Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

TSJ Eurovision 2015 Liveblog – Semi Final 1

Find the archived liveblog below the jump. Be sure to join us on Thursday at 8pm GMT/3pm EST for the second Semi Final!

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Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

What So Not ft. George Maple – Gemini

Not pictured: George Maple.


[Video][Website]
[5.83]

Thomas Inskeep: Woozy, lurching tech-house with a breathy female vox and assorted vocal samples poking out of the mix, all slightly on the “James Blake if poppier” tip. Feels more Ninja Tune than OWSLA to me, but what do I know? Good on Skrillex for having the good taste and smarts to sign ‘em. 
[6]

Alfred Soto: Vocals manipulated to sound like trombones, vocals squelched to sound like echoes heard on a speeding train. Marvelous for a while.
[6]

David Sheffieck: For a few seconds it seemed like the beat might build around sampled raindrops, and it was genuinely exciting. The woozy synths that turn out to be the song’s foundation are a solid enough replacement, and Maple’s vocal is a breathy, unexpectedly strong focal point, but the hook’s an empty mess of jitter, like the song needed to build to something and the producers threw up their hands in frustration at the last moment.
[4]

Jonathan Bogart: I’m a sucker for cut-up downtempo, but even I think the piano lines are a bit too languorous and the whole thing could do with less sigh and more snarl.
[6]

Maxwell Cavaseno: I liked this record the first 100 times I heard it, so hearing the dance remix is pretty chill. But, also, it’s the 100 THOUSANDTH dance remix of this same song I’ve heard for years now.
[5]

Katherine St Asaph: There was a year or so when I was 17 where I’d listen to nothing but Mandalay and bands that sounded like Mandalay. Back then that was weird as hell, ten years from now it’ll probably be weird as hell again, so I’d best restock my library of wistful rainymood sulk now.
[8]

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

EXID – Ah Yeah

Low Controversy Index Klaxon! Low Controversy Index Klaxon!


[Video][Website]
[7.00]

Madeleine Lee: Fame hasn’t changed EXID much, least of all their sense of humour. Yes, Hani is featured more prominently in this song than she has ever been before, but once she’s lured you into each verse it’s rapper-songwriter LE who grabs you by the balls, a fake-out as cheeky and pointed as the mixing of “아예” and “aw, yeah.” The chorus sounds a lot like “Up & Down,” which is fine; it’s building brand recognition, and “Up & Down” was a good song even before music shows started awarding its choreography. “Ah Yeah” feels fragmented in comparison, and seems to have been made for its video concept. But it’s a clever concept, and I love that EXID take the “girl group does something sexy, gains public recognition” story and turn it to their advantage.
[7]

Jessica Doyle: Yes, it’s similar to “Up & Down” (intentionally so, LE says), and yes, “Up & Down” is better, for LE’s “Such a monster” pout and for that wi arae, wi wi arae shoulder-shaking earworm. But how can you not root for EXID? It’s not just the hard-luck story of the seemingly permanently indebted K-pop group made, for the moment, good, or that they previously served as Shinsadong Tiger’s “guide group” as he shopped songs around — this isn’t quite a #freekellileigh situation but it’s not far off. Even if none of that were true, they deserve points for taking the Good Bad Girl concept and pushing it a bit, making it more of a valiant march — a shared one. They know it’s a rigged game, and they want you to know that they know it, but they’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt: believe that you want it all to work out well in the end just as much as they do, that all the repetitive hard work and dehumanization somehow makes for connections in the end. Watching that famous Hani fancam again, what struck me was not her sexiness or dance skill but how often she smiled, and more specifically smiled and made eye contact with the audience, as if genuinely committed to the idea — or at least genuinely committed to communicating the idea — that those guys shrieking at her butt might be her friends, might be on her side. See it here, again: at 0:36, when the song calls for her to give a dramatic sigh, she hears the fanchants and can’t help but grin a little instead. It adds up to something simultaneously smarter and more generous than we deserve.
[7]

