Pop Singer-Songwriter’s New LP Is The Best Of 2020’s Best In Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Albums List

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

The musical universe spawned so much great music this year. From rock to rap to pop to country, jazz, and even family music, the musical universe gave audiences a lot to like about 2020.  For all of the entertaining and engaging music that was released this year some proved to be the best of its given categories.  Not all of that music could be the best of the best though.  Only certain records could obtain that title, and they come this year from a wide range of genres.  The Okee Dokee Brothers and their new album Songs For Singin’ are here among the best of the best in Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Albums of the Year.  They are joined by new albums from the likes of Sons of Apollo, Ricky Byrd, and The Devonns among others.  Topping this year’s list of the best of the best is Jessie Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin’. 

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, the Year’s top new albums list features the year’s Top 10 new albums and give honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Albums of the Year.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

  1. Jessie Wagner – Shoes Droppin’
  2. Chris Stapleton —  Starting Over
  3. Sons of Apollo – MMXX
  4. Yellowackets – Jackets XL
  5. U.D.O. – We Are 1
  6. Ricky Byrd – Sobering Times
  7. Deep Purple – Whoosh!
  8. The Devonns – The Devonns
  9. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts V
  10. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts VI
  11. Joe Bonamassa – Royal Tea
  12. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Songs For Singin
  13. The Tibbs – Another Shot Fired
  14. Ala.ni – ACCA
  15. Ben Harper – Winter is for Lovers

Now that all the music lists are done, it is on to the DVD and Blu-ray releases.  Up first in that side of things is the year’s Top 10 New Documentaries.  Stay tuned for that.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jessie Wagner Debuts New Holiday Single, Video

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Jessie Wagner is doing her part to get audiences in the holiday spirit.

Wagner debuted her new, original holiday song ‘What Christmas Is To Me‘ and its companion video Sunday. The video finds Wagner performing her new single on a building roof with the simplicity of a city as her backdrop. Various pictures of Wagner, and her family and friends accompany the performance footage to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content.

Wagner discussed the song’s lyrical content in a prepared statement.

“Christmas is my favorite time of year because it always brings my family and friends closer,” the statement reads. “I know that this year has made that difficult, but I still have the memories to hold on to and I’m grateful for all the time I’ve shared with those I love. That’s what this song is about.”

“Thank you Scott Martin for helping me create the music,” the statement adds. “Thank you Jorgen Kjaer for building the song up with your beautiful additions. And thank you Rob Liano for bringing it home with all the final touches. You guys really came through for me at the last minute to bring this to life.”

The musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s lyrical content is such that it will appeal to Wagner’s fans and to R&B and pop music fans in general.

‘What Christmas Is To Me’ is just Wagner’s latest release. Wagner recently released her debut album Shoe’s Droppin through Wicked Cool Records, which was founded by E. Street Band member Steven Van Zant. The album spawned the singles ‘My Darlin, My Dear,’ ‘What You Get Is What You See,’ ‘End Of Time,’ and ‘Passin’ Me By.’

Shoes Droppin took top honors in this year’s Phil’s Picks Top 10 New Independent Albums list.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Up-And-Coming Pop/R&B Singer Shines In Phil’s Picks 2020 Top New Independent Albums List

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

The independent music community is the backbone of the music business in whole.  Today’s struggling, independent act is tomorrow’s mainstream star.  Every major superstar act that travels the world today and has legions around the globe was at one time independent.  To that end, independent albums deserve just as much attention from critics as their more well-known counterparts.  That is why this critic continues presenting a list of the year’s best new independent albums each year, this year being no exception to that rule.

This year’s list features albums from a wide range of musical genres.  There’s some country/bluegrass.  There’s pop, there’s rock and even some neo-folk/Americana.  Topping this year’s list is up-and-coming pop/R&B singer Jessie Wagner and her debut album Shoes Droppin’.  Independent southern rock band Faith & Scars is also featured in this year’s list, which includes albums not just from unsigned bands, but from those signed to independent labels, too.  Pop rock act Kulick is even in this year’s list with his new album Yelling in a Quiet Neighborhood.

