Take my hand reader, I’d like to to take you to a magical place; a land of wonder, bliss and Carly Rae Jepsen. Yes I am talking about 2012. Now, if you’d permit me, I’d like to revisit my second ever blog and examine how the musical landscape has changed since those heady days of Psy and Joseph Kony.
It has almost been a year to the day since I wrote my public love letter to Ms. Jepsen. The first question the reader should be asking themselves is, Where the hell has she gone?
If you’re hoping to find her I wouldn’t recommend the music charts.
This time last year, it was almost impossible to turn on a music channel without seeing “Call Me Maybe” and the amusing accompanying music video. Despite my appreciation for catchy pop music, I was unimpressed with the rest of her EP, and in my brief review I gave it a scathing, ‘4 shirtless gardeners out of 10’.
Later in the year Ms. Jepsen released a full album called The Kiss, it boasted 16 tracks; 15 of which weren’t titled “Call Me Maybe”. I’ll tell you now, I have only listened to, maybe, 60% of it, and that was back when it was released in September. Despite my hazy memory of The Kiss, I am certain that I didn’t like it.
I’m a busy guy, I can’t afford to take an hour out of my schedule of TV watching to listen to a 27 year old woman sing about being a teenage girl. I listen to hip-hop, almost exclusively. Songs about drug dealing and violence are staples of my music diet, so I found it difficult to stay focused on an album that had tracks called “Tiny Little Bows” and “I Know You Have a Girlfriend”, no thank you Carly.
“Call Me Maybe” represents the high point in Ms. Jepsen’s career, both as a recording artist and songwriter, a fact that is either hilarious or depressing.
I was very fond of Fun’s Some Nights and Ben Howard’s Every Kingdom, and I still regularly listen to tracks from both albums. Taking this into consideration I will revise my original score for Every Kingdom from ‘a solid 8 wolves out of 10’, to 9 Black Flies(?) out of 10. I also thought that Howard’s follow up EP, Burgh Island was excellent; in fact it was so good that I took the time to download each song individually from a YouTube ripper, that’s dedication, my friends.
On a side-note, I can’t understand why people dislike fun., I mean I received actual complaints for giving their album 9 out of 10 last year. In a blog that included a sincere review of Carly Rae Jepsen’s EP, people were most offended by the score I gave to Some Nights. I think I need to attract new readers.
Anyway after much thought, I am sticking to my guns. I have no idea what people expect from a band called fun., a band that looks like this:
Once again, the band is called fun. You can’t expect music that challenges the political establishment, or the very fabric of our society. Instead you have three gentlemen singing about having a good time, and that’s fine by me.
Fun. performed in the UK a few times last year, and would you believe that on three separate occasions I was unable to find a single friend who was interested in accompanying me. How sad is that? Where did they go wrong? Was it the harmonies? Was it the heartfelt lyrics about human emotion? Perhaps it was Nate Ruess’ powerful voice. Either way, it is one year later and I am still baffled by people’s dislike of fun..
If I am ever going to address 2013 I should wrap up my retrospective of 2012, and I will do so with my top 5 albums:
[Final Sidenote] I didn’t get Curren$y. I had no real knowledge of his music, and I was struggling to understand why he had such a sizeable internet following. The Stoned Immaculate was released June 2012 and I saw it as the perfect opportunity for me to finally sample his wares. I was converted almost immediately. From what I can tell his subject matter includes, fast cars, faster women, smoking weed and how cool he is. Throw in some excellent beat selection, charisma and humour and you’ve got my new favourite rapper.
In the space of a year I have made the transformation from undecided, to hardcore Spitta fan; an almost life-altering change. I would give the album at least 8 out of 10 and it serves as a perfect introduction for anyone else interested in the life and times of Mr. Shante Franklin.
My final thought on Curren$y regards his crew, Jet Life. Now, usually when a rapper becomes notable in the rap game he tends to get the people he grew up involved. Whether it’s Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang or Nas and The Bravehearts the pattern is usually the same. Rapper becomes big, he forms a record label, and then fills it with his friends. This is rarely a formula for great music, but Curren$y somehow managed to populate his Jet Life Records imprint with competent and interesting rappers.
Most notably Young Roddy and Trademark da Skydiver, a pair of weed rappers who have excellent chemistry and above-average rhymes. They have brightened up many a Curren$y song, not to mention the fact that they can also carry an album on their own. Jet Life Records appears to be a very cohesive unit, everyone on the label seems to share a philosophy based on fast cars, faster women, smoking weed and how cool they all are.