Iain Mew: The most striking bit of genius in “Ah Yeah” is the one it starts with: the man whispering “Where do you live? Do you live alone?” at the creepiest confluence of “All Right” and “Problem”. EXID light fires, blasting from frustration to fury, but a no-nonsense attitude comes across even more effectively when such prime nonsense is right there for the song to cut across. The only part that gets in the way a bit is the chorus, its joyful energy a strange fit for the confrontation.
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: I love how this, like much K-Pop I hear, sounds like 3 or 4 songs mashed together. There’s some circa-2005 Diplo-esque production on the verses, the chorus is more slickly “traditional” girl-group pop (giving me Dream realness), there’s a bit cribbed from Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait” (always welcome), and it all works together. Over subsequent listens, it improves, too.
[7]

Alfred Soto: The horns bleat like a Sean Paul hit in 2002, and the vocals brim with the confidence of the title. 
[7]

Maxwell Cavaseno: On singles like “Up & Down” and this one, EXID have a strange hex in which their choruses often feel a bit staged. There’s a lot more fun in their verses, in which they have a hard-tinged tech-goa-house hybrid before slapping in the almost too tough “RAPPER INTERRUPTION BEATS.” I wonder if EXID will ever get the big hit and will be allowed to make weirder songs that don’t need such an obvious hook to seem like a return to safety from the storm; what else might they get away with? Hopefully, saxobeat will not be an option when that time comes.
[6]

Patrick St. Michel: Flirting rarely sounds this unsettling. The “where do you live/do you live alone” gives “Ah Yeah” an immediately uneasy vibe, while the music itself swings all over the place, turning saxophone blurts and party-starting samples into confrontational ammo. The best bit, though, is how the members tag-team in and out during the verses, going from soft to aggressive.
[7]

Nina Lea Oishi: “Ah Yeah” is enthralling because it suggests that nothing is what it seems: in the verses, the girls snap back and forth between a menacing sweetness and an aggressive swagger, hinting at a more dangerous side than the chorus betrays. The real kicker, though, is when you realize exactly what questions the girls are refusing to answer — it’s the “Where do you live? Do you live alone?” at the beginning of the track, whispered by a creepy male stalker-type — and suddenly everything takes on a more sinister and compelling sheen.
[8]

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Awolnation – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)

A revival of something or other is going on here.


[Video][Website]
[4.88]

Iain Mew: I appreciate the colourful jumpiness and refusal to settle for the obvious, and look forward to their next single “London Forest (Fezzes are Cool).”
[6]

Alfred Soto: Nice chord changes, and Aaron Bruno goes from faux Trent Reznor to eh M. Doughty in two bars.  I don’t know what the hell it’s trying to do though.
[5]

Maxwell Cavaseno: Somewhere, there is a mother daughter pairing. The mother is listening to Neon Trees on the car radio, trying to get back from the vet’s appointment for the dog. She is looking over to the daughter, who has her earbuds in and sulk on deck. Communication is impossible, and due to the bleed of sonics, both are kind of uncomfortable with the song in question in both their respective dimensions getting penetrated by the other’s. The funny thing is, of course, both of them are listening to essentially the same kind of overshouty uninteresting dreck, just with differing intended audiences. Eventually, they’ll come together in happiness and understanding, and maybe even away from such a headache as this.
[1]

Scott Mildenhall: What a mess, perhaps more than “Sail” seemed for a good while. Since that’s now halfway brilliant, maybe it could eventually surpass it. If they rewrote every part following the intro into palatable synthpop, it would be even more likely. As is, there are curious rap-sung elements approximate to a subpar Barenaked Ladies, a whiff of the time Editors definitely didn’t try to hop on an ’80s bandwagon, and more than enough dissonant racket.
[4]

Patrick St. Michel: Despite the frequent semi-ironic tease of a “revival,” nu-metal is never going to mount a real comeback outside of a .GIF of a BMX bike executing a spin move while Fred Durst does rap hands in some “remember junior high?” list. That’s for the best, though it also means the element that made nu-metal so inviting to teenagers around the globe will continue to be mostly ignored. That would be anger, already the hardest emotion to pull off in music without looking like a dickhead, but it’s closer to self-loathing, which is aimed at the world. It’s adolescent but real. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” pulls it off. First, it’s sing-song self-introspection zipping into a vague ’80s pop jog before pivoting into general angst soundtracked by a mocking carnival hop. This is growing up — hating yourself and then deciding that, no, the world is wrong, and then realizing, nope, it was I all along. It’s stressful and painful! Which is why Aaron Bruno’s screaming climax is powerful. 
[8]

