I'm sure you've heard Jepsen's Call Me Maybe. That was on her second album and not E*Mo*Tion, though. If you've listened to the radio at all lately you've heard Ariana. She just tied The Beatles for being the only artist to have the #1 album, and #1-3 spots on Billboard Hot 100. I find it utterly bizarre that her (current) #1 song is basically a semi-remake of My Favorite Things. Also, I adore this:maz89 wrote:Thanks, could be a place to start when I'm in the mood for pop. The three artists I'm most unfamiliar with are Janelle Monae, Carly Rae and Arian Grande.
She's also done a lot of fun stuff with Corden (Carpool Karaoke, Titanic The Musical, surprising the TNT boys, etc.). Sad that she's been through so much shit in the past year-or-so as she seems genuinely sweet.
For Lana, Ultraviolence is my favorite, but all her albums are basically slightly different takes on the same flavor. Ultraviolence is more guitar-based, though, while her first album is more strings-based, but the basic style is still the same. Definitely check out Mazzy Star/Hope Sandoval too, as they/she basically invented that style:maz89 wrote:And you're right of course, I totally do dig Lana del Ray's music. Her moody, low key songs are totally my cup of tea. I haven't explored her discography that well though. I know (and love) Video Games, in addition to a few others that became instant faves - Summertime Sadness, Blue Jeans, Born to Die, West Coast, Ultraviolence, Young & Beautiful - but need to give her stuff a proper listen. Same goes for Gaga and Pink, both of whom I quite like but whose albums I haven't heard beyond their singles. Where would you rank Pink's latest album in her discography?[
I liked Pink's latest but it's probably my least favorite from her outside her first. I think the only "problem" with it is that it kinda sounds like Pink edging towards adult contemporary and losing some of her edge, attitude, and personality. Of course, the flip-side is that it's a bit more mature and subtle. She has a new album coming out next month, too.
Her S/T maybe the sexiest album I've ever heard, and it's sexy in a truly erotic way rather than a trashy "I'm being sexy to sell" way. This song (even without the video) melts me into my seat:maz89 wrote:I was similarly wowed by Beyonce's Lemonade when it came out. Amazing how she put it out all of a sudden and without any fanfare. Don't think I've heard her self-titled album.
That "cluck" sound right before she says "flavor" is just perfection.
Yeah, I can't disagree with anything you said here. I suspect that what I like most about her is just the Max Martin songwriting behind it. He seems to have much more input with her than with, say, Swift where I think he mostly just helps with the production and details. The One That Got Away is a good one. I also quite liked Birthday from her last album, which is another 80s (or late 70s, maybe) throwback:maz89 wrote:I'll admit that I find Katy Perry to be kind of grating (and it has nothing to do with her feud with Swift ), but yes, Teenage Dream was pretty good. A song I like from that one - that gets lost amidst the more popular tracks, I think - is The One That Got Away. So catchy. Generally, I find her kind of schmaltzy though.
I remember when she first came out I was heavily into guitar and active on a guitar forum and people were losing their shit over her, both for good and bad. Every time I hear her now I always think back to those debates! Back then I only knew the singles, but I was kinda into my "complex is good, pop sucks" phase. Glad I grew out of it!maz89 wrote:And ah, Avril Lavigne and I go way back. I've heard those albums more times than I can count. Shame that the quality went down afterwards, she had potential. So many great ones in the first two though. Just put on Nobody's Home, reminiscing about this album.
That WANEGBT is from the 1989 Tour (released on iTunes I think). She also has an unreleased Red Tour DVD. I don't know why it wasn't released, but you can find a rough cut of the show on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAoMT3C3TeY That song really makes me want to hear a Swift rock album... and New Year's Day makes me want to hear a Swift indie/acoustic album! I'd also love to hear some more stuff like the U2-ish State of Grace. I just hope she doesn't get stuck in a rut trying to copy whatever happens to be popular, but I don't think she will.maz89 wrote:Yeah, I was so happy to find that the Reputation tour video was on Netflix. I loved it, of course, and I also love how she has the artistry to switch things up and re-interpret her own work. I hadn't seen the rock version of WANEGBT, but it's great! A nice contrast to the original, which was more playful and joyous. In this one, she's still bitter and angry. I love how she incites the audience to scream with her, and then, as if in a quick moment of vulnerability, brings a crystal pure clarity to her voice when she sings "I used to think we were forever, ever".
I just think Speak Now's about as perfect a pop album as has ever been made. Like, I put it up there with Rubber Soul, Kinks's Village Green, XTC's Skylarking, Smiths's Queen is Dead, and a handful of others. There's no song on there I don't love. There's no song on there that's uninteresting. There's also several that are masterpieces. Mean, especially, deserved every ounce of praise it got. I don't know if I've ever heard a more unassuming song that's so equal parts heartbreaking and encouraging. That "someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me" line always gets me. Whole chorus is ingeniously constructed though: the "big ol' cit-(y)" and "big enough so you can't hit (me)" parts are played higher than the "all you're ever gonna be is (mean)" part; while the "mean" is on the tonic (literally the "mean" of the music!); but the "me" note is below the "mean." So you get this wonderful contrast of the dream being bigger than the "mean," but her currently being smaller than it. This is Word Painting that you almost never see in pop music any more. I have no idea how intentional it is, but it works beautifully! I love how she even experiments with pop-punk for a track like Better Than Revenge. Even back when she was with her country band she already had a sense for how to fit genres to lyrics. Also, Long Live may be my second favorite song of hers behind All Too Well. That one I can't even quite put my finger on why I love it so much. It's just this powerful, nostalgic revelry and ends the album on such a perfect note.maz89 wrote:You mentioned Speak Now as your favorite album from Swift? It's really hard for me to pick a favorite. I like her relatively innocent country/pop love songs from the early days, and I like her tongue in cheek banter in the different variants of pop she does now, but if I had to pick, I'd lean towards the latter. On that note, I love how in her last two albums, she turned the criticism and personal attacks she has received over the years into great, powerful, relevant music. Shake It Off was a fun screw-the-haters track, and Blank Space was a wonderful, delirious embrace of the crazy girlfriend persona her critics thinks she has. And Reputation builds on this with even greater confidence.
Now that I've got my fanboy splooge out of the way, I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone favoring the electronic pop of 1989, or the darker style of Reputation, or even the mix-of-styles on Red. I mean, you're spoiled for great choices, so it's just a "what's your flavor" thing. I do love how she's starting to play with new personas on her last two albums though, and it is adding a new richness to her work. Like I said, as long as she keeps experimenting and doesn't get stagnant and keeps that great melodic/dramatic sensibility I'll be pleased as punch.
I think I did mention his solo album back then, but it might've just been in passing. It's basically a more singer-songwriter approach to Talk Talk's "band" approach. Yeah, I get needing to be in a certain mood for it to get their experimental stuff; it's a long ways away from pop! It is extraordianary how they got to that point though. I always get full-body chills at the build-up in Eden. Here's perhaps my favorite track from his solo album:maz89 wrote:I haven't heard his solo stuff yet (you didn't mention it at the time, I think), but I heard all of their albums once or twice and quite liked a few of their tracks. Songs off the top of my head that I stuck with me (not counting the super popular ones from their first two albums): Tomorrow Started, Living in Another World, New Grass, The Rainbow. I think I need to be in a certain mood to truly appreciate their experimental albums though. Maybe I should give them a listen with the NAD HP50s headphones I got my hands on a few months ago (thanks for the rec, btw!). I'm listening to Eden right now, and totally digging it.