As we wrap up this year and begin a new one, our top music reviewer ranks his top five albums of 2013.
Honorable Mentions: Reflektor by Arcade Fire; Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend; The Lone Bellow by The Lone Bellow
5) Yeezus by Kanye West
Kanye is on a different level than other artists. He’s absolutely crazy, like insane, loose cannon crazy. But there is no question that he is a genius. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was great, one of my all time favorites, but Yeezus is transcendental. It will be the album people associate him with in 50 years.
Talk about a stunner. No one expected Beyoncé to drop a complete new album – completely unannounced and unhyped – on Friday. No one could have anticipated the insane results of that surprise, either: in 12 hours, the pop superstar had generated 1.2 million tweets.
The financials are even more impressive. While we’re still waiting for final numbers, it’s looking like her self-titled album moved nearly 400,000 units on day one. If confirmed accurate, that number would dwarf debut sales of fellow divas Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, who didn’t even come close to achieving that result in their first complete week on the market.
Early data distracts from the real accomplishment here. “Beyoncé” could be much more than just a one-day internet phenomenon. In fact, the release could signal a complete change in the pattern stars use to debut their content. It also shows an amazing sense of business savvy on the part of Mrs. Carter.
“The 20/20 Experience World Tour” is currently touring throughout the United States through Spring 2014. These reviews are from the Bridgestone Arena show on Friday, November 15th and the FedEx Forum show in his hometown, Memphis, TN, on Monday, November 18th. Read more
Review: Jason Aldean w. Jake Owen at FedExForum, Memphis, TN – October 24, 2013
(And a list of reasons you should go to a big time country music concert ASAP.)
I won tickets to see Jason Aldean a month or so ago, and honestly I’m not that big of a fan of his. But my wife is and I know some of his songs and it was free, so it only made sense for us to go to his concert.
And it was a GREAT DECISION! Read more
If you were to make a bet with me on who the best songwriter is right now, in terms of being a storyteller, I’d gladly give you the field and take Jason Isbell for myself. He’s that damn good. Unfortunately, his opening gig for Dawes at Minglewood Hall in Memphis was entirely too short. He played for about 30 minutes, maybe seven songs, and that was it. I don’t know what the contractual obligations were, but judging by how the crowd shrank a decent amount after the opener was done, I’d say it’s safe to say that the people wanted more Jason Isbell and less Dawes. I would be in that camp. Read more
I know, I know. For weeks, many of you have been coming to The Wise Guise frantically searching for the words “By Alex Beene” scrolling beneath one of the headlines. When it was absent, you take the flask out from your coat pocket, down a quick gulp and ponder how in the hell you’d make it through another work day without my wisdom.
Today is your lucky day. The good news is you’re going to get some new views from yours truly that will hopefully make your 8-hour sit at the office more bearable. The bad news is this will be my final column for a while. I’ll be away doing daily tasks much more boring than providing five minutes of disposable entertainment for your day, I assure you. So, look for me to root on my fellow staff from the sidelines in the coming weeks instead of playing in the game.
I hadn’t planned on writing this, but something has been bothering me for a while now. A little over a month ago, I wrote a tirade on Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs. I felt good about it after sending in the final copy. Since it was published, I’ve actually reread it a few times, a task I rarely do with my writings. And each time, I kept saying, “Alex, you missed the mark big time.” Read more