Alter The Press!


ATP! Presents: Miller's Music Box (July 2013)

I love being involved in music, I love being employed in music because, first and foremost, I’m a music fan. I’m a textbook music consumer: I try the artists and albums recommended to me by my friends and by Pandora. I buy albums of bands I want to support. I stream everything else on Spotify and get frustrated when artists don’t put their albums on there. I listen to the radio and know all of the words to Rihanna’s new single, even though I would probably never choose to listen to it.

These are my favorite songs that I’ve listened to that were released this month. If you’ve heard them, hopefully you have the same appreciation for them. If you haven’t heard them, then consider this my urging to look them up.

“Holy Grail (feat. Justin Timberlake)” by Jay Z

There are few things I love more in music than truly personal art, where the real life story outside of the album clearly influences the imagined story inside of it. The lead and title track of Jay Z’s (no hyphen) album is pure theatre. A few months removed from Jay-Z (with the hyphen) accenting Justin Timberlake’s return to music on “Suit and Tie” and announcing a tour together, JT welcomes us to Jay Z’s first solo album in 4 years. The king of pop and the king of rap trade collaborations and sell out arenas. JT starts with a beautiful, poetic, pleading verse-chorus. He drops the name of the album; the beat follows, and we’re reminded what it’s like to have Jay Z making music again. And if that wasn’t enough, at the end of Jay Z’s first verse, they pay homage to the ultimate rock star, following a Kurt Cobain reference with a chorus of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Rock star opera.

“Chasing the Sun” by Sara Bareilles

Without a doubt, my favorite album so far this month. Before this only a casual fan of her tongue-in-cheek, top 40 head-boppers, I decided to give Sara Bareilles a real shot with her newest album, and she didn’t need any more than 60 seconds of the first song to snare me as a fan. Seriously, just give the first couple of songs on this album a chance: “Chasing the Sun” is brilliant. She’s visual and amazingly perceptive lyrically, and she plays with melodies, always keeping your ear on guard. Worth a listen. And then another one and another one.

“Wildfire” by John Mayer

I don’t know if it’s the emotional side of me that just forces me to love everything that he ever releases, but as usual, he dropped “Wildfire” and I couldn’t stop listening to it. Maybe it’s his voice, speaking straight to my soul? Maybe it’s the guitar work, that I know is years of technique and training beyond me? Maybe it’s the lyric, lightly poetic, easily digestible, and fondly relatable? Whatever it is that he’s doing, he’s doing it right. 5 stars.

Songs I discovered this month that everybody else has loved for a long time:

“Harlem” by New Politics

The ultimate feel-good jam.

“All I Want” by Kodaline

Probably my favorite music video I’ve ever seen: it completely seals the emotion of the song; the video is like cinema, and you’ll be so engrossed that you won’t even realize that you’re falling in love with the song.

Alter The Press!