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 4Gr16; 5G15; 1G-N1; 2N-2; 2M-6; 1S-6 =tot36.5-14 = tot 22.5

The Moon Doesn’t Mind G-N (I love the cowboy on a lonely night ride sound to the singing and guitar, but in the age of streaming, we don’t need a 10sec intro song.)

Mine Forever A-Gr (They do such a good job of making the beat of the song similar to a horse’s gait, it just screams cowboy. The strings are such a welcome and pleasant surprise.  I also like the echoed singing.)

(One Helluva Performer) S (I guess I don’t understand the interludes.  I remember them from physical CDs in the 1990s, but the whole listening experience has changed, so they’re just extras now.  And they can’t stand alone which is a problem. So it’s a skip because it’s unnecessary, not because it’s bad).

Love Me Like You Used To G

Meet Me in the City Gr-G (The vibrato singing is just so skillful.  And I like the swirling instrumentals along with the plodding horse beat.  The use of orchestral strings is bringing a lot to the table and filling out the sound without removing the lonely cowboy vibe.)

(Sing for Us Tonight) N (It’s just 1 line so it’s unobtrusive.  I guess I would like these interludes better if they were attached to the following track.  Because I know they’re either going to be weird alone, or get skipped in a shuffle).

Long Lost Gr-G (This singing reminds me of Strange Trails album which I really loved.  The low singing tones do a lot for the song, and differentiate it from the rest of the album.  It’s a catchy one also.)

Twenty Long Years G

Drops in the Lake G (Sounds really good when the backing instrumentals hit some higher notes.  I also like how the instrumentals sound haunting and really take your mind to a location.  Despite being calm, this album is very conducive to bringing a visual message to the listener.)

Where Did the Time Go M

Not Dead Yet G (A more upbeat song is welcome. The guitar makes me excited.)

(Deep Down Inside Ya) M

I Lied Gr-G (The harmonies are beautiful.  I like the lyrics, they tell a surprising story.  Showing unexpected releif at the dissolution of a relationship made the song unique.  I enjoyed how the instrumentals told the story for a whole phrase.  It was like the lyrics said it in English, then the instruments conveyed it through feelings.  The build up was exciting at the end.)

At Sea G (I like how this is a continuation of the story told in the prior song.  After the break-up, he is independent, yet lonely.  The flair of a Hawaiian/Calypso sound fits just right with a sort of rebound time in a person’s life.  They made the instruments sound sparkly then like water.  The bells sound reminds me of spurs.  It blends so seamlessly into the final song that I didn’t know it happened.)

What Do it Mean Gr-G (I only knew this was the next song, because it builds to sound triumphant.  The final interlude is catchy, and feels like the heroic moment after a shoot-out or something.  It sounds really good the way the vocals are echoing.  And there are percussive elements that remind me of snakes in the desert, the calls of bugs, and horse footsteps.  There are just so many small elements in the music that lend to visualization.)

Time’s Blur N (It adds finality and closes the album in a way that makes sense.)

Dropkick Murphys-Turn Up That Dial

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 4Great16; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 3Neutral-3; 0Meh; 0Skip = tot 23

Turn Up That Dial N

L-EE B-O-Y cusp of N-G

Middle Finger G

Queen of Suffolk County G

Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding N

H.B.D.M.F. Gr

Good As Gold Gr

Smash Shit Up Gr

Chosen Few Gr

City By the Sea G

I Wish You Were Here N

Brandi Carlile: In These Silent Days

I am relieved in the direction Brandi is heading with this album.  It seems like we’re back on the Bear Creek track, and that’s a great thing!  I thought the album was good, but I think it didn’t rank higher because there were only 10 songs.  Also because it’s a bit of a bummer.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N to N cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 2A-Gr9; 0Gr; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 1G-N1; 1G-N to N cusp 0; 0N; 0M; 0S = tot 23.5

Right On Time A-Gr (Those notes!  It’s a good opener for the performance and excitement, but also the beginning of the album’s story.)

You and Me on the Rock N-G

This Time Tomorrow G

Broken Horses A

Letter to the Past G-N to N (The metaphor bothers me.)

Mama Werewolf A-Gr (I just know this will be wildly popular with Brandi’s fans .  I like it and appreciate the symbols and the singing, but it doesn’t make me enthusiastic like a true awesome should.)

When You’re Wrong G (This 1 tells a complete story. It’s brutal.)

Stay Gentle G (Good sentiment.  Don’t think I missed that call-out to (straight) Evangeline who loves Coyote, ‘Stay wild’)

Sinners Saints & Fools A

Throwing Good After Bad G-Gr  (Depressing. Great singing. Bleak.)

Twenty-One Pilots- Scaled and Icy:

It’s weird-I couldn’t tell if this was a new album, or if it was just older songs remixed.  And adding livestreams to the thing made it unruly and long.  I had to look up if this album was in fact new after I had listened to it.  So that’s not great.  The album wasn’t memorable, unique, or cohesive.  It did, in fact, sound like a handful of songs from various albums thrown together in haphazard manner.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N to N cusp 0; A to S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 2A-Gr9; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 8G24; 3G-N3; 1A-S-1; 4N0; M-3; 1S-6 = tot 51

23 songs, but are the same so I’m only judging the 11 brand new songs.

A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 3N-3; M; S = tot 24

Good Day G (It doesn’t really sound like the same band. Not a heavy opener, which would have been better. It’s a pleasant song.)

Choker G (More electronic sounding, but subdued.  Talk rap was a relief to hear, bc I finally knew what band this was.)

Shy Away G (Catchy beat. The end is briefly great, the rest is repetitive and forgettable.)

The Outside A-Gr (Syncopated like they did before, so it is catchy.  Some electronic flair.  Probably the best song to this point.  Just enough talk-rap to satisfy.)

Saturday G (Catchy.)

Never Take It N (I’m not really a fan of fake claps, as it gives thinks a superficial, 80s vibe.  The lyrics are a bit heavier than the lightness of the instrumentals conveys.)

Mulberry Street Gr (This just isn’t as inventive or unique as their first albums.  But there are hints of that older stuff, like the shouted, talk-lyric phrasing, and the slower words. This is like them, but if they took an Ambien before playing, not as high energy, or clickin’.)

Formidable G (The beat is nice on this one.)

