New Music 6.10.14 – Turns Out We Do Know Jack

I stopped Twitter and Facebook cold-turkey a couple weeks ago and the decision wasn’t as dramatic as I thought it would be.

My life propels forward like the Road Runner on Fun Dip, people still assume I have time to come to their events and I still get invited to partake in lame games and activities. But instead of having an ignore button, I have to rely on coldheartedness to get me by.

I do, however, enjoy having a mute presence. You can’t get any social blowback when you don’t say anything and you can absolve yourself of potential guilt.

For example, sometimes I would be in a good mood but a friend would be going through tremendous hardship, forcing me to rethink posting that “Happy” parody. And what if someone was having a great day but I had to drop a Nine Inch Nails bomb on them? It wasn’t fair to either one of us.

I just couldn’t do it anymore, which is odd since I do social media for a living. So now I just have these weekly posts. You poor souls.

If you have a problem with my praising or eviscerating everything in sight, you can always blame it on the music:

Jack White – Lazaretto

Rating: Neutrally Adequate.

Jack White has no doubt been on the forefront of streamlining blues and rock music into the 21st recent and, at least musically speaking, he has nothing more to prove. Lazaretto was, in a good and bad way, proof.

His first solo venture (Blunderbuss in 2012) saw his stock as a composer and songwriter hit its peak. It was raw and presented an vulnerability from a man who seemed to keep his emotions at arm’s length. But this new album seems to fall on the safe side.

Jack White whips up some bizarre arrangements which makes even instrumental tracks like “High Ball Stepper” interesting. I think “That Black Licorice” has a Black Keys vibe, and White would slay me if he read that. But it like that song, so whatever.

The one thing going against Lazaretto is White’s already teeming catalog. I’ll listen to this album again, but I’m not sure how long I’ll sustain it if nothing starts to stick.

(EDIT: This album grows on you quite a bit once you get into the intricacies. It’s as glossy as the vinyl itself. I underestimated it.)

First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Rating: Not Sure if They Know Ponyboy.

These sisters are Swedish and I thought they were from Nashville, which shows how far they have had to reach to make it big. Their harmonies are strong and the country/folk sound has some modern textures to it. First Aid Kit is a gentle ride.

Stay Gold not going to tear through the music industry but it’s here if you want it.

Passenger – Whispers

Rating: Like Writing Your Name in 4-point Font.

Have you ever tried to write something really tiny? So small that after a few words, you start to cringe and snapping your pencil is the only release? That’s how I feel listening to Passenger’s voice. When he’s on, his voice is great – think Marcus Mumford. But he has to weave little stories with that constricted voice and it’s so hard to make it through an entire song.

I’m a terrible person because he’s filling a necessary void, that being an adorable, charming do-it-all musician that can make the manliest of men stop and listen. There is good stuff here that I’m too squirmy to dig up.

Just skip the ballads where he uses that woodpecker voice of his, which isn’t possible because that’s the entire album.

Updated Best of 2014 playlist:

OK, at this point, this list is just me bragging about how many cool artists I find. My goal is to take off around 20 songs by the end of the month, so get them while they last.

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