Remastered

The listener is not a fixed entity. Our specific preferences in music are often arbitrary, and what constitutes ‘good’ music is almost entirely subjective. We experience music in extremely personal ways, and the stories attached to our music can rarely be unraveled by anyone else. Our lives – the ups, the downs, and the strangely wonderful everyday – have been soundtracked by our choices in music. The musicians, then, who have given their own lives, their sound, to us are no less than messianic.

This blog – The Listener’s Room – is a space for me, a listener -one among millions – to share the music that matters to me. The previous name was far too pretentious for what I want to do here, and I did not commit to it. But there’s so much music has given me, and it’s only fair I pay some of it forward.

I see this as a fresh start. A remaster. One that reiterates how much I value the music in my life, and declaring that it’s not an insular experience any more.

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Remastered

Controversy over Coldplay’s Hymn For The Weekend Video Misses Context

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece. I’m not a Coldplay fan. Nor am I an academic in cultural affairs. I’m an Indian fan of music, and art, and this piece is written with that perspective.

Yet another Western music video set in India, yet another controversy. Only, it really doesn’t need to be.

Continue reading “Controversy over Coldplay’s Hymn For The Weekend Video Misses Context”

Controversy over Coldplay’s Hymn For The Weekend Video Misses Context

Favourite Albums of 2015 – #6 to #4

#6. GO:OD AM – Mac Miller

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Mac Miller has had a roller coaster of a musical career, in a very short span of time. From the eager, frat boy rapper from KIDS and Blue Slide Park, to the drug-addled, contemplative Mac of Watching Movies With The Sound Off and Faces, Mac Miller has finally reached a point in his music where he can look to the highs, rather than rely on them. The production is inspired, and his rhymes lithe. There’s a cohesive sound that, at times, reminds me of Low End Theory era ATCQ. Noticeably, the album sounds less cluttered – despite the long running time – much like the mind behind the music, with a focus on keeping the message in focus. Mac is continuing to learn from his past, and he walks the listener through each step of the way. He’s making the music he’s always wanted to, starting with a fresh slate; Mac has finally woken up to a good morning.

Listen to: 100 Grandkids, Weekend, In The Bag, Perfect Circle/God Speed

#5. Positive Songs For Negative People – Frank Turner

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Frank Turner has always been a personal favourite because I’ve always found a song of his that I could relate to at any given moment.  In that vein, the minute I read this album’s title I knew what it would mean to me. The first time I listened to this album was during a particularly difficult period, and this LP was that spark of optimism I so desperately needed. The songs here are hopeful, but without any sugarcoating. Frank acknowledges his struggles, using them as the backdrop to his hopes for the present and the future. He is the everyman’s musician, with few grandiose ambitions, motivated only by love, for people and music. Driven by his energetic vocals and production, Frank ensures that his every word connects with the listener with a visceral force that a gifted few other artists can accomplish. On behalf of negative people everywhere: thank you.

Listen To: The Next Storm, Glorious You, Out of Breath, Song for Josh

#4. Wilder Mind – Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons are increasingly becoming a polarising figure in music. Despite their massive popularity, they’ve also got equally fierce critics. This debate saw its peak with the release of this album; many fans were disappointed by the complete shift in instrumentation, and angered by the abandonment of the signature folk/bluegrass sound for what was seen as a generic pop-rock band. But an honest, unbiased listen to Wilder Mind will show you that this is still Mumford in its soul. In fact, in quite a few ways, I saw this project as a marked improvement over Babel, particularly in the lyrics and repetition of sound. Marcus’ vocals are at their best here: gut-wrenching, soulful and passionate, often all at once. The acoustic sounds may have been replaced by an electric palate, but the dynamics of the soundscape is still very much Mumford; incredibly emotive at its quietest, and soaring at its loudest. Wilder Mind will unapologetically pull at every last one of your heartstrings. It is an ode to pain and loss, but most importantly, to that all-encompassing enigma, love. And I couldn’t ask for a more compelling tribute to what I believe to be the most powerful sentiment we possess.

Listen to: The Wolf, Wilder Mind, Snake Eyes, Hot Gates

Favourite Albums of 2015 – #6 to #4