Alberta Cross-Songs Of Patience (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 65%

Average Rating: 83% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magnolia
  2. Crate Of Gold
  3. Lay Down
  4. Come On Maker
  5. Wasteland
  6. Ophelia On My Mind
  7. I Believe In Everything
  8. Money For The Weekend (Pocket Full Of Shame)
  9. Life Without Warning
  10. Bonfires
  11. Rambling Home
  12. Wait

Label:

ATO

 

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving on a sunny day.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super trippy. I love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

The first song I heard of Alberta Cross was Hard Breaks and I liked it enough that it entered my 25 most played songs on iTunes. Usually when a band has a really catchy song, I’m cautious to explore the rest of their work because I’ve been burned one too many times. It wasn’t the case with Alberta Cross, their music has been shockingly enjoyable. Songs of Patience may be their most friendly album yet, anybody should be able to start with this album and understand the band a couple tracks in. It shocks me that this band isn’t bigger based on how friendly their music would be on the radio, it’s not too experimental and I’d be comfortable putting it on at a family gathering. Songs of Patience may be your new favourite record, it may be one that you put on shuffle, but I highly doubt it’d be one you’d end up disliking.

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Aesop Rock-Skelethon (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 82%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 87% (A-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Leisureforce
  2. ZZZ Top
  3. Cycles to Gehenna
  4. Zero Dark Thirty
  5. Fryerstarter
  6. Ruby ’81
  7. Crows 1
  8. Crows 2
  9. Racing Stripes
  10. 1,000 O’Clock
  11. Homemade Mummy
  12. Grace
  13. Saturn Missiles
  14. Tetra
  15. Gopher Guts
  16. Dokken Rules (feat. Rob Sonic)
  17. BMX (feat. Blueprint & Rob Sonic)

Favourite Song on Album:

Record Label:

Rhymesayers Entertainment

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Having an existential crises.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s rad, most of Aesop’s covers are awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already do, I spin it all the time.

Final Thoughts:

2012’s Skelethon caught me off guard, more than even The Impossible Kid which I think is the better of the two and should be considered a masterpiece (I hope it will get that title over time). What Skelethon did for me is gave me the ability to understand Aesop, I mean as much as one can understand Aesop. This was the album that turned me from casual listener to geeky fan, honestly anyone who knows me knows I love this guys work. Skelethon showcases Aesop’s diversity all while mixing in a couple songs with Kimya Dawson (giving them the idea to form The Uncluded). The best part of Skelethon is how accessibly it is, maybe not as much as The Impossible Kid, but still very easy for casual listeners to get into. Skelethon was the calm before the storm, an amazing album that led to his best, it’s the album that I thought he couldn’t surpass, but then did 4 years later.

Arcade Fire-Everything Now (2017)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: 56%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 66%

Average Rating: 63% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Everything_Now (Continued)
  2. Everything Now
  3. Signs Of Life
  4. Creature Comfort
  5. Peter Pan
  6. Chemistry
  7. Infinite Content
  8. Infinite_Content
  9. Electric Blue
  10. Good God Damn
  11. Put Your Money On Me
  12. We Don’t Deserve Love
  13. Everything Now (Continued)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Really needing to add to your Arcade Fire collection.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s alright, pretty familiar though.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely not.

Final Thoughts:

We all knew it had to happen, a bad Arcade Fire album was due, after their incredibly impressive career they finally put out something to be embarrassed of. Every band has it, they push the sound too far and lose their audience. Not only was this a little too far from their norm, it was boring, repetitive, and lazy. It’s not what you want from an Arcade Fire album. My roommate who’s a big fan called it lethargic, and that’s exactly it. This is a jam session that should never have seen the light of day. This is Gorillaz Humanz all over again (a little less offensive), a typically great band that seems a little burnt out. Take another year or two on an album before releasing it, this was a big meh.

Abstract Rude-Rejuvenation (2009)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 71% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hip Hop Ryde
  2. Rejuvenation
  3. Nuff Fire
  4. The Conch
  5. Thynk Eye Can (Haiku D’Etat Mix)
  6. TV Show
  7. Sadly Ever After
  8. Tomorry
  9. Diggin It?
  10. Aaron, Ab, Abbey
  11. Rsvp (Wanna Party)
  12. Man Down
  13. Is What It Is
  14. Parables

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to meditate with hip hop in the background.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I friggin’ love this album cover, something about it just works so well.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah but it’ll probably cost an arm and a leg.

Final Thoughts:

Abstract Rude is one of my favourite emcees to come out of The Good Life Cafe, his flow is so chill and his lyrics are always interesting. I remember getting into his song All Day as well as being entranced by his work on Life Goes On with Pigeon John on the Is Dating Your Sister album. Abstract is unique (congrats if you get that joke), I honestly can’t say I’ve come across an emcee quite like him. Rejuvenation is one of his most consistent albums, even though it didn’t get a great rating from me there are some true gems on here. His album making skills are questionable at times, but I’m willing to dig through his discography to find the best one. Rejuvenation is a great start for Abstract Rude enquirers  but I bet there’s a better album to start with. Give me time and I’ll dig it up for you.

