Tag Archives: Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Awesome Albums of 2020 Top 13-1

17 Dec

#13

Black Eyed Peas (8 awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 2 meh; 1 dislike of 15 = 

53.3% awesome; 

20% good; 

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

80% OK & up; 

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

46.6% awesome

Awesome good avg – dislike =

29.95%)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/black-eyed-peas-translation-album-review/

Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.

At one point, I thought Translation would be my winning album of the year.  I decided to weight dislikes heavily though–b/c it takes a LOT for me to not like a song at all.  And I just can’t get behind using the word “bitch” to convey someone you don’t like or respect.  And it pains me to mark down Will I Am because I think he does have a good heart (he is my VERY favorite episome of Songland because he was so nice and fair and awesome), but I can’t get behind that one song…

#12

Taylor Swift (6 Awesome; 7 good; 2 ok; 1 meh; 1 dislike of 17 = 

35.3% Awesome; 

43.8% good; 

avg awesome/good is 39.6%; 

88.2% ok & up. 

Dislike = 5.9%

Awesome – dislike = 29.4%

Awesome good avg – dislike = 33.7%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/25/taylor-swift-folklore-album-review/

What a good album–it’s an understatement.  Taylor Swift again shows her dexterity as a writer and performer.  She really can do anything!  Do I like Dream-Pop?  Absolutely not.  But I like Taylor, she’s a sentimental favorite of mine, and I can appreciate what she’s done here.  This album’s strongest feature was the layered writing, which embedded so much information, that it drove multiple listens–genius.  Folklore is most definitely the most lyrically-robust album of the year.  Like Apple’s work, Taylor shows she has a keen knack for saying, showing, and musically burying meanings everywhere.  Just don’t call folklore “Alternative” IT IS NOT IN THE ALTERNATIVE GENRE.  This is most definitely an attempt at dream pop like Lorde and an inspiration to Taylor, Lana del Ray.  But more hooks and catchiness.  Taylor can’t help but to write earworms.  It’s a good departure and makes me excited for whatever is going to follow.

This album was also heavily penalized for a poorly written (in my opinion) hastily added song.  I expect more from a writer of Taylor’s caliber.  She could easily write a hundred better Covid songs, and she should have.  There’s really no excuse for just throwing a song on an album.

#11

Lauren Alaina 

Getting Good (2 awesome; 2 good; 2 ok; meh; dislike of 6 = 

33% awesome

33% good

Awesome good avg = 33.3%

100% OK & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/lauren-alaina-getting-good-ep-review/

I never knew given the choice between some drinking break-up album and a more traditional country good-girl album, that I would prefer the latter.  But in this case I did.  I felt like the Getting Over Him wasn’t very authentic for Alaina.  I suggest she #1, just combine into an album in the future.  #2, stay true to herself, because without even knowing there was a choice I gravitated to her more true story.

#10

Kenny Chesney  (4 awesome;6 good;2 ok; meh; dislike of  12= 

33.3% awesome;

50% good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.65%

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/13/kenny-chesney-here-and-now-album-review/

It feels to me like Chesney knows the exact combination of elements to make a winning record.  And he’s combined them (as he always has) to make a good record.  What I’m not getting, is a lot of genuineness, authenticity, or enthusiasm for making music.  It all seems very detached and formulaic.  Also, this party guy is wearing thin, and feels a bit disingenuous to me.  I’d like to see an album with more introspective, that I can tell Chesney feels.

#9

Brothers Osborne (4 aweseome 2 good 1 ok 3 meh OF 11 = 

36.4% awesome; 

18% good) =

Avg of awesome and good = 

27.2%

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/brothers-osborne-skeleton-album-review/

The album takes a sharp turn on song 5.  It goes from trite, bro-party country to something better.  I wish they would cut out the first 4 songs, actually–it’s that much of a change.  

#8

Green Day (4 awesome; 4 ok  of 10 = 

40% awesome; 

Awesome & OK avg =

60% good

80% ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/green-day-father-of-all-album-review/

I think this album utilized the piano better than some of their past works.  And that fast pounding on it, does a lot to increase excitement.  There is also a James Dean sort of 1950s enthusiastic rebel sound that’s still punk-pop, but a little retro.

#7

Indigo girls (4 awesome;  4 good;  3 ok;  meh; dislike of 11 = 

36.3% awesome; 

36.3% good; 

Avg of awesome & good  =

36.3%

100% OK and up.)

#6

Selena Gomez  (7 awesome; 6 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of 17  = 

41.2% awesome; 

35.3% good;  

Awesome good avg = 38.25%

100% Ok & up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/selena-gomez-rare-album-review/

Does it feel personal to anyone else that Bieber got 4 Grammy nominations for an unpopular album, full of derivative lyrics, and Selena was snubbed?  Like, she calls him out in this album, this solid, good album.  But he gets the noms and she doesn’t?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Unless politics and or money were involved…

#5

The [Dixie] Chicks (5 awesome; 5 good; 1 OK; 1 meh; dislike of 12

41.7% Awesome; 

41.7% Good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.7%;

91.7% OK & up)

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.

#4

Dua Lipa 5 awesome; 3 good; 1 OK; 2 meh of 11 =

45.5% awesome; 

17.3% good

Awesome good avg = 31.4%

81.1% OK & up)

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop. 

