DOOM (MF Doom)-Born Like This (2009)

My Rating: 76% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Supervillain Intro
  2. Gazzillion Ear
  3. Ballskin
  4. Yessir (featuring Raekwon)
  5. Absolutely
  6. Rap Ambush
  7. Lightworks
  8. Batty Boyz
  9. Angelz (featuring Tony Starks)
  10. Cellz
  11. Still Dope (featuring Empress Starhh Tha Femcee)
  12. Microwave Mayo
  13. More Rhymin’
  14. That’s That
  15. Supervillainz (featuring Kurious, Mobonix & Slug)
  16. Bumpy’s Message (featuring Bumpy Knuckles)
  17. Thank Ya

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to get some anger out/concentrate on a new project.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super odd, fits Doom’s style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Doom is at his angriest on Born Like This, there’s something that has changed him when he released this album. A depressing epiphany of some sort proceeded this album, and we can thank it for the dirty, dark, and much more focused rhyme style of Doom. I do miss the jokey rhymes that Doom was known for saying, but I can’t help but enjoy this more angry version of the villain. As always Doom shoots his albums in the foot by using so so many interludes, it’s really the only reason his albums get such a low rating, we don’t need interludes anymore, I don’t understand the draw to them in the rap genre, if you must, tack em to a beginning or ending of song, don’t make it a separate track and make us think we’re getting more than we actually are. Born Like This is Doom’s darkest offering, visit if you dare.

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Ghostface Killah & Trife Da God-Put It On The Line (2005)

My Rating: 78% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Cocaine Trafficking
  2. Put It On The Line
  3. Struggle
  4. Hustle Hard
  5. Assassination Day
  6. Gangsta Shit (feat. Tommy Whispers)
  7. Fire
  8. Project Soap Operas (feat. Krymelife & Tommy Whispers)
  9. War
  10. Out The Way (feat. Shawn Wigs)
  11. Daytona 500
  12. Milk’em
  13. Late Night Arrival (feat. Shawn Wigs)
  14. Man Up (feat. Sun God)
  15. Game Time
  16. The Watch (feat. Raekwon)
  17. Ghost & Giancana (feat. Kool G Rap)
  18. The Sun (feat. Raekwon & Slick Rick)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

A Wu-Tang fiend digging through all the emcees work.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty simplistic, looks like a mixtape more than an album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

If it was real cheap sure, but probably not.

Final Thoughts:

Put It On The Line did two things for me: 1. Reassured me that even the most obscure Wu-Tang projects can contain gold. 2. Inspired me to listen to more Ghostface Killah. Trife Da God is by no means a bad emcee, he simply can’t be if he’s part of the Wu-Tang Clan, but he is constantly out-shined by Ghostface on Put It On The Line. Perhaps it’s my personal bias that makes me automatically gravitate towards anything Ghostface touches, but it’s a rare day that I hear someone say that Trife is their favourite Wu Tanger. It’s classic old school grimy hip-hop, sounding like martial art masters facing off with a ghetto backdrop, it’s not the best Wu-Tang project, but it’s far from the worst.

Homeboy Sandman-Kindness For Weakness (2016)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Heart Sings
  2. Eyes
  3. Real New York (feat. I Am Many)
  4. Seam by Seam (feat. Until The Ribbon Breaks)
  5. It’s Cold (feat. Steve Arrington)
  6. Talking (Bleep)
  7. Gumshoe
  8. Keep it Real (feat. Mystro)
  9. Earth, Wind, Fire (feat. yU, Tah Phrum Duh Bush & Shad)
  10. Funhouse
  11. Sly Fox
  12. God
  13. Nonbelievers
  14. Speak Truth (feat. Kurious, Breeze Brewin & Aesop Rock)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some great hip-hop similar to Aesop Rock’s style.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, it’s not great, but it’s not awful either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I first heard of Homeboy Sandman through his song Not Really, I played it a lot and was impressed by his really laid back flow. I then saw him live with Aesop Rock and loved his show. Kindness For Weakness is a surprisingly solid album, I usually find with rappers like Homeboy their albums can be really hit and miss from track to track, I kind of expected to pick and choose with this album, but I ended up really finding myself invested in the album as a whole. From his well known slow style, to really fast rapping, to catchy courses, Kindness For Weakness may just be the perfect spot to start when investigating the Sandman.

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.

The Raconteurs-Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Consoler Of The Lonely
  2. Salute Your Solution
  3. You Don’t Understand Me
  4. Old Enough
  5. The Switch And The Spur
  6. Hold Up
  7. Top Yourself
  8. Many Shades Of Black Featuring Adele
  9. Five On The Five
  10. Attention
  11. Pull This Blanket Off
  12. Rich Kid Blues
  13. These Stones Will Shout
  14. Carolina Drama

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Out in the woods.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Creepy and classic, it’s rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh so friggin’ much.

