40 Songs I Liked in 2018

Leave a comment

I’ve gone over my favourite albums of 2018, and now it’s time to discuss my favourite individual songs. In order to ensure variety, I’ve limited myself to one song per artist. Don’t think of this as my top 40; think of this as a snapshot of my musical tastes in 2018. More

Releasing Songs Before an Album Drops

1 Comment

It’s time for my irregularly scheduled weekly blog post. I don’t know when I became a guy who blogged only weekly (not counting What I’ve Been Reading), but this schedule – if you want to call it that – is what fits into my life at the moment. Ideally, I’d let the ideas I’m writing about in this entry stew for a little while longer in my brain, but I wanted to post something this week, and I’m not confident that further cogitation would allow me to synthesize these ideas into a coherent thesis.

Earlier this week, pop-punk band The Wonder Years released a song, “Passing Through a Screen Door,” from their upcoming album, The Greatest Generation. It’s a catchy, fun song, dealing with topics that have come to be known as the band’s bread and butter: existential angst and the pains of growing up. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the band’s previous effort, Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, which I named one of my favourite albums of 2011. In fact, it sounded like it could have been a Suburbia outtake. It seemed odd to me that The Wonder Years would choose to preview their album with a song that could have easily been mistaken for a lost b-side. Perhaps the band doesn’t want to scare off its fans with anything too out there, but don’t they want to signal that they’re moving forward even a little bit?

That got me thinking: album previews can have a significant influence on listeners’ pre-release impressions of upcoming albums. Artists and record company execs aren’t stupid. I think they recognize this influence. With that in mind, I can identify some of the ways in which they used the tracks they chose to release to promote then-upcoming records in order to influence the pre-release conversation. More

Music I Liked in 2012

2 Comments

2012 was an odd year for me. The music I liked in 2012 wasn’t necessarily music that was released in 2012. This past year, I dug back into a few artist’s back catalogues and discovered albums that I had missed. So I’m going to divide this entry into two sections: albums from previous years and albums from 2012. More

5 Awesome Songs, Vol. 8: Songs of 1999

Leave a comment

Before we hit the new millennium (which actually started in 2001, not 2000, but let’s just forget about that for a second) we were in a glorious decade called the nineties. Remember grunge music? Remember the Clinton affair? Remember Sharon, Lois, and Bram? Anyway, by the time the decade came to a close, grunge had morphed into post-grunge, the Clinton affair was yesterday’s news, and people finally realized that The Elephant Show had been cancelled way back in 1995. Those days seem distant now, but eleven years ago, there were people who were rocking out to the some of the awesome songs that I’ve listed here. More