Edward Okulicz: An incoherent potluck in which everyone but the guy who bought the synthpop intro bought noise.
[4]

Katherine St Asaph: The lurchingest band going — both in sound and in lumbering path to the mainstream — makes a New Wave track, which unsurprisingly turns out to be one long weaving lurch to and around the chorus. Great chorus though.
[6]

Jonathan Bogart: Bring back the sequencer. There was nothing wrong with the sequencer.
[5]

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Juanes – Juntos (Together)

How excited will we get about a Disney sports movie?


[Video][Website]
[5.14]

Jonathan Bogart: When I was a kid, cheesy Disney sports movies didn’t even get their own theme songs: The Mighty Ducks just uses “We Will Rock You” over the closing credits. So I guess in one very limited sense this is a step up for one of the entities or concepts involved.
[4]

Iain Mew: He sounds suitably like a man pushing himself to run on past the pain barrier. Pain is maybe a bit harsh as a description of the tame rock he’s working with, but it is dull and attritional. 
[4]

Katherine St Asaph: Amiable skank; more of the spoken-word, or at least more dynamic variation, and it’d merit a better adjective.
[5]

Alfred Soto: He does the mild skank better than most, enough to forget how Juanes sounds like “Bent”-era Rob Thomas these days.
[6]

Edward Okulicz: In all honesty, this sounds like the instrumental breaks of “La Camisa Negra” have been expanded out to a song of their own. But that was such a catchy song that a subset of it works pretty well.
[7]

Juana Giaimo: I understand the need to modernize the melodramatic love song, but I don’t think this is the right way. It’s not catchy nor sincere and any guest rapper would have probably benefited it. 
[5]

Thomas Inskeep: Propulsive, gently loping uptempo pop-rocker with a cute little chorus guitar figure and not much else that stands out. 
[5]

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable

Singles Jukebox… IN SPACE!


[Video][Website]
[6.38]

Scott Mildenhall: Galactic sensations stretched out and luxuriated in for light years. It’s lurching like “Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me”, butterfly-catching like “Lovin’ You,” and expansive like “Friday’s Child.” If La Havas ever claims not to have recorded it while sat on a cloud beyond extraterrestrial purple skies raining glistening glitter beams, that will likely be because she was so beguiled by the experience that she forgets.
[8]

Iain Mew: Lianne La Havas has previously covered In Rainbows-era Radiohead and Everything Everything to superb effect. Maybe it’s being a fan of that stuff too, but I hear “Unstoppable” like a floaty prog-indie ballad given a particularly lush production and vocal treatment, and it’s the moments when it conjures the alien stillness and scale of space that make the planet-sized narrative work.
[8]

Katherine St Asaph: A gorgeous psychedelic intro, exhaling and exhaling until it’s light enough to float into space; an attached song that only makes it as high as a coffeehouse ceiling.
[6]

Maxwell Cavaseno: Affected performance and not much else, Lianne La Havas remains a remarkably successful act for someone who should be one of the many people beefing up tracks on some BBE project lost in the Gilles Peterson annals of the yesteryears. The buoyant neo-soul post-Dilla plop of her production rocks no boats, and her tone is halfway between concentration and conceit. Someone is feeling really special for hearing this song, and valuing it as much as it deserves, and then some.
[4]

Jonathan Bogart: I’ve come to terms with the fact that Lianna La Havas may never record another song I’ll love as much as “Forget.” If formless hippie-soul goop is a truer expression of her soul than nervy kiss-off pop, then she should make that, obviously. I’ll still always be a little disappointed, is all.
[5]

David Sheffieck: Trust in Lianne La Havas’s voice, but verify: there are so many things happening in the production here, from vinyl crackle to oversaturated bass to inescapable synth strings that the song entirely betrays the haunting promise of its extended intro. Could be she’s one to watch, but first she needs to find a production that believes she’s actually the main attraction.
[5]