Final Thoughts:

Controversial statement time: The Raconteurs is the best project Jack White has ever done (White Stripers calm yourselves). Consolers Of The Lonely is an album with so much going on for it: garage rock, ballad, hip hop like vocals, it’s a blender of genres and styles coming together to make one delicious listen. I love love love this album and I wish more people were into it because it’s so damn good. Jack White is complimented nicely by the backup band while still being able to showcase his amazing vocals. The lyrics are really solid and fable like at times. This album deserves your attention and Jack White fans should be ashamed if this isn’t in their library.

Death Cab For Cutie-Narrow Stairs (2008)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 60%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Bixby Canyon Bridge
  2. I Will Possess Your Heart
  3. No Sunlight
  4. Cath…
  5. Talking Bird
  6. You Can Do Better Than Me
  7. Grapevine Fires
  8. Your New Twin Sized Bed
  9. Long Division
  10. Pity And Fear
  11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for an emotional roller coaster.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Lots of colour, I like it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

One of the first albums I bought on vinyl!

Final Thoughts:

So this is aging me a bit (more showing how young I am) but Narrow Stairs was the first Death Cab For Cutie album I listened to. My older brother was into The Postal Service and bought this album around the time I first started listening to them. I must’ve listened to this album 1,864 times (rough guesstimate), it’s one of the handful of albums that I can sing to word for word without missing a step. It’s a truly intimate and large sounding album that can hit a wide range of emotions for me. I will always have a soft spot for these tunes and even though many Death Cab fans think this is on their weaker side, it’s one of my favourite work of theirs.

Ty Segall-Emotional Mugger (2016)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 73%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Squealer
  2. Californian Hills
  3. Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess
  4. Breakfast Edge
  5. Diversion
  6. Baby Big Man (I Want a Mommy)
  7. Mandy Cream
  8. Candy Sam
  9. Squealer Two
  10. W.U.O.T.W.S.
  11. The Magazine

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Tripping ballz.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Scary as hell.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I own it on vinyl, listened to it 8 bazillion times.

Final Thoughts:

I was so excited when I discovered Ty Segall, mostly because it sounded like an artist that was heavily influenced by Thee Oh Sees; it was almost like finding another discography of Thee Oh Sees to work with. But Ty is more than just a Thee Oh Sees offshoot, in fact I’d say that most people would argue that between Segall and Dwyer, Segall is the better artist. I don’t know about all that but he does sound exactly like a spooky John Lennon (read on his wiki) and I love his music. I can’t wait to see him live in August, curious to see how his performance will vary from Dwyer’s.

Earl Sweatshirt-Doris (2013)

My Rating: 80% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 83%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pre (feat. SK La’ Flare)
  2. Burgundy (feat. Vince Staples)
  3. 20 Wave Caps (feat. Domo Genesis)
  4. Sunday (feat. Frank Ocean)
  5. Hive (feat. Vince Staples & Casey Veggies)
  6. Chum
  7. Sasquatch (feat. Tyler, The Creator)
  8. Centurion (feat. Vince Staples)
  9. 523
  10. Uncle Al
  11. Guild (feat. Mac Miller)
  12. Molasses (feat. RZA)
  13. Whoa (feat. Tyler, The Creator)
  14. Hoarse
  15. Knight (feat. Domo Genesis)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Half asleep and want to mellow out to some dark sounding hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

The Odd Future crew always make the most simplistic awesome covers, this one’s no different.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really an album I want on vinyl, just good through my headphones.

Final Thoughts:

Earl Sweatshirt is my favourite artist in the Odd Future collective, he still seems to be an undiscovered gem (what with the popularity of Tyler, The Creator). Doris is a great addition to his other body of work, it keeps true to his sound and doesn’t dip in quality throughout the record, besides the horribly miscalculated Guild (feat. Mac Miller) (was I the only one who thought that track should’ve been so much better?) Doris will entertain you while you’re out of your mind washing dishes at your moms house, it’s a great example of alt hip-hop.

The Grates-Teeth Lost, Hearts Won (2008)

My Rating: 77% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Burn Bridges
  2. Carve Your Name
  3. The Fun in Every Start
  4. Two Kinds Of Right
  5. Aw Yeah
  6. Milk Eyes
  7. The Sum of Every Part
  8. Storms and Fevers
  9. Earthquake
  10. Not Today
  11. When You’re Scared Of Dogs
  12. Let It Die
  13. The Biggest and Longest Adventure Ever

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some fun pop punk with a female lead.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I absolutely love this album cover, there’s so much going on, it’s really rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

The Grates caught my attention with their song Turn Me On back in 2011; I wanted to check out their older stuff so I added this album to my library. The thing with The Grates is that if everything is working as it should be, the music sounds absolutely amazing, but so often on this album they make a simple misstep and something just sounds off. Whether it be the vocals being a little strained, or a drum loop that just doesn’t get there, the album as a whole could’ve used a little more time in the studio. But the few songs that hit their mark are really fun!

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