Bounce Man N (I don’t care for that “‘ol lady” stuff.)

No Chances Gr-G (OK, this album is too long already.  But some electronic unique noises were very welcome, as was the talk-rapping they’re known for.  I love the darker/deep aspects of this one, it reminds me of like, living in a 1984, doing work watched by robots, vibe.)

Redecorate N (I guess I wasn’t listening super-closely, but is there suicide ideology in this one?  It’s a bummer, either way.)

Choker/Stressed Out/Migraine/Morph/Holding On to You G (Talk rap. Weird transition. Last 1 a little screamy. Interesting version of stressed.  Didn’t like 3rd song w/crowd)

Mulberry Street (livesteam)- G-N

Lane Boy/Redecorate/Chlorine G-N (Like the rapping best so far on album.   Choppy transition)

Shy Away (livesteam) G (Hate scream but that background instrumental)

The Outside (livesteam)- G-Gr (It’s such a fun rap.  Off key for brief moments of crowd-work.)

Heathens/Trees/Saturday/Level of Concern/Ride/Car Radio A-Gr (I like this low-key version. Quiet but not boring.  Fun to hear Heathens acoustic.  Smooth transition to Trees-a true hybrid.)

Jumpsuit/heavydirtysoul- A-S (Fast lyrics sound great!  But I’m pretty sure this is not new material.  Exciting. Good guitar, but it sounds muddy.  The screaming kills it for me.)
Sat/level of concern-  (IDK why it’s a medley when they are played as completely different songs. 1st was G. 2nd the horn is a neat addition Gr. Ride also transitions as completely different songs. Went from depressing to screamy. S)
Never take it Livestream-N
Level of concern- G-N (Like the jazz beat. Like the sparse baking. Nice pause. Like lower key rapping.)
Liz Phair- Soberish:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1M-3; S = tot 25
Spanish Doors- Gr (The rounds sound awesome, and the layered sound is nice.)
The Game- G (Pleasant singing and moderately catchy.)
Hey Lou- N (The singing sound “off” but intentionally so, is it in a minor key?  The pause was different and tricked me.)
In There- N
Good Side- G-N (The voice sounds multi-dimensional but not exactly layered.)
Sheridan Road- M (Quiet.  Miss-able.)
Ba Ba Ba- A-Gr (Catchy, held notes sound good.  Fast part is interesting.  More rounds)
Soberish- G
Soul Sucker- G-N (The autotuned ending fast, layered part is the best part.)
Lonely Street- G (The higher key does a lot for the poetry, very emotive.)
Dosage- G (This one reminded me of a 1990s rom-com movie montage.  Complete with na nas.)
Bad Kitty- Gr-G (The fast list is the best part of this song. )
Rain Scene- G (Just short rain sound to end.)

Buckcherry- Hellbound:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 3Gr12; 2Gr-G7; G; 1G-N1; 2N-2; M; S = tot 27.5

54321- A-Gr (A bit loud at times, but high energy to start the album.)

So Hott-Gr (The guitar runs are catchy.  The beat is amped up.)

Hellbound- Gr-G (Base makes it exciting and edgy. Guitar breakdown is rockin’.)
Gun- G-N (I never thought I would say 2021 is the year of the harmonica, but here we are.)
No More Lies- N
Here I Come- Gr (I don’t like all the yelling but the fast drums and faster guitar is nice! Explosion is last sound.)
Junk- N (instrumental break is energetic.)
Wasting No More Time- Gr (It’s a relief to hear more of a singing song vs. yelling. Catchy. Rounds and harmonies sound real good.)
The Way- A (I like the deeper lyrics. A love song is a good change of pace. The playing is sweeter and a bit anthemic.)
Barracade- Gr-G (Catchy. The triple guitar notes sound great.)

Lady Gaga-[anniversary; remix;] Love for Sale

OK, I was hard on ‘ol Tony Bennett throughout my review because it was difficult to hit the right pitch, sustain notes, and he had some jitter and shimmer.  I thought it was same sexism stuff, overlooking the men’s vocal faults while being hyper-critical of women’s voices (and that’s still a thing). But I found out later he has Alzheimer’s which can do all those things to your voice.  So I’m not going to rewrite every review, but just know I’m not a total asshole.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; S A-Gr cusp to S -0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 3Gr12; 3G9; 2G-N2; 1A-Gr cusp to S-0.75; N; M; 1S-6 = tot 25.75

It’s De-Lovely Gr (Old singing style, fits the 1930s swing style.  A lot of jazzy notes.  They sound good together.)

Night and Day G (She does such a good job singing in that old timey way without being obviously over the top or cringe (and very good enunciation).  He sounds a little pitchy, and his voice has aged.  The backing music is lovely.  The piano interlude sounds good, as does the last high note.)

Love for Sale A-Gr to S (He sounds like Shit on this one-shouldn’t let him sing alone, especially longer phrases.  OH my gosh-smile becomes a smirk! Where have I heard that before? TS.  Gaga is very on-point in the singing style and she really carries the tune.  The brass sounds great, and is the best thing about this song.)

Do I Love You G-N (It’s just a quiet little song with Lady Gaga solo.  Her singing sounds nice, but instrumentals are sparse, and not a lot goes on in the sing.)

I’ve Got You Under My Skin Gr (This has a very clean swing beat & tune.  The harmonies are on-point in this one.)

I Concentrate on You G (Some flute along with some nice brass backing.  I was serious about not letting Bennett sing alone for too long, his voice is not on pitch.  Gaga really hits her sections though.  And ending on high flute notes?!)

I Get a Kick Out of You G

So In Love S (He sounds terrible, terrible!)

Let’s Do It A (These are such fun lyrics and Lady Gaga sounds just the right way technically, and brings a cheekiness to it.  Taylor is better at pulling off cheeky, but Gaga’s got that high note in the end.)

Dream Dancing G-N (I like the jazzy drums, especially.  This feels like a good wine bar soundtrack.  It’s more background music though, not super-special.)

Just One of Those Things Gr (Very swing.)

You’re the Top Gr-A (Nice harmonies.  I like the playful drums. That last note!)

Taylor Swift:  Red Vault

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; A-G cusp 4; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

2A10; 1A-Gr4.5; 1A-G4; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; G; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 1M-3; S = tot 26.5

Nothing New- Gr-G (Repeated motifs of everything at 18, nothing at 22.  “…meet her.”)

