Jessie Ware – Tough Love
Jessie Ware’s sophomore album comes a mere year and a half after her fantastic debut Devotion finally hit the U.S, and continues her exploration of R&B and electronic based pop music. Tough Love is a mellow album that should make the perfect accompaniment to a winter afternoon spent under a blanket with a good book and your significant other, at least until “Keep on Lying” and its vaguely calypso beat (which oddly works despite sounding like a programed beat on an early Casio) kicks in and you put the book aside. I’m not sure there are any highs on this album as great as “Wildest Moments”, but there aren’t any major lows either. Tough Love is just a solid pop album.
Combining afrobeat and funk, Burnt Offering is the latest from Daptone Records’ instrumental group The Budos Band, and the title is apt. There truly is something sinister about this album, with the title track in particular featuring a sound perfect for a pre-Halloween release. The album is all Farfisa organ, Hendrixesque guitars, and funk grooves. Meanwhile, the band’s horn section (trumpets, tenor sax, and baritone sax) soars over the top and makes me wish I still regularly played my trumpet. Burnt Offering is highly recommended.
Sadly, recent news about Thurston Moore has been of the tabloid variety (#TeamKim). I’ve been hopeful, however, that the release of a new album would put the focus solely back on the music (because honestly I shouldn’t care about the personal lives of artists). Unfortunately, at least for me, it seems like more time will need to pass before that is the case. This is largely because unlike most of Moore’s non-Sonic Youth releases, The Best Day sounds like Sonic Youth. The band is two guitars, bass, and drums (with SY’s Steve Shelley on the drums), and the experiments are largely limited to the guitar noise for which Moore is known and loved. This is mostly a good thing (I personally want more Sonic Youth in my life) but it’s also partially bad, because despite the similarities this isn’t actually the band Moore co-led for 30 years, and apparently I do care somewhat about the personal lives of artists and find myself unable as of yet to separate them from the art. Hopefully a little more time and a few more listens will correct that issue for me, but in the meantime you should listen to and enjoy The Best Day.
An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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