Thee Oh Sees-An Odd Entrances (2016)

My Rating: 58% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 70%

Average Rating: 65% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. You Will Find It Here
  2. The Poem
  3. Jammed Exit
  4. At The End, On The Stairs
  5. Unwrap The Fiend, Pt. 1
  6. Nervous Tech (Nah John)

Label:

Castle Face Records

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Winding down.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Awesome and weird as usual.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t really view An Odd Entrances as an album by Thee Oh Sees, I don’t think it’s meant to be anything more than a companion piece to A Weird Exits, almost a couple tracks to add to that album more than anything. So no wonder it didn’t score well, what with Dwyer’s mood of getting a little too jammy for my liking as of late, and the limited number of tracks worth revisiting. That isn’t to say An Odd Entrances doesn’t have its charm, actually there are times where you can really hear influences from the likes of Boston, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones, but all in all it’s just an afterthought, it’s not an album that many Oh Sees fans should list among their favourites.

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Bombay Bicycle Club-Flaws (2010)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 40%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 65% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rinse Me Down
  2. Many Ways
  3. Dust On The Ground
  4. Ivy & Gold
  5. Leaving Blues
  6. Fairytale Lullaby
  7. Word By Word
  8. Jewel
  9. My God
  10. Flaws
  11. Swansea

Label:

Island

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Fits the album so perfectly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly.

Final Thoughts:

Bombay Bicycle Club caught me off guard with their second release Flaws. Known for being a alt rock pump up band, this down-tempo acoustic album may come as a shock to those exploring this bands discography, especially the fact that a lot of these songs are actually just striped down versions of tracks from their first album: I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose. Flaws may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who have been fans from the very beginning, but to those that it caters to (Death Cab and Sufjan fans come to mind) it is a truly wonderful album.

KMD-Mr. Hood (1991)

My Rating: 64% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 64% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mr. Hood at Piocalles Jewelry/Crackpot
  2. Who Me? (with An Answer From Dr. Bert)
  3. Boogie Man!
  4. Mr. Hood Meets Onyx
  5. Subroc’s Mission
  6. Humrush
  7. Figure of Speech
  8. Bananapeel Blues
  9. Nitty Gritty (Featuring Brand Nubian)
  10. Trial ‘N Error
  11. Hard Wit No Hoe
  12. Mr. Hood Gets a Haircut
  13. 808 Man
  14. Boy Who Cried Wolf
  15. Peachfuzz
  16. Preacher Porkchop
  17. Soulflexin’
  18. Gasface Refill

Label:

Elektra

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an interesting undiscovered hip hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

There’s a lot going on, but I kinda like it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Have you ever heard of Zev Love X? Yeah me neither, until I started looking into KMD a three man hip hop group. Mr. Hood is an origin story album, this is one of the albums before MF Doom was MF Doom, yes Zev Love X is Doom, this is when he was young and optimistic, then life hit and we were introduced to the Villain. KMD’s Mr. Hood sounds really familiar, because it’s pretty much like every other hip hop album of the time. There wasn’t a whole lot that was innovative about this record, just kind of a stick to the formula type album. KMD is pretty much a group for super Doom fans like myself, I love seeing Doom before he became the notorious emcee that he is, Mr. Hood shows a weird insight to the masked rapper.

Passion Pit-Tremendous Sea of Love (2017)

My Rating: 55% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 75%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 65% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Moonbeam
  2. Somewhere Up There
  3. Hey K
  4. You Have The Right
  5. Tremendous Sea of Love
  6. Inner Dialogue
  7. I’m Perfect
  8. The Undertow
  9. To The Otherside
  10. For Sondra (It Means The World To Me)

Label:

Wishart Group Recordings

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Half asleep.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Gorgeous cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the least.

Final Thoughts:

Damn, I’m getting fed up with Passion Pit, they can’t make a good album to save their lives. Tremendous Sea of Love is the same story, a few really catchy songs that are the reason I got into them in the first place, buried in absolute unlistenable trash. When these guys sit down to make an album I really wonder if they actually think it out or if they just kind of wing it and hope it will work together. Passion Pit has pushed me a little far, I keep getting their new album hoping that this time it will be different, but it never is. I need those few rad tracks, but c’mon work on your albums.

Pink Floyd-The Division Bell (1994)

My Rating: 77% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: 50%

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 64% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Cluster One
  2. What Do You Want From Me
  3. Poles Apart
  4. Marooned
  5. A Great Day For Freedom
  6. Wearing The Inside Out
  7. Take It Back
  8. Coming Back To Life
  9. Keep Talking
  10. Lost For Words
  11. High Hopes

Label:

EMI, Columbia

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

About to go to sleep.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

One of the classics, I’ve seen this cover everywhere.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yep!

