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Old 12-07-2021, 03:20 PM   #901
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Evermore is fine. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, and there's nothing in it I haven't heard a hundred times before, but Taylor brought some of her better songwriting to the table. I like it slightly more than Folklore but less than Fearless, Speak Now or Red. Indie-courting Taylor is not as interesting to me as country Taylor.

Planet Her is a hot mess with a handful of highlights. Kiss Me More is great, of course.

The Bieber album is slightly better than the last one but is still incredibly weak. He samples an MLK speech on it and it comes off about as well as one would expect.

Happier Than Ever is either my second or third favorite in the group; it has an interesting narrative throughline and good production. Still, the highlights aren't that high. It's a nice album but I think she's capable of more.

Montero is a modern pop product with a unique point of view to carry it. Some songs are inspired, many are filler. I didn't dislike it but nothing blew me away and sometimes it felt like he was going through the motions to pad the album. Probably worth a listen if you want to catch up on what radio pop sounds like in 2021 but it's slightly disappointing.

Sour is a worthy AOTY pick because of its impact but I don't enjoy it all the way through. It gets redundant because Olivia has nothing to say about her breakup that couldn't be said in 3 songs but I like her voice and the highlights are excellent. It's a quality work of creative expression that happened to catch on with the public. That's a great thing. But it would have been better as an EP.

Didn't listen to HER, Gaga/Bennett or Jon Batiste. Do not care at all.

So that leaves Donda, which for me is by far the most raw, insightful and interesting work that I've heard from this group of albums. The level of talent involved is off the charts with excellent features that bring the best out of everyone involved a la MBDTF. There's an impressive level of polish to the production, though the listener is really required to craft their own sequencing in order to bring the polish out of the whole experience. I have my own personal version of the album that I absolutely love.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4m...urce=copy-link

Kanye is one of the only truly mainstream artists putting their entire life, external and internal, into their music in such a transparent way. Never Abandon Your Family? Come to Life? Hurricane? Moon? Life of the Party? Heartbreaking. Andre 3000 has the best verse I've heard all year. Fivio on Off the Grid is not far behind. And Kanye himself on Come to Life is about as good as I've ever heard him.

Not that any of this matters to the public because he's persona non grata at this point, but as someone who loves music, particularly music that reveals something new about an artist in a creative way, Donda is really something special and worth the time. It's a shame that the troll tactics were brought out to sell the record because it's super heartfelt and inoffensive outside of one track that didn't need to be on there anyway and isn't on my tracklisting.

Rating what I've heard:

Donda 8.5
Evermore 7.5
Happier Than Ever 7.5
Sour 6
Montero 6
Planet Her 5
Justice 4.5
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Old 12-07-2021, 04:57 PM   #902
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It's really unfortunate, but your last point gets to the heart of it: For a lot of people, myself included, it's too late. He destroyed his career/legacy and the likelihood of me ever listening to another one of his albums, let alone even really getting as much enjoyment out of his old ones to the point I used to, is long gone. I would be extremely disappointed if he won.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:15 PM   #903
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I'm surprised every year that people care about the Grammys.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:19 PM   #904
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It's really unfortunate, but your last point gets to the heart of it: For a lot of people, myself included, it's too late. He destroyed his career/legacy and the likelihood of me ever listening to another one of his albums, let alone even really getting as much enjoyment out of his old ones to the point I used to, is long gone. I would be extremely disappointed if he won.
Totally agree.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:34 PM   #905
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I'm surprised every year that people care about the Grammys.
Care is a strong word. I'm still going to talk about it, good/bad, it's the moment that artists in a field I care a great deal get recognized/overlooked. It's worth discussing.
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:09 PM   #906
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I'm surprised every year that people care about the Grammys.
I'm surprised they gave Donda a look at all, considering their choices are usually contingent on public image and/or respectability, of which Kanye currently has none. Judging purely by artistic merit though, it would be a great choice.
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:18 PM   #907
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I get why it's a discussion topic for sure, it's a huge thing. I guess I more mean I'm surprised people put stock in them. They're about as far away a recognition of quality for an album as I can think of.
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:20 PM   #908
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Japanese Breakfast winning a Grammy would be fucking cool, not gonna lie.
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Old 12-07-2021, 06:36 PM   #909
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Japanese Breakfast winning a Grammy would be fucking cool, not gonna lie.
As would Wolfgang Van Halen winning one.
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:08 PM   #910
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I get why it's a discussion topic for sure, it's a huge thing. I guess I more mean I'm surprised people put stock in them. They're about as far away a recognition of quality for an album as I can think of.
Because a moment like Arcade Fire winning album of the year is worth waiting for .
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:53 PM   #911
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They're about as far away a recognition of quality for an album as I can think of.
This is reductive, and implies their picks represent the worst of the year instead of the best. Just making a survey of their AOTY picks from this century, there's a pretty wide range of what they award. Sometimes you get a career win, sometimes it's a young ingenue who dominated pop culture, and sometimes they refreshingly go outside the pop/rock bubble to something from jazz, country, hip-hop, and even electronica in the case of Daft Punk. And at least they have a long history of recognizing women, even if it's primarily white ones. If you look at the last 3 years alone, you have Kasey Musgraves, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift. Are those albums the absolute best of the year? They're certainly in the conversation.

