Lee Hazlewood-Something Special (1968)

My Rating: 85% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 85% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Shades
  2. This Town
  3. Child
  4. Stone Cold Blues
  5. Little War
  6. Them Girls
  7. Fort Worth
  8. Hands
  9. Mannford, Oklahoma
  10. Summer Night

Label:

Motown

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Cooking up some BBQ or playing poker.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure.

Final Thoughts:

Lee Hazlewood has flown under the radar for me, I’ve never heard of the dude so I had no expectations going into Something Special. Well the album title holds true, Lee Hazlewood is something special, he’s much like Frank Sinatra but also has a little Harry Nillson in him. I loved hearing all of these classic songs in a fairly simple format. Lee Hazlewood is very much a crooner, and he would absolutely be in my top 5 crooner’s of all time (suck it Buble). Something Special is one of the older records that holds up, it’s still entertaining and catchy.

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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.

Parquet Courts-Human Performance (2016)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 84%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Berlin Got Blurry
  2. Captive of the Sun
  3. Dust
  4. Human Performance
  5. I Was Just Here
  6. It’s Gonna Happen
  7. Keep It Even
  8. One Man No City
  9. Outside
  10. Paraphrased
  11. Pathos Prairie
  12. Steady On My Mind
  13. Two Dead Cops

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Having a hard time waking up.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super cool, I’m a big fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly yes!

Final Thoughts:

Parquet Courts took awhile to grow on me, but Human Performance was really approachable. I figured them out and that makes it so much easier to listen to them. So here’s the answer so you don’t have to do the work yourself, Parquet Courts are Talking Heads meet Sonic Youth. It’s impossible not to hear a Byrne influence with the vocals and lyrical content, and the sedated instrumentation is very SY. Human Performance is the album I’d recommend to get to know these guys, laid back, funny, and just a real chill album to put on while playing Monopoly or drinking a beer with friends.

King Krule-The Ooz (2017)

My Rating: 84% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 85% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Biscuit Town
  2. The Locomotive
  3. Dum Surfer
  4. Slush Puppy
  5. Bermondsey Bosom (Left)
  6. Logos
  7. Sublunary
  8. Lonely Blue
  9. Cadet Limbo
  10. Emergency Blimp
  11. Czech One
  12. A Slide In (New Drugs)
  13. Vidual
  14. Bermondsey Visin (Right)
  15. Half Man Half Shark
  16. The Cadet Leaps
  17. The Ooz
  18. Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)
  19. La Lune

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sleepy and angry/confused.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, fits the music perfectly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already do, it’s awesome.

Final Thoughts:

I finally got to see this guy live and I was stoked out of my mind, I couldn’t believe how big the crowd was to see him, I kind of thought he was somewhat unheard of but I guess I was wrong. Well, maybe that was the case before The Ooz dropped this year, an album that gained considerable critical acclaim from both fans and music bloggers. It’s worthy of the praise, The Ooz is unlike anything you’ve ever heard, even previous King Krule albums don’t quite sound like it. This is one of those albums that an amazing pair of headphones would really bring alive. There are multi-layered tracks that are so hard to unpack, but I can’t wait to sit down and spend more time with it. The Ooz is an incredibly unique album, I’m so glad King Krule is gaining popularity!

St. Vincent-MASSEDUCTION (2017)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 88%

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hang On Me
  2. Pills
  3. Masseduction
  4. Sugarboy
  5. Los Ageless
  6. Happy Birthday, Johnny
  7. Savior
  8. New York
  9. Fear The Future
  10. Young Lover
  11. Dancing With A Ghost
  12. Slow Disco
  13. Smoking Section

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a glittery pop-esque album that has more to it then what’s on the surface.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Anything I say will make me sound like a pervert.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

When an artist takes the stage to cover a Nirvana song for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s time to take notice. That’s exactly what St. Vincent did, she covered Lithium (one of my all time favourite Nirvana tracks) and rocked it, which is not easy to do. MASSEDUCTION is very much like that Nirvana cover: a little shocking. Before this album both of her albums had a more “innocent” feel to them, then we’re given MASSEDUCTION where she is very clearly not just another pop icon, taking a darker, edgier, and somewhat apocalyptic turn, and I loved it. It’s just so out of nowhere, but I think that’s what St. Vincent does best, she surprises you and keeps you on your toes.

