Beastie Boys-Licensed To Ill (1986)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 78%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 89%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rhymin & Stealin
  2. The New Style
  3. She’s Crafty
  4. Posse In Effect
  5. Slow Ride
  6. Girls
  7. Fight For Your Right
  8. No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  9. Paul Revere
  10. Hold It Now, Hit It
  11. Brass Monkey
  12. Slow And Low
  13. Time To Get Ill

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to get Ill (Party)

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Iconic, it’s awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes sir.

Final Thoughts:

Good lord ’86? I couldn’t believe that year when I looked it up for this article, this must’ve been absolutely revolutionary to come out that early. I mean I was raised with damn near every track. We all know these songs, much like Supertramp’s Breakfast In America, you don’t know how well you knew the album until you actually sit down to re-listen to the whole thing. This was THE party album, it never once got old to me. Beastie Boys always meant a lot of beers, a lot of girls, and a lot of cursin’ (The New Style) and I’m just blown away that this was made so early. Hilarious lyrics, bad ass beats, catchy songs. It’s iconic. It’s owed some damn respect and you’d better give it up (you listening you pitchfork A holes?)!

Beck-Sea Change (2002)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 69%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Golden Age
  2. Paper Tiger
  3. Guess I’m Doing Fine
  4. Lonesome Tears
  5. Lost Cause
  6. End Of The Day
  7. It’s All In Your Mind
  8. Round The Bend
  9. Already Dead
  10. Sunday Sun
  11. Little One
  12. Side Of The Road

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Going through a breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Richard does and it sounds great, but I want my own.

Final Thoughts:

I’m really selective when it comes to Beck, I’ve had stuff like Loser, E-Pro, and Where It’s At in my library for years now, but that’s about it. When Richard challenged me to sit down and listen to a whole album of his, I was skeptical, seeing as I only had a select few songs by him I thought he’d have lots of dead space on his albums, not the case with Sea Change. The most pleasing part of the experience was hearing Lost Cause and recognizing the tune without knowing where I heard it, turns out Ellen Page sings it on the game Between Two Souls (what a time we live in). The album flows well from track to track while keeping it engaging, sad, and diverse. I can’t see another one of his albums topping this but I’m excited to challenge that. Also WTF is up with the critics disagreement on this album?

Generationals-Alix (2014)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 88%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Black Lemon
  2. Gold Silver Diamond
  3. Reviver
  4. It Took A Minute
  5. Reading Signs
  6. Charlemagne
  7. Welcome to the Fire
  8. Heart In Two
  9. Now Look At Me
  10. Would You Want Me

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving with the top down on a hot day.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, nothing special, but it does make me think that they musicians are just normal people.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

Put On A Light was the first song I heard from these guys and I’m stoked to hear what else they can make. This album is just delightful! Is it original or show-stopping? You know, probably not. But it’s really enjoyable and dammit, I like it! It’s also really chill, I found it really easy to just turn my brain off and let this album do its thing, which is a nice change of pace with some of the other albums I’ve been listening to (Aesop Rock comes to mind). Generationals aren’t anything new, but they’ve perfected their craft and are a great listen for a nice day!

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”.

Thee Oh Sees-Floating Coffin (2013)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Jen Yip (abandonsight) Rating: 94%

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 89%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. I Come From The Mountain
  2. Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster
  3. Floating Coffin
  4. No Spell
  5. Strawberries 1 + 2
  6. Maze Francier
  7. Night Crawler
  8. Sweet Helicopter
  9. Tunnel Time
  10. Minotaur

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for psychedelic/melodic punk.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I like it but it scares the shit out of a lot of my friends.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Own it on vinyl already and it’s good times.

Final Thoughts:

It all started with Cheap Beer by FIDLAR for me, from there I was discovering a heavier genre of music that I typically avoided. I found an article that recommended both Thee Oh Sees and Jay Reatard (thank you, thank you, thank you) and added Floating Coffin to my library. It sat untouched for quite some time, until the day Minotaur came onto shuffle. I must’ve listened to that song 20 times back to back on my drive home from Christina Lake that day. From there I found Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster and the rest is history. I see this band every time they come through Vancouver, and I have every intention to continue doing so. Thee Oh Sees are their own unique brand of fun, and I so wish for all my friends to be as into them as I am. Start with Minotaur, then see if you can branch into the heavier stuff. Floating Coffin is the perfect drop in album.

Bill Withers-Just As I Am (1971)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 88%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Harlem
  2. Ain’t No Sunshine
  3. Grandma’s Hands
  4. Sweet Wanomi
  5. Everybody’s Talkin’
  6. Do It Good
  7. Hope She’ll Be Happier
  8. Let It Be
  9. I’m Her Daddy
  10. In My Heart
  11. Moanin’ and Groanin’
  12. Better Off Dead

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for a classic album that stands the test of time.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty normal, kinda what you expect of album covers of the time.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly, yes.

Final Thoughts:

Bill Withers was the man, and Just As I Am goes to prove that. It’s a really solid album that offers a lot of diversity to keep every listener engaged. I was a big fan of Grandma’s Hands, Hope She’ll Be Happier, and Better Off Dead, but can anything really beat his Ain’t No Sunshine? That’ll be the track he’ll always be known for, and that’s not a bad thing at all because it’s really friggin’ good.

White Lung-Paradise (2016)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 84%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Dead Weight
  2. Narcoleptic
  3. Below
  4. Kiss Me When I Bleed
  5. Demented
  6. Sister
  7. Hungry
  8. I Beg You
  9. Vegas
  10. Paradise

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

You want some badass punk by some badass Canadian women.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty rad, reminds me a lot of the album covers you’d see in the 60’s.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah for sure.

Final Thoughts:

White Lung really caught me off guard, I originally found them through Amoeba’s youtube series: what’s in my bag. I loved their choices for vinyl and decided to give them a shot, and I’m really happy I did, they sound somewhat familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger to who it sounds like. Regardless you’d be at a loss to miss this album, you should 100% check it out!

Leonard Cohen-Popular Problems (2014)

Record Review Recommended By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 86%

Average Rating: 87.3%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Slow
  2. Almost Like The Blues
  3. Samson in New Orleans
  4. A Street
  5. Did I Ever Love You
  6. My Oh My
  7. Nevermind
  8. Born In Chains
  9. You Got Me Singing

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Drinking a whiskey and thinking about life.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Not that great, kinda outdated in my opinion.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh, hell yes.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not one to automatically sing praises to albums/artists just because they are influential or critically acclaimed. I expected this album to be so-so, but I ended up loving every friggin’ song on this album. Cohen’s gravely voice is just so perfect throughout this entire album, I’m blown away.

Iron & Wine-The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 86%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
  2. White Tooth Man
  3. Lovesong Of The Buzzard
  4. Carousel
  5. House By The Sea
  6. Innocent Bones
  7. Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd’s Dog)
  8. Resurrection Fern
  9. Boy With A Coin
  10. The Devil Never Sleeps
  11. Peace Beneath The City
  12. Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You:

Need to grieve something. Or you’re alone in a cabin with a whiskey.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh, it’s alright. I think as a vinyl it’d look cool, but  on my ipod it’s kinda whatever.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

YES!

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those albums that I didn’t relize that was actually really close to my heart until I sat down and listened to the whole thing. It’s hit after hit, flowing smoothly from one song to another. Absolutely beautiful music.

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