Tag Archive: best of
December 23 - 13
This is the last one! This review of Grey Reverend’s record will conclude the reviews of some of our top albums of 2013. We hope you have enjoyed reading these reviews as much as we enjoyed writing them. Happy Holidays!
Artist: Grey Reverend
Album: A Hero’s Lie
Label: Ninja Tune
Louis Armstrong once observed that “All Music Is Folk Music, I Ain’t Never Heard A Horse Sing A Song.” Satchmo’s wit eloquently dissolves the notion that music needs to be categorized and that is precisely what I like about “A Hero’s Lie” – the second album under the name “Grey Reverend” by D.L. Brown. Steeped in serious music theory and jazz improvisation (in addition to rock and blues), Brown was on his way to becoming a jazz guitar soloist when a neurological disorder called “focal dystonia” limited his ability to play such complex and intricate music. Undaunted, Brown purposely leaned inward toward a more direct subtle, melodic, thoughtful, thankful, literate side of songwriting. The highly complex became more accessible and sincere; jazz music became folk music;... Read More
December 22 - 13
Here is the second to last review of some of the PlayNetwork music team’s top albums of 2013. Stay tuned for the last review tomorrow! Enjoy.
Artist: Milk Carton Kids
Album: The Ash and Clay
Label: Anti Records
What I love most about the Milk Carton Kids is the simplicity of their approach and the haunting beauty of their songs. What I love almost as much about them is their carefully crafted live act and stage personas. That might not be strictly applicable when selecting your favorite studio-recorded album of the year, but once you’ve experienced the duo in a live setting their personality and charisma cannot be separated from their music. To cheaply convey the aesthetic of the Milk Carton Kids to the uninitiated, they could be simply pegged as Simon & Garfunkel harmonies with Dave Rawlings (Gillian Welch’s musical partner) style guitar playing. Which you might expect to just be some lofty hyperbole, but the thing is those harmonies are actually on par with the legendary Art and Paul, and Kenneth Pattingale could sit-in for Dave Rawlings on guitar any day.... Read More
December 20 - 13
We have a few more reviews of some of our top 10 albums from 2013. Enjoy this review of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us.
Album: Tales of Us
On their sixth studio album Tales of Us Goldfrapp (Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory) take a substantial departure from their previous record Head First. Gone is the synth-driven electro of “Rocket” and “Believer.” In its place is a lush collection of acoustic and intimate songs that are subdued and somber. The instrumentation is sparse – acoustic guitar, strings, and piano with nary a drum to be heard. But the arrangements are effective, creating the proper atmosphere to take you on their personal and reflective journey. Although the record lacks a true standout song (my favorite is “Annabel”) the album as a whole is mesmerizing – proof that the duo’s talent goes well beyond pop hooks and electronic production.
-Mark Campbell, Music Supervisor... Read More
December 18 - 13
This review of Disclosure kicks off the second half of the 10 reviews of some of our favorite albums of 2013.
If I had to pick one defining album of 2013, it would have to be Disclosure’s Settle. Not only do teen prodigies Guy and Howard Lawrence manage to reach global popularity with Settle, they did so by focusing on a sub-genre that has yet to obtain mainstream success outside of the UK (Garage). As a fan of Garage, Deep House, Techno and other “4/4” genres that have kept dance music interesting for the past 30 years, it’s refreshing to witness emerging talent like Disclosure pay homage to the underground. Each song is an expertly crafted pop anthem, that doesn’t placate the listener with mainstream “EDM” production tricks used by David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, Afrojack and the like. In fact, it’s the unique production on Settle that makes the album standout both as a commercial and underground gem. Much album’s success is owed to the brilliant cast of guest vocalists Guy and Howard collaborate with,... Read More
December 17 - 13
This review of Wooden Shjips marks the half way point of the unveiling of some of our top 10 albums of 2013. Stayed tuned for the second half, we promise you won’t regret it!