Message in a Bottle- N (It’s a fun-vibe with some echo and 80s flair.  Seems more like a 1989 sound though…  It’s a bit flat, and repetitive, I can see why it was cut, actually.)

I Bet You Think About Me- A (It opens sounding both country and cheeky, which is my favorite Taylor, honestly.  Also, I can tell this song was at least modified for Karlie.  Do you hear that ‘Betty’ harmonica? The duet sounds natural and nice.  I really don’t like how TS tries to play it off like she grew up on an agricultural farm though–her family was always loaded *eye roll*  It’s cool how she’s calling out gold-digging so harshly though-I love a feisty-Tay!!!)

Babe- A Nobody can convince me this song is not entirely for, or re-purposed recently for Karlie.  It’s got some super-pointed lyrics that pertain to the situation.)

Forever Winter Gr-G

Run- M (Ed manages to make me fall asleep with boredom every time he sings.  I don’t get it?)

Ronan- Gr (What a very sad song.  It’s a very detailed story.)

The Very First Night- G-N (Um. This rhyme scheme is SO gay.  “her” is most definitely the word that fits.)

Better Man A-Gr (Good harmony. Bitter.)

All Too Well (10 Minute Version) A-G cusp (I think the new Kaylor lyrics make the song less boring for me. I thought it was super overrated before but now there’s a little something for the Gaylors. The singing is better too. And I do like the different cadence near the actress part now.)

Buckcherry- Hellbound:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 3Gr12; 2Gr-G7; G; 1G-N1; 2N-2; M; S = tot 27.5

54321- A-Gr (A bit loud at times, but high energy to start the album.)

So Hott-Gr (The guitar runs are catchy.  The beat is amped up.)

Hellbound- Gr-G (base makes it exciting and edgy. Guitar breakdown is rockin’.)
Gun- G-N (I never thought I would say 2021 is the year of the harmonica, but here we are.)
No More Lies- N
Here I Come- Gr (I don’t like all the yelling but the fast drums and faster guitar is nice! Explosion is last sound.)
Junk- N (instrumental break is energetic.)
Wasting No More Time- Gr (It’s a relief to hear more of a singing song vs. yelling. Catchy. Rounds and harmonies sound real good.)
The Way- A (I like the deeper lyrics. A love song is a good change of pace. The playing is sweeter and a bit anthemic.)
Barracade- Gr-G (Catchy. The triple guitar notes sound great.)

Barenaked Ladies- Detour de Force:

This is another album that would have benefited from a different track order.  Two of the most upbeat, examples of their former work were right at the beginning and in a row.  And two of their quieter, more subtly great songs were next to each other to close the album.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 2A-Gr9; Gr; 3Gr-G10.5; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1N-M-2; M; S = tot 29.5

Flip- G (Upbeat, still their clever, fast-singing, as is their signature.  Still got that catchy hook.)

Good Life- G (I like that this album has a positive vibe, so far, without being too saccharine or over the top.  There is a rap interlude, and it’s good.)

New Disaster- Gr-G (I love that they are able to use SAT words and still sound natural in songs.  The fast part reminds me of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ one of my fave songs.)

Big Back Yard- G-N (As a Millennial, I can get behind this dream-of wanting a home.  Good piano interlude.)

Live Well- N (The singing style reminds me of Neil Young.)

Flat Earth-  Gr-G (The background music sounds fun-z-fun.  The chorus has a fun na-na-na-na-na tune.)

Here Together- N

Roll Out- Gr-G (Another upbeat song is welcome.  I like the ‘hey’ and the Backstreet Boys call out.  The drive around in circles is neat, because the lyric becomes visual with repetition.)

Bylaw- G (I like the 1950s rock and roll sound of the verse-very throw-back. Weird end.)

God Forbid- G-N

Paul Chambers- N-M (It doesn’t sound like them at all.  Low key and jazzy, and different, softer singing.)

The National Park- G (I like the 70s instrument snippets, and piano scales.  The end reminds me of being in a forest, or hearing an echo in nature.)

Man Made Lake- A-Gr (Good syncopation.  Catchy.  Visual lyrics.  The background sounds like stars outside might.)

Internal Dynamo- A-Gr (The beginning has kind of a western feel.  Low-register singing sounds great.  Music becomes more upbeat, with rougher singing.  Then reverts back.  Expertly changes singing, instrumentals, and vibe of song without being all over the place.)

Tomorrow I’ll post the top of the list!

2021 Album Ranking [Middle of the Road]

22 Dec

Here’s the scoring system again:  Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6

 

There was a tie at 10 points.  Tie-breaker is number of Awesomes.  In this case:  1:0.

 

Gorillaz- meanwhile EP:

Honestly, 3 songs?  Why bother?  But here we are and it’s not ranked the lowest, which means the 3 songs had to all be pretty good.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; Gr; 2Gr-G7; 1G3; N; M; S = tot 10 (lower)
 
Meanwhile- G (Deeper voice than I remember! )
 
Jimmy Jimmy- Gr-G (rap is catchy reminds me of love lockdown. Weird harmonica? They used to use all the time.)
 
Deja vu- Gr-G (Caribbean vibe but weird accents )
 
 
 

Coldplay- Music of the Spheres

Just…no. The emoji song titles are too much.  Uh.  Coldplay used to be one of my staple-bands.  But they really got on the douche-canoe, and it’s too much.  

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N cusp 0.5; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 2Gr8; 1Gr-G3.5; 2G6; 1G-N0.5; 1N-1; 1M-3; 3S-9  = tot 10 (higher)

planet emoji  N (short, unnecessary)

Higher Power G-N (catchy. Churchy. Repetitive.)

Humankind G (Good build. The random alien words need to go-dumb.)

star emoji S (It’s really annoying this 5 second sound isn’t jus attached to the next track.  Why aren’t artists thinking about streaming at all?)

Let Somebody Go M (good singing, quiet)

heart emoji Gr (This sounds like a hymnal with distorted singing.)

People of the Pride A (Good guitar. Good baseline. Nice orchestral breakdown.)

Biutyful S (WTF with the baby singing.  NO.)

planet emoji S (It messed me up on what song I was ranking because it’s so short.)

