Some of us grew up with N’SYNC and Christina Aguilera. So how is it that the same person became the ultimate Korn fan and decided to hate pop music forever? WHO KNOWS!? Nobody actually "listens to everything," and most people usually don't branch out much in varying musical styles they add to their playlists. So if you really think pop music sucks, or are just not comfortable jamming Harry Styles around your death metal homies, here’s a couple releases that still jam hard while riding the line of radio friendly swill.
Bea Miller - aurora (2018 Hollywood Records Inc) Aurora is the moody follow-up to the 2015 album, Not An Apology. It's full of highs and lows, clever transitions, and even a sultry take on a nursery rhyme in the second track, "burning bridges." The album is mostly composed of electronic beats and instruments which is common for a good amount of modern indie pop, but we get a few tasty, simple guitar hooks to kick off songs like "motherlove,” “outside,” and “bored,” three of the catchiest songs displayed here. What pop singer in their right mind would skip recording a reverb heavy piano ballad? Aurora is no exception with "i can't breathe" which keeps your attention all the way through and ends just where it should. The middle of the album does not disappoint by any means, but every big label release has their bangers on the front of the album as you know. “Like that” lays back into a simple kick snare groove. “S.L.U.T” has one of those titles that make you want to hear it, and it does a great job making you feel good. It has subjectively the coolest sounding instruments and very bouncy vocal melodies. The closer, “to the grave, ft. mike.” for sure vibes as if Bea spent an entire week singing Taylor Swift songs at karaoke bars, and honestly doesn’t give the album much closure, but since it’s over, you can start the fun right over again!
Bear Hands - Burning Bush Supper Club (2010 Cantora Records) What a trip. This is an album that can gather some head bobs and shoulder sways from nearly any crowd. Kicking off with a crackly snare drum and disco era falsettos, “Crime Pays” is an awesome song. Nothing over the top, but nothing under the threshold of engaging. The pace picks up with the next two, “Belongings” and “What a Drag,” that have that festival worthy sing-a-longness. On the latter, frontman, Dylan Rau, belts out “I’m dreaming of your Goddamn long nails” in the coolest of fashions. The most mellow, but not slowest song on the album, “Tablasaurus” brings in some tribal drums and synth pads that get you relaxed until TJ Orscher brings his driving drum beats back onto the scene. The song ends undramatically, but it’s a fun ride getting there, especially since “Julien,” the most emotive song here, is next. Full of vocal delays and guitar swells, it’s a sweeping jam that makes you want to drive faster, but stay safe kids! A couple tracks later we land on “Can’t Stick Em” where we finally hear Val Lopez bring that low end heat on the bass. If there had to be a song that was their dedicated crowd surfing song, this is the one. Burning Bush Supper Club concludes with the gathering-around-in-the-living-room track “Tall Trees” The vocals are just catchy enough to sing along with, but obscure enough to be impossible to mimic.