Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart for September 27

chart 2105-09-27I wasn’t going to listen to Ryan Adams’s 1989 cover album, obviously, but then I started reading people saying it sounded like Bruce Springsteen. I really like Springsteen, and, actually, if any guy could cover Swift successfully it might be him (they both manage to present self-conscious story-telling as sincerity). Sadly, Adams’s version sounds almost nothing like Springsteen. I can just about hear the similarities between Adams’ version of “Shake it Off” and “I’m on Fire,” but his vocals have none of the dark yearning of the Springsteen track, and anyway the style of “I’m on Fire” isn’t a fit for “Shake it Off” at all. But that pretty much exemplifies Adams’s record; what’s baffling is just how incompetent it is. Why has he transposed the songs into keys that take them outside his vocal range? Why has he altered the rhythms of tracks without paying any attention to what effect that will have on the stress patterns of the lyrics? Read more↴

The Official Chart for September 20

New Demi Lovato! The first 10 seconds are fantastic, and I’m not sure the rest of the record quite lives up to it, but still, that imperious bass noise is great. Read more↴

The Official Chart for September 13

New Selena Gomez! I guess this is an album pre-order bonus rather than a single? It certainly sounds more like an album track, but it’s a good one, and it makes me even more excited about her new album (reminder that Stars Dance is a great album). When I heard that Selena’s new track was going to be written by Charli XCX, I was a bit apprehensive. Charli XCX is great, but her own recent tracks have a kind of performative brattiness that I’m not sure would suit Selena (even Alex, her character on Wizards of Waverly Place wasn’t exactly bratty, it’s more that she had a deep ethical and political commitment to queer anarchist surliness). But this works very well indeed, with the rumble in the bass and Selena’s performance giving the irritated boredom of the lyrics a dramatic desparation. Read more↴