We stood on this point on the edge of Eastman Lake trying to decide if the ice was frozen solid enough for us to ski across. We discussed what it would be like to fall in the water in 15 degree weather and then decided to stay on the path that runs along the shore.
The B section of our local paper keeps getting smaller even though it comes stock from USA Today. Just a few months ago it was reduced to six pages, one spread and an insert. Then it was knocked down to just the spread with entertainment gossip on the back page. And then that last page went all ads. I cut out Mesfin Fekadu’s “Top Ten Albums of 2017” from that section just to see what I’m missing. I hate feeling like the world is passing me by.
I had never heard of SZA but her “Ctrl” album was at number one. It’s easy going with a tasteful headphone ready mix. Lots of space and odd instrumentation. Very listenable, like something you’d hear in the Apple Store. Kendrick Lamar’s, “DAMN,” is Hollywood enough to include U2 but the tracks barely get off the ground. Daniel Caesar’s, “Freudian,” at number three, is way laid back R&B, almost detached make-out music.
Funny Mesfin Fekadu put Jay-Z’s, “4:44” at number 4. It really drew me in with its catchy lyrics, rhythms and samples. I’d put this one at number one. Taylor Swift sounds like she is completely lost on “reputation.” The generic big production swallows up her simple charm. I put Sam Smith’s, “The Thrill of It All,” on while we ate dinner and that was just about right. Soft, gospel tinged dinner music.
Number seven, St. Vincent’s, “MASSEDUCTION” isn’t as exotic as Bjork. I thought I was gonna like her but “Sugarboy” sounds like Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” on the wrong speed. Miguel’s, War & Leisure is old school R&B and various songs didn’t so much remind me of Smokey, the Chi-Lites, Funkadelic and Prince but made me want to hear them instead. “H.E.R.,” by Gabi Wilson under her stage name H.E.R., is more late night, make out chill stuff. And the number ten pick is Haim, “Something to Tell You,“ Three sisters who play pop songs like a lame eighties band.
I’m glad I liked Jay Z. I don’t feel so out of it.