A Week of New Music: 9/15/18-9/21/18–David Guetta, Low, Noname, Thrice, and Carrie Underwood

After I started writing the last group of reviews, I noticed that I had a much easier time putting down my thoughts exactly as I wanted them to sound, and enjoyed a lot more of what I did then. I also thought about how much I truly appreciated the process a lot more, and was able to write much more of the type of commentary that I wanted to. Honestly, I think that writing longer, more detailed, track-by-track reviews is something that is great and important in a lot of cases, but for me personally I like to describe a lot of different things rather than just a few, and I also noticed that in trying to keep up with new music reviews I was often failing to work on thinkpieces and other projects I wanted to write about in addition to these reviews. As a result, I decided to make my takes on new music a lot smaller, and combine them in articles like this to see what I like here. Something I like about being able to blog like this is experimenting with different ideas to see what I and others like, and this is the most recent experiment of mine. It is not the last I am thinking of right now, and what will make this a lot better for me is how it will give me the time to work on these other ideas while still feeling like I am keeping up with new releases of all kinds.

Just looking at this week, we have a rap artist (Noname), a country artist (Carrie Underwood), a post-hardcore artist (Thrice), an indie rock artist (Low), and a dance music artists (David Guetta). I listen to all these types of music, and always feel an itch to talk about them, but I never could talk about anything resembling the number of albums I listened to since, every week, there were new musical projects I explored and wanted to talk about, which was a bit overwhelming. I definitely still want to put the same amount of thought and effort into this as I have before, just keeping my remarks a bit more terse and to the point about an overall album. In truth, I always am more about what an album does overall as a single project, and the high and low points, rather than individual tracks; that is just my style and what I want to talk about. So, as always, I hope it is as interesting for anyone reading this as it is for me to discover and write about the amazing variety of music that exists in the world!

7–David Guetta

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EDM cannot be destroyed, it can only change forms. Still, that does not stop me from hoping, even if I actually like quite a few EDM musicians. Particularly, I tend to hope it would just go away forever when the latest David Guetta album comes out. I have never liked David Guetta’s music, pretty much the entire time I have heard of him, and pretty much no matter what he is doing or who is working with. I sort of appreciate that he keeps on trucking after so many years, and that he definitely knows how to tap into that specific audience that cannot get enough of the poppy, house music that was extremely popular in the early to mid 2010’s and still exists to this day. But David Guetta, at least to my ears, is the bottom of the barrel here. Swedish House Mafia was very popular at once point, and while they are not my favorite musicians, I think they are okay. Deadmau5 is, in my opinion, actually underrated as a musician since so many think of him as just a club artist or gimmick, when there is some quality to what he does. Avicii was not my style, but I appreciated what he did as an attempt to bring something different into the club EDM sound that was popular at the time. Hell, even Marshmello, essentially a knock-off of Deadmau5 and other musicians in this style, has his high moments in songs that keep me interested in what he might do next (for example, I personally think “Summer” off of Joytime is a surprisingly lush downtempo track). But I had yet to hear even a single song from David Guetta that I liked enough to listen to it more than once (willingly), which really let me know that it was not me, it was David Guetta’s music.

However, made me intrigued thanks to its structure. The base album is just the first disc, with David Guetta doing the same pop and house music that he has always done over 15 tracks and around 45 minutes (a respectable length). However, the real difference in this album than the ones he has made in the past is that the second disc is a 12 track mixtape called the Jack Back Project, and released as such as a separate project under the alias of Jack Back. This disc’s music apparently gets back to David Guetta’s actual DJ, underground dance and house roots from before he broke majorly into the mainstream. I admit to being unfamilar with this period of David Guetta’s career, and that made me intrigued to listen in on what might come from it, even if the who “alter-ego” thing seems like a cop-out to try and get attention without sacrificing fans or his tried-and-true pop music. Unfortunately, it is my opinion that loses the ability to resonate with anyone except diehard fans as a result. A lot of this is due to the first disc, which is bubblegum dance-pop to the core, with no backbone, emotional appeal, or lasting effect. It is made to chewed up and spat out, though I will give credit where it is due that Guetta does not have songs linger past their expiration date, with disc one having no songs over four minutes and five at less than three minutes. Furthermore, the beats and sounds are kept at least somewhat fresh from song to song. Still, I can only be thrown the same bone so many times before I want some meat to go with it, or at least a different bone.

