Cornelius—the Japanese electronic, shibuya-key, and acclaimed progressive pop songwriter—is back with his first non-soundtrack solo record in 11 years. Coming off a tour of his fantastic 1997 record Fantasma, Cornelius is doing anything but looking back, adding more complexity and nuance to his latest work, Mellow Waves.
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Every obituary of the guitarist John Laird Abercrombie, who died of heart failure on Tuesday at 72, will mention his first recording on ECM Records, Timeless.
Timeless was the beginning of a long and subtle partnership between a true and popular jazz artist and his producer, a partnership that produced a wonderful recording as recently as this January, Up and Coming, by Abercrombie’s latest quartet.
For over 20 years, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, No Man) has been a major force in modern English progressive rock (among other styles), and his recently released fifth solo LP, To the Bone, maintains that genre-defying excellence very well.
In this introductory episode of the PopMatters Progcast, lifelong progressive rock aficionados Jordan Blum and Jedd Beaudoin explore the context and impact of Wilson’s best studio albums to date—including both solo works and collaborative creations—as well why To the Bone is the most drastically polarizing record he’s ever made.
The internet never killed rock ‘n’ roll, but it for sure killed much of the mythology that rock ‘n’ roll existed upon. If the journey into the afterlife is anything as portrayed in Starz’ American Gods, then those who pray to rock gods may be greeted by one Tony Esposito, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of White Reaper.
Let’s talk about John Mayer’s voice. You know the one—those goopy dulcet tones on “Your Body is a Wonderland”, soft and sweet as taffy including all the leftover stickiness that makes you feel like you better go brush your teeth afterward.
Mayer is inseparable from his voice, which might seem like an obvious point to make about anyone other than Mayer. He’s someone who’s spent so long trying to escape his voice—his original teenage swoon instrument—it’s hard to know which one you’re getting these days. Is he the Stevie Ray Vaughan impersonator of John Mayer Trio? The soulful bluesman of Continuum? The detached folk rocker of his last two albums? Jerry Garcia lite with Dead & Co.? Or is it some combination of both, none, and all of the above?