#3

Aloe Blacc (8 awesome; 1 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 10 = 

80% awesome; 

10% good; 

Awesome good avg = 45% 

100% Ok and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/17/aloe-blacc-all-love-everything-album-review/

Overall, a very strong album.. Each song builds on the last, and it fits a cohesive theme.  I’ve heard Blacc use his voice more and would have liked to see more low and super-high notes, but it still left me with a lot of feeling.

#2

Fiona Apple (all good–heavy intellectual = 100%)

(8 awesome; 4 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 13 = 

61.5% awesome; 

30.8% good 

Awesome good avg = 46.15%

100% OK and up

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/fiona-apple-fetch-the-bolt-cutters-album-review/

I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  Do I like to listen to it the most?  No. Do I think Apple had the most technically sound and spectacular album of 2020?  Yes.  I think she deserves album of the year Grammy.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.

TOP ALBUM OF 2020:

Kesha (14 awesome, 2 OK of 16 = 

87.5% awesome; 

Awesome + ok avg = 

93.75% good

100% OK and up)

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2020/12/23/kesha-high-road-album-review/

Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters Album Review

14 Dec

I Want You to Love Me:  Beautiful, swirling piano.  The notes are held so long they become discordant.  Singing slowly transitions from sweet to rough.  The song breaks down at the end with piano fluttering and dolphin vocalizations.  It feels weird, but must be symbolic?

Shameika:  Unlike the last song, this song sounds good right away.  The piano playing elevates all of the songs, and you can tell the vocals are very intellectual.  There is so much going on in the song (production-wise, instrumentally, and lyrically), you have to listen several times to pick up what Apple is putting down.

Fetch the Bolt Cutters:  More spoken word, which reminds me of when Jewel used to strip down to poetry.  And the singing remains “off” and intentionally displeasing to the ear.  “I grew up in the shoes I was told I could fill.”  There are many gems of lines in the song.  It’s about filling expectations, then later, realizing what you want to do, and who you want to be.  She is fetching the bolt cutters to remove these chains society has placed upon her. There’s barking and heavy breathing at the end.  Maybe a symbolic, being chased and pursued, for going your own way.  Fear, but defiance in spite of it.

Under the Table:  Apple, won’t be silenced.  Not for society.  Not for her partner.  “Kick me under the table all you want, I won’t shut up.”  The piano steps up, and Apple goes into more of a singing shout to show her passion about the subject.  There is more off-key shout-barely singing, and the piano does a lot of the work.

Relay:  The beat is consistent with the last songs, moving effortlessly through the album’s theme.  A lot of production.  Many repetitions of the phrase.  Fiona presents herself strong here, not a victim, or soft or helpless.  “Evil is a relay sport when the one who’s burned turns to pass the torch.”  And “Presenting your life like a fucking proaganda brochure” is such a great line.  “. . .  If I hate you for hating me I will have entered the endless race” is the key to the meaning of this song.  Pitting women against each other is our patriarchy’s way to hold us all back.  There are some wailing sounds that I don’t understand.  Is there a cello in here?  

Rack of His:  The initial notes and background sound like that popular Matt & Kim song.  More rough singing to tell a story, which was cerebral to the extent I had to listen several times before I picked it up.  She loved this person so much, and they were only with her to avoid boredom.

Newspaper:  More barking.  An incest song?  It’s difficult to listen to details of grooming and manipulation of an incestuous father.  But it’s a good, and an important song, to put out in the world.  The singing is rough again.  Seeing this sister(?) being abused in the same manner makes Apple feel close to her.  Though the father is manipulating them to dislike and distrust each other.  She does vibrato at the end.  Closes with random thumping.

Ladies:  Repeats, “ladies ladies ladies” four times in harsh, displeasing tones before starting to really sing.  “Yet another woman to whom I won’t get through”  The ex wife of another ex of mine, but the dress at many degrees of separation.  Apple is part of the social puzzle that has women policing other female behavior to reinforce patriarchy.  She emphasizes, whether we play along, enforce, or rebel, we’re all still part of that system.

Heavy balloon:  A lot more repetition–Apple really wants to stress her message to the listener.  There are many thoughtful lines.  “I spread like strawberries” “I’ve been sucking it in so long, I’m bustin’ at the seams.”  “The bottom feels like the only safe place that you know.”

Cosmonauts:  Apple is startlingly smart.  She has lines like, “Your face ignites a fuse to my patience…  Be good to me before you’re gone.”  And “Way more gravity than when we started off” to tell us this relationship has gotten burdensome and heavy.  It’s good imagery.  There are chaotic rounds near the middle of the song.  “Started off” is repeated, then shouted.  It emphasizes the difference from where the relationship began to where it has ended up. Ending with Apple whispering.

For Her:  A group of female voices.  “Treating his wife like less than a guest”  “Trying to act like the other girl acts”  The lyrics get fast.  It nearly sounds like a sports chant.  Beat.  A fun sounding verse.  “Like you know you should know when I came to bed, like you don’t know what you did.”  A pretty big musical break– to show a different day?  It almost sounds like the next song.  “You raped me in the same bed your daughter was born in.”  A chorus, but it gets increasingly sharp(?) and displeasing which ends the song.  I think it imitates how things went sour in her life?

Drumset:  She doesn’t understand why the subject of the song, didn’t want to try, and took it all away.  The drumset is gone.  This person won’t take calls, won’t talk at all.  The song ends on “aaannnd” maybe the next song will continue the story.

Oh I Go:  Sung in lower tones, like stage whispering at some parts.  Many levels of voice.  Choppy phrases of woodwind(?) end the song.


I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.