Posts Tagged ‘pop music’

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Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (2020)

August 13, 2020

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (2020, Pop)

Release Date: March 27th, 2020

Song Rating Scale

1. “Future Nostalgia” – 3.5
2. “Don’t Start Now” – 4
3. “Cool” – 3.5
4. “Physical” – 4
5. “Levitating” – 4
6. “Pretty Please” – 3.5
7. “Hallucinate” – 3.5
8. “Love Again” – 4
9. “Break My Heart” – 4
10. “Good in Bed” – 2
11. “Boys Will Be Boys” – 3.5

Spin Rate: 7+
Average Song Rating: 3.59/5
3.5+ Percentage: 91%
Cuts: 1
Bangers: 5

Thoughts: This is a really good pop album from an artist I’d never heard of before this year (she did drop a debut album in 2017 that I haven’t listened to yet) and I was shocked at how consistently great Dua Lipa is on this record. This album is basically hit song after hit song. I feel like almost every song on here could be a radio smash. Some of the songs I gave a 3.5 could maybe be bumped up to a 4 – especially if you’re a big fan of this type of pop music – but Dua Lipa’s sound did start to wear on me a little after many listens. Pop obviously isn’t my go to genre, and when I do listen to pop I prefer Lana Del Rey’s more melancholy sound over this hyper upbeat style, but I’ll still happily revisit this album in the future. This is basically good-to-great from top-to-bottom with the exception of the inexplicably garbage track that is “Good in Bed.” It’s weird to listen to nine straight really good songs and then hear a clunker like that. That blemish brings the average song rating down a bit, but I’ll forgive it in recognition of this album’s remarkable consistency and give Future Nostalgia a Must Listen recommendation.

Verdict: 8/10 (Must Listen)

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Francis and the Lights – Farewell, Starlite! (2016)

November 12, 2016

I was scrolling through Twitter one day when I saw Chance The Rapper mention that he couldn’t stop listening to the new Francis and the Lights album. Now, I’ve never heard of Francis and the Lights, but Chance has been one of my top 5 musicians over the past year, so obviously I trust his taste in music. He didn’t let me down.

Farewell, Starlite! is labeled on Apple Music as hip-hop/rap but that’s incredibly misleading. I had no idea what to expect, but it’s safe to say that I was NOT expecting an album with literally zero rapping on it. It’s honestly hard to categorize what Francis and the Lights is – and it’s kind of odd for me to pick this as my first Album of the Moment because I’ve never reviewed a non-hip-hop album. But the music is so good on this short 10 track album that it just has to be recognized. I guess I’d say it’s folky pop. Is that a thing? Easy Listening? I’m not sure.

The band consists of Francis Farewell Starlite (his legal name, but not his given name) and, as he says: “there are no members… it is me and whomever else is involved. Including you.” As far as I can tell, Francis is the only vocalist in the band – if there even is one – and while his lyrics aren’t mind-blowing by any means, he is clearly a master at crafting incredibly infectious songs. For instance, “Comeback” has no business being as enjoyable as it is. If you were to read this song about a friend that had to stay home while his buddies went to a fun party, on paper it would look pretty corny, but Francis’ vocals bring it to life in a way that just makes you want to smile.

While I find every song on Farewell, Starlite! enjoyable, my two favorite tracks are “My City’s Gone” and “It’s Alright To Cry.” The former features hip-hop superstar Kanye West, but his vocal contributions are limited to harmonizing the chorus. The forlorn story of a man whose hometown has become unrecognizable to him is worthy enough of my Best Of 2016 playlist. “It’s Alright To Cry” is as addictive as it gets. It’s impossible to listen to this song and not absently sing the hook for days to come.

It’s always nice when an artist that is totally unknown to you releases an album that is one of the year’s best. Farewell, Starlite! is the rare album where every song is good. While Francis and the Lights certainly is not hip-hop music, the singer’s style blends seamlessly with rap as his previous collaborations with Drake and Chance The Rapper have shown. He also features with Chance on a song on the upcoming The Hamilton Mixtape, which is to be released later this year. Farewell, Starlite! is solid from top to bottom and ranks as one of my favorite albums of 2016. Francis is a star in the making and this album is an absolute must listen.

Grade: 7.5/10 (Essential Listening/Excellent)