Brett Dennen-Loverboy (2011)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Surprise, Surprise
  2. Dancing at a Funeral
  3. Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)
  4. Frozen in Slow Motion
  5. Sydney (I’ll Come Running)
  6. Make You Fall In Love with me
  7. Only Rain
  8. Can’t Stop Thinking
  9. Must Be Losing My Mind
  10. Song For Leaving
  11. Queen of the Westside
  12. Little Cosmic Girl
  13. Walk Away, Watch Me Burn

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling blue, Brett Dennen has a natural way of lifting your spirits.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really really simple, and I like it that way, singer/songwriters usually have great album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, I’ve never seen it for sale though.

Final Thoughts:

Brett Dennen is my homeboy, he hasn’t always been (I’ve been a fan since this album released) but I’ve repeatedly found comfort in his tunes. Loverboy was the album that showed me his diversity as well as helping me through some lonely times when I was still trying to find my way in the world, it has a lot of sentimental value to me. He’s an excellent songwriter and a very warm soul, I got to see him live and I remember how soul soothing it was, just a man, his guitar, and a cup of tea (he was actually sipping tea during his performance). If you haven’t checked him out yet start with Loverboy, you won’t be disappointed.

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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.

Busdriver-Thumbs (2015)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hottentot Supercluster feat. Zeroh & Kaveh Rastegar
  2. Black Labor (as understood by Equiano)
  3. Hyperbolic 2
  4. MUCH
  5. Ministry of the Torture Couch feat. Hemlock Ernst
  6. Worlds to Run feat. milo & Anderson .Paak
  7. Skit
  8. Surrounded by Millionaires feat. Daveed Diggs
  9. Great Spooks of Enormous Strength
  10. Del’s Couch feat. Del the Funky Homosapien
  11. Shadows and Victories feat. Jeremiah Jae
  12. NY 03 LIVE feat. Caural
  13. Species of Property
  14. Two Feet in the Layered Cake feat. Kool A.D.
  15. Answering Machinist feat. Jeremiah Jae

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to dig deep into The Good Life emcees.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love this cover, it reminds me of some of the spirit characters on Miyazaki films.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

Busdriver is an impressive emcee, there’s no doubt about that, don’t believe/trust me? Listen to Me – Time and shut your face. The thing that separates Busdriver from other wordy rhymers, such as Aesop Rock and MF Doom, is his inability to make a solid album. He has a few tracks that are fun on each album, but he can’t make one that demands more than one listen. He’s a great artist that seems to be wandering a little aimlessly. This is the time where I think a concept album with a famous beat maker would really help Busdriver make an album of note. Let’s see a Danger Mouse and Busdriver collab, please!

Beastie Boys-Licensed To Ill (1986)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 78%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 89%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rhymin & Stealin
  2. The New Style
  3. She’s Crafty
  4. Posse In Effect
  5. Slow Ride
  6. Girls
  7. Fight For Your Right
  8. No Sleep Till Brooklyn
  9. Paul Revere
  10. Hold It Now, Hit It
  11. Brass Monkey
  12. Slow And Low
  13. Time To Get Ill

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to get Ill (Party)

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Iconic, it’s awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes sir.

Final Thoughts:

Good lord ’86? I couldn’t believe that year when I looked it up for this article, this must’ve been absolutely revolutionary to come out that early. I mean I was raised with damn near every track. We all know these songs, much like Supertramp’s Breakfast In America, you don’t know how well you knew the album until you actually sit down to re-listen to the whole thing. This was THE party album, it never once got old to me. Beastie Boys always meant a lot of beers, a lot of girls, and a lot of cursin’ (The New Style) and I’m just blown away that this was made so early. Hilarious lyrics, bad ass beats, catchy songs. It’s iconic. It’s owed some damn respect and you’d better give it up (you listening you pitchfork A holes?)!

Blind Pilot-We Are The Tide (2011)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Half Moon
  2. Always
  3. Keep You Right
  4. We Are The Tide
  5. The Colored Night
  6. I Know
  7. White Apple
  8. Just One
  9. Get It Out
  10. New York

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to feel happy instantly.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really beautiful.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh yeeeeeeeeessss.

