I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.
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Friday, June 18
Rhapsody. Seriously. If you guys don't have it, you need it. It's like Pandora on steroids.
I have been thoroughly schooled by Rhapsody's library since I signed up last week, most notably with the new (and heavily hyped) Janelle Monae LP "ArchAndroid." (Preview it here)
I'm not trying to be like super-cool or anything, but blog hype doesn't really phase me. Behind the scenes of blog hype are heavily choreographed web media strategies by boutique PR firms who really know how to promote their clients for virtually no money. In short, blog hype isn't as genuine as the next PBR-sucking dork would like to believe.
But, even knowing the machine behind blog hype, the music rarely ever resonates with me. I have no idea what everyone was blowing their load about when they first heard Joanna Newsom (I still think she's the poor man's Kate Bush), or when everyone was going absofuckinglutely apeshit over the resurrection of mashups (glorified GarageBand mastery).
However, the hype about "ArchAndroid" makes sense: It's an album that sounds like the blogosphere, or the globalization that we've somehow manifested from it--scattered, flat-footed, and often confusing--and any type of art that's a reflection of our flummoxed "now" is worthy of note.
Neo-soul has been pretty stagnant in composition for the past 15 years but this Monae girl has juiced up the "neo" by creating a record that sounds, frankly, nothing like a neo-soul record.
Monae's vocals are pretty outstanding, but the real pillar to this work is the fact that it's about the crafty mix of good songs, concept, and not the diva singing them.
It is far from being a perfect LP, but it really shines in the fact that trying to crack the record's agenda incites repeat listening says something about how we listen to records, or, rather, how we don't listen to records these days.
Powerful stuff. She plays with Erykah Badu this Sunday at the Greek; I have a feeling I'm going to have a very difficult time scoring a pair.