9.28 – That New New

EDIT: I wrote a long, kinda bummer version of this post which reads like an excerpt from The Adderall Diaries. But then I realized that besides being kinda weird and sad, it didn’t fit the format of TNN, so here’s the decaf version, with the longer version after the jump.

New Disclosure! Besides “Nocturnal,” other highlights from the album are “Good Intentions” feat. Miguel, “Willing and Able” feat. Kwabs, and “Holding On” feat. Gregory Porter.

If Fetty Wap’s album had come out in June it would have easily been our pick for album of the summer. Even without the great singles (“Trap Queen,” “679,” “My Way”), the whole record is a solidly enjoyable listen.

You know that thing where you friend sends you her music and you don’t want to listen because you’re afraid you aren’t going to like it (because you don’t like anything) and then you would feel awkward but then you do listen to it a month later and it’s really good, and then you feel stupid for overthinking it? Or is that just me?

TL;DR including unsolicited thoughts on TheWeeknd record below.

Disclosure’s new album came out and there are some standout songs, but I think overall I’m starting to burn out on their pallet of sounds. I don’t know that I need a whole album of washy pads – it’s pleasant enough but starts to all kind of drift into the background. A good example is the Sam Smith feature, “Omen,” which is definitely not bad but nowhere near the lightning in a bottle that was “Latch.” I think a turning point was “F FOR YOU” with Mary J Blige – like I get that they want to work with great singers, who doesn’t, but it wasn’t a great fit and should have probably been left on the cutting room floor. But so here are the high points:

“Nocturnal” feat. The Weeknd
“Good Intentions” feat. Miguel
“Holding On” feat. Gregory Porter – we put this one on a Rub Radio a few months back and it’s the best song on the album to me. Just really strong writing and vocal performance that will make you want to hear more from Gregory Porter.
“Willing and Able” feat. Kwabs is also really nice, it reminds me of Steve Spacek or Jai Paul.


The Weeknd album dropped at the end of August and we never got to it, so it’s more TSN (That Sorta New). I was a huge fan of the slow and dark, coming-down-off-coke-and-trying-to-get-a-girl-to-come-over “House of Balloons” – I probably listened to that album two or three hundred times. He’s still a great singer but like Disclosure, he’s not hitting that sweet spot any more for me. Even “I Can’t Feel My Face,” which is an incredible song musically, is kind of silly. It’s very obviously a song about cocaine, shoe-horned onto a happy dance beat, which feels unfaithful to his original vision, and almost dishonest. A lot of the production on Beauty Behind The Madness is just too pretty. The really distinctive thing about the earlier stuff was this really pretty, like Michael Jackson pretty, voice drenched in reverb and pushing through layers of gritty, distorted electronic production. Not acoustic guitar, violins or grand piano. If I wanted that, I would be listening to Alycia Keys or John Legend. Now admittedly I probably started to sour when I read this, but either way I just want him to make “Loft Music” over and over, which is clearly not going to happen any more than getting another “White Noise” or “Latch” out of Disclosure. My reactions to Kendrick, Drake and A$AP Rocky’s albums this year were similar; maybe I’m just getting old and the lack of enthusiasm is more about the U curve than the art itself. But I’m still rooting for Frank Ocean to come with a sophomore masterpiece before the end of the year.