Unpopular Opinion Of The Year

I am obliged, to myself as well as to you, to hold unpopular opinions.


I am obliged, to myself as well as to you, to hold unpopular opinions. Part of that is that I have to look, hear, and think my own way. Another part is that since I’m not popular, I have the luxury of not being swayed by popular opinion, especially going along with the herd rather than risk uncomfortable moments. To wit:

Blade Runner 2049 would be a mediocre movie if they cut an hour off it. Instead it’s pretty damn bad.

And here’s another: Loneliness Road, the album from Jamie Saft’s trio was the rare jazz record that showed up in general media outlets, all because of a ringer: Iggy Pop. Pop added vocals to three of the tracks, singing his own lyrics Leonard Cohen style. I have seen nothing but good to excellent reviews, not just Amazon customer reviews, but raves at All About Jazz, A Jazz Noise, Bird is the Worm, etc.

This is not a good record. Saft has a tendency to be more of a hipster-stylist than a distinctive, creative player, and there’s too much of the latter on this record. Bassist Steve Swallow stands out on every track for trying to get somewhere and find something new.

Then there’s Mr. Pop. I have no issue with singers who can make music after their voice is shot, I admire that ability. But these songs are terrible, the lyrics are embarrassing.

Of course, don’t just listen to me, trust in your own ears and judgment:

Go ahead and dig it, I’m fine being unpopular.

Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.