And that is what disc 2 promises to be with its different style, but it feels like I was thrown the same bone, just dyed a different color and thrown by the person with their opposite hand. Seriously, this is supposed to be so different, unique, and special out of David Guetta that a whole separate identity was needed, as though the audience would not be able to handle that this was the same guy. To me, this sounds exactly the same as everything David Guetta has ever done, just with less features. I knew I was not exactly in for a fabulous time when it took me until halfway into track 2, “Freedom,” for me to realize that I had actually moved from one disc to the next, on my initial listen. While this is not the case on the entire second disc, as the aforementioned “Freedom” and the “Just a Little More Love” remix (the original is from his 2002 debut album) stand out as impressive cuts, but everything else is just more of the same, but with greater emphasis on the instrumentals. In the end, disc 2 wins out over disc 1 by sheer lack of misses, not necessarily an abundance of hits.

Really, given its length and the material at hand, I feel in a similar position as I did reviewing Drake’s album, and I have a similar opinion leaving 7. The double disc project feels like a gimmick to shoot for the charts while also catering to longtime fans, but neither is going to convince a non-believer. The “Jack Back” disc ends up being a disappointing attempt at a different style that only reveals how little David Guetta’s sonic reach actually is, since this supposedly separate project just sounds like another David Guetta album from the past decade. However, disc 1 has its moments, like “Flames” which features a steller vocal from Sia, and its immediate follow-up in “Blame It On Love” featuring Madison Beer, which surprisingly holds up well as a throwaway pop song that I was not so quick to throw away. But any praises for these and other tracks seem mostly relative in the end, especially as the rest of disc 1 is either standard pop EDM fare like “Say My Name” or, worse, patently annoying tracks like “I’m That B****,” which somehow has the worst feature from Saweetee on an album that features multiple questionable pop stars (a Nicki Minaj feature is not what it used to be, and a Justin Beiber feature is the same as it always has been). As a result, this project might not be the worst I have heard this year, or from Guetta for that matter, it lacks any saving graces to keep it from distinctly negative territory.

3/10

Double Negative–Low

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I know they have been critically acclaimed consistently for almost two-and-a-half decades, but Low has never been one of my favorite indie rock bands. Truthfully, this is not even because I do not understand their schtick. While they may not like the genre label themselves, there is a reason Low has been considered “slowcore” music, and it has everything to do with how slowly paced the vast majority of their studio material is. I can appreciate a beautiful, lyrical, minimalistic piece the same as anyone else, but Low takes this angle so relentlessly that even I have a hard time staying attentive sometimes. However, I often actually prefer this to the band’s attempts at whimsy or harder rock, which have been a noticably uncomfortable fit for the band. So while I might not be the biggest fan of the band, I can appreciate that they have their lane and that they do this very well. Things We Lost in the Fire is just about as undeniable a magnum opus for slow, methodical indie rock as is possible. But getting back to the band’s attempts to move from their sound, it is noble of any musician to try different ideas, though I cannot say Low’s last outing was a success. Instead, Ones and Sixes is the worst possible conclusion Low could have gotten from experimenting with electronics. Given that he worked closely with the band on Ones and Sixes, it should be no surprise that the album sounds like an extended attempt to sound just like Justin Vernon and Bon Iver. In fact, Ones and Sixes does not just sound like it takes a page from the Bon Iver playbook, but like it stole the playbook and crafted itself around every detail. As a result, hearing that the band continued their electronic stylings on Double Negative had me not just skeptical, but expecting likely another failed attempt at renovating their sound.

But boy was I pleasantly surprised quite immediately. Double Negative is not just another electronic folk rock album, but is a full-bodied dive straight to the heart of minimal, electronic ambiance, experimenting in ways I never expected from a band this far along in their career (who have mostly maintained the same sound throughout their existence). And it fits like a glove. Really, the only question I have after hearing this album is “why haven’t you done this sooner?” In fact, the opening three songs of “Quorum,” “Dancing and Blood,” and “Fly” make for a continuous musical experience that rivals some of the best ambient techno and electronic rock music I have ever heard. Immediately, it is clear that Double Negative is an actual doubling down of what they tried out in a limited way on Ones and Sixes. And, funny enough, I found that to be so much of a negative for them, that a “double negative” has become a positive.