Alfred Soto: With Paul Epworth producing, instruments flicker like lit buoys and the singer’s voice the bow of the search craft. Lianne La Havas has an R&B lilt that distinguishes her from Jessie Ware, which also means she’s cornier, more apt to push an OK-to-good idea past its naturally appointed time.
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: Dreamy vocals fade in along with chimes and quiet synths, giving way to a very trip-hop rhythm track, all loping bass and snare (which, it turns out, is based around a chunk of a Ninja Tune cut by the Invisible). La Havas’s vocal is equal parts jazzy and widescreen, laser-focused: her control over her instrument is superb. This is an alternate-universe six-week #1 single (though you never know: in the UK, where La Havas’s former boss Paloma Faith has broken through, this could potentially become a left-field Radio 2 hit). This is gorgeous. This is what I want my pop music to sound like. 
[8]

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Rachel Platten – Fight Song

The test begins… now!


[Video][Website]
[4.43]

Katherine St Asaph: Female singer-songwriters, as ever, remain ignored by critics. And none are more ignored than pop songwriters, the ones whose words the most teens — and primarily teenage girls, let’s not sugarcoat — are loving or using or needing at any given moment. The media worships the 5 per cent of teens who find solace in insert-riot-grrl-indebted-buzzband-here while laughing at those whose solace comes from pop, rewriting the high school popularity order unchanged. Rachel Platten’s first pinned tweet goes out to everyone “Fight Song” has helped. This is still pop, mind, and Platten isn’t just a singer-songwriter but a major-label songwriter, who learned the craft from syncs and branding. “Fight Song”‘s titled like a pep rally but written to some Hunger Games specification (“it’s been two years, I miss my home” — I guess the Divergent series is about there in its plot), and its words of empowerment are as much talisman as viral seed; for every teen who gets through the day by playing and replaying their “Fight Song,” another few streams’ worth go into the penny jar. The track is equal parts hyper-professional polish — that “A Hundred Years” intro, pealing out over an empty homecoming stage, that “Roar” chant-along — and everygirl unassumingness: Platten’s somewhat wan voice, left quietly undertracked on the high notes and chorus, or that front-loaded “ocean/motion” rhyme. A certain sort of critic might be inclined to dismiss it all outright. But the scenarios Platten aims to ease — losing friends, finding rock bottom, and all before a driver’s license — are starkly, brutally non-fictional. Every generation complains that the generation after them is having a uniquely terrifying school experience, and yet: I was a senior in college when the myriad anonymous college “confession” sites took off; kids and adults never lacked for hate, but all of a sudden it was panoptical, a sludge-tide of public judgment that could turn at any moment upon you, and the more you checked the more you made it stronger. But at least those stayed on the computer; these days, kids carry them in their pockets and sleep with them in bed. Boyfriends turn unfriendly fast; girlfriends can betray you, but friendlessness can do it faster. When I was 15, all I wanted to do was raise a daughter; now the thought terrifies me, because I can’t reconcile loving someone and subjecting her to Girl World and her peers, who aren’t laughable but life-sized. All you can do really is look for counterbalances. They’re not all gonna be great, but ultimately I can’t fault this little song by an artist taking care of her own.
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: Determined to prove that Sara Bareilles can’t corner the market on faux-inspirational female empowerment “anthems”: I mean, “this is my fight song/take-back-my-life song,” really? The production is as generically Adult Top 40 mass-appeal as possible, meaning it’s as 2015-bland as you’d imagine. 
[2]

Maxwell Cavaseno: Motivational enunciation that shoves and prods in an irritating way; job well done there, this record is definitely making me back out of the ring and walk away. Not much of a fighter though.
[2]

Alfred Soto: On first listen it sounded trite as hell — if this is a fight song, its post-Clarkson arrangement embalms the furor. But I can’t separate Platten’s parched vocal from the pathos. Using what she’s got, she suspects she’s going to lose: “I don’t care if anyone believes,” she says over a treacly piano. Over and over the drums steamroll objections. If it becomes a hit, credit teens for whom these sentiments aren’t trite or parched. At least when embalmed you’re past the indifference of others.
[5]

Jonathan Bogart: Telling someone who is using this for its intended purpose that it’s not very good and there are dozens and dozens of better songs in its “I Will Survive” mode would be a really dick move, so I hope no one who needs it reads this, but it’s not very good and there are dozens and dozens etc.
[4]

