Taylor Swift, Chick Corea, Jorge Ben & More: My Albums of the Week #27

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

 

Silvana Estrada ft. Ciudad de las Flores
Lo Sagrado
(Amp Circuit, 2017) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Lo Sagrado // 2 – Pena lunar // 3 – El agua y la miel // 4 – Porque existo // 5 – Río // 6 – Para salvar destinos // 7 – Los días // 8 – Detesto en mi // 9 – Maguey // 10 – La despedida

Hard to believe Mexican singer/songwriter Silvana Estrada was just 19 when she made this album. It showcases a profound maturity. The sound crafted with guitarist Charlie Hunter is a fusion of Mexican and Spanish music tradition with jazz sensibilities, performed with a group of music students from Estrada’s class in Guadalajara. There’s something very earthly and real about this one. Looking forward to hearing more, as the future looks bright for her.

 

Chick Corea and Return to Forever
Light as a Feather
(Polydor, 1973) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – You’re Everything // 2 – Light as a Feather // 3 – Captain Marvel // 4 – 500 Miles High // 5 – Children’s Song // 6 – Spain

A landmark jazz fusion album, driven by the sound of Chick Corea’s electric piano, a penchant for melody and the tightknit unit that he assembled for this incarnation of his Return to Forever ensemble. The program is strong, featuring some of his most celebrated compositions from the period, from “Captain Marvel” and “Spain.” The title comes from a Stanley Clarke composition, apparently the first, written when he was 19 years old, prompted by Corea, who was a kind soul and generous bandleader.

 

D’Angelo
Brown Sugar
(EMI, 1995) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Brown Sugar // 2 – Alright // 3 – Jonz in My Bonz // 4 – Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine // 5 – Shit, Damn, Motherfucker // 6 – Smooth // 7 – Cruisin’ // 8 – When We Get By // 9 – Lady // 10 – Higher

D’Angelo basically overlooked every aspect of the creation and production of this album, his debut, that immediately put him on the map and established him as a force to be reckoned with. The late-night club session vibes of this record also birthed neo-soul, which radically revolutionized the R&B and soul genres that were struggling to evolve. The sophisticated melodies showcase dense jazz influences and great lyrics, mature and occasionally fierce, complete the picture for this landmark album.

 

Jorge Ben
A Tábua de Esmeralda
(Philips, 1974) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Os alquimistas estao chegando os alquimistas // 2 – O homem da gravata florida // 3 – Errare humanum est // 4 – Menina mulher da pele preta // 5 – Eu vou torcer // 6 – Magnólia // 7 – Minha teimosia, uma arma pra te conquistar // 8 – Zumbi // 9 – Brother // 10 – O Namorado da viúva // 11 – Hermes Trismegisto e sua celeste Tábua de Esmeralda // 12 – Cinco minutos (5 minutos)

Another awesome album by Jorge Ben. With the exception of “Brother,” it has not one weak track in it. This is a beautiful blend of many genres that make the Brazilian songwriting of the period so acclaimed, dynamic and influential to this day. It is also full of joy and performed in that idiosyncratic Jorge Ben style. His art was driven by concepts of alchemy and a belief in a near-spiritual magic of music. Of all the albums of his I have heard, this is the record that best showcases such beliefs.

 

Taylor Swift
Folklore
(Republic, 2020) ⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – The 1 // 2 – Cardigan // 3 – The Last Great American Dynasty // 4 – Exile // 5 – My Tears Ricochet // 6 – Mirrorball // 7 – Seven // 8 – August // 9 – This Is Me Trying // 10 – Illicit Affairs // 11 – Invisible String // 12 – Mad Woman // 13 – Epiphany // 14 – Betty // 15 – Peace // 16 – Hoax

It may be packaged like some type of magnum opus. Yet, Folklore is almost like listening to the same song over and over. Quite a repetitive affair. Same melodies, chord progressions and an uninteresting mellow soundscape. Getting through it can be quite a chore, despite exceptions. And while she sometimes beats around the bush a bit, Swift still always winds up singing about being 17.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: