Ticket Liquidator’s Summer Music Review
“Want You Back” by HAIM
HAIM is the indie girl band you need to know about. Their sophomore album Something To Tell You did not hit the “sophomore slump,” but rather demonstrated the sisters’ lean towards R&B/pop and away from indie folk pop. “Want You Back” is the perfect car sing-a-long that focuses on the singer wanting an ex back and laying all their emotions on the table. Girl power is real, and HAIM is showing it.
“HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar
One of the most recognizable songs of this year, Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” is genius. This is due to Lamar’s lyrical abilities and hip-hop legacy, but it is also due to the brilliant production of Mike WiLL Made-It. The twangy, off-key piano background beats create the dopest backdrop for Lamar’s razor-perfect raps. This set the stage for DAMN., which demonstrated that “HUMBLE.” would not be the only Lamar hit of the year. However, it’s hard to beat a “HUMBLE.”
“Slide” by Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, and Migos
Calvin Harris dropped some bangers in 2017 off of his Funk Wav Bonces Vol. 1. This included many elaborate collaborations, but one of the standouts was his early single “Slide” with Frank Ocean and Migos. Both featured artists are at the top of their respective genres, and the pairing worked well. “Slide” is a fresh, summery jam that leaked through poolside and beachside speakers all season long.
“I’m The One” by DJ Khaled, Chance The Rapper, Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Lil Wayne
OOOOOOOOHHHHHH this is the Summer 2017 banger. DJ Khaled’s album might have its downsides, but this single lit up the charts. Chance The Rapper, Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Lil Wayne fill out the epic feature lineup. The light, upbeat backbeat is perfect for any drive with the windows down.
“Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez resurfaced in 2017 with new music. When “Bad Liar” hit airwaves, the result was supersonic. The Talking Heads sample and playful, sexual undertones combined Gomez’s strengths. Those strengths resides on her sensual artistic ability and her inclination to push forward pop music. It’s a pop song, but fans can always tell if it’s a Selena song, too. Hate it, love it, everyone has an opinion on it.
“Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B
Cardi B went from the clubs to streaking forward on the Spotify charts, and we’re HERE for it .”Bodak Yellow” is her late August release, nearing the end of summer. The debut single is hot, and Cardi B is showing her haters that judgement gets you nowhere, but talent can get you anywhere. Cardi B’s story is unique, as she’s turned her notorious Instagram personality into a solid hip-hop career on the rise. From her upbringing in the Bronx to her days as a stripper to her Love & Hip-Hop reality show stardom, Cardi B has done it all. In addition, she’s somehow managed to gain the attention and respect of music industry moguls.
“Havana” by Camila Cabello and Young Thug
Camila Cabello had a dramatic last year, as she departed from the girl group Fifth Harmony. Like any member who leaves a successful musical group, the parting is never easy. Cabello and the remaining four members of the group were not on good terms, and the world knew it. Then, Cabello began to break out into the solo career that she dreamed of, and the gossip faded away. First, Cabello dropped “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly near the original break up, giving the world the first taste of her solo career but as a featured artist.
Then, she dropped “Crying In The Club” in 2017, and this was Cabello as a solo artist for the first time. However, Cabello shocked fans when she released both “Havana” featuring Young Thug and “OMG” featuring Quavo at the same time. Her debut album The Hurting. The Healing, The Loving. drops in late September. “Havana” was the standout single of the two because it encapsulates her Cuban roots with the sensual, fun style of Cabello’s future pop career. However, it’s not just another radio pop song; “Havana” stands out in its hip-swaying beats, and Young Thug adds flavor to the song by using his real name Jeffery.
Kesha’s comeback is remarkable. And before you toss this into an overly-sympathetic category, listen first. Kesha has gone through a lot with her lawsuit against Dr. Luke, as he sexually and emotionally assaulted her during the early parts of her career. Everybody was rooting for Kesha for this album, as it’d be her first release in years after all of the drama ensuing from the allegations. However, Rainbow is not merely a success because of Kesha as a person. That I was worried about myself. Instead, Rainbow truly demonstrates a mix of pop and her country origins to produce a record unlike anything else on the market. Her lyricism is simple, remaining true to her earlier works, but her topics range from feminism to overcoming obstacles to outer space. The quirky Kesha remains, but she comes with more of a bit and empowerment to fight back. It is the success that everyone hoped it could be, and fans can’t wait to see where she takes her artistic growth in the future.
4. Vic Mensa│The Autobiography
Vic Mensa is from Chicago and linked to Chance The Rapper, as the two went to school together as kids. However, Mensa is anything but Chance The Rapper’s less-talented acquaintance. His new album The Autobiography proves this, as it uses the jazz-infused backbeat style to contrast his lyrical heaviness throughout the album. From an almost drug overdose to the death of his friend, Mensa’s lyrics pierce the heart of his struggles from childhood. In addition, Mensa adds in more upbeat, vibing party songs in hits such as “Rollin’ Like A Stoner” while giving listeners heartfelt heartbreak songs in “Coffee & Cigarettes.” No I.D.’s production can easily be heard in the album, as it reflects JAY-Z’s 4:44. Hard raps juxtapose airy, jazzy background production, showing the trend that is sweeping the genre, and Mensa manipulates the trend to his advantage in The Autobiography.
