It seems like everyone’s got the bug to put out some new music before the holidays. November 3rd alone showed us some major players in the industry putting out albums, and the rest of the month, up until the end at least, seems to follow that trend. You’ll see what I mean – let’s dive in!
Kelsea Ballerini - Unapologetically
Release date: 11/3
I feel like I’m cheating a little on this one, because I saw Kelsea perform most of these songs on tour this summer. That girl is a hell of a performer.
“Legends” struck me on the radio at first actually, not really knowing who was singing it. It’s a nostalgia song for anyone who had a close group of friends at one point. It’s also in some way this beautiful acceptance of that past being the past.
Kelsea then came out with the title track, “Unapologetically,” which is just so damn adorable. I mean, obviously homegirl got engaged this year and is head over heels happy, and this is her joyful noise about it. You know what, that’s great and well-deserved.
We got quite a few pieces to this album prior to release date, and “High School” was the next one. I know I said “Legends” was the nostalgia act – in that vein, “High School” is the move on moment. I’d bet anything everyone has someone they can attribute that to. I’m looking at you, weird ex.
“Miss You More” was the anger song that dropped right before this full album hit, and I feel like these four previews gave us a well-rounded Kelsea. She’s sweet, but confident, and definitely more mature and willing to put herself out there now. Like I said at the start, I’ve heard more of this album and it’s probably the highlight of this month for me.
Other 11/3 releases:
Sam Smith - The Thrill of It All
Maroon 5 - Red Blue Pills
Taylor Swift – Reputation
Release date: 11/10
First of all, there are no singles listed for Taylor Swift prior to this album other than “Bad Blood.” For some reason, this bothers me. Also, her new music bothers me. *ducks from the trash being thrown*
Look, I’m a Taylor country purist. I met her as a country artist, and she was clever and good at that point. Lyrics had meaning and were worth memorizing. Now? I don’t get it.
“Look What You Made Me Do” irks me to no end. It’s catchy, sure, but beyond that, I’m sorry, why do I care? I want to say “Ready For It,” which came out quickly on the heels of the first single, is marginally better. Part of me also wants to say that’s because there are a few seconds of call back to her old sound.
“Gorgeous” might be the slight redeemer here. I’m not in love, but this I could get into a little more. It’s got a little more catch to it lyrically, though I could do without Taylor rapping. Which… she answers a little with “Call It What You Want.” There’s so actual melody here and almost feels less back-stabber-I’m-angry-about-everything-ish.
I feel awful trashing (albeit lightly) Taylor’s new music. I was a huge fan and she’s one of the absolute nicest celebrities I’ve ever met. I still listen to her earlier albums all the time. But I don’t enjoy this turn.
Other 11/10 releases:
Walk The Moon - What If Nothing
Evanescence – Synthesis
Morrissey – Low In High School
Release date: 11/17
I attempted to use Eminem’s new album for this week’s entry, but alas, it’s all just a rumor and there haven’t been any new single drops to make some judgements on. So, here we are.
I wouldn’t call myself a regular listener, but every time I dive into this music I forget why it’s not in regular rotation for me. Take “Spent the Day in Bed” for example. This is fantastic. It’s warped just a bit to play with your ears, but still oddly clean. The beat is freaking groovy and fantastic, and the lyrics are poignant and have a point.
We don’t make music like this anymore, do we? “I Wish You Lonely” is twisted and just great backing music while I try to wrap up this late night. You know why I think I like this… it’s very reminiscent of Bowie. I think we can all manage to deal with something like this, a little more twisted and interesting, in an otherwise frightening and aggravating world.
Other 11/17 releases:
Eminem – Revival (rumored)
Sia - Everyday Is Christmas
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built the Moon?
Release date: 11/24
We round out this month with something a little more hard-hitting with a throwback recording sound. Something’s weird and great about the sound of “Holy Mountain” right off the bat, reminding me of a great small bar in the LES where you can blow your ear drums out while losing your mind in dancing. I love this kind of stuff. Now granted, so, apparently, do Noel’s children and their friends. Take that as you will. Maybe I just want to be young again as I approach 30.
Can’t say that “Fort Knox” is quite as good as the first one, but I appreciate the experimenting with sound. Of course, if you’re a regular reader, you may know that we can and should appreciate differences and experimenting with music. But maybe this is a track to skip?
Overall, this one seems intriguing; it seems worth a full sit-down listen with some real attention paid. In an otherwise very sparse release week, this may just wind up being the shining light.
Other 11/24 releases:
Bjork – Utopia
Robbie Williams - Under The Radar vol. 2