In the middle of the summer, John Mayer released this album, and it sounded like a Hall & Oates album broke out. I couldn’t help but think of the last hit from Daryl Hall and John Oates, “Everything Your Heart Desires,” as I listened to the lead track on this record, “Last Train Home.” Just as they landed in the top 10 in 1988, this album is an attempt to lovingly remind us of 1988.
I am not a music critic, nor am I educated in the science of making music. I am just a guy who likes popular music. The genius of Taylor Swift is in putting words to intense feelings and experiences, even if other people think those feelings and experiences are silly or insignificant. I guess the knock on her was that she always wrote songs about romantic relationships, but listen, my friends: we wouldn’t even have popular music of any sort, if we didn’t have romantic relationships.
In my last installment, I threatened to let an ‘80s teen idol return to rock us. It was difficult to acquire the material for my subject until I found our friends at Spotify. In any case, I knew that I’d heard things I liked from an artist one might be tempted to dismiss: Rick Springfield.
Maybe I am a little biased, but writing a review of a George Strait album feels a little like saying, “Water is very good.” Rarely has a man of only 58 years attained such influence. More than this, he is still at the top, churning out hits routinely and consistently as we speak.
The second of four releases by Robin Thicke in 2006, the Evolution of Robin Thicke made him a star. As a journey through sixteen tracks, this album is tantalizingly uneven. Even so, if the next releases ever add up to a total album, this guy will be on top of the world.
I found Paul McCartney's 2007 album, Memory Almost Full lying around my house. Though I am young and conservative after a fashion — having grown tired of the insipid statism and relentless conventional wisdom that emanates from the generation which gave us the Beatles — I thought this 2007 release would be intriguing. And it was.
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was so omnipresent during the 1990s that I’m sure many fans of pop and R&B were sick of him. The soundtracks, the monster hits for every artist from Boyz II Men to Madonna to Toni Braxton to the 1996 Olympic theme song – he owned the music world. So, why did some of his best work ever end up never being released?