Friday, May 20, 2022

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Sound Check


Run the JewelsRun the Jewels
“Meow the Jewels”
Mass Appeal

It should go without saying, but let us just get it out in the open anyway: “Meow the Jewels” is by no means a serious album. The only reason this album exists in the first place is because Run the Jewels produced one of the best albums of the year in 2014, and the group made a stupid joke about remixing the whole album with cat sounds. Add a healthy dose of the Internet, and suddenly every Run the Jewels fan was willing to pay for exactly that album. And here we are. And yet, despite being a completely unnecessary joke album, the end result works far better than it has any right to. A thieves’ den of guest DJs each took his turn remixing one of the songs, and the results are absurd, bursting with energy, at times wildly annoying, and yet almost always a hilariously fun listen. CV

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson

“Unbreakable” is easily the best stuff that Janet Jackson has done in this century. Not coincidentally, it is the first thing she’s done in a couple decades that seems to show that she really understands where she is in this stage of her career. Unlike her contemporary Madonna, “Unbreakable” does not show us a Janet Jackson who is trying desperately to convince us all that she is still the woman who sold 30 million albums in the 1980s. This is not Jackson trying to remain relevant in top 40 pop. Instead, this is a more mature version of Jackson’s sound, content to spend its time on the Adult Contemporary charts, where most of her biggest fans spend most of their time these days. “Unbreakable” is a beautiful album that exudes the confidence of an artist with nothing left to prove. CV

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