#MWE 2017 (Music Written Exercise) – Week 4 (2/21/17 – 2/28/17)

On February 1st, 2017 I was introduced to the phenomenon known as #MWE. Unfamiliar with the hashtag well so was I. However, the universe thought it best to introduce me to a world of musical exploration and to test my written skills. The project is the brainchild of @noyokono a music writer who ask individuals to listen to a new album each day in February and to write a few words about it. I, an avid listener and seeker of new music, took up this challenge immediately. Without further ado I give you my #MWE selections.

February 21, 2017

Artist: The Shins

Album: Port Of Morrow

Port of Morrow is the last full album by the Shins. Like most Shins albums it’s filled with songs of personal experiences that detail the love, heart break, and joys of life. Like past albums this work has a diverse array of styles ensuring that the listener will never get bored with this piece of art. Fast vs slow or folksy vs indie rock and everything else in between. Like a twisting roller coaster this album drags you in all different directions while bombarding you with clever lyrics. Highlights include Simple Song, No Way Down, and Bait & Switch.  If you loved their past works then you’ll surely love this one as well. Rating 7.7 out of 10.0 

February 22, 2017

Artist: Andy Suzuki & The Method

Album: The Glass Hour

Andy Suzuki & the Method’s The Glass Hour is an interesting album that falls outside of my normal listening choices. I would describe it as a lite Pop R&B album with some club appeal. The lead singer reminds me of a poor man’s Neyo. Someone with apparent vocal strength, rough soul sound, and a tendency towards romance influenced lyrics. Luckily Andy is a great singer so even though the lyrics are wanting the sound is great. Add in some simplistic club beats/pop sounds and you have an album that I assume has appeal to older teen and the young college age crowd. Again this isn’t normally my type of music but I survived the album from front to back.  Not sure I would recommend it to my friends but it’s not a terrible piece of work. Rating 5.3 out of 10.0

February 23, 2017

Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Album: Skeleton Tree

For this day I listened to Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s album Skeleton Tree  which was a suggestion by my twitter buddy @Vampira666_. I think the distracted listener or the untrained ear shall only hear slow moody tracks. Yet, if they really listen and give it a few run throughs they’ll find a delicate dance of story & melody. While i’m not a big fan of darker sounds or slow paced music I was greatly impressed by the piece of work. Dark deep vocals reminiscent of singers of old like Johnny Cash. Slow sweeping ballads that transport listeners to different places and times. Highlights include I Need You, Distant Sky, and Girl in Amber. While not my normal band or style I shall be investing my time in listening to more of this. Rating 7.2 out of 10.0

February 24, 2017

Artist: The Colourist 

Album: The Colourist 

Today’s selection was the self titled album by the Colourist. They are an indie rock group similar to sounds like St. Lucia, the Griswolds, and Hunter Hunted. Their albums is filled with joyful melodies, foot stomping tracks, and enough spirit to keep you dancing from start to finish. This album is filled with colorful lyrics and a beautiful blend of vocals that will keep you moving in your seat or on your feet (if you’re standing). Highlights include Put The Fire Out, Tonight (Young Hearts) and Wishing Wells. This album is good for all ages and is ear worm addictive. Rating 7.7 out of 10.0 

February 25, 2017

Artist: Foals

Album: What Went Down

What Went Down is the latest album by the British band Foals. I myself only recently discovered Foals due to their performance on Austin City Limits which is broadcast on PBS on weekends in America. This album has many of the common elements found in British neo alternative rock. Slow ballads with dark foreboding guitar rifts and deep throated vocals.  These are coupled with fast break neck paced rock anthems that call to the listener to get up, dance, and maybe break something. Highlights include A  Knife In The Ocean, Mountains At My Gates, and London Thunder. If you’re a fan of the White Lies, Bloc Party, or Arctic Monkeys you’ll probably find a track to love on this album. Rating 6.7 out of 10.0

February 26, 2017

Artist: Run The Jewels

Album: Run The Jewels Vol 3.

Vol 3 by the hip hop group Run The Jewels is another collection of solid hip hop tracks. Per usual the album is filled with intelligent raps covering subjects of social justice/politics, humor, and real life experiences. Whether you love rap/hip hop for beats or lyrics you’ll find something that will impress you. Like expert seamstress Run The Jewels weave  descriptive lyrics with world building beats to create a story that carries the listener throughout the album. Again Killer Mike and El-P produce a collection of amazing tracks great for parties, road trips, and everything in between. It’s hard to pick out which songs are the best but some highlights include Everybody Stay Calm, Stay Gold, and Legend Has It. Rating 7.0 out of 10.0

February 27, 2017

Artist: Dreamers

Album: This Album Does Not Exist

The Dreamers This Album Does Not Exist can be summed up simply as soul fuel. This trio hits you over the head with rock ballads, indie pop dance tunes, and ear worms lyrics that invade your mind. I got to witness their greatness first hand when they opened up for the Griswolds at the Sinclair on Sunday February 26, 2017. Much like their live set this album is filled with tons of energy that keeps your feet moving, your heart pumping, and dreams exploding. One second they are hitting you with a Strokes like vocal tone and the next they are cruising through a pop ballad with the expertise of a band like Walk the Moon. Highlights include Wolves, Last Night On Earth, Drugs, and Lucky Dog. This album has something for everyone especially those who love to dance. Rating 7.9 out of 10.0

February 28, 2017

Artist: Flaming Lips

Album: Oczy Mlody

Oczy Mlody is an interesting piece of work by the band Flaming Lips. Per usual it’s a mix of psychedelic sounds, experimental tones, and dreamy lyrics. This album has an weird flow like a river with drops, bends, and breaks in it. Sometimes you’re flowing quickly, sometimes you wonder if you’re moving at all, and at other times your being swept along by a beautiful swarm you can’t even feel. This is an album where your own personal experiences and willingness to let go will determine your ability to digest this weird tasting music.  My favorite track on the album was One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill. A song which felt like the love child of Pink Floyd and Radiohead. Other highlights include The Castle, Galaxy I Sink, and We A Family. Rating 7.1 out of 10 

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