Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Album Reviews: End of the Year Extravaganza


Watch the Sun by PJ Morton

It's hard for me not to enjoy an album like this.  If you see the album cover PJ Morton made for his Christmas album a few years back you'll get an idea of the kind of artist he is. 

I think of an artist like Morton as a traditional soul singer.  This is the kind of album you put on when hanging out with your significant other having some conversation.  One of those albums that make you feel like an adult.   

It's solid all the way through and though it doesn't have any real stand out moments it was fun to listen to. 

The Last Resort:  Greetings From by Midland

This is a classic Nashville country album.  A solid sound, predictable songs like "Bury Me in Blue Jeans" that sums it up.  If you like modern Nashville country, then you'll like this album it has what your looking for.  

We've Been Going About This All Wrong by Sharon Van Etten

You ever listen to an album and you think, "yeah in a different place, different time I could see liking this."  That's where I'm at with this album.  Just not in the mood for it when I was listening to it and so I could never connect with it.  It's slow and moody and it may be smart but I could never get into it enough to figure that part out.  If you are in a darker mood then I would say give it a try.  I was listening to this album during Thanksgiving break and so was not in the right frame of mind for it.  

In Real Life by Mandy Moore

I was in the right mood for this album and so even though it may not age as well for me as an album like the one from Sharon Van Etten it had some good moments with me and so I'll always remember those.  Sometimes it is nice to hear music from someone who is in a very positive place in their life.  Also lyrically she's hitting the mark on this album.  It can be tricky to talk about becoming a parent and how that changes your life, to write about being in your late 30's and what that life looks like.  She pulls all this off very well.  Musically it's not the most interesting album you'll hear, but Mandy Moore is a good vocalist and so it all works pretty well.  This could be a clean the house album as in part it is about that life of cleaning the house with your kids and life partner.  


PLAYGIRL by Lolo Zouai

I really liked Lolo's first album.  I still listen to it all the time.  One of the things I liked so much about it was how personal it felt.  This album feels a bit slicker and so that same vulnerability isn't quite there, but still lyrically she's very interesting.  There are a few strong songs on this album like "Don't Buy Me Flowers" that will have me coming back to this album as well.  I gave her last album 3 stars I'd be more likely to give this one 2 stars, but the more I listen to it the more I like it.  This is an album you put on when you are in your 20's and living a certain kind of single life.  

Language Warning

I Blame the World by Sasha Alex Sloan

This album was a revelation for me.  I'd never heard of Sasha Alex Sloan but this album is so smart and so much fun to listen to.  I remember how hard it was being in my late 20's and not having a clue what was going on in my life and so even today this album hits home for me.  May be the best album I've ever heard about this time of life.  The whole vibe to the album is perfect including the wonderful album cover.  

Sad Cities by Sally Shapiro

It's a good year when you get a Sally Shapiro album and this one didn't disappoint.  It's not their best, but it's still a good album and was so much fun to listen to.  They have the best music to take walk to with headphones losing yourself into the world their sound creates.  

Dance Fever by Florence + The Machine

This is one of those artists who I think I should like more than I do.  Maybe this album was similar to the one from Sharon Van Etten and it was just timing or just my taste.  Still it's a solid album though it feels long to me.  

rising by mxmtoon

She's a youtuber who has made it here.  This is a really fun album and a good listen.  Definitely one that can be a clean the house album, just something fun to share with your family and friends.  

Harry's House by Harry Style

I think it is easy to get thrown off by Harry Styles and his look, personality, horrible videos and lose track of the site that he can write songs and is a good singer.  This is a good album, much better than his last.  Feels more personal and shows off that he can write.  It has some throw away songs, but if you like 70s to 90's pop music I'd say give this one a listen.  It has that vibe to it but in a 2022 way that works.  

Cruel Country by Wilco

It's a long album and all it made me think about was how old Wilco had gotten and how old I had gotten.  If you like Wilco it's worth a listen.  

Midnights by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift as I've talked about is a very good songwriter and has not lost her interesting writing voice.  But I have to say this album didn't do much for me.  To me the most interesting song on here was the opener "Lavender Haze."  In part because it is written in the style of an electro dance song.  You can ask Robyn or Charli XCX those songs are different to write and require you to use much more condensed language to get your thoughts across.  This felt refreshing as the last few Swift albums have been so lyrically heavy.  It would be nice to see her take on a real dance album and push herself as a songwriter in that way.  I also thought that was the only song that had the mood I wanted from an album titled Midnights.  


  1. The two-sentence Wilco evaluation is the annual performance review that every 54-year-old in the country got from their 32-year-old manager in the last six weeks.

  2. Thank you putting together both of these two posts. I watched every video and enjoyed them both a great deal. Here are my first favorite 10 of the songs you included:

    1. Free, Florence and the Machine
    2. A Lifetime to Find, Wilco
    3. Four Moons, Mandy Moore
    4. Sad City, Sally Shapiro
    5. Falling Clouds, Sally Shapiro
    6. Victim of Nostalgia, mxmtoon
    7. Bejeweled, Taylor Swift
    8. Cool Cry, M0
    9. Minds of Men, FKA twigs
    10. Tourist, Miranda Lambert