Back to the first three songs, this cycle, which, particularly with their label releasing the videos for them as a “triptych,” feels like a sound art piece, and it is absolutely stunning. Beautiful barely even begins to describe it, to the point that I was thinking Double Negative could be the album of the year. “Quorum” is a noisy, experimental piece with singing from both Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker being distorted and blended to the point of sounding disturbing, yet stunning. “Dancing and Blood” starts with an ambient techno core that builds lots of drama and evokes a dark, tribal dance thanks to it pounding rhythm. And then there is “Fly,” a brighter, more hopeful sounding piece, though the lyrics show the sadness melded in this hopeful quality as Parker sings “But I don’t know. And I don’t mind. Leave my weary bones, and fly.” But the album, perhaps inevitably, cannot keep this quality up for long. “Tempest” makes a valiant attempt in its first half, though the second half makes an attempt for a slow build that is actually pretty anti-climactic.

Following this is a bevy of pretty instrumentals and well-executed distortion on the vocals, but lacking the construction between all its parts to hit that transcendant level it clearly shoots for. For example, “Always Up” and “Always Trying to Work Out” blend together less because of a trance quality in the songs, and more because the songs lack distinctive qualities to paint a picture with the abstract materials we are given. Really, I think this is where Low still need to work on this new style they have tried on Double Negative: they know how to construct an abstract track, but not how to make a vision coalesce in every track and between every track. Given the “sound art” qualities of Double Negative, it seems appropriate to note the use of ambient spacing and melody to make a picture in the music. The ambient and even silent portions of the album are clearly to add to the drama and emotional nature of the songs, and when it works it hits hard. Even tracks like “Dancing and Fire” and “Disarray” later on the album hit this home very well. In fact, “Disarray” is probably the most hard-hitting individual track, and closes out the album on a stellar high note. Nonetheless, I think that some of the songs do not quite deliver, sounding more like space for the sake of space and not adding to the musical piece the way they should. It is still interesting to hear, and I definitely never felt bored each time I listened to Double Negative. Low has certainly brought one of the most unexpected, beautiful, artful albums of the entire year, and the potential Low has shown to make amazing music with their new experimental direction has me more excited than I ever have been to see where Low will go from here. Double Negative, with its early and late moments of great music, is an amazing album, but with a little tweaking, Low might just be capable of delivering an album that is truly magnificent.

8/10

Room 25–Noname

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While mainstream rap music and trap music has not been my cup of tea all the time, I used to pride myself in how well I kept up with off-the-beaten-path rap music, especially the recent resurgence of alternative hip hop and jazz rap. Yet, somehow, Noname completely passed under my radar. I can only blame my own lack of keeping up with the many mixtapes out there, but with Noname emerging straight from that to release a studio album like Room 25, I have learned my lesson to not sleep on up and comers without a studio album. After all, this is one of the most impressive albums to come out all year, one nearly without flaw in its whole runtime. It might be true that this is not a rap album “unlike any other to come before it,” but regardless, Noname has delivered stunning music with a powerful, meaningful message here that resonates beyond the music. And all this in a relatively short album (only 33 minutes total) and an especially short rap album for this point in time given how many fifty or even an hour-plus albums have been released in just the past couple of years, showing how much can be done in a limited space and perhaps exclusively with runtime kept to the minimum necessary.

But if there is anything that puts a bit of an asterisk next to this album’s name it is the fact that Noname is not a conventional rapper. To put it another way, it is not hard for me to see why some critics of her music might consider her to not even be a rapper at all, since her flow sounds very much like she is simply speaking, not rapping. I would disagree with this, as right off the bat we get “Self” which has Noname rapping with a clear musical flow. Certainly, Noname’s style is a unique middle ground between beat poetry and hip hop, but other hip hop musicians go much farther in the direction of beat poetry than Noname (just look up Kate Tempest, a fantastic poet from Britain who has released two hip hop albums with her reading her poetry over the top of the music). Additionally, it was no surprise to me to find that Noname actually performed slam poetry extensively before she started working in the music industry. Still, this is far too important a detail to leave out in describing Room 25, and is something to keep in mind when going in.

