Little Dragon-Season High (2017)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 56%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 67%

Average Rating: 71%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Celebrate (feat. Agge)
  2. High
  3. The Pop Life
  4. Sweet
  5. Butterflies
  6. Should I
  7. Don’t Cry
  8. Strobe Light
  9. Push
  10. Gravity

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an easy to dance to electronic/pop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty normal, kinda boring, not my favourite.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

Little Dragon has been one of those bands that I love a few of their jams but often don’t give them the credit they deserve. This short album deserves your attention, mostly because it’s a lot of fun. They aren’t reinventing the wheel here, they’re just making good music, and I’m happy to have some more of their tunes back in my life. Season High makes me so excited to hear what else they have in store for us, it’s a nice little tasty album with lots of dance beats. I can’t wait to see where the band goes next, and if it’s anything like this impressive album we all should be taking notice.

Advertisements

People Under The Stairs-Question In The Form Of An Answer (2000)

My Rating: 70% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Crazy Live
  3. Youth Explosion
  4. Suite For Creeper
  5. Sterns To Western
  6. Code Check
  7. Blowin Wax
  8. Give Love A Chance
  9. Stoned Youth Truth
  10. Yehaw Partystyles
  11. Get Drunk
  12. 43 Labels I Like
  13. King Kuff
  14. E Business
  15. Zignaflyinblow
  16. July 3rd
  17. Stay Home
  18. Earth Travelers
  19. The Cat
  20. Electric Laddy
  21. We’ll Be There
  22. Fredly Advice

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Almost asleep looking for really chill hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super boring, not doing much of anything for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I’d pretty much buy anything of theirs on vinyl if it was a reasonable price.

Final Thoughts:

Okay, I’ve got a confession to make, I got a little addicted to People Under The Stairs and I’m trying to stagger the reviews for them because I’ve pretty much rated their whole discography now. So what do I think of Question In The Form Of An Answer? It’s more of the same, but in a good sense. Fun hip-hop that’s real chill. Potheads would feel right at home with this album, it’s just so easy to put on and go about your business. The downfall here is that no tracks are all that memorable, as it’s really chill and unobtrusive. Also the mere length of this album seemed like a bit of a misstep, 22 tracks, a little much for me. People Under The Stairs are consistent, some might find their stuff stale after a bit, but it strikes the right chord for me so I’m always happy to hear them come on shuffle, wish I’d hear them played at “clubs” more (seriously they’re so easy to dance to).

Blueprint-King No Crown (2015)

My Rating: 70% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Landing
  2. The Talented Tenth
  3. Unbreakable
  4. Trump Tight
  5. Nothing Like This
  6. Not Afraid of The Dark
  7. They Like Power
  8. Black Intellectual
  9. Persevere
  10. Fist Fight
  11. King No Crown
  12. Live For Today
  13. As Long As It Takes
  14. Maybe My Generation feat. Illogic
  15. Great Eyedeas Never Die

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the need of some inspiration to keep pushing through.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s alright, it seems familiar, it’s not doing a lot for me but it’s not especially bad either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, most underground hip hop would be rad to have on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Blueprint is yet another emcee that Rhymesayers Entertainment should be proud to call their own. Although not nearly as renowned or popular as other label mates, Blueprint seems content to do his music for his fans and himself. His albums aren’t ground breaking, they’re all pretty much the same thing honestly, but there’s something comforting about knowing what you’re getting into with Blueprint. I think the ending of the song Persevere really gets to the heart of Blueprint’s attitude when it comes to releasing music: “you don’t have to bend the whole world, you just have to enjoy it, pay your dues and enjoy it.Blueprint isn’t going to break charts, he’s not going to be my favourite emcee, but I’m always happy to tune into his newest work and put him on my shuffle.

Jay-Z-4:44 (2017)

My Rating: 70%

Pitchfork Rating: 84%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 83%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Kill Jay Z
  2. The Story of O.J.
  3. Smile (feat. Gloria Carter)
  4. Caught Their Eyes (feat. Frank Ocean)
  5. 4:44
  6. Family Feud
  7. Bam (feat. Damian Marley)
  8. Moonlight
  9. Marcy Me
  10. Legacy

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In a chill mood looking for something not too overwhelming.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Boring. It’s just really boring.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Jay-Z is one of those artists that people just go batshit crazy about and I just don’t understand the hype. 4:44 is one of the better albums in his discography, there’s no doubt about that, it’s really well produced and it’s clear that the beats are the best part of the whole album. But as with all of Jay’s albums his rapping is just too simplistic and boring. Being raised on emcees like Gift of Gab, Aesop Rock, and MF Doom, there’s just something too formulaic about his rhyme scheme, and I just find myself yawning through most of his work. The Story of O.J. is the clear front runner of the album, while the rest passes by not being too great or terrible. It’s an album to put on in the background and fade out, but it’s not one to put on to impress friends. It seems that I will never be enthusiastic about a Jay-Z album, no matter how many chances I give the guy. It’s not that I see him as absolutely nonredeemable (his production game is A+) but he really needs to change his flow for me to really invest my time in him, and I just don’t see that happening.

