Showing posts with label charles kelley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charles kelley. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

the top 50 best songs of 2016

I've gone on record that this list in particular is always the hardest to make. Refining a list of songs that I've covered on albums I've reviewed over the course of the year - which numbers in the thousands of songs - down to a select six hundred or so, then down to a subset of just under 200... and then the final fifty. Suffice to say, there's always a lot to cover.

But I have to say, this year felt easier than others. I'd say part of it is that I'm getting a better handle on my organization going into these lists, but that would assume I've got some inkling of what I'm doing here. I think the larger factor is that the truly amazing songs that monopolized my year - the top 35 or so - they fell into place remarkably quickly, and that made ironing out the details easier than I expected. Maybe it was because it was easier for me to get passionate about some of these tracks than before, because if you ventured away from the mainstream Hot 100, there was a lot of great music in 2016. Away from the charts there was great metal, rock, synthpop, hip-hop, and especially country, which had one of its best years in recent memory, and fair warning, there's going to be a lot of it on this list.

As always, the songs had to appear on any one of the albums I reviewed - singles or deep cuts, all are possible, so no more wasting time, we have a lot to get through! So let's start off crazy with...

Monday, February 22, 2016

video review: 'the driver' by charles kelley

Yeah, this video honestly should have dropped a few days earlier, but I was at MAGFest and really never got a chance to get the editing done. Not to worry, I've got more footage and editing to get out there, but until then, I'm going to try and get the Pop 1280 and Lori Freeman reviews out. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

album review: 'the driver' by charles kelley

So I have said in the past that I don't care about the Grammys - it's an industry award that's more intended to recognize popular opinion than critical consensus, and it's often just as political as the Academy Awards - see the Best Album award this year. But sometimes the Grammys manage to surprise me, and when the nominations were announced for this year, there was a song nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Furthermore, it was a song that seemingly dropped overnight, and since then has never broken the Top 40 on country radio. Not the Billboard Hot 100, which might as well have no idea this song exists, but on country radio. Think about this for a second: this is a song from two well-established artists and a third with some critical acclaim, and this song went nowhere. In other words, for me this looked more like the Grammys trying to plug a hole in the ballots with whatever might fit, especially considering it didn't win.

But is that unfair? The song, as you're all probably aware by now, is the title track from Charles Kelley's debut album - and if you don't recognize the name, he's the frontman of Lady Antebellum, a band that I've always found frustrating in that I should like them more than I do. Now of the members of Lady Antebellum I tend to like Charles Kelley more than Hillary Scott for having a voice with more unique character... but let's be honest, we're not exactly hurting for male mainstream country acts right now, especially when he doesn't even have the majority of songwriting credits on his own album. And that was presuming this record would be country at all! Lady Antebellum has always rested on the border between country and adult alternative, and considering the album included a Tom Petty cover with Stevie Nicks - because why not make the Fleetwood Mac parallel all the stronger - I honestly wasn't sure what Charles Kelley would be delivering with this. But on the other hand, it was only nine tracks and I was curious, so how did The Driver turn out?