Evidence-The Layover E.P. (2008)

My Rating: 85% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 85% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Layover
  2. For Whom The Bell Tolls feat. Phonte, Blu & will.i.am
  3. So Fresh (Step Brothers)
  4. Solitary Confinement ft. Krondon
  5. Don’t Hate ft. Defari
  6. My Favorite Part of Traveling (Interlude)
  7. Far Left ft. The Alchemist & Fashawn
  8. Rain or Shine
  9. To Be Determned ft. Elzhi and Aloe Blacc
  10. The Cold Weather

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Walking downtown at night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty neutral, fits the tone.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

I love that a ten track album is called an E.P., if I had it my way, ten tracks would be the limit to the amount of songs you could have on an album, why? Because it distills the artist down in a more cohesive way. That’s what Evidence offers on The Layover E.P. a good sense of his flow, beats, and impressive production all around. Ev is actually most impressive as a producer, I loved his choices when putting together this album and how tightly each song flows into the next, he definitely has a love for the album and that shows in the very fact that he called it an E.P. instead of just releasing it as a “full album”. Whenever I hear Ev is involved in a project my mind is eased, I know he does his due diligence and that anything he attaches his name to will be creative and well thought out.

Tyler, The Creator-Flower Boy (2017)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 85%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Foreword (feat. Rex Orange County)
  2. Where This Flower Blooms (feat. Frank Ocean)
  3. Sometimes…
  4. See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)
  5. Who Dat Boy (feat. A$AP Rocky)
  6. Pothole (feat. Jaden Smith)
  7. Garden Shed (feat. Estelle)
  8. Boredom (feat. Rex Orange County & Anna of the North)
  9. I Ain’t Got Time!
  10. 911 – Mr. Lonely (feat. Frank Ocean & Steve Lacy)
  11. Droppin’ Seeds (feat. Lil’ Wayne)
  12. November
  13. Glitter
  14. Enjoy Right Now, Today

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Hungover.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

One of his best album covers yet.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Flower Boy is Tyler, The Creator’s best album yet. We’ve ditched anger for regret on this release, and it makes the project much more approachable then some of Tyler’s other work. Not only has the tone changed, Tyler seems to have taken mistakes from Cherry Bomb and added the genre he was going for with some laid back flowing on it making it more of a hip hop album then Cherry Bomb. There are even a couple songs that made me double check my iTunes to see if it was actually Tyler, a few of them reminded me of the now trendy King Krule. Tyler has compromised on Flowerboy, what the fans want and what he wants to make, and it makes for a fire album.

Lifesavas-Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack (2007)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro: Welcome To Razorblade City
  2. Double Up
  3. Gutterfly
  4. No Surpise/[Scene I: Fly Paper]
  5. Shine Language
  6. Take Me Away
  7. A Serpent’s Love/[Scene II: Jimmy Slimwater’s New Orleans Funeral]
  8. Dead Ones/[Scene III:Revenge]
  9. The Warning
  10. Superburn/[Scene IV: Trouble]
  11. Night Out/[Scene V: Connects]
  12. The Squeeze
  13. Long Letter
  14. Freedom Walk/[Scene VI: Marvelous The Mouthpiece]
  15. Celebrate/[Finale]
  16. Hidden Scene: The Legend Of The Gutterfly
  17. Hidden Track: Tailormade Razorbladez

Favourite Song on Album:

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s friggin’ rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes! I’m sure it won’t be easy to find, though.

Final Thoughts:

Lifesavas have been slept on for far too long, and I’m here to wake a few of you up to their albums. They’ve done stuff with the likes of Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, and Lyrics Born, yet they’re forced to tour as hype men for Gift of Gab instead of doing their own thing. That’s not to diss Blackalicious, I have no doubt Lifesavas love working with them, what I’m getting at is that they deserve their own stage and it’s more than evident on their album Gutterfly. Pitchfork gave the album an 8, which is rare for any underground hip hop album (even Jurassic 5 has a hard time getting that kind of love from pitchfork). Gutterfly is consistently catchy, powerfully political, and incredibly original and I don’t know how it’s gone so long without getting the dues it deserves. Please do me (and yourself) a favor and spin this album.

Mos Def-The Ecstatic (2009)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 81%

Average Rating: 83%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Supermagic
  2. Twilite Speedball
  3. Auditorium Feat. The Ruler
  4. Wahid
  5. Priority
  6. Quiet Dog Bite Hard
  7. Life In Marvelous Times
  8. The Embassy
  9. No Hay Nada Mas
  10. Pistola
  11. Pretty Dancer
  12. Workers Comp
  13. Revelations
  14. Roses Feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow
  15. History Feat. Talib Kweli
  16. Casa Bey

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to a sequel to Black on Both Sides.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super unique, I like it a lot.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Almost bought it the other day.

Final Thoughts:

I was too young for this album when I bought it, well, maybe that’s not quite right, I was just not in the mindset to get into this Mos Def album. For the most part it remained buried in my iTunes Library, until I decided to revisit it and see if it was as mediocre as I recalled. I was wrong, so wrong. Mos Def is incredible on The Ecstatic, he delivers his signature flow with wit, venom, and passion. The album is an incredible experience, it’s especially impressive to hear how he mixes both an experimental sound with an old school flow. The Ecstatic is a unique listen that Hip-Hop heads and even experimental fans will find joy in.

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