2019 Music Half Year Review – Part 1

Preamble

Hello, Mooonlings thank you for joining me for another list this week. June tends to be quite listy(yes it’s a word) because it’s half-way through the year. So it feels right to review music, books and other sundry items. You may have guessed by now my love of music and my appreciation for multiple genres.

I have listened to so many new albums this year so far that I had to split the post into two parts for clarity. Part one is today where I discuss albums I choose myself either from a love of the artist or curiosity. Part two involves suggestions from fellow writing friends on twitter. I wanted them to have a separate post so I could include their Twitter bio and link if you were feeling like you wanted to go follow them.

Just for practicality reasons, the artists will be listed in alphabetical order as there was no rhyme or reason to the process in which I listened to the albums. I’m going to rate them out of 5 moons ☽ as stars are not close enough to my heart. It’s similar to the system of bananas, so I kind of stole that from The Orang-utan Librarian. Credit where credit is due!

Andreya Triana – Life In Colour – (3.5/5) ☽.☽.☽

Music Reviews
Music Reviews

This is a Lady I discovered through Bonobos album “Black Sands.” She was featured on a couple of songs and her voice completely entranced me. On this album, She kicks down the door with “Woman,” transitioned into bluegrass with “I Give You My Heart,” and then “How Deep My Love Goes,” is an instant classic.

“Songs in the key of life cures me in the moment.”

Freedom,” is a total bop and this album, in general, is a lot of fun. Great music, and coming into the summer, it’s just what I needed. This is a sweet ode to love and her lover.

Her closing song “It’s gonna be alright,” is so soothing, and her voice makes me believe her.

Avril Lavinge – Head Above Water – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne

Look I love Avril Lavinge. We are around the same age, and when I was an awkward teenager her music made me feel cooler than I ever really was.

For me, this album proved she’s still got that magic she had when she was 15 singing “Let Go.” There are songs on this album that evoke the same feelings within me.

Head Above Water,” is one of those opening tracks that I can’t stop singing. Thinking about it makes me want to put the album on. She screams her lungs out on “Birdie,” then she soothes us with “Crush.”

“Fly away little bird.”

Tell Me It’s Over,” is Avril’s old-timey ballad and I’m here for it. “Dumb Blonde” screams like her infamous track “Girlfriend.” Guys let’s just enjoy this collab with Nicki Minaj.

It was in me” feels like an ode to Alanis Morissette’s “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie,” and  “Souvenir,” to me feels like it was written about her ex-husband, Chad Kroger. Don’t agree? Comment below!

Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽

Beyonce

Many people tell me Beyoncé is overrated and I guess some people have to be wrong, so us stans can be right.

While I am joking, and you have the right to think whatever you want,  you can’t deny Beyoncé’s star power. I’ve watched the live film on Netflix, the performance brought me to tears many times. I’ve also been listening to “Homecoming” on repeat. It floors me every time.

Biosphere – The Senja Recordings – (2/5) ☽.☽.☽

Album Reviews
Album Reviews

Although I am a huge fan of Biosphere and one of my favourite ambient albums of all time is “Substrata,” I cannot recommend this one this to you. If you want ambient noise please feel free to listen, but his last musical album for me was “Departed Glories.” I still enjoyed this album as I did with “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings” but as far as music goes I cannot recommend this to you.

Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽

Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan

This Queen is one of Le’Boo’s favourites and man, she is still hot as hell at 66 years of age! I’ve seen her live before and her voice is even bigger in person. Every track on this album is unbelievable.

Take me back to the dance floor so I can dance away my blues.

Like a lady,” is about Le’Boo for sure, and what a track it is. Do you want to feel happy? Listen to this album, wiggle your hips, and give yourself to the music.

Dido – Still On My Mind – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

Dido
Dido

I’ve loved Dido from the beginning, and this album did not disappoint me. I adore “You don’t need a god,” “Chances,” and “Have to Stay.” The title track “Still on my mind,” is simply mesmerising.

There is some modern dance mixed in with her soulful voice, the lyrics are as blunt as ever, and we get an insight into Dido the mother, not just Dido the lover.

“I found a way to let you go, it’s gonna rip your heart out.”

Although she’s probably been chasing “Life for Rent,” since 2003, you cannot deny her voice and songwriting. I think if people weren’t comparing her to 2003 Dido they would just let themselves enjoy “Still On My Mind.

Flying Lotus – Flamagra – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus

Who?

Just kidding Le’Boo I really love this album.

Flying Lotus creates the kind of music you don’t think too much about. Don’t over-analyse. Put it on when you’re walking/doing yoga/cooking food and watch yourself flow.

Stand out tracks for me are “Burning Down The House,” “All Spies,” (makes me feel like I’m in a 90s video game) and “Yellow Belly.”

“Are you a spy mister?”

Say Something” is sweetly melancholy leading into “Debbie is Depressed.” “The Climb” featuring Thundercat is an excellent blend of both artists and of course “Land of Honey” featuring Solange Knowles.

Hozier – Wasteland Baby! – (3.5/5) ☽.☽.☽

Hozier
Hozier

Not an album I keep coming back to sadly. “Nina Cried Power,” is a banger though.

