First things first: The Front Bottoms aren’t all that good. Sorry. But their newest album, Going Grey, is somehow the best album of 2017 anyway (sorry Harry Styles, I still love you). A band hailing from the great state of New Jersey, The Front Bottoms have created a following made up of the entire intersection of the Guys with Beards Who Wear Flannel and Fourteen Year-Old Girls Who Smoke Cigarettes venn diagram. In a nutshell, lead vocalist Brian Sella delivers lyrics with a voice anyone would not be surprised to learn comes from a dude named Brian, but that only seems to contribute to the greater lethargic effect exuded by the instrumentals. None of this should work, but it does.
Taylor Swift’s Reputation is packed with slick made-for-radio pop hits which are destined to be played on repeat for the next few years (or longer). It’s a great album, though it’s depressingly dark. Here is a song-by-song run-through:
Visions of a Life breathes new life into Wolf Alice’s dreamy sound, inserting a bit of grit while still taking us away from reality.
It’s easy to write about something terrible. It’s not challenging to write about something average. It’s fairly difficult to write about something good. But it’s excruciatingly hard to write about something perfect.
After years of silence, The xx are back with ten fresh new tracks in their third studio album, I See You. The band – comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Romy Madley Croft, bassist Oliver Sim, and percussionist Jamie “xx” Smith – have released tour dates for the album, several of which sold out in minutes. I See You’s release has been both highly demanded and anticipated. Now, it is here, and it is genuinely stunning.
The queen of haute-couture rebellion, Lady Gaga, has reentered the pop music scene with possibly her most personal album yet: Joanne. The Lady Gaga we are used to seeing in the public eye is larger-than-life, over-the-top, and supremely focused on spectacle. We see a departure from this classic strategy with Joanne, instead replaced with intimate songs about family, religion, and relationships.
The first time I listened this album, I was still at home, driving around town with my best friend the day before he left for college. I would soon fly across the ocean. We were in my dusty car, driving down a wide, empty highway that traced though miles and miles of cornfields. It was over one hundred degrees outside and my shoulders were bare, soaking in the sun that pierced through my car window; my sunglasses were on. This mellow, sublime album was the perfect anthem for cruising on a hot Alabama afternoon, with just enough tinge of sadness to make the inevitable goodbyes that were fast approaching even more poignant.