- Hidden Hand: 👍🏻
- Mas O Menos: 👍🏻
- The Proposition: 👍🏻
- Ephra: 👍🏻
- Nobody’s Bulletproof: 👍🏻
- Smoke Gets In: 🤷♂️
I kind of wonder if three stars is one too many for this album. I was expecting more of the same for Ronald Jenkees’ second album (I listened to his first Monday), and that’s pretty much what I got. I honestly don’t know if the mixing improved over his last effort or if it was just not nearly as god awful as Ed Sheeran’s. It sounded better, but by comparison with what? It definitely wasn’t ever good, but often it also wasn’t bad which is something I wasn’t expecting. I’m sure if there are any readers and they are not audiophiles these complaints will seem trivial. I’d respond with this: at one point the mixing on Fifteen Fifty sounded so off that I honestly wondered if my headphones were broken. The low ended sounded like it could have been that the wiring in them was starting to fray inside the cable.
It occurred to me while listening to this album that his songs are sort of an exercise in hope; hoping that the song ends before it shifts to something worse. Most of his songs start out fairly catchy, but they have a tendency to shift dramatically. Outer Space for instance starts out very spacey but then all of a sudden there’s a harpsichord.
I’ve been trying to actively listen to these albums, which is to say pay attention to them while I’m listening to them, and not just tune them out and focus on other things. I found myself failing to do that today. Doing so I realized that his music is better when you aren’t giving it your full attention. When my brother recommended these albums to me, he specifically said that he would listen to this while he was working on homework when he was in school. I totally get that. I think I would enjoy this music (if I can tune out the bad mixing) while I was coding. This project is all about discovering or rediscovering music, and knowing what I can listen to when I need to focus on work is definitely a win. I often listen to instrumental jazz when programming, because I don’t like lyrics to distract me. Now I’ll have something else to reach for if I need a change of pace. I’d call that a win.
Melody Gardot is someone I’ve never heard anyone else mention, but whose music I absolutely love. I found her through a Pandora station, though I can’t tell you which one. Whatever it was I don’t listen to it anymore because I created a Melody Gardot station and listen to that instead.
This album a day project is already starting to pay dividends. Because I had only ever listened to her music on Pandora, there were songs on this album that I’d never heard but really enjoyed when I listened to the whole thing through today.
On the other hand, I was very surprised to find how many songs on this album that I didn’t care for. I should note: this whole album sounds fantastic. It’s full of well composed, well played, well engineered songs; it’s just that some of them weren’t to my tastes. But the ones that were I could listen to over and over again.