Madonna – Madam X – (4.5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

Madonna

Infused with Portuguese traditional fado music (which coincidently means long ago in Irish) Madonna continues her musical evolution. Tracks which interested me are”God Control,” “Batuka,” “Killers Who Are Paying,” and “Faz Gostoso” where she makes a great effort of speaking Portuguese and Spanish.

She once again hasn’t shied away from her jabs at the Catholic church (and other religions), or even her country of birth. This is a political album and for me, it is long overdue.

She has always been a mixed bag to me with her albums, some are ok, and then some are excellent. I’ve always loved “Ray Of Light,” and “Bedtime Stories,” and I think she’s on form here with this album. My favourite track is “Batuka” which blends traditional with trends, while still holding onto the emotion traditional music provides us.

Another 60-year-old Queen, and I still love her, and so I would say, do people who bought her first album “Madonna” brand new back in 1983. Thanks, Madonna!

Miley Cyrus – She is Coming (EP) (2.5/5) ☽.☽.

Miley Cyrus

She’s been spamming us with “Mother’s Daughter,” and in fairness, itsa bop. I’m a Miley fan, and I feel like she really worked hard to find herself. “Unholy” is also quite a good song.

She’s very white, and I’m not sure she knows it. I know my limits and I think she is cringy when she raps on “Cattitude” but I really enjoyed RuPaul.

So I would give her half. 50%. A failing grade in America, but it depends on the system you’re working in… Not particularly to my taste, and I really liked her album “Younger Now.” Sorry Miley, it’s “The Climb” after all. She has nothing new to say on the other tracks that she hasn’t said before.

Norah Jones – Begin Again (2.5/5) ☽.☽

Norah Jones

As with most white females, I have copies of “Come Away With Me,” and “Feels Like Home.” Norah Jones’ voice is consoling.

So to my surprise, she astounded me with the first track which was great, and then it got progressively more boring. Too similar to her early work without the beauty. I’m not saying this because she’s older, I just feel her heart isn’t in it anymore.

The only tracks I really liked where “My Heart Is Full,” and “Uh Oh.

P!nk – Hurts to be Human – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽

IMG_20190428_174848
Music Review

I adore P!nk and all she does. I would give her 5 outta five on all her albums, hairstyles, the babies she makes with Cary Hart and her gymnastic skills.

Santana – Africa Speaks – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽.☽

Music Review
Music Review

I’m actually blown away by this one. I had never heard of Buika before Santana collaborated with her, but man. This is absolutely everything I love. Jazz, African soul, guitars, fabulous vocals and just in time for the summer.

Yo me lo merezco” (I deserve it) I’m sending all my love to the “Blue Skies,” and “Luna Hechicera” (in Spanish this is Sorceress moon), and the beautiful “Bembele” (in Swahili it means hide?).

Classically excellent music isn’t dead. It’s in the fingers of Carlos Santana and the vocals of Buika.

Solange – When I get home – (3/5) ☽.☽.☽

Music Review
Music Review

A Seat At The Table,” was an absolute tour de force (yes I did just use that phrase), how disappointed was I when Solange released “When I Get Home,” and I just couldn’t get myself to fall in love with it.

The Chemical Brothers – No Geography – (5/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

ChemicalBrothers_NoGeography
Music Reviews

Just seen The Chemical Brothers for the first time this year and they were excellent. This album is more of the same excellent, with their modern twist. I give it 5/5 because I love The Chemical Brothers, but I stand by it.

Zaska – It Takes A Village – (4/5) ☽.☽.☽.☽

a4102070705_10
Music Reviews

Aptly named, “It Takes A Village,” was Crowdfunded, locally produced, and packed full of Irish names. Maybe it’s my bias but I really do love this album, because of the local Irish stars and accents.

Treat yourself to “My Body,” Featuring Barq, “It’s Ridiculous,” Featuring Louise Gaffney, and “Wear,” featuring Wyvern Lingo. There are Irish themes and issues throughout, but this is genuinely just a good album.

Albums I like but didn’t have time to review:

Santana – The Search For Mona Lisa

Iron & Wine – Years to Burn

Ludovico Einaudi – Seven Days Walking

Megadeth – Warheads on Foreheads

Seth MacFarlane – Once In A While

Go Follow: The Orang-utan Librarian!!!

https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/review/review-london-based-singer-andreya-triana-s-third-album-life-in-colour-is-full-of-impressive-vocals-but-lacks-soul-155

Avril Lavinge.com

https://www.nme.com/news/music/beyonce

https://biosphere.bandcamp.com/album/the-senja-recordings

https://www.slantmagazine.com/music/review-chaka-khans-hello-happiness-runs-on-good-vibes/

https://www.albumism.com/reviews/dido-still-on-my-mind

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/flying-lotus-flamagra/

https://hozier.com/spring-north-american-headline-tour/

http://rockandrollgarage.com/santana-will-release-new-album-called-africa-speaks/carlos-santana-africa-speaks/

https://waofam.blogspot.com/2019/04/pink-hurts-2b-human-song-album-lyrics.html

http://rockandrollgarage.com/santana-will-release-new-album-called-africa-speaks/carlos-santana-africa-speaks/

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/the-chemical-brothers-no-geography/

https://zaska.bandcamp.com/album/it-takes-a-village

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