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The Year In Review: 2016

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The Year In Review: 2016 

The 19th anniversary of my Year in Review finds us at a crossroads. Most of us will agree that we wish we could undo 2016 as a year. We lost so much at the hands of this trash fire year, especially musically. The most notable (and terrible) musician deaths of the year included David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles. Despite it all, we were blessed with some incredible albums and songs - proving that amongst the ashes, some beauty remained.
10. Joey Cook & the Partyraddlers – “Bones”
A shockingly unique song in a world of carbon copy songs. There's elements of indie rock with Americana folk, a gothic song with a sense of dread. Lead singer Joey Cook had an impressive run on American Idol in 2015, making it to the Top 6 with quirky covers of "Fancy" (Iggy Azalea) and "King Of Spain" (The Tallest Man on Earth). Recently she's sang with Postmodern Jukebox, but if this is any indication, it's her solo mat…

More Than A Concert: Bruce Springsteen @ MetLife Stadium

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American Idol Season 15: April 6, 2016

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Finale Performance Night – April 6, 2016


Round 1: Winner’s Single
1.Trent Harmon – “Falling”   B It’s always tough to judge a winner’s single – comparing it to more than a decade of winner’s singles before it, both high points (“The Time Of Our Lives”, “A Moment Like This”) and low points (“No Boundaries, “As Long As You Love Me”). This song didn’t grab me as much on first listen as I hoped it would, but overall, in a general sense, I liked the lyrics and Trent’s vocals. The lyrics to this song are very very sexy and I’m not sure that Trent brought that element of it to light. The best part of it was Trent’s falsetto run at the end of the song.


2.Dalton Rapattoni – “Strike A Match”  C+ The studio version of this is light years better than the live version, but the song suffers from lyrical clich├ęs: “rolling thunder”, “caught in the rain”, “dancing in the dark”, “start a fire”. It sounds like a Boys Like Girls outtake from 2009. That’s not an insult, just the truth. The guitar sounds too fa…

American Idol Season 15: March 31, 2016

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Top 4 – Hometown Visits: March 31, 2016
1.Mackenzie Bourg – “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen) A-/B+ The more cynical will point to just how many times this song has been covered on Idol – Jason Castro, Lee DeWyze, Tim Urban –  and say that its popularity should prohibit its inclusion on the show. But this was a perfect song choice for Mackenzie, who sang Leonard Cohen’s classic like a lullaby. Mackenzie sang it in a Jack Johnson style - lilting, light, gentle – and beautiful.
2.Dalton Rapattoni – “Calling You” (Blue October) B A very smart decision by Dalton to pick a song he could truly make his own. It seemed a little bit of a left field choice at first but when Dalton highlighted the line “I can’t believe you actually picked me”, I got it. He came across as humble, self-effacing, and strategic. [Side note: Blue October is an incredibly underrated band and their 2006 minor hit “Hate Me” became a defining song of my college years.] Dalton may not have the strongest voice but he might just be…