You can't act like every year they're doing a Bruno Mars or Beck headscratcher. And one has to acknowledge that every year can't be some display of Gen Z relevance. It doesn't bother me that Herbie Hancock won for an album of Joni Mitchell covers, because that's part of the wide breadth of genres that this award should encompass. Same with Robert Plant & Alison Kraus. Now the Ray Charles collabs album, yes, that's a weak-ass win. Or the O Brother soundtrack with various artists beating U2 and Bob Dylan.

For me, I suppose the problem is more about a lot of crap getting nominated than the actual winners.
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:57 PM   #912
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Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden is doing a tour that's basically monologuing and telling stories and I feel like this might be a great fucking show, and tickets are only $40.

Bruce Dickinson is considered one of the world’s most storied musicians. Aside from decades spent delivering high-octane performances with his larger-than-life persona in IRON MAIDEN, Bruce has lived an extraordinary off-stage existence too.

A true polymath, his accomplishments include: pilot and airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, beer brewer, motivational speaker, podcaster, film scriptwriter, twice-published novelist and New York Times Top 10 best-selling author, radio presenter, TV actor, sports commentator and international fencer… to name but a few.

So, there’s plenty to be entertained by, throughout the evening’s cornucopia of fascinating tales and derring-do exploits, all delivered by Bruce with characteristically infectious enthusiasm and wry wit.

Split into two parts, the first section of the show sees Bruce taking a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of Maiden anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs and sometimes even erupting into song a-capella, to illustrate a point.

The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to a Q&A session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce’s answers will all be completely improvised – the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be!
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:08 PM   #913
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Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden is doing a tour that's basically monologuing and telling stories and I feel like this might be a great fucking show, and tickets are only $40.

Bruce Dickinson is considered one of the world’s most storied musicians. Aside from decades spent delivering high-octane performances with his larger-than-life persona in IRON MAIDEN, Bruce has lived an extraordinary off-stage existence too.

A true polymath, his accomplishments include: pilot and airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, beer brewer, motivational speaker, podcaster, film scriptwriter, twice-published novelist and New York Times Top 10 best-selling author, radio presenter, TV actor, sports commentator and international fencer… to name but a few.

So, there’s plenty to be entertained by, throughout the evening’s cornucopia of fascinating tales and derring-do exploits, all delivered by Bruce with characteristically infectious enthusiasm and wry wit.

Split into two parts, the first section of the show sees Bruce taking a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of Maiden anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs and sometimes even erupting into song a-capella, to illustrate a point.

The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to a Q&A session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce’s answers will all be completely improvised – the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be!
You should absolutely go. Colin Hay is one of my all-time favorite live acts because of his story-telling between songs.
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:56 PM   #914
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FWIW, I decided to check out the Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett album while doing chores. It’s not a genre I listen to much, but I think it’s well done and worth a spin.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:55 AM   #915
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Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden is doing a tour that's basically monologuing and telling stories and I feel like this might be a great fucking show, and tickets are only $40.

Bruce Dickinson is considered one of the world’s most storied musicians. Aside from decades spent delivering high-octane performances with his larger-than-life persona in IRON MAIDEN, Bruce has lived an extraordinary off-stage existence too.

A true polymath, his accomplishments include: pilot and airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, beer brewer, motivational speaker, podcaster, film scriptwriter, twice-published novelist and New York Times Top 10 best-selling author, radio presenter, TV actor, sports commentator and international fencer… to name but a few.

So, there’s plenty to be entertained by, throughout the evening’s cornucopia of fascinating tales and derring-do exploits, all delivered by Bruce with characteristically infectious enthusiasm and wry wit.

Split into two parts, the first section of the show sees Bruce taking a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of Maiden anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs and sometimes even erupting into song a-capella, to illustrate a point.

The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to a Q&A session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce’s answers will all be completely improvised – the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be!
That does sound really cool!
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Old 12-11-2021, 10:06 PM   #916
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everybody needs to see Thundercat live goddam
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Old 12-11-2021, 10:48 PM   #917
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He is phenomenal. So talented. I don't love his solo records, but never pass up the opportunity to see him live.
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Old 12-12-2021, 02:03 PM   #918
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yeah, he was unreal. i had tickets to his show in march 2020 that was scheduled for 4 days after everything shut down, and then it got rescheduled for this november and then that got pushed back again. so i effectively waited 20 months for this show and holy shit was it ever worth the wait.

the crowd seemed a little flat and unfamiliar with most of his music but that didn't take away from my enjoyment. there was no opener (apparently because of border issues), so he just went out and played a full 2.5 hour 24 song set with no intermission or encore. plenty of jaw-dropping holy shit how the hell did he do that moments. it was the last show of the tour and he really left it all out there. it was amazing. all of you need to go see him the next time you have a chance.
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:48 PM   #919
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Listening to Pitchfork's 100 songs of the year playlist... the two standouts I didn't already know so far are La Perla by Sofia Kourtesis and Mohabbat by Arooj Aftab. I really need to branch out.
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Old 12-13-2021, 03:36 AM   #920
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The Arooj Aftab album is very good and worth your time. I only just got around to it a few weeks ago.
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