As for the quality of Room 25 itself, Noname has managed to carve out a remarkable fusion of jazz, conscious hip hop, confessional poetry, and political commentary, with a few humorous bits thrown in as well which have their own message and power to them. It is really a testament to the quality of the album that on first listen I was impressed by the jazzy flow and complex melodies that propel the album, and then found myself even more impressed on second listen by how in-depth the lyricism is. One of my favorite examples is on the track “Blaxploitation,” where Noname raps “Eating Chick-Fil-A in the shadows, that taste like hypocrite. Mmm, yummy tasty, mmm, mmm, yummy tasty. Waffle fry my empathy, b****** just really lazy,” remarking on her guilt for liking Chick-Fil-A’s food enough to buy it when they are known for supporting anti-LGBT organizations, an act she believes morally wrong. However, she feels like she is just too “lazy” and “hypocritical” to resist what she likes, which also connects to her chaotic relationship that is described at least partially in every song on the album. Moments like this are everywhere, creating a rich tapestry of ideas, thoughts, and connections, some of which it is hard to tell if the narrator realizes herself, but which are so profound yet bluntly stated they seem to carry a weight of importance without even trying.

If the album has one flaw, it is that the heavy momentum carried through the first six tracks (“Self” through “Regal,” the latter of which is real highlight of social and religious analysis, again filtered through her personal narrative) starts to stall a bit in the last five. The biggest problem is that every song from here lacks the urgency, potency, and dynamism of the previous six, and as a result it noticeably lags in comparison. Primarily, this is the result of not many new ideas being introduced to the album at this point even while the music settles into a spacy, mid-tempo that suits Noname’s style a lot less than the tight precision of before. Honestly though, I think the features here help a lot, with every song of this stretch except for “With You” having extensive parts for featured artists as opposed to two in the first six. The risk here on such a personal album would be losing this thread of the narrative, but with lines like “I have to focus on the part of me that I’m trying to be. I can’t pretend I’m not myself. But if you go, wipe your shoes ‘fore you leave” in “Part of Me,” Noname keeps the concept tight even while the music gets a bit loose. Overall, this is still an extremely smartly written album, one where simply describing everything that occurs does not do justice to what is being said. Noname has a delivered poetry that mixes the personal and the social, the political and the romantic, and like every great conscious hip hop album, it deserves to be heard.

9/10

Palms–Thrice

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In my opinion, Thrice are somehow a vastly underrated and overrated band at the same time. People who hate Thrice’s music tend to think they are a trash band that tries too hard to be special when they actually have no real substance. On the other hand, people who love Thrice’s music tend to think they are gods among men, a punk and metal band that rises above the fray to be meaningful, artistic, and all-around brilliant. As for my thoughts on their music, Thrice is basically a lightly experimental post-hardcore band, which started with a heavy debt to emo music and turned more to alternative rock and experimental rock after a while. What is interesting though is that Vheissu and The Alchemy Index Vol. 1-4 are probably the peak of this experimentation, with their subsequent albums BeggarsMajor/Minor, and To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere having increasingly by-the-numbers construction. This has not always been bad, with Major/Minor in particular being among the band’s best work, but it was not encouraging when To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere, the band’s first album after a five-year hiatus, was the band’s least inventive of their career, falling victim to the worst cliches of alternative rock, hard rock, and even post-grunge.

Still, Thrice is a band I have relatively high standards for and I looked forward to what they would do next. Unfortunately, my high hopes for a return to form were not met, and yet I also feel like hope is still there for a future Thrice album having their best material. Primarily, my mixed reaction is a result of this album being a mixed bag, with stretches on Palms being among the band’s best music and others being among the worst. The album starts and finishes well, but really falls off so far in the middle that if it was not for tracks like “Just Breathe” and “My Soul” it would almost get unbearable by the end. However, the problem is not that the band is trying and failing to hit their peak, but that tracks like “The Grey,” “The Dark,” “Everything Belongs,” and “Hold Up a Light” sound like the band is not trying at all. Each of these songs could fit into any mainstream “alternative rock” band’s discography from the last two decades and not stand out, and they only stand out here for their blandness.