Muse-Black Holes and Revelations (2006)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 42%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 72%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Take a Bow
  2. Starlight
  3. Supermassive Black Hole
  4. Map of the Problematique
  5. Soldier’s Poem
  6. Invincible
  7. Assassin
  8. Exo-Politics
  9. City of Delusion
  10. Hoodoo
  11. Knights of Cydonia

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready for a space odyssey.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Awesome, fits the songs super well.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I can’t believe I don’t yet.

Final Thoughts:

Black Holes and Revelations is an album that is very dear to me. It’s one of the first albums I purchased that was not “Christian”. I was blown away, Muse absolutely melted my face and added sugar to my earholes. I blasted this thing almost daily from my absolute shit speaker on my flip phone and thought I was the coolest kid in town (luckily, I was). It’s really big sounding, as if you’re taking part in an epic of the cosmos variety. The songs are diverse, ambitious, and take you to planets far far away. I love how instantly classic the album sounded, right away I knew that this album would truly stand the test of time. 11 years have passed and I’m still melting over this album, and I can’t wait to force my nephews and nieces to listen to it (they’d better like it). Shocked by the critical reception but C’Est la Vie.

Maxïmo Park-Quicken The Heart (2009)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 55%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wraithlike
  2. The Penultimate Clinch
  3. The Kids Are Sick Again
  4. A Cloud Of Mystery
  5. Calm
  6. In Another World (You Would’ve Found Yourself By Now)
  7. Let’s Get Clinical
  8. Roller Disco Dreams
  9. Tanned
  10. Questing, Not Coasting
  11. Overland, West Of Suez
  12. I Haven’t Seen Her In Ages

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting an album to tune out to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty not great.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah even though that cover will look stupid.

Final Thoughts:

Maxïmo Park is one of those bands who have found their sound and are content to make albums that kinda all sound the same, for them it works because I like their style and I don’t find it too boring, but I could see why some would be sick of the formula. It sounds like an early 80’s band this time, something like The Smiths or even The Clash at times. Is it groundbreaking? Hell no, it’s really simple, but it’s in its simplicity that it shines. 12 tracks, nothing overly experimental that could rub fans the wrong way, just an album played to plan that I find super easy to mellow out to.

De La Soul-And The Anonymous Nobody… (2016)

My Rating: 68 (C-)

Pitchfork Rating: 64%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Genesis Feat. Jill Scott
  2. Royalty Capes
  3. Pain Feat. Snoop Dogg
  4. Property of Spitkicker.com Feat. Roc Marciano
  5. Memory of… (US) Feat. Estelle And Pete Rock
  6. CBGBS
  7. Lord Intended Feat. Justin Hawkins
  8. Snoopies feat. David Byrne
  9. Greyhounds Feat. Usher
  10. Sexy Bitch
  11. Trainwreck
  12. Drawn Feat. Little Dragon
  13. Whoodeeni Feat. 2chainz
  14. Nosed Up
  15. You Go Dave (A Goldblatt Presentation) Feat. David Goldblatt
  16. Here in After Feat. Damon Albarn
  17. Exodus

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some chill Hip Hop

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, big fan of the style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

De La Soul is back and the result is chill if not underwhelming. The crowd funded album is as cool as a cucumber, but a little too cool if you ask my humble opinion. And The Anonymous Nobody… feels like it’s building up to something big (see Feel Good Inc. style rapping) but it doesn’t develop it just remains incredibly laid back. Nothing wrong with keeping it chill, but when you’ve been away for such a long time we rightfully expect some up-beat tunes. Their other sin is the under use of the contributors, such as Drawn Featuring Little Dragon which did not hit the mark in any sense (Seriously it takes way too long for De La Soul to join in on the fun on the track). As a filler album this would be decent, but as a return album it’s too little too late.

The Drums-Encyclopedia (2014)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 71%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magic Mountain
  2. I Can’t Pretend
  3. I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him
  4. Kiss Me Again
  5. Let Me
  6. Break My Heart
  7. Face of God
  8. U.S. National Park
  9. Deep in My Heart
  10. Bell Laboratories
  11. There Is Nothing Left
  12. Wild Geese

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an album to mellow out to/be sad to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, everything from the position they take on the couch to the objects above their heads, it all fits their sound.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, fer surrrre.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums feel like the evolution of bands like The Smiths or The Animals, catchy tunes for sensitive people. They have an overall sad sound that really translates to the themes that they tackle (see There Is Nothing Left). Although the theme of Encyclopedia isn’t exactly as flushed out as I’d like it to be, the album still stands. And holy crap Magic Mountain as the opening track, I’ve never felt so excited to delve into a album by these guys.

Quasimoto-Yessir Whatever (2013)

My Rating: 83% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 71.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Broad Factor
  2. Seasons Change
  3. The Front
  4. Youngblood
  5. Astronaut
  6. Planned Attack
  7. Brothers Can’t Save Me
  8. Catchin’ The Vibe
  9. Am I Confused?
  10. Sparkdala
  11. Green Power
  12. LAX to JFK

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sick of conventional music, looking for something psychedelic and reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super awesome. I love it so much. It fits the album title and the overall vibe of the music on the record.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

This is what I’d define as psychadelic hip-hop. It’s like John Dwyer put his talents to a hip-hop album and allowed a weed fiend take the mic from him. You can practically smell the weed through the speaker when listening to Yessir Whatever. It’s truly a unique album, super odd, not for everyone, it strums the right chord for me, but I can see it really grating against others. Listen to it and let me know your opinion in the comments below.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