As with every past year’s list, this year’s list features the Top 10 albums and give honorable mentions for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Independent albums. 

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Jessie Wagner – Shoes Droppin’
  2. Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves – Sun Via
  3. Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts – Nowhere To Go But Everywhere
  4. Discrepancies – The Rise
  5. Kulick – Yelling in a Quiet Neighborhood
  6. The Devonns – The Devonns
  7. Kurt Baker – After Party
  8. The Tibbs – Another Shot Fired
  9. Faith & Scars – Revolver
  10. Jack The Radio – Creatures
  11. Soraia – Dig Your Roots
  12. Wyldlife – Year of the Snake
  13. Julien K – Harmonic Disruptor
  14. Gab De La Vega – Between Space and Time
  15. Record Thieves  — Wasting Time

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the list of this year’s top new Family Music albums.  Stay tuned for that.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Jessie Wagner Debuts ‘Passin’ Me By’ Video; New LP Out Now

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Jessie Wagner debuted the video for her latest single last week.

Wagner debuted the video for her single ‘Passin’ Me By‘ Oct. 16. The song and its video are the fourth from Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin, which is available now. The debut of the new single and video follow that of the album’s other singles, ‘My Darlin, My Dear,’ What You Get is What You See,’ and ‘End of Time.’

The video for Wagner’s new single finds her in an open field, sunny sky overhead as she performs her song. The footage is accompanied by video of people singing and dancing to the song in their own home videos. The upbeat sense in the song’s video helps to translate the positive vibe in the song’s musical arrangement and its equally optimistic message of looking beyond the bad in life.

The musical arrangement featured in Wagner’s new single presents plenty for audiences to appreciate. It combines some vintage R&B influences with a roots rock sound that will appeal to fans of Tedeschi Trucks Band for its whole. Wagner’s soulful vocals add in to the mix to put the finishing touch to the presentation.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new single, video and album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jessie Wagner’s New Album Is One Of The Best Musical Surprises Of 2020

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Jessie Wagner’s newly released album Shoes Droppin’ is a record that is going to have a lot of jaws droppin’.  Yes, that awful pun was intended, but it is true.  For those like this critic who might be new to Wagner’s work, it proves to be quite the pleasant surprise.  That has already been more than proven through the three singles that it has already produced.  Released today through Wicked Cool Records, the 11-song record is the very definition of the term “diamond in the rough.”  That is proven through the record’s diverse musical arrangements and its accessible lyrical content.  All three of the singles that the album has already produced – ‘My Darlin, My Dear,’ ‘What You Get is What You See,’ and ‘End of Time’ — more than serve to support that statement.  They are just some of the ways in which the record proves itself such a pleasant surprise, too.  ‘Great One,’ which comes early in the album’s 40-minute run, is another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content makes it such an impressive offering.  ‘Passin’ Me By’ is another way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such an enjoyable offering.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Caretaker,’ which  comes late in the album’s run, is one more way in which the noted content collectively makes the album so powerful.  When it is considered with the other songs noted here, the noted singles, and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole becomes unquestionably one of this year’s top new albums.

Jessie Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin’ is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2020 so far.  That statement is not made lightly either.  This record offers something for everyone, both musically and lyrically.  As already noted, the trio of singles that the record has already produced proves that without question in its own right.  They are but a snapshot of what makes this hidden musical gem so appealing.  ‘Great One,’ which comes early in the album’s run is one more way in which the album shows its strength.  That is due in part to its gentle, flowing musical arrangement.  The minimalist approach of Wagner’s vocals, a piano and a guitar makes this song so richly engaging and moving.  On one hand, there is a touch of country music influence here.  On another hand, it could also be likened to so many adult contemporary compositions.  It all comes together to prove the old adage that sometimes, a song can be heavy without being heavy.  The emotional heaviness of the musical arrangement works well with the lyrical content to enrich the song even more.

