Jessie Ware’s “Midnight” burns bright

With Jessie Ware, there’s a few things you can always depend on. Tasteful, exciting production choices, lovelorn lyrics and Ware’s undeniably powerful vocals. She’s been acing this formula since Devotion landed in 2012, adding a sugary pop confection to her 2014 follow-up Tough Love. Continue reading “Jessie Ware’s “Midnight” burns bright”

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Arcade Fire miss the mark on EVERYTHING NOW

Arcade Fire has always had big ideas. Ever since the seminal Funeral was released 13 years ago, the band has operated as the 2000s most arena-ready rock act, earning that distinction on the heels of anthemic tracks such as “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” “Wake Up,” “Intervention,” “No Cars Go,” “Ready to Start” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” 2013’s Reflektor was the first sign of cracks in the armor, as the band’s overstuffed, double-disc fourth LP allowed for their least interesting ideas to take shape next to towering cuts such as the title-track and “Afterlife.” With their fifth studio album, Everything Now, the band is still preaching big ideas, but with none of the empathy that made their previous albums universal. Continue reading “Arcade Fire miss the mark on EVERYTHING NOW”

Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” is pure pop bliss

Demi Lovato grew up fast. While her contemporaries Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez built their image on bubbly, effervescent pop cuts, Lovato first broke out in a big way with the deeply personal, moving ballad “Skyscraper,” which detailed her time in a rehabilitation clinic. Given her past – and her triumph over her personal struggles – Lovato’s music has always had an edge to it. Think back to Demi‘s lead single “Heart Attack,” or Confident‘s “Cool for the Summer,” and you’ll hear an artist that’s as assured as she his razor-sharp. Continue reading “Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” is pure pop bliss”