Wu-Tang Clan-The Saga Continues (2017)

My Rating: 44% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 45%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 66%

Average Rating: 52% (D)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wu-Tang The Saga Continues Intro (feat. RZA)
  2. Lesson Learn’d (feat. Inspectah Deck and Redman)
  3. Fast and Furious (feat. Hue Hef and Raekwon)
  4. Famous Fighters (Skit)
  5. If Time Is Money (Fly Navigation) [feat. Method Man]
  6. Frozen (feat. Method Man, Killa Priest and Chris Rivers)
  7. Berto and the Fiend (Skit) [feat. Ghostface Killa]
  8. Pearl Harbor (feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA and Sean Price)
  9. People Say (feat. Redman)
  10. Family (Skit)
  11. Why Why Why (feat. RZA and Swnkah)
  12. G’d up (feat. Method Man, R-Mean and Mzee Jones)
  13. If What You Say Is True (feat. Streetlife)
  14. Saga (Skit) [feat. RZA]
  15. Hood Go Bang! (feat. Redman and Method Man)
  16. My Only One (feat. Ghostface Killah, RZA, Cappadonna, and Steven Latorre)
  17. Message
  18. The Saga Continues Outro (feat. RZA)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Just needing some Wu-Tang in your life.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s the best part of the album, so friggin’ rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

The Saga Continues is proof that not everything Wu-Tang Clan produces is absolute gold, so what went wrong here? Well the whole project just feels lazy, as if the emcees weren’t really into the project, but just making it for the fans. Wu-Tang is still an amazing group of rappers, but The Saga Continues is really boring, I’m not even kidding, it feels like they were half asleep while putting this sloppy mess together. When you’re as big as the Wu-Tang is, fans have big expectations for your collective albums, The Saga Continues couldn’t have been what fans/critics/or the emcees themselves really wanted. Can we all just pretend it didn’t happen? Please?

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Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts-Future Blues (2001)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 50% (D)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 24 hours Open
  2. Pushing The Sky
  3. Time To Know
  4. Clutch
  5. Musawe
  6. Yo Pumpkin Head
  7. Diggin’
  8. 3.14
  9. What Planet Is This
  10. 7 Minutes
  11. Fingers
  12. Powder
  13. Butterfly
  14. No Reply
  15. Dijurido
  16. Gotta Knock A Little Harder ft. Mai Yamane
  17. No Money
  18. Rain (Demo Version) ft. Mai Yamane

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Cooking.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I would’ve gone with a Cowboy Bebop still frame, but this is pretty good too.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Well yes because I must own everything Bebop.

Final Thoughts:

The Seatbelts are the 6th member of the Bebop, meaning that their music played such an important role in the anime series that they deserve a good chunk of the critical acclaim being poured on Cowboy Bebop. It’s crazy to think that a band that was created for a TV show has released multiple albums and even gone on tour. Future Blues is not their best release, when I think of Bebop none of these songs really come to mind, although it’s great fun at times (Yo Pumpkin Head, Diggin’ and What Planet Is This especially) it’s not their best release. I would gravitate towards their album Blue as having more of the classics, but Future Blues does have a few really good moments on it as well.

Incredible String Band-No Ruinous Feud (1973)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 50% (D)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Explorer
  2. Down Before Cathay
  3. Saturday Maybe
  4. Jigs
  5. Old Buccaneer
  6. At The Lighthouse Dance
  7. Second Fiddle
  8. Circus Girl
  9. Turquoise Blue
  10. My Blue Tears
  11. Weather The Storm
  12. Little Girl

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In a Wes Anderson mood.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, I love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

I love the YouTube show What’s in my Bag, where famous musicians pick out albums at Amoeba music, I don’t remember who picked this one out, but I gave it a listen. Incredible String Band is one of those groups that seem revered but I don’t know many people who actually listen to them. At the end of the day it just wasn’t my thing, it was a little too twangy and repetitive for my liking. I guess I was just waiting to hear something that justified the hype and it never arrived. Purest will probably call me an ignorant idiot, but at the end of the day No Ruinous Feud is a bland album from an over-hyped group.

The Grates-Gravity Won’t Get You High (2006)

My Rating: 43% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 51%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. I Won`t Survive
  2. Lies Are Much More Fun
  3. 19 20 20
  4. Rock Boys
  5. Howl
  6. Trampoline
  7. Science Is Golden
  8. Feels Like Pain
  9. Nothing Sir
  10. Inside Outside
  11. Sukkafish
  12. Seek Me
  13. Little People
  14. I Am Siam

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling nostalgic for elementary school.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I mean, yeah, it’s not great.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ha ha…no.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t know what I was expecting with an album cover like this one, it pretty much sets the tone for the album: juvenile. It’s filled with “girl power” that is not as cool as you’d hope, trust me you want girl power go to EMA, Nico, St. Vincent, Kim Gordon and leave this album be. It grated on me (not clever but I couldn’t resist) because of it’s immaturity, it’s fake high energy, and it’s repetitiveness. There were songs that were truly eye rolling on Gravity Won’t Get You High, and I don’t really know who this album is for. It’s like Weezer’s Red Album but for girls, I guess. I’m glad that this band evolved, I really do like a few of their tracks, but ho boy Gravity Won’t Get You High, but it sure will pinch a few nerves.