My Universe Gr-G (Pandering to a Spanish audience. It’s catchy, yet repetitive. Finishes on some (very 80s backing.)

infinity emoji G ( Cool space sound. Great piano.  Goes into a hymnal sound.)

Coloratura Gr (This reminds me of their older stuff, with more singing than the rest of this album.  I like the instrumental background making it sound more full as well.)

 

 

Ed- =:
I don’t follow Ed, but being alive in the world, I’ve seen clips of him occasionally.  I don’t like how he carries himself like a baller, and talks real-cool.  He’s English.  And red-headed.  It’s hard for me to take that seriously.  Also, it’s a pet-peeve of mine when people portray themselves as someone in poverty when it was a choice. If you have the means to move, or do something else, that’s fake-homeless. Which is a slap in the face to actual homeless who have no other option.
 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
1A5; Gr; 1Gr-G3.5; 3G9; 5G-N5; 1N-1; 1N-M-2; 3M-9; S = tot 10.5
 
Tides- N (Good beat.)
 
Shivers- G-N (Fake claps. The triple beats are super-catchy.)
 
First Times- Gr-G (Slow.  Romantic. Sweet.  The strings add a lot.)
 
Bad Habits- A (I hate how much I love this song!!!)
 
Overpass Graffiti- N-M (Same beat.)
 
The Joker and the Queen- M
 
Leave Your Life- G-N
 
Collide-M  (echo auto-tune is different.)
 
2step- G (The fast parts sound good.)
 
Stop the rain- G-N (High note good.)
 
Love in Slow Motion- G-N
 
Visiting Hours- M
 
Sandman- G (Pretty cute lullaby.)
 
Be right Now- G-N (1980s running beat. Instrumental is good. Singing is boring as usual.)
 
Tides- G (Amped up beat.)
 
 
 
There was a tie at 11.5 points.  Tie-breaker is number of Awesomes.  In this case:  1:0.
 
 
 

Melissa Etheridge- One Way Out

Melissa is a legend and a social-hero.  But she needs to lay off the smoking of weed and do it in another format because her voice has problems. Seems like men always get a pass for sounding shitty, which women are held to a higher standard.  So I’ve tried to ignore it best I can and judge on different factors.  I do like how she has some more songs about the lesbian experience-I don’t know her catalogue well, but I don’t think she has very many explicitly political songs.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1A-Gr4.5; Gr4; 2Gr-G7; G; 4G-N4; 1Gr-S -1; 1N-1; M; 1S-6 = tot 11.5 (lower)

One Way Out Gr-G (Harmonica. Bluesy flavor)

As Cool as You Try Gr-S (Terrible singing, good concept. Like the backing.)

I’m No Angel Myself S (Her voice is very degraded and pitchy.)

For the Last Time A-Gr (Like the speaking intro & bluesy instrumental. The rough singing actually fits the blues tradition. Frenzied at end.)

Save Myself G-N

That Would be Me G-N (Nice rock backing. Harmonica sets the mood.)

Wild Wild Wild G-N (I think this is a reboot of an older song?  More rock. There’s a lot of repetition.)

You Have No Idea- live G-N (Sounds very classic ME.  It’s a lesbian sex song, so that’s always a hit with this audience (me). Too many sh la las, and they end up pitchy/off key. But after that the notes are good, so it kinda makes up for it?)

Life Goes On- live Gr-G (I like the lyrics and crowd sounds. Good telling of lesbian struggle. Terrible awful singing.)

 

Alan Jackson-Where Have You Gone

Speaking of legends-obviously AJ fits the bill.  I do think the slow, outlaw-classic country sound is apt.  But there’s too much slow stuff on the album, in my opinion.  When those few faster, more upbeat songs came on it was a happy relief.  It was also nice that he labeled what the song was for right in the title–the tracks automatically meant more to me when I saw what they meant to him.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-N cusp 0.5; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 4Gr16; 3Gr-G10.5; G; 2G-N1; 4N-4; 4N-M-8; 3M-9: S = tot 11.5 (higher)

Where Have You Gone- Gr (Deeper, more resonate voice than I remember. The opening lines are perfect for an album released after a long gap.  Old school country backing. Strings sound good.)
 
Wishful Drinkin’- Gr-G
 
I Can be that Something- N
 
Where that Cottonwood Grows- Gr (It’s like a more updated version of Chattahoochee.  I think it might be the same underlying melody even. Not an awesome bc it wasn’t amped up enough.)
 
Way Down in My Whiskey- Gr-G  (Slow. Very old-timey outlaw country ballad.)
 
Things That Matter- N (Slow. Detailed story.)
 
Livin’ on Empty- Gr (What a relief to hear something a bit more upbeat!  Good strings.)
 
You’ll Always be My Baby (for daughter’s wedding)- M
 
Where Her Heart ha Always Been (Mama’s funeral)- N-M
 
The Boot- M
 
Back- A (Thank goodness a fast one! Fast poems sound great. Catchy. This is really where AJ shines. Clever, fast, lyrics, with some sass.)
 
Write it in Red- N-M
 
So Late So Soon- N
 
This Heart of Mine- N-M
 
A Man Who Never Cries- N (Churchy. Good fiddle.)
 
Chain- G-N
 
I was Tequila- Gr-G (Interesting lyrics. Nice use of pause. Instrumentals are waltz during verse and old country on bridge.)
 
I Do (written for daughters weddings)- M
 
That’s the Way Love Goes (tribute to Merle Haggard)- N-M (Instruments sound nice.)
 
Beer:10- Gr (Finally another fast one! Some parts sound like the ’didn’t even know her name’ tune.)
 
The Older I Get- G-N (Nice strings throughout the album. But too many slow songs )
 
 

Jason Aldean- Macon:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G6; 5N-5; M; S = tot 12
 
After You- N
 
Over You Again- N (Seems formulaic.)
 
That’s What Tequila Dose- N  (Slow)
 
Small Town Small- G (I like the pro small business sentiment.)
 
If I didn’t love you- Gr-G (Carrie? She brings the notes always!  Also, I hate when duets aren’t credited–she was a whole-ass co-writer!)
 
Story for another Glass- Gr-G
 
Heaven- Gr (Country cover of Brian Adams? It’s a nice song. Identical to the original, I think . Twang is a lot.)
 