Juana Giaimo: In between the cliché songs, the “I believe in myself” song is always ambiguous to me. On one hand, like any cliché, it’s repetitive and uncreative, but on the other, sometimes I can feel its power, like when Rachel Platten sings quite whimsically, but for that same reason, honestly “and I don’t really care if nobody believe in me!” For a moment, I was again that pre-adolescent believing the whole world was against me, but sooner or later we all discover most of it was in our heads. 
[6]

Patrick St. Michel: A generic I-can-do-it song that has existed and will exist in different shapes until the sun finally just gives up, a song that isn’t very interesting but then you invent a hypothetical person in your mind who is actually inspired by this and you feel bad for disliking it at all. That’s the magic and curse of stuff like this — as generic as it is, it’s tough to hate. It’s the pouty face of music.
[5]

Friday, May 15th, 2015

T-Wayne – Nasty Freestyle

Will Daniel be vindicated?


[Video][Website]
[5.00]

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: I can’t be the only person who saw the name T-Wayne and felt my nostalgia-obsessed heart beat in triple-time: He Raps! He Sings! They’re back! Alas, this is another T-Wayne, a Vine kid who’s leaped onto his six looped seconds of fame with a freestyle over Bandit Gang Marco’s “Nasty.” One thing is clear — “king of this shit, crowned by the toilet” is a terrible line that recalls terrible-but-great-shit-joke-era Wayne (aka Carter 2-era Wayne). Wayne made chicken salad out of chickenshit due to his energy and voice; T-Wayne has some ways to go, but Wayne at his peak never had the stupid-smart line about having so much wood in your car that you can build a fort. Little victories.
[6]

Maxwell Cavaseno: A gratuitous, dorky freestyle of enthusiasm and joy, salvaging an unfairly ignored classic of 2014. Unlike Marco’s original, T-Wayne’s overloaded with zingers, the kind of thing that comes from spending your time doing Vine comedy to blow up. It’s interesting, though, because this is oddly resonant while T-Wayne’s brilliant “FEMA”/”Nasty”/“Let Me Find Out” hybrid “I Heard” did no waves. Strange to see which of these stick with people.
[6]

Crystal Leww: Like “Hot N*gga,” “Nasty Freestyle” is one big long verse. Unlike “Hot N*gga,” it’s devoid of anything resembling movement, conviction, or personality. Still, I expect to change my mind on this sometime in the next couple of weeks.
[4]

Will Adams: There’s some real nice mixing on the low end — productions like these often smear the kick drum and bass together; here it’s crystal clear — that makes it nice to listen to. Not much else going for it, though.
[5]

Ashley Ellerson: Destroying every auto-tune machine and program, as well as the camera used to shoot this video. We can’t have nice things anymore. 
[1]

Alfred Soto: There’s hints of Sean Paul in this serviceable midtempo number, newly ascendant on the American top ten, enlivened by non-threatening lines about tigers and peeing on the toilet seat.
[6]

Andy Hutchins: The first line will be among the best in music in 2015: “FIRST, let me HOP out the ma’fuckin’ PORSCHE.” And for three more bars, T-Wayne continues the momentum with a sing-song flow that really did deserve to soundtrack the scores of “whip” Vines that surfaced in the wake of his remake of what was Bandit Gang Marco’s track. The rest is more mixed: Rickey Wayne — a better stage name than the one previously “taken” by the T-Pain/Lil Wayne dream project — isn’t a great rapper, and his influences, most notably Wayne’s (the “ya deeeg?” is almost pitch-perfect) show. But he’s a good and clever one; he has to be, to make a song in which he’s this much louder than the beat (smartly reduced from the Bandit Gang Marco version to a skeletal arrangement of steely synths that recalls Young Jeezy’s “Bottom of the Map”) and rapping slow enough to let listeners predict punchlines. By the time he advises that he’s “ten times sharper than Michael Myers’s machete,” it’s clear he deserves his 15 minutes in installments of more than six seconds.
[7]

Ramzi Awn: The bumpin’ beat almost makes up for T-Wayne’s disproportionate auto-tuning. But not quite.      
[5]

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Panic! at the Disco – Hallelujah

You gotta have faith.


