Liner Notes (July 17th, 2021)

More Love Less Fear

This week’s newsletter looks at the new albums from John Mayer, Clairo, and a few other releases I listened to this week. There are also thoughts on other entertainment and a playlist of ten songs I like. This week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • As we gear up for the second season of Ted Lasso there will be a lot of press coming out for the show. I found this Jason Sudeikis profile, and this story, to both be worth a read. I, like most of the world, it seems, am very excited about this show’s return.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • The new John Mayer album is not bad. It’s also not much of anything. It has a whole lot of “this is just fine” energy. The kind of music to throw on at a kid’s birthday party where you don’t want anyone to be offended or even really hear the music in the background. It’s a little disappointing when the best song on here, “New Light,” was released almost three years ago. And “Why You No Love Me” is a disaster of a song that should never have made the final cut.
  • If you’re looking for something that has a similar vibe to early John Mayer, the new Patrick Droney album could be what you’re looking for. It’s probably a little more in the country category, but it walks into the pop-rock realm just enough.
  • The new Clairo album, Sling, is the kind of album built for the dead of night. The album for when everyone else has gone to bed, when the city is asleep but you’ve just got too much on your mind to close your eyes. So you’re sitting in the kitchen, still tipsy from the last beer, and this is what you reach for to slip into your headphones. It’s a textural album that rewards sinking into.
  • Thanks to our mid-year lists, I’ve discovered the The Weather Station.
  • Last week’s website sponsor, Settle Your Scores, have a new album coming out soon called Retrofit, and it’s a shockingly good throwback easycore album. I was going to write about it last week, but it felt a little weird to do it when the band was sponsoring the website because it might have felt like I was doing it because of that. But I actually got the advance of the album before they ever sponsored the website. So, yeah, if you’re missing stuff like early Hit the Lights or Set Your Goals, this is worth a look.
  • I’m still very much into The Maine ‘s latest. I’ll be pretty shocked if this doesn’t end up being one of my more played albums of the year. It just has a great replayability to it that lends itself to just about any mood.
  • I am ready for a new Matt Nathanson album. Has anyone heard any news about that?
  • The new Underoath song is good. I still listen to their last album in the gym from time to time, but I would be very down for a new one in this vein.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • Marvel movies are pretty predictable at this point, but I suppose that’s part of the draw. You know what you’re going to get, and you’re going to be entertained for a few hours. Black Widow fits the bill. A perfectly serviceable action movie that is exactly what you expect it to be. It was entertaining. I often find myself wishing these movies felt more grounded; by the end, it’s always your giant flying CGI-fest of explosions to the same beat you know is coming. But I guess that’s what keeps paying the bills.
  • We’re four episodes into the last season of Atypical, and I’m enjoying, and I am happy the characters are getting a final sendoff season, but I am distracted by how old so many of them look now.
  • Cruel Summer continues to be a fun evening show. It’s like a bunch of those silly teenage crime/mystery books I binged last summer—my favorite kind of brain candy.
  • Ready Player Two is not well written. But it is a perfectly fun summer read that continues the stories of characters I enjoy. It’s a fine follow-up that doesn’t reach the heights of the first while also avoiding being a disappointment. A fast read for people that know what they are getting into. I’m now reading another courtroom thriller called The Plea.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Hannah is doing a recording project with her new violin duo this morning, so I’m sitting around being lazy on the couch. The little cat keeps trying to get into my lap while I type, and I should probably run some errands and get groceries for the week. But I am also enjoying not really needing to do anything at the moment.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. Clairo – Bambi
  2. John Mayer – Shot in the Dark
  3. The Maine – If Your Light Goes Out
  4. Patrick Droney – State of the Heart
  5. The Weather Station – Tried to Tell You
  6. Joan – Don’t Say You Love Me
  7. LANY – Up to Me
  8. Settle Your Scores – 1999
  9. Underoath – Damn Excuses
  10. Ben Platt – Happy to be Sad

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by chewbacca110 in the “I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (Netflix)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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