The Bar Doesn’t Work Anymore- N (The titles are so promising and I want to love these songs. But there’s really nothing special, interesting, spectacular…)
 
The Sad Songs- G (The fast part moves this up a level.)
 
Watching You Love Me- N (Another cover?)
 
Lives (not released in 2021, not eligible.)
 
 

The Wallflowers-Exit Wounds

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 3Gr-G10.5; 2G6; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 1N-M-2; 0M; 0S = tot 14.5

Maybe Your Heart’s Not in it No More N

Roots and Wings G-N

I Hear the Ocean (When I Wanna Hear Trains) G

The Drive Bar In My Heart G

Darlin’ Hold On N (Duet with a lady that has a smoker voice.  Repetitive.)

Move the River Gr-G (More of their typical sound.  Lyrics are more detailed.  Like the pre-chorus instrumentals.)

I’ll Let You Down G-N (But Will Not Give You Up)

Wrong End of a Spear N-M (Don’t like the talk-singing, even if it’s reminiscent of his dad. The song drags on without much excitement.)

Who’s that Man Walking ‘Round My Garden Gr-G (I like the faster pace.)

The Daylight Between Us G-Gr (Nice little musical interludes, catchy.)

 

 

There was a tie at 16 points.  Tie-breaker is number of Awesomes.  In this case:  1:0.

 

 
Aimee Mann- Queens of the Summer Hotel:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 3Gr12; 6G18; N; 1N-M-2; 4M-12; S = tot 16 (lower)

You Fall- M (Flute.)

Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath- G (A lot of orchestral touches. Bridge(?) has a waltz beat.)

Give Me Fifteen- Gr (I like the instrument drums on the end of phrases.  I like that the album is telling a story.  The strings are fun toward the end.)

At the Frick Museum- M

Home by Now- G (Lovely piano backing. “If you lived here you’d be home by now” is a good lyric.)

Checks- M (I seriously don’t understand why interludes have come back this year?  In the age of streaming?)

Little Chameleon- G (The irregular tempo makes this one different and distinguishable.  I also think I hear a cello?  The deep notes sound great. Pretty short though…)

You Don’t Have the Room- N-M

Suicide is Murder-  G (I’m liking the piano. And the continuation of a story through the songs.)

You Could Have been a Roosevelt- Gr (It’s nice to hear someone that did some really good things get glorified, instead of just the most beautiful and wealthy (Kennedys) as usual).

Burn It Out-  G (The singing is right on pitch.  Instrumentals are pleasing.)

In Mexico-  Gr (Another waltz tempo.  The 2nd voice sounds rich and goes with it well.  I love the quiet, but circusy piano!  And how it beaks down to end the song.)

Check (reprise)-  G (Nice cello and plucking.  Short, but not obnoxiously.)

You’re Lost- M

I See You- N

 

Modest Mouse- The Golden Casket:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
1A5; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G6; 1G-N1; 4N-4; 1M-3; S = tot 16 (higher)
 
Fuck Your Acid trip- Gr (Great running beat! Scary sounding voice )
 
We Are Between- N
 
We’re Lucky- G  (Appreciate what you have? The brass is unique and good. Rounds sound good.)
 
Walking and Running- Gr-G (Talk-sing reminiscent of their past sound. The shouts in the chorus is Exciting.)
 
Wooden Soldiers- N-G (Depressing beat, rough singing. I do like high pitched xylophone sounds and echoing sound . Strings at the end and civil war drum beat are strong.)
 
Transmitting Receiving- M (Sounds muddy.)
 
The Sun Hasn’t Left- N
 
Lace Your Shoes- N (Deep and dark singing and backing. Low register work is good.  Kinda catchy though repetitive.)
 
Never Fuck a Spider on a Fly- G (Sounds like classic them. Shouty and a bit jokey. )
 
Leave a Light on- G-Gr (Beat is sweet.)
 
Japanese Trees- A (The fast lyrics!)
 
Back to the Middle- N (I like the changing speed. Why does the guitar sound so muddy?)
 
 
 
Rod Stewart- The Tears of Hercules: 
 
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
1A5; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4Gr-G14; G; 2G-N2; 1N-1; M; 2S-12 = tot 16.5
 
One More Time- Gr-G (The string backing sounds good and goes with it. Not jarring like you might think. And when the strings get louder it’s even better.)
 
Gabriella- Gr-G (A disco instrumental with Abba-sounding backing. Chorus is fuller. Hints of bright brass are a positive addition. Funky break. I’m impressed with Rod stepping out of the box.)
 
All My Days- A (lyrically similar to his past stuff. There is Spanish-flair though. Mexicana brass. Morracca backing. I like the new flavor. It’s Jimmy Buffet, but more westward.)
 
Some Kind of Wonderful- G-N (Good cover. More Amped up.)
 
Born to Boogie- G-N (Catchy. Sounds more classic Rod.)
 
Kookakioarumba (sp?)- S (The electric sounds make it interesting. The brass adds brightness. Not in love with the lyrics 😬 it gets worse- sex noises 😱😱😱)
 
I Can’t Imagine- Gr (Romantic lyrics. Tambourine! Bright sounding.)
 
The Tears of Hercules- S (Bad voice for a ballad. Weird Renfest music.)
 
Hold On- N (Hymn with choral backing.)
 
Precious Memories- A-Gr (1950s barbershop quartet sounds. ‘Of the time’ instrumentals.)
 
These are My People- Gr-G (A fucking bagpipe?! I like the inclusion of more experimental instruments to take this out of the realm of dentist songs or adult contemporary. I also like the sentiment of going home to ‘your people’ I feel like that in Montana.)
 
Touchline- Gr-G (Tells a very detailed story. Sentimental. A positive cats in the cradle.)
 
 
 
Anderson East- Maybe We Never Die:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
 
A; 2Gr8; 3Gr-G10.5; 2G6; 2G-N2; 2N-2; M; 1S-6 = tot 18.5
 
Maybe We Never Die- G-N (Always love high notes even if they’re draped in auto-tune.  Good strings. Keyboard is welcome.)
 
Lights On- G (Horns and xylophone-sparkles are both nice touches.)
 
Madelyn- G-N
 
Drugs- Gr (funky 70s sound. Flute? Don’t love the lyrics, but a lot was happening in this song which made it interesting.)
 
I Hate You- Gr-G (Strong, emotive singing. A touch of xylophone.)
 
