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.

Aesop Rock-The Impossible Kid (2016)

My Rating:  100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 82%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 85%

Average Rating: 89%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mystery Fish
  2. Rings
  3. Lotta Years
  4. Dorks
  5. Rabies
  6. Supercell
  7. Blood Sandwich
  8. Get Out Of The Car
  9. Shrunk
  10. Kirby
  11. TUFF
  12. Lazy Eye
  13. Defender
  14. Water Tower
  15. Molecules

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to have your mind blown.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super rad, I have a shirt of it and wear it every second of my life.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hell ya. Saw it for sale awhile back and should’ve bought it.

Final Thoughts:

The Impossible Kid is Aesop Rock’s most accessible album to date, it’s as if he’s finally hovering over Earth to gather fans so he can take them to the far stretches of the universe. The Impossible Kid is the album that finally got me respecting Aesop Rock to the level that he most definitely deserves. Even though I know I’m gonna catch hate for saying it, Aesop Rock is currently the best Hip-hop artist still making music (choke on your rage Lamar fans). There’s just no denying his uncanny ability to make the English language sound like it’s being broadcast from the third moon of some planet we couldn’t pronounce. This is the album to get on the bandwagon, this is the best album of 2016, this is an album for fans and non-fans alike to collectively sigh and say “Damn, Aesop Rock”.

Autolux-Pussy’s Dead (2016)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 72%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. SelectAllCopy
  2. Soft Scene
  3. Hamster Suite
  4. Junk For Code
  5. Anonymous
  6. Brainwasher
  7. Listen To The Order
  8. Reappearing
  9. Change My Head
  10. Becker

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a more psychedelic Radiohead.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah anything psychedelic is prime on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

If it’s not for their album title, it’s their lack of buzz and apparent following that really made me skeptical about giving them a go, but like most of my favourite groups, I took a chance and am glad I did. I had no idea what I was getting into, and I don’t really know what exactly I have listened to still, the only thing I know is that it’s really unique, and I want to explore it further. Like most Radiohead albums, Autolox’s Pussy’s Dead will take time to solidify a place in my heart. It’s psychedelic, it’s electronic, it’s grimy. Pussy’s Dead, I don’t know what that means but if I were to ask anyone it would be these guys who seem to be living on another plain of existence.

ATA Kak-Obaa Sima (1994)

My Rating: 64% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 64%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Obaa Sima
  2. Moma Yendodo
  3. Adagya
  4. Medofo
  5. Daa Nyinaa
  6. Yemmpa Aba
  7. Bome Nnwom

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some hella funky beats.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, it’s pretty typical of the genre. Not a huge fan. I don’t hate it either, though.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No thanks.

Final Thoughts:

AKA Kak does one thing incredibly well: their beats. Every tracks beat is incredible, sounding like it belongs on a Sega game at points, as well as in a dance hall at other times. The problem with the record is that it is not that easy for casual listening. For the most part I don’t want this album on my shuffle because it’s awfully repetitive and typically the tracks are a little too long for my liking. A fun experience, but not one I’m signing up for again.

Aidan Knight-Versicolour (2010)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 81% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Sun
  2. Fighting Against Your Lungs
  3. Eyelid Clicks
  4. Altar Boys
  5. North East South West
  6. Knitting Something Nice For You
  7. Sorrows
  8. Jasper

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to relax with some solid folk.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s simple, not too much to say about it, it’s not keeping me away from trying it, but it’s not drawing me in either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I think it’d be a great addition.

Final Thoughts:

Aidan Knight is an absolute gem, almost all the songs on this album have been played in the dozens, they’re beautiful and relaxing and sometimes even a bit angry (see the end of Knitting Something Nice For You).

Atmosphere-The Family Sign (2011)

My Rating: 79% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 58%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Key
  2. The Last to Say
  3. Became
  4. Just For Show
  5. She’s Enough
  6. Bad Bad Daddy
  7. Millennium Dodo
  8. Who I’ll Never Be
  9. I Don’t Need Brighter Days
  10. Ain’t Nobody
  11. Your Name Here
  12. If You Can Save Me Now
  13. Something So
  14. My Notes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling like some laid back but somewhat biting hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Great album cover, love the black and white and the font.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellz ya.

Final Thoughts:

Atmosphere is such a perfect gateway drug to the whole Rhymesayer crew, it’s easily accessible for those who aren’t necessarily Hip Hop Heads, and those beats are so sad/dark/eerie. It’s a solid contribution to an already impressive discography.

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