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Josh Hurst

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Everything posted by Josh Hurst

  1. What's funny is that, once upon a time, wasn't that word one of the taboos that led to the development of the Parental Advisory sticker, e.g. in "Darling Nikki?"
  2. Holy cow: I knew this was coming out but didn't think much about it until I read Thom Jurek's rave review; now I'm listening on Spotify for the second time today and am totally swept up in this record's big melodies and massive grooves. On his Blue Note debut, the bassist assembles a dream team that includes Robert Glasper (a good indicator of how hip and wide-ranging this material is), Chuck D, and a bunch of jazz cats as well as West African musicians; the songs-- most of them original-- are all rooted in jazz but incorporate a lot of African beats, gospel music, and even bits of rock, blues, and hip-hop. It is ridiculously funky and joyful from start to finish.
  3. The new album-- out April 14-- is described as a cross between Bill Monroe and The Ramones.
  4. Whew, what a great surprise! This is a wonderfully lively, raucous album that blurs the lines between rock, country, and low-key folk. It's full of great performances and memorable hooks. There have been a lot of great new records already this year, including many from great female singer/songwriters, but this one stands tall among the best of them.
  5. That song is an early standout for me too, Nick. I agree that it's too early to say how it stacks up compared to the previous album, but I do feel pretty confident saying this: It is a musically richer and riskier album. In fact, I feel as though the album is a mess-- not just in how it builds momentum on its funk grooves before collapsing into free jazz, or in how so many songs start as one thing and then mutate into something else, but also in how Kendrick is trumphal, defiant, self-doubting, and self-loathing over the course of the album, sometimes over the course of a single song. That's not to say there's no ryhme or reason to it-- repeated phrases and motifs abound-- but the fundamental characteristic of the album seems to be its sprawl. Perhaps it will all congeal into something unified, but I almost hope it doesn't: Right now I love that it's such a jumble of contradictions, that it's so teeming with ideas, that it's so human.
  6. This record has been getting a lot of buzz-- it was BNM'd on Pitchfork, and the man was enthusiastically received by both Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien-- but in the end it's really a low-key affair: A piano-based singer-songwriter record that throws it back to the 70s, and in particular to the earliest albums from Randy Newman and Tom Waits. Jesso doesn't have as much personality as either of them, but he does have some strong melodies and a great voice. The pleasures of the album are all in its craft; at first it seems unassuming and perhaps even unremarkable, but it really gains in charm and appeal after you spin it a couple of times.
  7. First impression: Great record. Feels so confident to me: There's a lot of frayed nerves and heartache here, but also humor and defiance. It's a fiesty, heartfelt collection, and everything is just really on point in terms of production, performance, and songwriting. I was initially skeptical about the record being 13 songs long, but it held my attention and now I'm turning it on for the second time.
  8. Evidently, this forthcoming album is basically a live recording, though it consists entirely of never-recorded Cohen compositions, rarities, and covers. More here.
  9. If you-- like me-- could not get the SoundCloud stream to work properly, don't fret: The album is now streaming on iTunes, as well.
  10. Rolling Stone has a track-by-track guide that actually offers some helpful insights into the samples being used, production teams, etc. I am especially interested to note the presence of Robert Glasper on piano, which explains some of the live-band feel of this. Also, this is at least the second major hip-hop album I know of to draw inspiraton from Sufjan Stevens-- following The Roots' undun. Meanwhile, this Times profile hightlights the one important puzzle piece that Rolling Stone makes no mention of: Lamar's Christian faith.
  11. Whoa. She just kills the talking blues thing on "Strange." I have been a fan of all her records, but this is the most enthusiastic first-listen response I remember having to any of them. And I just can't get over this: Girl is 25.
  12. What a week for new releases! Thom Jurek is raving about this one, which sounds like it is at least partially an answer to Steve Earle's own recent record...
  13. This record has the most audacious ending of any album I can think of.
  14. Tom Erlewine declared it his early favorite of 2015 on social media this morning.
  15. Surprise! It's out now on iTunes and Spotify. You're gonna need to sit down for this one.
  16. Love his inclusion of Miranda, but Jason Derulo?
  17. The great Van Hunt-- an undersung giant of funk and R&B-- has a new album on the way, and while the title is truly awful, the first single is a great deal of fun.
  18. As if the cover image didn't give it away, the album will reportedly be politically themed; comparisons have already been made to Public Enemy (!!), or at least to D'Angelo and Black Messiah.
  19. Out March 23-- and boasting an immediately iconic album cover.
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