[Video][Website]
[3.83]

Maxwell Cavaseno: Brendan Urie is now better at doing Patrick Stump than Patrick Stump, but without the assistance of the Chuck Palahniuk bibliography or the naivete of people who would like the Sgt. Pepper’s movie if it’d been staffed with the cast of FUSE circa ’04-’06 (a million dollar opportunity passed up when Beatles nostalgia was really starting to crest with Across The Universe, I tell you what). This guy just goes nowhere fast, loud, and with jazz hands.
[4]

Alfred Soto: On “Miss Jackson” they demonstrated their cluelessness about R&B; now they treat a choir like hostages on a cruise ship.
[1]

Moses Kim: In his essay “Salvation,” Langston Hughes describes the guilt of being coerced into standing up to be saved at his church revival: “I couldn’t bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church, that I hadn’t seen Jesus, and that now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus anymore, since he didn’t come to help me.” Here was the thing about my old church, too: salvation felt like a Band-Aid, something to be stuck onto my tainted body. Father, Lord, Savior – I spoke many names for God in my prayers but I only ever felt like the prodigal son. It was only the morning I walked out of my house whispering “fuck you” at the sky that I began hearing for the first time, only when I spat out the dirt filling my mouth that I tasted clean. “Hallelujah” co-opts the sound of salvation — big brass reverie, brimming choral harmonies — to celebrate the sensation of brokenness instead. “Being blue is better than being over it” because the road towards recovery and healing is better walked with your best friends than through clenched teeth. “Say your prayers” becomes not an obligation but a telling of truths, as intuitive and as easily felt as leaning back and letting the spirit move through you. I am looking for a worship without shame, a stained-glass window where I can see my reflection. Stand up, sing Hallelujah. Somebody is there. Somebody is listening.
[9]

Katherine St Asaph: You know how there are all these interpretations of Revelations, the premillennial and postmillennial and preterist views and so forth? This is like if Revelations prophesied the oncoming loudness war.
[3]

Sonia Yang: I was seriously not expecting them to go gospel. The lyrics ring relevant for teens and young twentysomethings alike, but that grating horn sample tips the sincerity to cheese ratio in favor of the latter. 
[3]

Anthony Easton: Some 48-year-old youth pastor in Dubuque is going to have the praise band sing this during a singles retreat, and then talk earnestly about how Jesus loves the sinner, and it will be a much more effective use of everyone’s time than what Panic intended.
[3]

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That

We were, actually!


[Video][Website]
[3.38]

Anthony Easton: I cry at Cat Stevens, pump earnestness, and await a Nashville remake. It would be dishonest if I said that I didn’t love  this. 
[8]

Alfred Soto: Each time the title hook makes an appearance it garnishes increasingly laughable scenarios — he wasn’t expecting her hand in his? She wasn’t expecting to end up in his bed? This 2011 hit in the dominions highlights the most concerted case of “Shit happens” since Forrest Gump. In truth, the dispassion and fake humility chilled me.
[1]

Maxwell Cavaseno: I’m not surprised this got covered by old Frog Face Sheeran — it’s not too far a leap *jabs an obnoxious elbow in your side and hisses “GEDDIT!?!?”* from his own street performer/coffee house style hokiness. At the end of the day, though, it’s less of a song than a phonetic game. He might’ve not been expecting that, but 30 seconds in we get the annoying joke, and he needs to take his banana peels and pie-in-the-face garbage out of here.
[1]

Scott Mildenhall: Doesn’t even merit a punchline.
[4]

Patrick St. Michel: Wasn’t expecting much, but somehow more boring than I thought, even with a gut-punching ending that seems like a Hail Mary pass at getting some sympathy.
[3]

Thomas Inskeep: The first signee to Ed Sheeran’s label sounds skin-crawlingly like Ed Sheeran. You get what you pay for.
[1]

Katherine St Asaph: Ed Sheeran has found the exact midpoint of himself and Nate Ruess — he’s good at something! Specifically, he is good at A&R, in the same way the inventors of supermarket tomatoes are good at genetics.
[3]

Ramzi Awn: Idleminded strumming is seldom a bad look. The piano saves Lawson, and Richard Thompson might be surprised by “Wasn’t Expecting That.”
[6]