Friday Five

Top 5 artists that sound better now than when they first started out

 1. Robyn Now, I didn’t listen to much early Robyn, not counting “Show Me Love” all through my youth. But I get the sense a lot of people didn’t listen to much early Robyn–and then Body Talk happened, and everyone was like, “HOLY SHIT.” I don’t love all songs from the various parts of Body Talk, but this is a classic case of the good songs being fucking amazing and compensating for the mediocre songs (the pacing/composition feels uneven–if she’d stick with the beats and the hooks on shit like “Hang with Me,” “Indestructible,” “Call Your Girlfriend,” “Time Machine,” etc., she’d be fucking golden and whatever she puts out next would hands down be the best album of that year). And my concert-going these days is limited, but shit, her show that summer in Ohio I trucked out to was amazing. Easily one of the best and most energetic performers in pop/electronic music.
2. Mika I’m actually on the fence about this because Mika has yet to put out something bad. The dude can sing like a motherfucker and knows how to write a catchy-as-hell pop song, but his new album, The Origin of Love, is just on another level. It’s grown-up. The songs are still catchy as hell, but he’s obviously evolved as a musician and writer. The songs have more layers to them, more complexity, more depth overall. I know I’ve said this before, but seriously, “The Origin Love” is one of the most all-around beautiful love songs to come out of the last few years, lyrically and musically. It slays any other love song the man himself has put out, too.
3. AFI This is unpopular opinion in certain circles because once you get into the albums around Sing the Sorrow, that’s when people start crying “sellout.” Or sometimes “gay.” So if you like punk–straight-up punk–you’re gonna disagree with me. But if you really listen, at least in terms of musically skill, they’re just better, and it’s the same deal–they sound more evolved, grown-up, more mature, more skilled. People have been wanting a repeat of Sing the Sorrow for the past 10 years, Decemberunderground may have been good enough with an unfortunate title, but Crash Love is solid and I don’t care what you say–you’re wrong.
4. Amanda Palmer This is also an on-the-fence case, but it’s the same deal–everything leading up to this was decent with some epic jams thrown in, and then it was like on Theatre Is Evil she really polished everything to create the best album of her career to date. I mean, I’ve spent months–nearly a year–fangirling over here and I had only been a casual fan before, so you know shit had to get real for me to be including her in top five lists nearly weekly at this point.
No fifth. Everyone else is stagnant of disappointing.
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