Action Bronson-Dr. Lecter (2011)

My Rating: 73% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Moonstruck
  2. Barry Horowitz
  3. The Madness
  4. Larry Csonka
  5. Ronnie Coleman
  6. Bag Of Money (Feat. Meyhem Lauren)
  7. Brunch
  8. Shiraz
  9. Buddy Guy
  10. Jerk Chicken (Feat. Maffew Ragazino)
  11. Chuck Person (Feat. Meyhem Lauren, Shaz IllYork & AG da Coroner)
  12. Forbidden Fruit
  13. Suede (Feat. Meyhem Lauren, Shaz IllYork, Fonda & Machine)
  14. Get Off My P.P.
  15. Beautiful Music

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Cooking something new.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

So very ugly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah for the right price.

Final Thoughts:

It’s interesting seeing these new emcees come out that are so obviously influenced by various members of Wu-Tang, Bronson takes after Ghostface Killah, but he’s much more than a modern replicate, he’s a chef first and a rapper second. That’s right, most of his lyrics are laced with calories upon calories of food references, and it’s surprisingly a good fit. His lyrics are entertaining, if not a little much at times (very explicit content here), but he somehow still ends up being likeable at the end of the record. My big criticism of Dr. Lecter is the album name. Is it a concept? Is it an alias? We certainly don’t find out on the record. If you’re going to pick such a random name for an album then at least let your fans in on the joke and/or theme. But at the end of the day, Food+Hip Hop=Action Bronson and that’s an alright equation for me.

Allah-Las-Calico Review (2016)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Strange Heat
  2. Satisfied
  3. Could Be You
  4. High And Dry
  5. Mausoleum
  6. Roadside Memorial
  7. Autumn Dawn
  8. Famous Phone Figure
  9. 200 South La Brea
  10. Warmed Kippers
  11. Terra Ignota
  12. Place In The Sun

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving down a highway.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Does next to nothing for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Allah-Las is consistent, nothing ground breaking here, but consistent. Calico Review offers an album that is easy to listen to while doing mundane tasks or just staring at the roof and thinking things few, the biggest thing they’ve got going for them is just how unobtrusive their music is. It’s not something that demands the spotlight, nor does it really want it. It’s great music that you can put on at pretty much any get together without any objection. They are like the more laid back version of Woods. Calico Review is not going to be on the top of many lists, but I don’t think it’s a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a humble listen for humble moments in your life.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti-Mature Themes (2012)

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 85%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 74%

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Kinski Assassin
  2. Is This The Best Spot
  3. Mature Themes
  4. Only In My Dreams
  5. Driftwood
  6. Early Birds Of Babylon
  7. Schnitzel Boogie
  8. Symphony Of The Nymph
  9. Pink Slime
  10. Farewell American Primitive
  11. Live It Up
  12. Nostradamus & Me
  13. Baby

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a mix of genres that stays generally mellow.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Cool colours and trippy!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is all of over the place when it comes to genre, at times it reminds me of Thee Oh Sees, other tracks make me think The Smiths or Ween, others Mac DeMarco. So putting your finger on this album is not an easy task. That being said it makes for an overall entertaining, but confusing listen. The first half seems a little more coherent as the B-Side gets more and more out of control and experimental. I can see the draw to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and I love a couple tracks (loved Only In My Dreams for years now), but I’m not quite on board yet. Perhaps another album listen would solidify my opinion.

Astrud Gilberto-The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 95%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Once I Loved
  2. Agua De Beber
  3. Meditation
  4. And Roses And Roses
  5. O Morro (Nao Tem Vez)
  6. How Insensitive
  7. Dindi
  8. Photgraph
  9. Dreamer
  10. So Finha De Ser Com Voce
  11. All That’s Left Is To Say Goodbye

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an oldie but a goodie.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s classy and candid looking, I like it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

I’ve never heard of Astrud Gilberto until I watched one of the singers of The Supremes talk about her being the originator of a lot of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra. Being a Sinatra fan I decided to give her a listen. I’ve never been into bossa nova, not that I necessarily thought negatively about it, but more just that I never listened to it. The Astrud Gilberto Album is a great place to start with the genre, and a really great listen. Astrud’s voice is beautiful, and the album is chalk full of recognizable melodies. I’ve never heard something quite like it, and I highly recommend fans of all genres to give this album a good listen to.

Arcade Fire-Funeral (2004)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 97%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 90%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
  2. Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)
  3. Une Année Sans Lumiere
  4. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  5. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
  6. Crown Of Love
  7. Wake Up
  8. Haiti
  9. Rebellion (Lies)
  10. In The Backseat

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for something epic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s an okay cover, not my favourite of theirs but it’s not bad or anything.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellllllllllllllllll yeah!

Final Thoughts:

Arcade Fire is, in short, incredible. Their music has been used in so many ways and they are one of the few household name groups that truly deserve their acclaim. I mean damn, this is their first album, and they are already this accomplished? It’s mystifying, considering other artists I love take an album or two to find themselves. Funeral is epic and simple, high energy and mellow. It’s an album that demands to be listened to multiple times. It’s an album many other artists have been trying to replicate for years but can’t get the mix right. It’s painful how good it is for a first release and it makes me mad that they can be this talented…bastards.

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