It's incredibly difficult to be objective about The Roots. It has been one of my favorite groups since I first heard "You Got Me" back in 1999. The song was the first live instrumentation hip-hop I had ever heard and is one of those songs that make you remember exactly where you were when you first heard it.
Bruce Springsteen casts a large shadow over New Jersey. Every rock band from the state needs to inevitably face comparisons to the man, no matter how similar or dissimilar their sound. Few musicians are as strongly and intrinsically tied to their home state as Springsteen is to New Jersey.
The New Pornographers have long been the pop-music snob's dream band. It is a guitar pop band, but is also able to seamlessly add layered instrumentation and multipart harmonies when necessary.
I rolled my eyes upon first hearing Dr. Dog's flagrant aping of The Beatles and The Band. Critics' main disparagement continues to be over its derivative sound, and I was in no position to disagree; however, the more I listened to the music, the more I recognized that there was something going on here deeper than mere imitation.
There are many reasons for She & Him's "Volume Two" to be terrible. To begin with, the face of the group is Zooey Deschanel.
Prince recently released his newest single, "Cause and Effect," (Youtube link) which is predictably tame and in keeping with the trend of his singles in recent years. It is appearing more and more that Prince's glory days are behind him. We haven't gotten a signature catchy, ribald single in the vein of "Little Red Corvette" or "Sexy MF" in years. Luckily, the market for Prince imitators remains ripe. It seems every year an album comes out striving to be the great, lost Prince album.
The television event of the year is fast approaching: Super Bowl XLIV. Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is the annual perfect storm of sports, music, advertisements and pyrotechnics culminating in the highest-rated night of television of the year.
Band reunions are invariably letdowns. They are greeted with massive amounts of hype, only to result in tepid records. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is flying counter to this.
It was a decade of regression in pop music. If you were to chart the quality pop albums that came out each year of the aughts, you would have a steady downward slope from 2000 through today; that being said, there were some truly classic bands, songs and albums to emerge out of the decade.
I was at a house party during the winter of 2003, and I remember noting the self-serious vibe pervading every room.