The song’s lyrical theme sends a message to listeners that they should realize their potential, rather than wallow in self pity.  That this message is delivered in such a gentle way will touch listeners in the best way possible.  The noted message is sent clearly in the song’s lead verse in which Wagner sings, “Can you rise above the rest/Think you’re really that blessed/As you wallow in your mediocrity/Is that all you’ll ever be/Someone once said that you were good/Why’s that so hard to believe/Can’t listen to what they say/Over the demons in your head/Do you even try/Do you even dare to be a great one/To find the how and why/That leads you to become one of the great ones.”  The message is continued in the song’s second verse, in which she sings, “Each time you share some of yourself/Hope it won’t lead you to break/though I can see how fragile you are/But how little you can take/You set your bar way too high/On that unreachable star/You should just give up and be happy/Never thought you would get his far/Do you even try/Do you even dare to be a great one/To find the how and why/that leads you to become one of the great ones.”  The song’s third verse adds even more impact as Wagner sings, “Everyone must dream/but some dreams fail/Who are you to think yours isn’t the same…won’t you stop your dreaming/And lead the way/How many chances do you take/How many goals do you give/Before you realize…”  The last of the lyrics is a little difficult to decipher sans lyrics sheet to reference.  Even despite that, the message remains clear.  Again, this is a message encouraging listeners to wade through the rough waters and to believe in themselves; to make the best lives for themselves.  That it is delivered so clearly, is delivered in such a gentle fashion and couples with an equally gentle musical arrangement makes the song that much more memorable.  It is just one of the additional ways in which Wagner’s new album proves itself so endearing.  ‘Passin’ Me By’ is yet another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such a strong new effort from the up-and-coming artist.

‘Passin’ Me By’ is the polar opposite of ‘Great One’ in its musical and lyrical content.  This song boasts an upbeat musical arrangement that exhibits a varied range of influences.  The use of the horns, vocals, and drums gives the song a bit of a vintage R&B sensibility.  At the same time the guitar arrangement within the song is something of a bluesy/southern rock work.  The elements all come together to make this arrangement such a fun, infectious composition and yet another way in which the record’s musical content proves so pivotal to its presentation.  When that content is coupled with the easily accessible lyrical content, the song becomes that much more enjoyable.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Passin’ Me By’ offers a message of hope, reminding listeners again, not to let themselves get down even when things get tough.  This is inferred right from the song’s outset as Wagner sings, “Dark owls in the sky/Don’t seem to bother me/I just keep looking for that silver lining…Though the rains may fall/I know that they’ll be passing me by.”  The noted message is inferred just as much as she continues in the song’s second verse, “Every once in a while/People try to get down/But I just ell myself to keep my head up and move along/Well I can’t/let them decide/How I should feel/Or when I shine.”  Not all of the lyrics are understandable in this case.  When Wagner hits those low notes, her voice blends in so much with the instrumentation, that is becomes somewhat difficult to decipher her lyrics.  Even despite that, enough is understandable that the intended message is clear.  Keeping that in mind along with the positive impact of the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the whole succeeds in its mission to uplift and entertain listeners.  To that end, it proves easily what makes it yet another important addition to Wagner’s new album.  It is not the last of the record’s most notable songs, either.  ‘Caretaker’ also serves to enhance Shoes Droppin’.

‘Caretaker’ comes late in the overall sequence of Shoes Droppin’.  Its musical arrangement is just as much unlike the other songs noted here (and the rest of the album’s works) as they are from one another.  This song is more of a pure R&B composition.  There are no other songs in this record that sound like this one.  It is just one more way in which the album’s musical variety keeps listeners engaged and entertained.  When it is considered along with the song’s lyrical content, the song gains even more traction. 

