Taylor Swift’s last album, the indescribably brilliant 1989, made her the biggest star musician in the world, but it also set an almost insurmountable challenge for her follow-up. Her only hope to hold onto her crown was to do something absolutely nobody was expecting. And Holy Hell, did she deliver on that front. I now know what it’s like to be afraid of Taylor Swift. I’ve always loved her music, but it honestly never occurred to me that she could actually frighten me. This song makes all her angry songs from earlier in her career…”Better Than Revenge”, “Dear John”, “Bad Blood”, “Better Man”…sound like the love child of “You Light Up My Life” and “I Love You Always Forever” by comparison. The strangest thing is that the song actually samples “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred, and yet it manages to make the hook from that famously goofy song sound terrifying. It even closes with the most twisted tribute imaginable to the phone-conversation bridge from “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Taylor Swift is reaching Bob Dylan/David Bowie levels in terms of continual self-reinvention, and as afraid as I am that the world might not be able to handle an entire album of this kind of thing without going into an apocalypse, I’m still waiting for that next album with trembling anticipation. Emphasis on the trembling.
Ever since Taylor Swift left the Nashville labels and stopped allowing herself to be billed as a Country artist, Nashville has been desperately scrambling to find a replacement for what had been their primary cash cow. Now, Swift was never really a … [Continue reading]
After several years out of the spotlight due to a tragic legal and personal entanglement that brought on an outpouring of public sympathy even from those who had hated her previous work, expectations were high for Kesha's fourth album (or third, I … [Continue reading]
21 Savage would seem to be, to all appearances, a pretty standard-issue, mediocre Trap Rapper. He raps the typical Gangsta-Rap cliches over beats that are adequate, but not particularly special, and unlike the "Hook Artists" like Future and Young … [Continue reading]
This is Pink's latest attempt at a political song, targeted at the current Presidential Administration. She had tried this once before, back during the Bush administration, with "Dear Mr. President", a collaboration with Folk-Rock duo the Indigo … [Continue reading]
Kelly Clarkson's albums after her breakthrough masterpiece Breakaway are all underrated in one way or another, and this one is no exception. It has a flaw...a fairly obvious one...and that has made a number of both amateur and professional critics … [Continue reading]
While I have long defended the "Hook Artist"/"Cloud Rap" genre as a valid artistic paradigm, and will continue to do so, I readily admit that, like any other genre, there are people who manage to do it badly, and Desiigner is probably the worst of … [Continue reading]
There's a particular subgenre of Rap that emerged only a few years ago, one variously termed by different people as "Hook Artists", "Cloud Rap", or (for those who refuse to accept it as a legitimate genre) "Mumble Rap". It is marked by an emphasis on … [Continue reading]