Artist: Wooden Shjips
Album: Back To land
Label: Thrill Jockey
On ‘Back to Land’, the band delivers a sonic milkshake that smells and tastes definitively like “Wooden Shjips music,” but it’s got a new confidence. Some washes of harder-edged electronic stuff, some happier moments and some darker moments. Miles of guitar solos / fuzz / distortion, of course, and motoric bass and drums. But the mix is heavier and more varied from track to track. You’ll hear them pushing the edges out, loosening the ties. The result is a record that’s more sonically rich than anything that’s come before, and also more accessible. Here, boundary-pushing involves the occasional inclusion of acoustic guitars in a supporting role in the band’s drone-friendly Suicide-meet-’Sister Ray’ stew, as well as tunes that occasionally risk a third chord to supplement the band’s customary two- and single-chord workouts.... Read More
December 16 - 13
We hope your weekend was great. If you need inspiration to get your Monday off to a great start, check out album review #4 of 10 of our favorite albums of 2013. Enjoy!
Artist: Jagwar Ma
Label: Mom + Pop
Not unlike the Australian outback, Jagwar Ma released a debut album, ‘Howlin’, that is vast, remote, and baked under the sun. What started as an experimental duo in Sydney quickly became a more ambitious trio in France (and now England), transforming living room jam sessions into an album of dub-heavy, psychedelic dance rock. Their first two singles, “Man I Need” and “Come Save Me”, could have been chart toppers in 1993, alongside The Charlatans or Oasis (who are big fans, incidentally) but the band still manage to sound modern and relevant. No other album in 2013 hit me so quickly, upon first review, and still sounds fresh, weird and wonderful, after 12 months of non-stop listening.
-Dean Sven Carlson, Lead Associate Music Supervisor/Procurement... Read More
December 13 - 13
It’s that time of year… time to pick your top albums of 2013. At PlayNetwork, we’re going to do it a little different this year. Our music team picked their top 10 albums and then wrote a review for one of the albums that made the list. We are going to feature 10 of these album reviews written by our music team. Here is the first one, enjoy!
Album: Hanging Gardens
Label: Innovative Leisure
Following a steady string of hotly-tipped remixes and singles over the last four years, LA-based electronic production duo finally unleashed their debut studio album this past summer and quickly became a go-to soundtrack for the sunny season. Hanging Gardens showcases Classixx’s seamless blend of disco, house, R&B, funk and pop styles that mixes infectious pop singles with breezy dancefloor grooves, all with an impeccable 80s-influenced touch and a talented roster of diverse guest vocalists. The album also stands out with its flawless sequencing and pacing, undoubtedly the result of the duo’s long-running DJ backgrounds before embarking upon creating their own sounds in the studio.... Read More
January 31 - 13
We round out the month of January with the final 20 artists from our top 40 Albums of 2012 Music Supervision team. Stay tuned through 2013 to more great music coming our way!
An added bonus for you audiophiles: we’ve built an exclusive channel on our web radio player featuring all of artists on our Top 40 list. Click the image below to enjoy!
... Read More
January 9 - 13
Our 2012 Music Supervisor Top 40 Album countdown continues with 30-21. In these you’ll find a good mix of flavors…hip-hop, rock, pop, electronica, with a solid international flair. Check out the videos for each artist.
Tanlines: All of Me
Frankie Rose: Know Me
Django Django: Default
Frank Ocean: Sweet Life
Niki & The Dove: The Fox
Twin Shadow: Five Seconds (NSFW)
THEE Satisfaction: QueenS
Yuna: Thinkin Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)
Kindness: Swinging Party
Kendrick Lamar: Swimming Pools... Read More
January 7 - 13
Happy New Year folks! As we close the door on 2012, we look back on the year in music. Every year our music supervisors spend countless hours ingesting thousands of artists, albums, and songs that wrap around their cerebellum and become the basis of the branded sounds we create for our clients. But, their own tastes are sometimes left out of the mix (so to speak).
This year, our diverse team of Music Supervisors all voted on their personal favorite albums of 2012, the music that caught their ear and stood out from the pack. We tabulated all the votes, ranking them in order, and this Music Supervisor Top 40 Albums of 2012 list captures some of the passion for new music and the individual tastes of our group.
