Dum, de dum, de dum. Back already? Did you listen to all the songs? At least part of all the songs? OK, then let's talk. The first one "Stare Down the Barrel of Today" by The Highest Order, written and sung by Simone Schmidt is what I would call gloomy, meandering Canadian whiny Country, which is probably exactly what a lot of folks are looking for. You can tell it's Canadian because it doesn't have a nasty edge and the lyrics are kinda literary.
The next one, "Feel You" by Julia Holter is described as diaphanous chamber pop by Sean Michaels, but I would call it the musical equivalent of one of those blogs where somebody talks a lot about what their dog did today--with harpsichord stylings. Shockingly, Julia is not Canadian. She lives in Los Angeles and studied composition at CalArts. Doesn't seem to have helped a lot. I guess the "diaphanous" part comes from the weak, breathy, unsupported voice.
Next up is "You Satellite" by Wilco. Roger! This is also remarkably dreary in its aimless wandering between two fuzzy chords with washes of confused burblings. You know how contrived those old guitar solos sound nowadays? Well after the lengthy redundant strumming that ends this song I was really longing for a guitar solo.
Finally we have Wizkid feat. Drake & Skepta in a tune called "Ojuelegba". This actually has something to it. The musicians sound like they are involved in what they are doing and the production is fresher and cleaner. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this one is Sean Michaels's commentary:
Toronto should be ashamed of the 50,000 people who signed a petition opposing Kanye West’s appearance at the Pan Am Games’ closing ceremony. Yes, it would have been wiser to choose a Canadian. Yes, West is a jerk. But I can’t imagine an equivalent protest for a performance by equally non-Canadian jerks like Bono or Mick Jagger. White people in particular need to examine the biases that can make black musicians – especially young, outspoken African-American musicians – seem unqualified for certain roles.What can you call that except a paroxysm of White Guilt? Honestly, if I were into signing petitions I would would be just as likely to sign one opposing Bono as Kanye West. Jerks and crappy musicians, both! But writing stuff like this is even more embarrassing than finding yourself in a Kanye West concert. Now there's a racist for ya. Can we have a petition pleading for Kanye West not to appear anywhere?
So there's your pop criticism of the week. No, don't thank me, it was a pleasure. Hey, just for fun, let's end with some good pop music. My favorite Japanese group is World Order, led by retired martial arts champion Genki Sudo. Here is the title tune from their new album Have a Nice Day:
Well, heck, let's listen to another one. This is "Informal Empire" which is a tribute to London and Great Britain (and to the cover of a certain Beatles' album):