Final Thoughts:

The big argument against The Division Bell is that it doesn’t sound like Pink Floyd, and I could understand the frustration with that, but in all honesty I still don’t know what Pink Floyd sounds like. I’ve listened to a handful of tracks of theirs since high school (Money, Goodbye Blue Sky, Another Brick In the Wall) but besides that I’ve never been too familiar, so when putting on The Division Bell my bias was fairly low, I had little to compare it to so it was a fresh album. I liked what I heard for the most part, laid back, jazzy, epic large vocals, it’s not an amazing album, but it’s a solid one, and I’d be happy to have it in my collection.

Nobunny-Love Visions (2008)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Nobunny Loves You
  2. I Know I Know
  3. Mess Me Up
  4. I Am A Girlfriend
  5. Tina Goes To Work
  6. Chuck Berry Holiday
  7. Boneyard
  8. Somewhere New
  9. Church Mouse
  10. It’s True
  11. Don’t Know, Don’t Care
  12. Not That Good

Label:

1-2-3-4 Go!

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a more accessible garage rock album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, it’s badass.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

There was a time when I was only listening to stuff that stemmed from FIDLAR, Cage the Elephant and Jay Reatard, it was a new genre (I know those are multiple genred artists but they seemed to run in similar packs) to discover and I have an addictive personality so I added a bunch of like minded artists to my library and most of them fell into obscurity. Nobunny was one of those. They’re a fun pop-punk sounding band with a crazy front-man who seems to be playing a crazy bunny character of some sort. Love Visions is a good introduction to the band, scattered, inconsistent, but when they make the pieces fit it’s pure beauty. Nobunny needs some help with album production, but damn they’re an attractive group to find yourself liking, like a Doom version of punk.

Fatlip-The Loneliest Punk (2005)

My Rating: 56% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 66% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Fat Leezy
  2. Fatlip Intro
  3. First Heat
  4. The Bassline
  5. Freestyle
  6. Joe’s Turkey
  7. I Got Shit
  8. Writers Block
  9. M.I.A.
  10. The Story Of Us
  11. Cook
  12. Walkabout
  13. All On Fly
  14. Lyrical Styles
  15. Freaky Pumps (Feat Shock G, Humpty-Hump, Volume 10)
  16. He’s An Outsider
  17. What’s Up Fatlip
  18. Dreams

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Kinda tipsy out late skating.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those albums that I always thought I loved until I actually sat down and listened to the whole thing from start to end. Yes there are some absolutely incredible songs on The Loneliest Punk, What’s Up Fatlip, Cook, and Fat Leezy have been classic tracks for me for awhile, but there’s also a lot of dead space. It’s that classic conundrum of nostalgia vs. reality. I’ve always thought of this album in a good light, but I guess I really was just drawn to those few tracks. Fatlip is an incredible emcee, one that’s not gotten his dues for sure, but I’m starting to understand why. If the rest of his work is as inconsistent as this then maybe it’s time to stop wondering why he’s not a household name.

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.

Motion Man-Clearing the Field (2002)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Action Figure Intro
  2. Straight Flowin’ on Em
  3. Clearing the Field
  4. Funky Ass White Boy
  5. Loose Cannon
  6. Hold Up (feat. Biz Markie)
  7. Winner Takes All
  8. Play Dough
  9. Reason 2 Panic (feat. E-40)
  10. One of My Favorite Emcees (skit)
  11. C’mon on Ya’ll
  12. Call da National Guard 2
  13. Trounce
  14. Don’t Get Motion Started
  15. Having a Moment
  16. Face 2 Face (feat. Planet Asia)
  17. Make It and Sell It
  18. Side ta Side
  19. I Need a Vacation (feat. Noggin Nodders)
  20. We Work Styles (feat. Kool Keith & LC)
  21. Juan’s Sister (skit)
  22. Beotches
  23. Gotta Move On (outro)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to dig for a few hip-hop gems.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I used to love it as a teenager, but I don’t know I fell out of love with it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Clearing The Field showcases more of that underground original deliverance from Motion Man that has gone unnoticed by most hip hop heads for far too long, while not being at all well put together. The album, like a lot of hip hop, just has way too many interludes that break the vibe that you’re trying to pick up. Motion Man is undoubtedly a very talented underappreciated emcee, but Clearing The Field is not the album to prove my point on that. True, there are definitely some worthwhile tracks on here, and some awesome guest emcees, but it’s altogether too disjointed and feels much more like a mixtape than an actual album.

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