The Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on two new releases from Charles Luck, the leader of the Black Astronaut hip hop collective. The performer released two pop-oriented singles in the last month: ‘Taste Bud’ featuring S-Class and ‘We Are The Astronauts,’ co-written by and featuring Tino Red. Let’s explore the two new tunes and see if they’re worth including in one’s ever-expanding library of Black Astronaut releases.
When Luck delves into pop stylings, he often cascades into either low-brow humor or surprisingly insightful commentary considering the sound he’s utilizing. In the case of ‘Taste Bud,’ the former is most certainly the case. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure how to properly ‘review’ ‘Taste Bud.’ It’s the most infectious, catchy, likely-offensive ballad to oral sex I’ve ever heard.
You may bop your head back and forth as S-Class sings the chorus, “I should trade up when you go down, my smile lights up when you can’t frown. I feel great because of your mouth, I hope your taste buds hear this sound.” Then, of course, you realize it’s an incredibly misogynistic look at women and surely Luck’s most low-brow effort to date. It’s catchy, yes, but I can’t imagine women would appreciate the tune. ‘Taste Bud’ is one of those songs that’s catchy enough until you listen to its lyrics.
On ‘We Are The Astronauts,’ Tino Red joins Luck for a song that sounds quite a bit like their previous collaborations. Heavy pop influence is at play instrumentally, with Red’s performance being scored by bright, bubbly synthesizers that mimic flutes with tinges of EDM influence. Lyrically, the piece falls victim to the same lyrical faux pas of ‘Taste Buds.’ It’s not terribly romantic to be asking women to pole-dance, and it’s even more awkward when that notion is wedged in between a set of lyrics about a romantic getaway in France.
I love a good deal of Charles Luck’s work. These two singles, however, are a bit tasteless. Both of these tracks, ‘Taste Bud’ in particular, could have had their melodies recycled into meaningful content - or even just pop content that isn’t intensely sexist. I know Luck has a tendency to write in characters and play with comedic scenarios, but these songs don’t fall well into either category. They’re cheap, and Luck’s work isn’t cheap. He shouldn't demote himself to that.