Hood of My Car- S (Sex on a car. Complete with sex-moan sounding phonemes. 😬)
 
Falling- Gr (70s sound. Falsetto. Prince-inspired bridge and instrumentation.)
 
Jet Black Pontiac- N
 
Like Nothing Ever Happened- N (Beautiful piano. Repetitive lyrics.)
 
If You Really Love Me- Gr-G (Backing music is nice. Some good higher notes. Very orchestral.)
 
Just You and I- G
 
Interstellar Outer Space- Gr-G (Sounds best when he hits notes and sings with passion. There’s only a hint of that here. There’s also hints of xylophone and sparing choral backing. I’d like to hear this faster and more upbeat.)
 
 
 
 
We’re moving towards the top of the Best Albums of 2021 list.  More tomorrow!

2021 Album Ranking [Low-Middle of the Pack]

21 Dec

Here’s the scoring system again:  Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6
These are the albums ranked 0 to 10 for 2021.
Tori Amos- Ocean to Ocean:
I just never got Tori, even though she was pretty popular at a time I was discovering music and listening to similar artists.  I discovered why while listening to this album:  She’s pretentious.  It’s too much.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; Gr; 4G16; 2N-2; 3N-M-6; 2M-6; S = tot 2
Addition of Light Divided- N-M
Speaking with Trees- G  (The low notes are very catchy. Like this one a lot better than the last. Guitar at end sounds good.)
Devil’s Bane- N-M
Swim to New York State- G (Boring but orchestral brings it up.)
Spies- M (On-brand. Seems pretentious.)
Ocean to Ocean- M
Flowers Burn to Gold- N-M (Slow. Piano.)
Metal Water Wood- N (relieved it’s faster. Touch of orchestra is not enough. weird accent.)
29 Years- G (More upbeat.)
How Glass is Made- N (Music changes and gets faster. Flute.)
Birthday Baby- G (Good instrumentals. Nice tango thing going on.)
Third Eye Blind- Our Bande Apart:
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 3Gr-G10.5; 1G3; 1N-1; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot 4.5
Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen- Gr-G (the waltz beat is interesting here.)
Box of Bones- M (the singing is more reminiscent of their older stuff. Choral backing is OK.)
Again- N (more upbeat is a relief.)
Silver lake Neophyte- G (these song titles are so pretentious! Specific lyrics are good.)
Dust Storm…- Gr-G (good guitar. Interesting beat with many paused lyrics.)
The Dying Blood- Gr (a running beat. Emotive singing. The fast singing is catchy and fun. Guitar at the end is unique.)
Funeral Singers- M (multiple singes gives this a cheesy vibe.)
To the Sea- S (I don’t like the talk-singing or the glitch.)
Time in Berlin- Gr-G (the piano is very pretty.)

Weezer-OK Human:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

3awesome15; 0Great; 3Good9; 2Neutral-4; 3Meh-9; 1Skip-6 = tot 5

All My Favorite Songs-A
Aloe Gobi-G
Grapes of Wrath-A
Numbers-N
Playing My Piano-N
Mirror Image- M
Screens- M
Bird with a Broken Wing- M
Dead Roses- G
Everything Happens for a Reason- S (it’s an interlude)
Here Comes the Rain- G
La Brea Tar Pits-A

Lil Nas X:
IDK, this just wasn’t for me.  Some of it was OK…
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 2Gr8; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 2N-M-2; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot 6
Montero- N
Dead Right Now- M (Repetitive.)
Industry baby- G (Catchy. Call-backs.)
That’s what I want- Gr (There’s more singing and hook so I like it more. Catchy. Claps make it enthusiastic.)
The Art of Realization- S (Short unnecessary.)
Scoop- M (Funny. Female rapper sounds too babyish. Too many scoop.)
One of Me- N (Trash talkin’.)
Lost in Citidel- M-N (I like the lyrics. The music is waaaay too 80s.)
Dollar sign slime- G (I call B’s on Megan not having surgery.)
Tales of Dominico- G (It’s a bit slower and lower so that’s nice.)
Sun Goes Down- G (Talks about race and physical appearance. Good sentiment.)
Void- N-M (Echo sounds good. Optimistic lyrics.)
Don’t Want It- N-G (Syncopated.)
Life After Salem- N-G *(Bass is Exciting.)
Am I Dreaming- Gr (Miley sounds great with him. Add s to the music.)

Imagine Dragons-Mercury Act 1

They are really trying to be something they’re not, screaming a lot.  And I’m here to tell them, that’s not what I liked about them.  They’ll never be Linkin Park, and I don’t really want that from them.  I like the anthemic songs, but that doesn’t require screams, just passion, high notes, and instrumental builds.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; 2G to M-S cusp-0.75; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2Gr8; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G8; 2G to M-S cusp-3; 1N-1; 1M-3; 1S-6 -= tot 6.5

My Life G (Good build at end, more yell than sing)

Lonely Gr-G (falsetto back phrase. Catchy. Like end cut.)

Wrecked G (epic backing.)

Monday N

#1 G (uplifting message)

Easy Come Easy Go G to M-S cusp (the rap is bad.)

Giants S (scream ruined it.)

It’s OK G (positive message.)

Dull Knives M (The high note on the word “day” sounds good.  I like the pause-I wondered if the song just ended, or if Spotify dropped, as it does. Too screamy though, I’m pretty worried for his voice.)

Follow You Gr (Catchy. The fast words sound good, and makes the song different from the rest.  I love the repeated words within a phrase, because it makes it faster, without actually making the music fast.  I like the backing. Fav on album?)

Cutthroat G to M-S cusp (goddammit with this screamy shit. Hate scream. Like the quieter singing. Like discordant. But the screaming chorus “only one of us will make it out alive…” ruins it-I don’t like that AT ALL.  And it’s too bad because other elements are really, really good.)

No Time for Toxic People G (Nice sentiment. I like rounds and layered sound.)

One Day Gr (good singing. Emotional. Great instrumental build.)

