In the face of current viral unpleasantness, some of the biggest musicians in the world have collectively decided to drop their albums. Childish Gambino, Sufjan Stevens, The Weekend, Pearl Jam, Dua Lipa, Nine Inch Nails have all released new albums in the past few weeks. Even Bob Dylan got in on the fun, releasing a track that's sure to become the next hit all the TikTok teens will be dancing to - a somber, sparsely instrumented 17-minute reflection on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Perhaps the most anticipated album of the bunch is, of course, the thing we need most right now - The Medicine, the new EP from singer, songwriter, and famed Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner. Literal medicine would be nice, too, but Renner's album is the placebo we need until such medical treatments are available.

Imagine if Maroon 5 thought they were desperados roaming America's backroads on the Harley their dad bought them for their birthday and then you'll start to get a sense of what Jeremy Renner's album sounds like. It's a breezy 27-minutes that will make you wonder why you willingly entered this Margaritaville and then make you wonder why you can't leave. Is it the asiago crab dip or maybe the air of assuredness that everything they make will be awesome that permeates The Medicine? Hard to say. Surely, one of those reasons explains why I found myself entranced as I listened, but in the way that you snap out of it to realize you've stolen a baby under a sorcerer's hypnotic command.

Renner's Instagram post is right. Music can unite us "in a pure way" and help us find "common ground." Not on issues that matter. More in the way two people can like the same guitar lick and still kill each other over a difference of political opinion. So maybe The Medicine isn't the medicine we need right now. Maybe it's more of a topical balm from the dollar store your aunt swears cured her Covid-19 even though it's just petroleum jelly and essential oils.

Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!

Top Image: Bakounine/Shutterstock

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