Monday, January 8, 2018

Guest List Week: Jessie's Best of 2017

#15: Jessie Witkin

My favorite album of the year hands down was DAMN. (The period is important) by Kendrick Lamar. The arc of the album had such an operatic depth of feeling – like trying to ring the bells of all humanity – it was difficult to pick my favorite tracks out from the whole bouquet.  Then just when I thought I couldn't play the album over again, he releases the DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION. That revises the order of all those hard-felt, mixed-up feelings. P.S. My favorite workout of the year was 1 hour yoga private session in the gallery set to this perfectly arced album, start to finish.

Runner up best album was Jay-Z 4:44. I actually do use Tidal – it's shocking to many – and for a long while everybody had to get their hit of Jay from me. My *complete* list would also include two tracks from 4:44 which are not available on Spotify.... So everybody seek out the controversial tracks "The Story of O.J." which is a lesson to his kids about how to save money and buy some homes and some art, and "Smile" which is a super feel good song with Jay's mom on interlude.

A few exciting new women for me this year, including Cardi B., Kelela (who I saw in concert with Solange and WOW), and the lesser known Justine Skye (She's big on Tidal).

Speaking of talented women – I saw Lorde at the Sydney Opera House, outdoors, yes in Sydney, and it was an incredible show, a powerhouse performance with the warm breeze from the water, the backdrop of the city at sundown, all topped off with fireworks. It made me fall in love with every song on the new album – another hard one to choose favorite tracks for. The show marked Lorde's four year anniversary since she released her debut album when she was 17! She teared up talking about it and so did everyone in the crowd... an emotional, gorgeous show packed with so much muscle, vibrancy, energy, and three glorious costume changes, each one a study in color and drama, linked to her shifting neon sets. Her performance, sandwiched between the starry skyscape and the dramatic architecture of the Sydney opera house... maybe was my favorite concert, dare I say, ever.

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