Foo Fighters-Medicine at Midnight:

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 2Neutral-2; 2Meh-6; 0Skip = tot7

Making a Fire- G
Shame Shame- N
Cloudspotter- G-N cusp
Waiting on a War- G
Medicine at Midnight- M
No Son of Mine- N
Holding Poison- G
Chasing Birds- M
Love Dies Young- A

Thomas Rhett: County Again (side A)

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 4G12; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 2M-6; 1S-6 = tot 7

Want It Again N

Growing Up G

What’s Your Country Song G

Where We Grew Up M (already redundant in album on only song 4)

Heaven Right Now M

To the Guys that Date My Girls S (I thought this might be humorous, but it’s saccharine and sexist)

More Time Fishin’ G (good sentiment, and violin & beat are good)

County Again G-N

Put It On Ice Gr-G

Blame It On a Backroad Gr-G

Ya Heard G (nice to hear some higher notes.  Like the harmonica)

The Killers:  Pressure Machine

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 2Gr8; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 1G-N1; 3N-3; 2M-6; 0S = tot 7

West Hills- N (weird talking prior to music; Echo. Tells a story. Harmonica at the end.)

Quiet Town- Gr (I have to say I’m loving all the harmonica this year. Tells about the opioid epidemic ravaging small towns.  I like the changed sound at the end of the song.)

Terrible Thing- Gr-G (Very quiet song, it’s detailed storytelling reminiscent of the folky Neil Young combined with the gritty subject matter of Bruce Springstein.)

Cody- Gr (Same Neil-Springstein story vibe, stronger guitar and maybe some brighter trumpet(?) too.  It makes the song triumphant and adds glory.)

Sleepwalker- N (A ‘lil pitchy.)

Runaway Horses- M

In the Car Outside- G (catchy.  Sounds a little bit more like their older music, minus anything electronic.)

In Another Life- G-N (So far it seems like the latter half of the album features more of their original sound.  But low-key.  Gone are the danceable hooks and futuristic sound.)

Desperate Things- M (Slow, quiet, but long, very long.)

Pressure Machine- G-Gr (The singing is nice on this one.  As is the strings at the end.  It’s funny The Killers have gone more blue collar, but it doesn’t feel phony or like a put-on.  I think it’s a nice change, though it would be cool if they incorporated more of their old electronic dancy vibes just sparingly, in the future.)

Getting By- N (I hated the random talking between each track.  Mostly bc I was listening at a quiet volume, so I could hear words but couldn’t make them out.  Probably extraneous?  I did like the train sounds to end the album, very fitting.)

Taylor Swift: Fearless Vault

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

A; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 1G3; 1G-N1; 1N-1; 1M-3; S = tot 7.5

You All Over Me- G (Marin sounds good in the limited capacity she’s involved.  Lyrically tells a story.  I like the sparing touches of harmonica.)

Mr. Perfectly Fine- Gr-G

We Were Happy- N

That’s When- Gr (Keith Urban and Taylor sound great together.  It’s also really sentimental because they were peak country artists at the time of original release.  I think the lyrics were repurposed for a Kaylor break-up.)

Don’t You M (IDK if these are known to be the original lyrics.  If not, definityly re-worked for Karlie.  If they were as-is–it’s picked for a reason.)

Bye, Bye Baby- G-N

Maroon 5-Jordi

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1A5; 1Gr4; 1Gr-G3.5; 5G15; 4N-4; 1M-3; 1S-6 = tot 8.5

Beautiful Mistakes G (They know how to make a catchy song, and they did.)

Lost Gr. (I like the syncopation, and repetition.  The moag and beat add something without being OTT.  The strong moag along with the echo-singing build a mood to make the song exciting.)

Echo G (The concept of echo where my heart used to be tells the story in a visual, interesting way.  The fast singing in falsetto sounds really good, and catches the ear.  They know repetition makes songs earworms and use that to the max.  The rap breakdown was ugh, and unnecessary.)

Lovesick N

Remedy N

Seasons M

One light N (After awhile, the songs sound formulaic.  Catchy, repetition, falsetto notes, rap breakdown…  We know they can make a catchy earworm, I would like to hear something really out of the box.  And I’d like to hear one that is lyrically deep.)

Convince Me Otherwise Gr-G (The deeper tones sound good, and make this one slightly different.  Like the beat, like the voices together, and love the high notes.  The guitar sounds a bit funk in places, and that’s cool.)

Nobody’s Love N

Can’t Leave You Alone G

Memories A (This gets stuck in my head-EVERY time.  It’s sentimental and current, but also classic.)

Memories Remix S (The rap ruins it.  It isn’t on any key, so it’s jarring in such a lovely tune.)

Button G

Lifestyle G (Not the strongest finish.)

Higher middle of the list tomorrow!

2021 Album Ranking [bottom of the barrel]

20 Dec

Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6

Another aside-I try only to rank songs released on the calendar year.  Sometimes I’m unaware a ‘live’ song isn’t new, or I judge a remix or something.  This year I must say there were a LOT of cheatee, not actually new, music put out in 2021:

Madonna-True Blue (35th Anniversary Edition); Green Day- Insomniac (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition); Avril Lavigne- Bite Me single; Metallica single; Sam Smith-Love Goes (live) & soundtrack produced by him?  Rufus Wainwright-live; Jason Isbell- live; Sarah Bareilles-live; The Black Keys- remastered, live; Pink-remixes; Blondie-Spanish; Kelly Clarkson-Christmas

You see there were a lot of people putting something out, so the Wiki 2021 Albums list looked overwhelming, but a lot of artists were tricky.  They got their name out, but didn’t put in a lot of work *side-eye* Seems to me like everyone had a lot of time to think and write and get something together during the 2020 Covid-pause.

There’s my parameters.  Let’s commence the count-from bottom of my reviewed to the best of the best 2021!

Vampire Weekend– S (too experimental & discordant)

tot = nope

I abandoned this one, because I just couldn’t.  You’ll see a theme this year-not everything is made for me, not everything is appreciated by me.  It’s fine.  This is one of those.

John Mayer-Sob Rock

I was torn about even reviewing this album.  John Mayer has been a long time staple of mine, but new information has come to light (Jessica Simpson) and I feel like it isn’t all that ethical to support him.  But I thought I’d at least give it a chance.  Well, I shouldn’t have.  It’s nothing special.  Nothing much was going on in the songs.  Boring.  And by the time I got to the baby-talking track (cringe!) I was over it.  There are just too many albums this year to fuss about with a meh one.  So I aborted mission halfway through.

tot = NOPE

Last Train Home M

Shouldn’t Matter but It Does G

New Light M

Why You No Love Me S (baby talk)

Wild Blue M

Shot in the Dark; I Guess I Just Feel Like; Til the Right One Comes; Carry Me Away; All I Want is to be With You

Those were the only two albums that I could not make myself finish.  The next ones scored in the negatives.  That just means they either had tracks to skip, mehs, or not enough songs that moved me.

