Rhythm and News Blog
Pharrell's new album, GIRL, is nothing but a highly polished recap of the great year he had in 2013. And why not? The longtime musician and producer (of acts like the Neptunes and N.E.R.D.) was constantly in the spotlight with a string of smash hits and television appearances. Pharrell spent the better part of the year dominating the radio waves with the two biggest songs of the summer, Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." He continued his airwave domination the fall with his contribution to Despicable Me 2, the top-tapping hit, "Happy." This sugary sleeper hit is on constant radio rotation to this day. After listening to GIRL twice through, my simple review of the album: if you loved (or can still tolerate) the above songs, GIRL deserves your weekly Freegal downloads and a spot on your playlist. But if the thought of blurred lines and lucky robots makes you nauseous, stay far, far away from this one. Read below for some critiques of the individual tracks!Read more »
Last time 'round I was touting Freegal as a good source of dance music singles, but there's another side to my love of this service: ambient music. I've barely begun to dig through the virtual crates of ambient electronic music Freegal offers, but I've already found a good deal of stuff released by one of my most recent musical loves, Alio Die.
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I've been playing a lot of jazz lately and really getting back into some classic and amazing acts of the mid 20th century.
What is jazz? Jazz has its origins all over, from New Orleans Jazz in the early part of the 20th century, and incorporating blues and soul, ragtime, swing, and African influences among scores of others. Jazz hit high notes during the prohibition era when speakeasies would recruit jazz musicians to liven up the joints. Long before rock and roll in the 50's and heavy metal and Miley Cyrus came along threatening to corrupt youth, jazz was considered immoral and threatening old values in America; strange how times have changed.
My own introduction to jazz probably came early from listening to my parent's playing NPR radio, where jazz lives.
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