3. Aminé│Good for You
Aminé dropped his debut album Good For You that exceeded expectations. His name on the XXL Freshman Class of 2017 did two things: create a target on his back or put him in the “not worth your time” pile, as the XXL Freshman Class list has been gaining a reputation for lackluster performance. However, Aminé proved them wrong. After starring in “Caroline,” an upbeat, swag-filled hip-hop radio hit, fans were patiently waiting for the rest of the album. From the cover to the feel-good spirit, Good For You hits all of his strengths. It includes serious lyrics regarding social issues and life changes while also including fun segments such as “Wedding Crashers” featuring Offset.
Lorde’s sophomore album arguably had higher expectations than any other pop star’s. After shocking and enthralling fans with Pure Heroine, Lorde took years off to experience her late teens in her home country of New Zealand, fall in and out of love, and move to New York to write about all of it. Lorde then dropped Melodrama, reflecting on her last few years leading up to her 20th birthday. Melodrama met expectations. It’s more poppy and dancehall than Pure Heroine‘s teenage, dark angst, but it’s filled with the same introspective lyrics and details that allowed Lorde to grow as big as she has. Hits such as lead single “Green Light” and “Perfect Places” are perfect for any car ride, but more vulnerable numbers such as “Liability” and “Writer In The Dark” crack open her emotional cavity. Lorde is known for her erratic performance styling filled with dancing, and Melodrama will make for the perfect backdrop to Lorde’s second running as a pop superstar.
SZA is the new name to watch for. After dropping her debut album CTRL under Top Dawg Entertainment, the R&B singer is here to stay. The album was delayed for various reasons over the past year, and its release meant a lot of different factors to the genre. SZA is Top Dawg’s first female R&B artist. This is a label known for tycoons such as Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Tupac, and more. Therefore, SZA’s name is already amongst music royalty. CTRL itself demonstrates her depth of talent. It is raw and vulernable, as SZA openly discusses her faults and flaws within her past relationships.
In addition, she stabs at societal norms of women in hits such as “Drew Barrymore.” Lines like “I’m sorry I’m not more attractive / I’m sorry I’m not more ladylike/ I’m sorry I don’t shave my legs at night” unveil her simmering attitude and clapback potential. In her past relationship, the man she was in love with was with another woman. This normally taboo, sore subject is cast out in broad daylight in CTRL. However, CTRL is not so microscopic as to just review her own emotional turmoil. It broadens to general commentary on modern day romance and societal norms. CTRL is SZA’s best first plunge into the shark tank.
Ticket Liquidator’s Fall Music Preview
Most Anticipated Albums
Foo Fighters are back for their next album Concrete and Gold. The legendary Dave Grohl and band haven’t released an album since 2014’s Sonic Highways.
The Killers are set to release the highly anticipated Wonderful Wonderful in late September. This is exciting because it is their first release since Battle Born in 2012.
It has been a crazy past few years for Miley Cyrus. The pop singer went through a phase of twerking and surprising everyone with the “next craziest thing” years prior during her Bangerz phase. This led to the split of Cyrus from fiancé Liam Hemsworth. In the years since, quirky Cyrus remains, but she’s found solace and comfort in a more relaxed lifestyle with a little less twerking. She rekindled her relationship with Hemsworth, and her new album Younger Now seems to be a reflection on the last few years of growing up.
Beck’s new album Colors is on everyone’s radar because it’s been a few years since his Grammy Album of the Year Morning Phase dropped in 2014. Colors‘ lead single “Wow” pointed the album towards an upbeat indie pop direction.
Pink has been away from the limelight for a few years, as well. However, she has returned with her new single “What About Us” and album Beautiful Trauma. Expect it to be Pink: blunt, slightly political, inclusive, and vulnerable. Her last album The Truth About Love dropped in 2012.
Taylor Swift is causing a maelstrom in 2017, and it’s because the newly re-branded, vengeful, dark, TSwift is raising eyebrows. Swift dropped her lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” in August, and her new album reputation is set to drop in November.
Most Anticipated Tours
Janet Jackson is going on her “Janet State of the World Tour” that begins in early September and goes until mid-December. This is important for Jackson because her 2015 “Unbreakable Tour” was cancelled due to her desire to start a family. Jackson is back and ready to tackle her next tour.
This will be Harry Styles’ first solo tour as a solo artist. While One Direction is on hiatus, each of the members are taking time to explore their solo careers. Styles’ vintage rock feel and vulnerable lyrics captured the attention of many. Styles’ intimate indoor tour will go from September throughout the fall, and his arena-size tour will start in the summer of 2018.
JAY-Z: “4:44 Tour”
JAY-Z is going on his “4:44 Tour” after dropped his new album 4:44 in early summer. The new album was critically-acclaimed, as it saw JAY-Z getting vulnerable and reflecting on his mistakes. JAY-Z is on tour from October until December.
Kesha: “Rainbow Tour”
Kesha broke through the drama of her past few years and released Rainbow. This is Kesha’s first tour in years, and fans are excited to see the pop star stronger than ever.