Showing posts with label John Mayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Mayer. Show all posts

Dec 20, 2017

Farce the Music's Top 11 Songs of 2017

11. The Kernal - Tennessee Sun
A cool 70s country inspired Americana roller with a simple earworm of a refrain. "Letting go of everything that I don't need on my way down" brings to mind the vibe of Son Volt's "Windfall," but this song looks back at the past before embracing the blank slate of the future.

10. Kate Rhudy - I Don't Think You're An Angel (Anymore)
I love everything about this song. The gentle instrumentation, the heavenly harmonies, and the somehow sweet but venomous at the same time lyrics. This song's a beauty.

9. Daddy Issues - High St.
Yeah, I miss the rock of the 90s but that's not why I dig these ladies. They inhabit these throwback pop-grunge tunes with a wise-ass wink and a modern gravity. The whole album is killer, but this one's the best of the bunch, in my estimation.

8. Tyler Childers - Whitehouse Road
Though he's been at it for years, Childers made his introductions to the Americana community at large this year in a big way. His album Purgatory has graced many a "best of 2017" list, and it's not just because he's the 'hot new thing.' Childers' lyrics cut to the heart of the matter but they get there aimed from his unique perspective. "Whitehouse Road" is about too much partying the wrong way, but it still comes off like a singalong for the good times. 

7. John Mayer - In the Blood
I have not been a Mayer fan in the past. I've always realized he was a talented guitarist, and that his songs were well-crafted, but something just never clicked for me. "In the Blood" is a revelation. Well-crafted, beautifully written, and masterfully performed. With this great song, and his hilarious Twitter account, I've likely turned the corner on Mr. Mayer.

6. The War on Drugs - Strangest Thing
6 minutes and 41 seconds of low-key classic rock bliss. The guitar solo is a cathartic release. 

5. Craig Finn - God in Chicago
A short story set to music shouldn't work this well as a song, but "God in Chicago" is an understated gem. Only a one-time refrain/chorus is sung - the rest of the song is spoken word, mostly over a simple piano melody. It's a song about tying up loose ends and making sense of tragedy, which you might not expect to get from a story about a drug deal. 

4. Ruston Kelly - Black Magic
This song was stuck in my head more often than any other in 2017. The chorus is just so damn catchy. And this song is so dark. It's the antithesis of a love song. The imagery evokes a horror movie. Though it's likely a misheard line on my part (and that of all the lyrics websites), I'd still love for Ruston to explain what the line "Love is like a bag of drugs, it blows out both your knees" means. Oh, and I'm guessing the reference to Ryan Adams' "Love is Hell" is intentional.

3. Brandi Carlile - The Joke
A song for the underdog. I'm usually a lyrics guy, but I didn't even realize what the song was about the first 3 or 4 times I heard it - I was just in awe. That the song is an anthem for the times without getting remotely political makes it that much better. Carlile really turns loose here. Breathtaking. 

2. Turnpike Troubadours - Pay No Rent
A selfless wish for good tidings. A true love song - whether that love be for a one-time significant other or a friend who comes and goes. Evan Felker brings songs like these to life with colorful detail, everyman philosophy, and warm sincerity. Besides the solid lyricism, "Pay No Rent" is relentlessly catchy, memorable, and it just makes you feel good. 

1. Sunny Sweeney - Bottle By My Bed
A good artist can make you appreciate a song that doesn't necessarily relate to your life. A great artist can make you feel exactly what he or she is going through when they sing the words, no matter what they're about. Sunny Sweeney is a great artist, and this is a fantastic song. I dare you not to feel the longing of a woman who desperately wants to be a mother when you hear "Bottle by My Bed." It just aches. A career song.

May 8, 2017

The Roots of Modern Mainstream Country

The Roots of Modern Mainstream Country

The roots of modern mainstream country music run deep… well, not deep, but long. All the way back to the 70s anyway. You hear the disco beats of ABBA and others in the slick sounds of Chris Lane and Thomas Rhett. There's not a ton of 80s influence in the current sound - though you'll hear a little hair metal flourish from time to time. The 90s is where 2010's country really finds its 'soul.' From the chillaxing flow of Jack Johnson to the gleeful boy band harmonies, to the danceable pop rock of Sugar Ray, it's undeniable that the generation of music the most popular artists and songwriters grew up on is a huge influence on their sound.

So what about country music? Is modern country influenced by any of that? Well, sure. If you call Shania Twain and Rascal Flatts country. (Yeah, we have a few outliers with a semi-traditional sound, but even Jon Pardi only releases his most dance floor ready tracks to radio)

Check out this Spotify playlist if you don't believe me. You'll hear some really familiar sounds if you're a consumer of iheartradio's commercial country soundscape. If you're not, you'll just get a knowing laugh out of it. Oh, and don't think I'm saying all this music is bad… I like some of it; it's just not necessarily the well a genre called "country" should be drawing most of its water from.

Here's the tracklist if you don't wanna put your ears through all that.

Smash Mouth – All Star
Drake – Take Care
Everything – Hooch
John Mayer – Your Body Is a Wonderland
Britney Spears – ...Baby One More Time
Sugar Ray – Every Morning
Shawn Mendes – I Know What You Did Last Summer
Winger – Seventeen
Kesha – TiK ToK
Lil Wayne – A Milli
Rascal Flatts – Prayin' For Daylight
*NSYNC – Bye Bye Bye
Limp Bizkit – Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Jack Johnson – Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Nelly – Country Grammar (Hot Shit)
Eminem – The Monster
Zedd – Stay (with Alessia Cara)
Montgomery Gentry – Hell Yeah
Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch
Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching
The Pussycat Dolls – Don't Cha
Warrant – Cherry Pie
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Crazy Town – Butterfly
ABBA – Dancing Queen
Calvin Harris – My Way
Shania Twain – That Don't Impress Me Much
Nickelback – Something In Your Mouth
LFO – Summer Girls
Ariana Grande – The Way
G. Love & Special Sauce – Cold Beverage


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