Mase-Double Up (1999)

My Rating: 53% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 53%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Stay Out Of My Way (Feat. Total)
  3. Get Ready (Feat. Blackstreet)
  4. Make Me Cry
  5. Award Show (Interlude)
  6. Same Niggas
  7. No Matter What
  8. If You Want To Party
  9. Jail Visit (Interlude)
  10. Fuck Me, Fuck You (Feat. Mysonne)
  11. Do It Again (Feat. Puff Daddy)
  12. Another Story To Tell
  13. Blood Is Thicker
  14. You Ain’t Smart
  15. All I Ever Wanted
  16. Mad Rapper (Interlude)
  17. From Scratch (Feat. Shyne, Harlem World & Mysonne)
  18. Gettin’ It (Feat. Funkmaster Flex)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Digging for a few Bad Boy releases to add to your collection.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Laughably terrible.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nah.

Final Thoughts:

Double Up is a conglomerate of what makes a rap album terrible: unnecessary interludes, featuring artists who end up being the only artist on the track, a trying to hard to be tough attitude, repetitive choruses, and explicit to be explicit mentality. Mase is no doubt somewhat of a legend when it comes to hip-hop, but good lord Double Up misses so many marks it’s almost like it was intentional. This is bottom of the barrel Bad Boy records that are better left forgotten than revisited. There are a couple tracks that are fun, but honestly you’re not missing much if you skip out on this one.

Roots Manuva-Dub Come Save Me (2002)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 50%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Man Fi Cool
  2. Highest Grade Dub
  3. Revolution 5
  4. Styles Dub
  5. Tears
  6. Dreamy Days SFA Dub
  7. The Lynch
  8. Brand New Dub
  9. UK Warriors
  10. Witness Dub

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Addicted to Roots Manuva and ready to dig for the good stuff.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a really sweet album cover, it’s a play on the Run Come Save Me cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

It’s essentially a remixed Run Come Save Me, sort of. The album has a lot of instrumentals and not a whole lot of that Jamaican styled flow that I want to hear. As usual, Roots is at his best when he’s with Chali2na, seriously if these guys made an album together it would make my brain melt. It’s an album I’m glad that I dug into, but I will probably not sit through again. It had a few jammers, but for most it would be a major miss. Don’t start here with Roots, start with Run Come Save Me, you’ll be happy you did.

blink-182-California (Deluxe Edition) (2017)

Record Review Requested By: Drew Brown

My Rating: 21% (F)

Pitchfork Rating: 55%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 52.3%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

Disc 1

  1. Cynical
  2. Bored To Death
  3. She’s Out Of Her Mind
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Sober
  6. Built This Pool
  7. No Future
  8. Home Is Such A Lonely Place
  9. Kings Of The Weekend
  10. Teenage Satellites
  11. Left Alone
  12. Rabbit Hole
  13. San Diego
  14. The Only Thing That Matters
  15. California
  16. Brohemian Rhapsody

Disc 2

  1. Parking Lot
  2. Misery
  3. Good Old Days
  4. Don’t Mean Anything
  5. Hey I’m Sorry
  6. Last Train Home
  7. Wildfire
  8. 6/8
  9. Long Lost Feeling
  10. Bottom of the Ocean
  11. Can’t Get You More Pregnant
  12. Bored To Death (Acoustic)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling self-abusive.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I’ve always loved blink-182’s album covers, this one is just as awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Helllllll no.

Final Thoughts:

I didn’t grow up on blink-182, I mean I listened to All The Small Things and I Miss You (a really great song), but for the most part I was just not into it. I tried the Christian-esque type instead (Hawk Nelson, FM Static, etc.) and those bands were great in high school, but didn’t age well. I tried the new album out of curiosity and a hope that blink-182 would help me love pop-punk, it didn’t go as expected. It didn’t age well, immediately, like it may have sounded great in the studio but as soon as it was put together as an album the thing was outdated. This genre refuses to develop (or at least I haven’t seen it develop). It’s the same ol’ same ol’. Boring songs. Immature high schoolish hooks. This is an album DOA, and I for one will not be excited if this band decides to release another album.

N.A.S.A.-The Spirit Of Apollo (2009)

My Rating: 75% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 16%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 64%

Average Rating: 51.7%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Into
  2. The People Tree Feat. David Byrne, Chali2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip
  3. Money Feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip
  4. N.A.S.A. Music Feat. Method Man, E-40 & DJ Swamp
  5. Way Down Feat. RZA, Barbie Hatch & John Frusciante
  6. Hip Hop Feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre
  7. Four Rooms, Earth View
  8. Strange Enough Feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastards, Fatlip
  9. Spacious Thoughts Feat. Tom Waits & Cool Keith
  10. Gifted Feat. Kanye West, Santogold, & Lykke Li
  11. A Volta Feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx
  12. There’s A Party Feat. George Clinton & Chali2na
  13. Whachadoin? Feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner
  14. O Pato Feat. Kool Kojak & DJ Bãboa
  15. Samba Soul Feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & DJ Qbert
  16. The Mayor Feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Want a mash up of tons of critically acclaimed musicians from hip-hop to blues/funk.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super random, just like the whole album, love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those absolutely amazing albums that just went unnoticed, and I’m baffled why that is. I mean look at that star studded list of featuring artists, are you freaking kidding me? This is a music fans dream of an album and I for one am not letting it slip away without giving it the proper appreciation. The album as a whole may have only gotten 75%. But the songs that work, work really well. Please listen to these guys. You’ll thank me later.

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