WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? – Billie Eilish

I originally wrote this review at least a year ago, but it’s still important to talk about the controversy surrounding this album. It’s easy to understand why some people were aghast at it; a 17-year-old woman singing about suicide is worrying, to say the least. Of course, the same people who call her work inappropriateContinue reading “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? – Billie Eilish”

Evolve – Imagine Dragons

When I wrote “Great House of the Captive Lovers” (original title: “Mythos”) in high school, I didn’t know exactly what triplet time was. I just had a song idea, and I knew there was a place I wanted to go with it. AWOLNATION’s “Sail”, Imagine Dragons’ “Believer”, and later Bishop Briggs’ “River” occupy a specificContinue reading “Evolve – Imagine Dragons”

Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay

As part of the promotion for my new EP, Demos from Safety, I’m posting reviews of some of the works which inspired each song on the album. My song “Immortality” opens on the chord progression to “Violet Hill”, something that wasn’t intentional but definitely makes sense; the main thrust of the song, a lament after allContinue reading “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay”

Save Rock and Roll – Fall Out Boy

I always think of this as a rock opera because I first experienced this album by watching The Young Blood Chronicles (their hour-long music video for every song on the album), and that’s actually my recommendation of how to experience Save Rock and Roll, because it’s cool. That’s not really what I’m here to talkContinue reading “Save Rock and Roll – Fall Out Boy”

American Idiot – Green Day

You’ve heard a lot of this album, but you probably haven’t heard the awesome jam that is “Letterbomb” or dissected “Homecoming” down to specific notes. Yes, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is great, but this album really shines where it eschews the four-chord progression and just plays some loud chords, finds something else to do, andContinue reading “American Idiot – Green Day”

Now, Not Yet – half-alive

This album is the kind of work I could gush over as a music theory guy, but its complexity is oh so very accessible. It’s got this Bastille/Sir Sly vibe, but it’s jam-packed full of complex jazz chords, Jacob Collier-style vocal harmonies, interesting rhythms, and Japanese Breakfast-esque engaging sound effects. They hit you with polytonalityContinue reading “Now, Not Yet – half-alive”

Lemonade – Beyonce

You know, I had heard this album was good, but I was knocked over by the vocal opening to “Pray You Catch Me”. This album is incredible. You’ve got some really cool scale stuff from a theory perspective, like the Lydian/Ionian mode mixture on “Hold Up” and the move three steps down on the scaleContinue reading “Lemonade – Beyonce”