Neil Young Crazy Horse-Way Down the Rust Bucket-Live

I really couldn’t get past the awful singing.  IDK why listeners are very hard on women who don’t/can’t/lose their singing, but it seems like it’s tolerated if men do it *cough patriarchy/misogyny*

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 2Great8; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 5Meh-15; 2Skip-24 = tot-20

Country Home- S (pretty bad singing)
Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleeze- S (bad)
Love to Burn- N
Days that Used to be- G
Bite the Bullet- M
Cinnamon Girl- M
Farmer John- M
Over and Over- G
Danger Bird- N (terrible singing knocks the score down)
Don’t Cry No Tears- G
Sedan Delivery- G
Roll Another Number (for the Road)- M (bad singing)
Fuckin’ Up- M
T-Bone- S (About 5 words in the song)
Homegrown- N (good harmonies)
Mansion on the Hill- S (bad)
Like a Hurricane- Gr (probably best on album)
Love and Only Love- Gr
Cortez the Killer- G

David Gray-Skellig

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 2Neutral-2; 6Meh-18; 1M-S cusp-4.5; 0Skip =tot-14.5

Skellig- M
Dun Loaghaire- G
Accumulates- G
Heart and Soul- N-G cusp
Laughing Gas- N
No False Gods- M-S cusp
Deep Water Swim- G
Spiral Arms- M (repetitive)
The White Owl- M
Dares My Heart be Free- N
House with No Walls-M
Can’t Hurt More Than This- M
All That We Asked for- M

Doja Cat- Planet Her:
Now, I know.  This is the album that is getting the most hype this year.  I only listened to it for that reason.  And last year I listened to Dua Lipa for the same reason, and really liked it.  The magic didn’t happen this year.  I like the title of this album, and that’s about it for me.  And that’s OK.  Not every album is made for me, nor enjoyed by me.  I wasn’t feelin’ this one.  I might be the only one on the planet.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G3; 1G-N1; 1G-M0; 3N-3; 7M-21; S = tot -9
Woman- G (Repetitive.)
Naked- N
Payday- Gr-G (Good ambient sounds, but Minnie Mouse singing.)
Get Into It (Yuh)-  Gr-G (Baby-voice is ehhhh, but rap is good and fast.)
Need to Know- Gr (Catchy and I like the repeated words)
I Don’t Do Drugs- N (Xylophone is interesting and different, but the rest of the song is kinda boring.)
Love to Dream- M
You Right- N
been Like This- N-M (Somewhat high note is good, but the song is just boring.)
Options-Gr (Moag!)
Ain’t Shit- M (The only thing I liked was the counting.)
Imagine- M
Alone- M
Kiss Me More- G-M (Disco sound)
You Right (Extended)- G (The duet is probably the best on the album.  I also liked the breathes/breathing sounds.)
Up and Down- G-N
Tonight – M
Ride- M
Why Why- M

Kaleo

I wanted to love this one like I loved their last album.  But it really fell off in the second half.  It probably would have ranked higher if the latter half was edited out completely.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 0Great; 2Good6; 2N-G cusp2; 2Neutral-2; 1M-N cusp-2; 4Meh-12; 0Skip = tot-8

Brother Run Fast G

Break My Baby N-G

Alter Ego G

Free the Slave N-G

Skinny N

Hey Gringo M-N

My Fair Lady M

I Want More M

Backbone N

I Walk on Water M

Into My Mother’s Arms M

Aly & AJ:  a touch of the beat…[title is long and annoying, I’m not writing all of it]

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 3G-N3; 2N-2; 3M-9; 1S-6 = tot-7

Pretty Places M

Lost Cause G-Gr (I love a bitter song)

Break Yourself S (I died of boredom)

Slow Dancing M

Paradise N

Symptom of Your Touch Lucky to Get Him G-N

Listen!!! N-G (the brr brr noise saves it.  and nice piano)

Don’t Need Nothing N-G (finally, a beat!  is this what the album is missing?)

Stomach N

Personal Cathedrals Gr-G (a better singing style, more lyrically intricate)

Hold Out M

Billie Eilish- Happier Than Ever:
I almost aborted listening, because the entire first half of this long album was pretty ‘background music’ (boring).  But it bothers me to not finish things so I pressed on a little more, and I’m kinda glad I did, bc it did get better.  Track order is a major problem here!  Mix it up or cut the front half.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 6M-18; 1S-6 = tot -3.5
Getting Older-M
I Didn’t Change My Number- G
Billie Bossa Nova- N
my future- M
Oxytocin- G-N (Good base and moag)
Goldwing- G
Lost Cause- M
Hailey’s Comet- N-G (Sounds a lot like 1930s type of singing/crooning.  This goes on for too short of a time.  There’s a pause and then it seems to be a whole different song?  Then, that’s too short as well.)
Not My Responsibility- S (Need to sing)
Overheated M
Everybody Dies- M (I can hear her breathes a lot, and it doesn’t sound good. Big yawn.)
Your power- G
NDA- Gr-A.  (catchy . Same tune as  her 1st album. Good moàg)
Therefore I Am- N
Happier Than Ever- Gr
Male fantasy- G
M (Glitch is always welcome.  Has rap :-/  .)

Shovels & Rope- Busted Jukebox Volume 3

Soooo?  Is this supposed to be a kid’s album? Title it better, because I needed to listen with that expectation in mind.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 3Neutral-3; 2Meh-6; 1Skip-6 =tot-1

Hush Little Baby- S (WTF is this shit?)
In My Room- G
What a Wonderful World- N (Great song, played too slow. Whistle & talking sucked)
You Are My Sunshine- N
Cry Baby- G
My Little Buckaroo- M
Everybody Hurts- N (Weird choice for a kid’s album, if this is one…)
Mother Earth and Father Time- M
The Ants Go Marching- A (Fucking great syncopation!)
Tomorrow- G

We’ll get into the middle of the pack tomorrow.  And I’ll come back and number these when I finish the last two album-rankings.