Final Thoughts:

Blind Pilot is really close to my heart, there music is so happy and fun to me. We Are The Tide is a great place to start to hear what they’re all about. Their music can be perfect at the beach, winding down, or driving on the highway. There is something about their music that I find really human and healing. It’s very easy to introduce people to and it’s really feel good. Every damn song on this album is a hit to me. So picking a favourite song is never really accurate, just my favourite at the time of listening to it. Put them in your library and become a mega fan like me.

Broods-Evergreen (2014)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mother & Father
  2. Everytime
  3. Killing You
  4. Bridges
  5. L.A.F.
  6. Never Gonna Change
  7. Sober
  8. Medicine
  9. Evergreen
  10. Four Walls
  11. Superstar

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to branch out from your typical radio sounding music, but you’re not ready for anything too experimental.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really cool and sharp looking.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I think it’d be a fun contemporary record to own on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Broods are a great way to try to get out of your comfort zone a bit, their music still sounds like mall/radio friendly tunes, but there’s something a little more going on here. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I like the style and I’m always up for something that makes me question what I think of a genre. Typically, this kinda junk does not appeal to me in the least, but Broods do it in a fresh/unique way that’s almost similar to FKA Twigs or Little Dragon. Finally an album that me and the typical white girl could probably agree on. It’s all about making white girls happy, amiright?

Broken Social Scene-You Forgot It In People (2002)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 62% (C-)

Pitchfork Rating: 92%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 86%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Capture The Flag
  2. KC Accidental
  3. Stars And Sons
  4. Almost Crimes
  5. Looks Just Like The Sun
  6. Pacific Theme
  7. Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl
  8. Cause = Time
  9. Late Night Bedroom Rock For The Missionaries
  10. Shampoo Suicide
  11. Lover’s Spit
  12. I’m Still Your Fag
  13. Pitter Patter Goes My Heart

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Tired and kinda sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh, doesn’t do a whole lot of anything for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Broken Social Scene is one of those bands that has a huge following, and they consist of dedicated fans who would take a face full of Lovers Spit in defense of them. The problem is they should be better. I mean you have Stars, Metric, and Feist in one band, of course my expectations are going to be high, but it doesn’t quite sound experimental enough, nor does it truly find its voice. The album was altogether a let down for me, there a few really solid tracks, but it doesn’t make up for the pure amount of filler or the fact that it just seems totally misguided. I’m not saying I dislike this band, I’m saying I expected more.

Beck-Sea Change (2002)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 69%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Golden Age
  2. Paper Tiger
  3. Guess I’m Doing Fine
  4. Lonesome Tears
  5. Lost Cause
  6. End Of The Day
  7. It’s All In Your Mind
  8. Round The Bend
  9. Already Dead
  10. Sunday Sun
  11. Little One
  12. Side Of The Road

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Going through a breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Richard does and it sounds great, but I want my own.

Final Thoughts:

I’m really selective when it comes to Beck, I’ve had stuff like Loser, E-Pro, and Where It’s At in my library for years now, but that’s about it. When Richard challenged me to sit down and listen to a whole album of his, I was skeptical, seeing as I only had a select few songs by him I thought he’d have lots of dead space on his albums, not the case with Sea Change. The most pleasing part of the experience was hearing Lost Cause and recognizing the tune without knowing where I heard it, turns out Ellen Page sings it on the game Between Two Souls (what a time we live in). The album flows well from track to track while keeping it engaging, sad, and diverse. I can’t see another one of his albums topping this but I’m excited to challenge that. Also WTF is up with the critics disagreement on this album?

Beach House-Teen Dream (2010)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Zebra
  2. Silver Soul
  3. Norway
  4. Walk In The Park
  5. Used to Be
  6. Love Of Mine
  7. Better Times
  8. 10 Mile Stereo
  9. Real Love
  10. Take Care

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Half asleep under the shade of a palm tree.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s neat, but probably my least favourite thing about this album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh hell friggin’ yes.

Final Thoughts:

Damn you Richard Sandlin and your undeniable eclectic consistently good music taste. This album blew my mind, I can’t believe it took me this long to get into these guys. I’m absolutely stoked to have the sleepy beachy pop on my shuffle and can’t wait to delve further into their music. I couldn’t imagine how much more rad I would have been if I was listening to this album back when it actually came out (my grad year), but I guess I’ve got plenty of time to catch up to the bandwagon and be somewhat rad again. It’s a beautiful album that’s perfect for summer. Listen to it now you dinguses!

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