Wagner sings in the song’s lead verse, “No one said ‘I’d be there for you, baby.’/It doesn’t mean I have to…be a caretaker/Deal breaker…So the bottom dropped out/And our lives got flipped/turned inside out/Now the whole world sits up on my shoulders/Can I keep it balanced until further notice/I’m so used to getting by/With a smile/And the wink of an eye…this was not in the plan/Get a job/Get a man/Live happy ever after…”  Some of this is, again, tough to decipher, but enough can be understood that it cane be interpreted as a song about empowerment.  The refrain about not having to give up on one’s needs and become a caretaker for another is a statement of independence.  What’s interesting here is that if in fact this really is the case, then the song’s arrangement certainly does not match the message.  It is not one of those fiery, “I am woman, hear me roar” type works.  Rather, it is a controlled yet still confident sense along with the lyrical content.  It makes the song that much more certain to resonate with Wagner’s female audiences.  Keeping that in mind, it proves itself another important addition to Shoes Droppin’.  When it is considered along with the other content addressed here and the rest of the record’s works, the album in whole becomes so much richer, engaging and entertaining.  All things considered, the collective musical and lyrical content featured in this recording makes it unquestionably one of the year’s top new independent albums and albums overall.

Jessie Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin’ is a successful offering from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter from beginning to end.  That is proven throughout in the record’s diverse musical arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal to a truly wide range of listeners.  The lyrical content that accompanies that wide range of music is well-thought-out but still accessible considering the topics featured in each song.  All three of the songs examined here prove that without a doubt.  The same can be said of the record’s singles.  When all of that is considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole becomes a true musical diamond in the rough that shines so brightly in its own right.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jessie Wagner Debuts ‘My Darlin, My Dear’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Independent singer-songwriter Jessie Wagner debuted the video for her latest single last week.

Wagner debuted the lyric video for her single ‘My Darlin, My Dear‘ Oct. 2. The song is the third single from Wagner’s forthcoming album Shoes Droppin’. It follows the debut of the album’s singles ‘What You Get Is What You See‘ and ‘End of Time.’

The video places the song’s lyrics over a a subtly changing backdrop that features imagery, such as a heart made of leaves, flowers, and a blue sky filled with heart-shaped balloons. the imagery serves to illustrate the song’s easily accessible lyrical content, which focuses, clearly, on the topic of romance.

Wagner had the following to say specifically about the song’s lyrical theme.

“There’s always that guy that you know is no good for you, but you keep going back anyway,” she said. “This song is an amalgamation of the guys I wished would love me and not just keep me around for convenience.”

The song’s musical arrangement adds its own share of interest. The guitar line and keyboards give the song a soulful, bluesy/gospel type sensibility. The addition of the horns to the mix gives the song something of a vintage R&B sound. Meanwhile, Wagner’s vocal delivery style and sound here lends itself to comparisons to other well-known singers, such as Diana Ross, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige among others.

The arrangement is very much unlike that featured in ‘End of Times,’ which crosses influences of Meghan Trainor and Gladys Knight for its presentation. That old and new school hybrid is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners in its own right.

‘What You See is What You Get’ meanwhile combines pop and neo-folk influences for a composition that will resonate with an equally wide range of audiences.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new single, video and album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jessie Wagner Debuts ‘What You See Is What You Get’ Video

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Singer-songwriter Jessie Wagner debuted the video for her latest single over the weekend.

Wagner debuted the video for her single ‘What You See Is What You Get‘ Friday.  The song is the second single from Wagner’s forthcoming album Shoes Droppin’, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9 through Wicked Cool Records. Its debut comes more than a month after Wagner debuted the video for the album’s soulful lead single, ‘End of Time.’  Album pre-saves are open.

The animated video features Wagner in situations with her mother, her boyfriend and others as she sings proudly of her confidence in herself and who she is.  The song’s musical arrangement combines pop and neo-folk influences for a composition that will resonate with a wide range of audiences.

The song’s lyrical content, as noted, is about knowing one’s self, as explained by Wagner.

“This is an animated representation of knowing that you can continuously work on your personal relationships day by day, season to season. As long as the world keeps turning you can keep trying to be better,” she said.

Audiences can stream download ‘What You See And What You Get,’ and pre-order Shoes Droppin’ here.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new single, video and album is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.