Jade Bird by Jade Bird
This self-titled debut was easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year. And it did not disappoint. Jade Bird is indie/Americana heaven. It’s no wonder Bird’s music is loved by indie, alternative, and country fans alike.
This album will make you feel like you’re at Woodstock (and what a coincidence, Bird is playing at Woodstock this year). Bird’s raspy voice is like yelling across a ravine, free and unself-conscious. She is accompanied by real instruments, primarily acoustic guitar and piano. Jade Bird is a direct trip back to the Summer of Love.
Only one song on the record doesn’t particularly wow (“Does Anybody Know”), while the rest dazzle like the gems they are. “Ruins,” “Lottery,” “I Get No Joy,” “Side Effects,” “My Motto,” “Love Has All Been Done Before” and “If I Die” are a cut even above that. And yes, I did just name over half the tracklist.
The beauty of this album and Jade Bird’s music as a whole is that it can’t be defined as one genre. It’s indie, it’s folk, it’s country, and it’s Americana. And that’s exactly how Jade Bird likes it. And you know what? Me too.
Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
This album had a bit of an uphill battle to make me love it. Though I’ve liked a couple Lizzo tracks in the past, I was very put off by her take on Twitter where she said, “People who ‘review’ albums and don’t make music themselves should be unemployed.”
I’ve always hated takes like this because, well, they’re short-sighted and wrong. It’s like when people say you can’t review books if you’ve never written one. That’s not true. First of all, people study subjects and crafts they don’t necessarily partake in. And, more to the point, everyone is entitled to dislike whatever they want.
And I say “dislike” because negative reviews are the only ones that ever get a reaction like this. Who’s going to concern themselves with a reviewer’s supposed qualifications when they’re praising you or someone you support? It’s hypocritical.
But how is all this relevant to the album? Well, because the main theme of Cuz I Love You is how confident and secure Lizzo is. But how confident can she be if she’s this threatened by negative reviews? It comes across as false bravado.
That said, I don’t think the album is bad. It’s just not for me. I like the title track and “Juice,” both of which are total bops. I love how Lizzo crosses rap with her big, soulful vocals. “Cuz I Love You” cleverly balances Lizzo’s promiscuous persona with her more vulnerable side. “Juice” is ballsy and brash. Both songs will be on my playlists for a long time to come.
The album as a whole is eclectic, exactly what I wanted from Lizzo. It just doesn’t resonate with me. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the record, aside from some repetitive, overused platitudes and Lizzo’s posturing. I’d definitely recommend giving it a listen. Maybe you’ll love it.
LABRINTH, SIA, & DIPLO PRESENT… LSD by Labrinth, Sia, & Diplo
I’ve been following this interesting trio for a while now, so I was excited when I saw they’d released a full album. Granted, most of the tracks had already been released but still. It’s a fascinating collection of songs that I just can’t get enough of.
Sia and Labrinth provide the oddly well-matched vocals, while Diplo offers unique and dynamic production. No two songs are the same, but they all fit together in one cohesive album. In a world of same-y pop and overwrought EDM, this collaboration stands out.
There’s not a bad song on the record, though a few are especially great. My personal favorites are “Genius” (both versions), “Thunderclouds,” “No New Friends,” and “Heaven Can Wait.” “Genius” has a chugging bass groove that makes for a perfect earworms. “Thunderclouds” is quirky, yet earnest.
“No New Friends” does island house music the right way and is the closest thing the album has to a true duet. “Heaven Can Wait” is ethereal and soaring. Every song has something special, making for
In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much from this trio. Nothing against any of them, I’m just not a big fan of pop or EDM. But this album is thoroughly enjoyable, every song an absolute bop. This is a wonderful drug trip of an album.
Have you listened to any of these albums? What did you think of them? Let me know it in the comments!
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