Over the next several days, we’ll start at 40 and unveil ten at a time until we hit number one!
For a sneak peak into the list that we’re playing live at this very moment in our Redmond offices, scan this QR code below or you click this link!
So, without further ado, here’s 40 through 31…... Read More
March 27 - 12
With SXSW happening but once a year, flocks of musicians and bands make their trek to Austin, Texas for the one-off chance of making an impact on the thousands in attendance. Once such act; La Vida Boheme who hails from Caracas, Venezuela made that impact at this year’s SXSW music festival two weeks ago. Being dubbed as the next big thing in the Rock En Espanol movement with influences ranging from 80’s punk to Electronic Dance music, La Vida Boheme tore through their set at The Parish dressed all in white with blue and green paint splattered all over them. Their latest release “Nuestra” on Nacional Records, received two Latin Grammy nominations for best rock album as well as one for best rock song for “Radio Capital”. Led by singer Henry D’Anthenay, these guys are making people take notice not only for their eclectic shows but also as a staying powerhouse in Latin music. NPR Music put out their “Possibly Life-Changing Music Discoveries from SXSW 2012” and La Vida Boheme made that list with flying colors, no pun intended.
Alex Espinosa – Associate Music Supervisor
PlayNetwork... Read More
January 3 - 12
Happy New Year world! We continue our look back at 2011 in music…
Alex Espinosa, our newest member on the Music Services team, gives us a look at his favorite albums from 2011 which includes a few Latin artists you may not have heard of. Disfruten!
The Black Keys – El Camino (Nonesuch)
For having just two members as their core, this blues rock band from Akron, Ohio put the crunch in dirty blues rock. Their seventh release titled “El Camino” was such a surprise to me from the start that I couldn’t wait until I heard every track. With the first single “Lonely Boy” that has this guitar riff and analog synth sound at the start; I immediately wanted more. El Camino delivers especially with my favorite on the album “Run Right Back”. This song has not only sex appeal but that dirty, kick the dirt type of sound that gives the Keys a swagger like the days of Bowie and T-Rex. Listen to “Run Right Back” here
Hello Seahorse – Lejos, No Tan Lejos (Nacional Records)
Mexico’s indie sensation, Hello Seahorse latest release titled “Lejos, No Tan Lejos” which translates to “Far,... Read More
December 29 - 11
Next in our ‘best of 2011’ series, is a favorite of Associate Music Supervisor, Gabriel Marowitz. If you’re a fan of bluegrass or skilled musicianship you’ll enjoy this, and if you’re not a fan…well, you just might become one.
Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Sleep With One Eye Open
This album rocks because Chris Thile, possibly the best mandolin player alive, met a dude named Michael Daves at a bluegrass jam in New York City and discovered that Michael was pretty damned good himself. The new friends decided to go old-school and cut an album together playing all their favorite bluegrass tunes; naturally, they went to Jack White’s place in Nashville to make the record where they stood around the mic for a day and ripped through some live takes. What we get is a classic and authentic sound with a lot of youthful energy and bravado.
– Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor – PlayNetwork... Read More
December 27 - 11
We hope you’re enjoying your holidays! As we reflect back on 2011, our second installment of ‘bests’ n music as seen by PlayNetwork’s Music Superivisor’s brings up Music Supervisor, Heather Thueringer’s Top 10 Albums of 2011. Without further ado…
10. Ellie Goulding – Lights
PlayNetwork was fortunate to host a PlayLive event featuring Ellie Goulding just weeks before she was tapped to play the Royal wedding and Saturday Night Live. She did a great set on our mainstage and was as nice as could be. Listening to her album Lights, it’s easy to see why she was one of the top-selling British artists in 2010.
Watch Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” Video…
9. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting
I was lucky enough to catch Jamie Woon at South By Southwest and he was fantastic! His whole album is great and I would highly encourage seeing him live if you can! You will not be disappointed.
Watch Jamie Woon’s “Night Air” Video…
8. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Lykke Li had one of my favorite albums as well as my favorite video of the year. ... Read More