When someone who Taylor Swift felt was an online bully bought the masters to her back catalog, she was justifiably livid. Swift had tried to buy her own masters in the past, and been rebuffed. In a bid to devalue her past masters and regain control of her own music, she has vowed to rerecord her earlier work with bonus content.
She has also terminated her relationship with Big Machine Records, the entity that put all of this in motion. “Lover” is her first fully-owned release, having signed with artist-friendly Republic Records.
Anyone worried that all of this business muckery might destroy her creative inspiration, need not worry. These 18 tracks could each be hit singles. “I Forget That You Existed” is a great middle-finger song, and “Lover” is a haunting 50’s-inspired ballad drenched in reverb. A lot of this is intentionally under-produced, and it serves Swift’s crackerjack hooks splendidly.
i, i (Jagjaguar)
I run hot and cold on the music of Bon Iver, which is mainly the vision of band braintrust Justin Vernon. Bon Iver’s first release was recorded in a cabin during a Wisconsin winter, and boy, can you feel it.
Vernon has a knack for making dreary-sounding tunes listenable, and that debut won Grammys for “Best New Artist” and “Best Alternative Music Album.” Bon Iver’s latest, however, puts me in a place where I’m unable to hang onto a memorable element, or dare I say, hook.
That isn’t to say that this disc isn’t an interesting listen, it is. Taken in with headphones, it’s got texture and image-producing ambience for miles. Unfortunately, it’s a little short on songs for me.
Zac Brown Band/The Owl (BMG)
Brittany Howard/Jaime (ATO)
Robbie Robertson/Sinematic (UMe)
Liam Gallagher/Why Me? (Warner Bros.)
Samantha Fish/Kill Or Be Kind (Rounder)
Gerry Beckley/Five Mile Road (Blue Elan)
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