That being said, it is definitely worth mentioning Palms high points, as Thrice pull through when they shoot for more experimental and off-kilter fare. For one thing, I actually got excited about this album when I heard the first song off of it, “Only Us.” This song had the accessible but complex rock and dense, heavy electronics that made Vheissu arguably the band’s masterpiece, and is also why The Alchemy Index Vols. 2 and 3: Water and Air were my favorite parts of that extensive project. Its the best of both sides of the band’s style and interests, and why I got into them in the first place. But this Thrice fades away quickly, with “Only Us” being a lone wolf of “electronic” Thrice on the whole album. Still, the last two songs on the album actually outdo it, with “Blood on Blood” being my personal favorite on the whole album. Its main construction seems to just be acoustic guitar chords, but these are arranged in a tense, pulsating melody with lyrics about the cruelty of going to war with each other and how we need to learn to love without feeling the need to harm each other. To be fair, these lyrical themes run through most of the album, with only slight variations, but “Blood On Blood” makes me convinced of their importance on an emotional level. Even though I already agreed with the sentiment and found it noble, the weak delivery of “The Grey” and “Hold Up a Light,” among others, made it hard to believe in Thrice’s conviction, but “Blood On Blood” really redeemed them in the last stretch.

Other highlights are “My Soul,” a emotional and moving, if a bit hackneyed, cry to the heavens for forgiveness and hope, as well as the albums last song, “Beyond the Pines,” a beautiful closer that draws heavy inspiration from “The Great Wagon” by Rumi. In the poem, Rumi states that he will meet a person in “a field” that is “beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,” which is mirrored in the lyrics by the refrain “I will meet you there, beyond the pines.” But I honestly feel like these bold statements and overarching concepts, album-wide or not, only make me disappointed in the product that actually got released. It is clear that Thrice wanted to make a statement with a big theme on the album: the unity of all people in the world and how we should accept everyone for who they are with love, not violence. They would not be the first to do this, but Thrice has rarely been the first to do anything. What Thrice thrives at is making seeming unusual and contrary musical styles work in tandem with each other, and not even require a taste for bizarre music since they make it seem so natural. I do not think any other band could have released The Alchemy Index EP’s, with the four discs each being a different musical style the band was doing and reflecting a different classical element (fire, water, air, and earth), and actually do it well enough without seeming like they were stretching too far. Paths, on the other hand, is musically lacking any ambition for almost half of its runtime, with this material being vastly inferior to almost all of the band’s previous output. Sure, the other half is definitely worth checking out for any fan or interested party, but for anyone wanting to listen to Thrice for the first time, I would recommend almost every other Thrice album before this one.

5/10

Cry Pretty–Carrie Underwood

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To say I am not a fan of country pop that has taken over the mainstream for the past couple of decades would be a huge understatement. I, quite honestly, dislike this type of music to a relatively severe degree. Nonetheless, I still keep up with what is going on in country music, as there is a lot more out there than just the country pop artists on the radio, out of the Nashville record company system, and even some of what comes out of country pop can break through the mold and be decent, or even pretty good. And I would argue that one of the brighter beacons in this scene has been Carrie Underwood. For one thing, her sheer vocal strength is among the best in the entire music industry, right up there with Christina Aguilara, Florence Welch, Mariah Carey, and maybe just short of someone like Celine Dion. Additionally, by infusing her country sound with more rock textures, she has been able to take full advantage of the power of her voice to make a distinct mark in country music that is quite unlike anyone else, even as her actual material is pretty par for the course (drinking, guy cheated on me, etc.) while managing to mostly avoid the worst stereotypes of contemporary country (“redneck” this, “boondocks” that, “hillbilly” the other thing) by going a lot more heavily in a semi-gospel direction.

Still, Carrie Underwood shares a similar weakness to many powerful vocalists as well: she lacks subtlety, thinking an overpowering voice will impress people into liking their songs. While it does work for many audiences, I am not part of that group, as I appreciate a singer who can use their voice for dynamics that add emotion to the songs and serve the melody, not singing intended to stand on its own and drown out everything else. It is impressive when a singer can sing this powerfully, but in the same way a contortionist is impressive, in my honest opinion. However, the title and opening track, “Cry Pretty,” was one I saw several times performed live, and I was incredibly impressed by how well Carrie Underwood delivered on the song. It was the first time in a while that I had been interested and actually kind of looking forward to what a mainstream country artist might deliver. Sure, it was (and is) the same bombastic fare, but it seemed like Carrie Underwood was trying hard to pump in some real emotions there and pull the song through. Also, a big barn-burner track is not unwelcome, so long as the whole album is not just big- barn-burners. Furthermore, the title of the album Cry Pretty with the song espousing that one “can’t cry pretty,” made me think the album might not be some picture-perfect, manufactured, radio-friendly material all the way through.

As such, it is my displeasure to report that not only did Cry Pretty fail to impress in any way, it even failed to measure up to Carrie Underwood’s past material. What Carrie Underwood has delivered is no more and no less than a shallow attempt at pandering to every side, musically, lyrically, and stylistically. This is possibly the blandest attempt I have ever seen of a country music artist trying to pander to pop and R&B audiences, seeming like a half-hearted attempt to pull a Shania Twain on Up! or a Taylor Swift on Red, but without the daring displayed by Shania Twain in releasing three versions of her album (each being in a different genre) or Taylor Swift in experimenting with club music and rock textures. And trust me, I am not really a fan of either artist, but can at least respect the chances being taken. Carrie Underwood does none of this, instead having an occasional track sound like an Alicia Keys ripoff (“That Song That We Used to Make Love To”) while balancing this with “redneck” stereotype tracks (“Southbound”).

One positive to take away: Carrie Underwood exercises more nuance than ever before on the album, resulting in some moments where the pop crossover of Cry Pretty actually works surprisingly well. While the emotional impact is not quite to the level it should be, “Backsliding” stands out for its smooth melody perfectly delivered by a nobly restrained Carrie Underwood, exercising her falsetto to great effect. Additionally, the gentle “Spinning Bottles” is the closest Underwood gets to fulfilling the title’s sentiment with some affecting heartbreak, even if the “he’s always at the bar drinking his problems away” is arguably one of the biggest country cliches in existence. Furthermore, the album includes “The Champion” featuring Ludacris as a bonus track, a combination that made me incredibly skeptical at first glance, but which works better than expected since Carrie Underwood and Ludacris actually sound invested in the self-empowerment theme of the song. Sure, Ludacris’ part has an awkward “The C is for the courage I possess through the trauma,” as he spells out “champion” like it is an acronym, and this is yet another overused device. However, I have heard worse, and Ludacris keeps it from being cheesy enough to remind me of “F is for friends who do stuff together by Spongebob Squarepants. Finally, I can say with certainty that nothing here is offensively bad, with the sole exception being “Southbound,” a bro-country-like track clearly pandering to the lowest of the low in the country pop fanbase. This is a move someone with the talent and clout of Carrie Underwood not only should not have to do, but which sounds incredibly out-of-place on this album period.

But what really sealed up my opinion that I was not simply indifferent towards the album, but believe it is below average in quality, is the album’s last half, excluding “Spinning Bottles” and bonus tracks. “The Bullet” is a weak attempt at solidarity with gun violence victims, making every possible attempt to not actually saying anything substantial while implying that she is not a blind supporter of gun rights. It is a storytelling track with no emotion and no backbone, period. “Love Wins” is similar, though from a positive perspective, saying that love will win out in the end. As wonderful as the sentiment here might be, Carrie Underwood’s lack of conviction that runs rampant on Cry Pretty seriously undercuts the grandiose melody and universal themes shot for. The backing choir helps salvage the song a bit, since it provides balance in the backing music to Carrie Underwood’s huge belting vocals, but overall I felt “Love Wins” was a lot of trite without a willingness to fight. Finally, the last two tracks in “End Up With You” and “Kingdom” are poor attempts at turning this part of the album into a Christian gospel section, though, again, with no commitment to any meaningful ideas or concepts. Even though “Kingdom” practically screams “Christian,” Carrie Underwood cannot bring herself to do anything more than imply a spiritual nature by mentioning prayer and faith once each. I do not require a specific religious message in songs like this, but if you are going to bring up things like that, actually be saying something instead of just using it as a bargaining chip for favor, which is what Carrie Underwood seems to do here. It is one of the nagging issues of pretty much all of country music that I have a problem with, and shows up here throughout Cry Pretty. And that really sums up the album as a whole: a lot of strategic in-song marketing to cater to everyone constantly. However, by trying to be soulful in a way that ultimately comes across as soulless, Carrie Underwood has failed to make a good country album, pop album, R&B album, or anything in between.

4/10

===========================================================================With that, I would definitely say the high point of this week in terms of albums was Room 25 by Noname, and I really hope that anyone who has not checked this album out does. It definitely earns its place on any “must-listen” lists, not just for the week but for the year. Still, this is all just my opinions, and if anyone reading this agrees or disagrees, I would love to hear why in the comments. This has been the albums this week that compelled me the most to talk about them, I hope you enjoyed my comments on them, and I further hope that you have a great day!

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