Death Cab For Cutie-Plans (2005)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 65%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 66%

Average Rating: 73% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Marching Bands Of Manhattan
  2. Soul Meets Body
  3. Summer Skin
  4. Different Names For The Same Thing
  5. I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  6. Your Heart Is An Empty Room
  7. Someday You Will Be Loved
  8. Crooked Teeth
  9. What Sarah Said
  10. Brothers On A Hotel Bed
  11. Stable Song

Label:

Atlantic, Barsuk

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling nostalgic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh, it’s okay.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I need this one!

Final Thoughts:

Man, I love Death Cab For Cutie, they were such an influential band for me. One of the first bands I ever listened to that was alternative was Snow Patrol and they opened the doors for this album, an album that has hit after freaking hit. Seriously, every track on this album is as memorable to me as the last, it’s a perfect album that will always have a spot in my heart. There’s little wrong Death Cab can do in my mind, they were one of those bands that really opened my mind to other genres of music, so I’m pretty biased when it comes to their early work, but damn, Plans is just such a great album.

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Del Tha Funkyhomosapien!-I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991)

My Rating: 93% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 93% (A+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. What Is A Booty?
  2. Mistadobalina
  3. The Wacky World of Rapid Transit
  4. Pissin’ On Your Steps
  5. Dark Skin Girls
  6. Money For Sex
  7. Ahonetwo, Ahonetwo
  8. Prelude
  9. Dr. Bombay
  10. Sunny Meadowz
  11. Sleepin’ On My Couch
  12. Hoodz Come In Dozens
  13. Same Ol’ Thing
  14. Ya Lil’ Crumbsnatchers

Label:

Elektra

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sick of gangster rap and want to have some fun hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s iconic.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly, yes!

Final Thoughts:

If you asked me to create a list of the 50 Greatest Hip-Hop albums of all time I would include I Wish My Brother George Was Here. Without Del, we wouldn’t have guys like Tyler, The Creator or Watsky, they are so clearly influenced by his geeky/honest style. Del is Ice Cube’s cousin and he’s really marketing that on this album, smartly because this album may have fallen into obscurity without Ice Cube pushing it. Like Ice or not, he has done the underground a true favor by getting behind this album. This is Del’s Illmatic, I don’t think it gets much better than this.

Sean Anonymous & Dimitry Killstorm-Better Days (2015)

My Rating: 58% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 58% (D+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Better Days
  2. 54 Bison
  3. They Be Like (Featuring Metasota)
  4. Big Bang (Featuring P.O.S & Lizzo)
  5. Invisible Ink
  6. What Is Your Name (Featuring Haphduzn & Del The Funky Homosapien)
  7. Pack Your Bags
  8. Begin, Begun
  9. Ring The Bell (Featuring Haphduzn, Phillip Morris, Aceyalone & Wordsworth)
  10. Like I Do
  11. Chapters
  12. Je T’aime
  13. Timeless

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Diggin’ for some underground hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love the album cover, really unique.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

I’m realizing with age how much confidence makes a difference in a lot of aspects of your life, and that’s the main problem with Better Days, the artists don’t seem completely confident yet. Not to say they’re bad, but they need some time to feel more comfortable behind the mic. No matter the featuring artist (Del, P.O.S., Aceyalone) the whole thing just is a little off. I can see Sean Anonymous gaining traction with a little more authority in his voice behind the mic, but this feels a little rough yet.

Deepspace5-Unique, Just Like Everyone Else (2005)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 95% (A+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Talk Music
  2. Wingspan
  3. Crumbs
  4. Embrace
  5. Mechanical Advantage
  6. Truth Be Told
  7. Half-Hearted
  8. Free Checking
  9. One And The Same
  10. Cityscaping
  11. If I Don’t Make It
  12. Brilliant
  13. Axe To Grind
  14. Start Right Here
  15. I Feel So Bad
  16. The Last One
  17. They Say
  18. Last Ditch Effort
  19. One For The Road

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a weird hip-hop album to expand your mind.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s amazing, I love this cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly yes.

Final Thoughts:

If an underground hip hop super group didn’t sound meta and/or pretentious enough, there is Deepspace5 an underground Christian hip hop super group. Including some of the most popular underground Christian rappers of the time (Manchild, Playdough, and Sivion to name a few), Deepspace5 stands the test of time and become more than their sub-genre. A lot of times the culture writes off emcees just because they have that “Christian” label, as if that somehow makes them inferior and unable to release anything of note. Unfortunately for that train of thought is how other emcees embrace talented emcees regardless of sub-genre or belief. Deepspace5 has preformed with MF Doom, KRS-One, and Atmosphere to name a few, that doesn’t happen to weak emcees. Deepspace5 breaks through the assumed expectation of Christian Hip Hop and makes a truly solid underground album that should be considered alongside such super groups as Doomtree, Living Legends and Hieroglyphics.

The Drums-Abysmal Thoughts (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mirror
  2. I’ll Fight for Your Life
  3. Blood Under My Belt
  4. Heart Basel
  5. Shoot The Sun Down
  6. Head of the Horse
  7. Under The Ice
  8. Are U Fucked
  9. Your Tenderness
  10. Rich Kids
  11. If All We Share (Means Nothing)
  12. Abysmal Thoughts

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a contemporary band that sounds like they could be straight out of a 90’s Spielberg flick.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super weird, I think I like it…I think.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Own it, they did a good job at making it really unique too! One side of the two records is just a glossy “Abysmal Thoughts“.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums have been playing on my mp3 players since late High School, they’re a band that’s seen me through a lot of growing pains. And I think they’ve gone through growing pains of their own. With the more experimental sound of Encyclopedia, their release before this one, a lot of fans weren’t on board for songs like Magic Mountain (my all time favourite by them). But with the release of Abysmal Thoughts both fans from Encyclopedia and old school fans from the days of Money and Let’s Go Surfing should find lots to drool over. There is something a lot more accomplished about this album, true it doesn’t stray too far from their sound, but it’s almost like a confidence is being exuded through the tracks. It sounds like an instant classic, like the evolution of The Smiths. Abysmal Thoughts continues the theme of incredibly sad lyrics over fun instrumentals, and we thank them for it.

Doomtree-All Hands (2015)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 71%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 62%

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Final Boss
  2. My Own Nation
  3. .38 Airweight
  4. Gray Duck
  5. Heavy Rescue
  6. 80 On 80
  7. Mini Brute
  8. Cabin Killer
  9. Beastface
  10. The Bends
  11. Generator
  12. Off In The Deep
  13. Marathon
  14. High Water

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a hip hop album with lots going on at once.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful looking cover, I’d be stoked to have it in my collection.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I need to own more Hip-Hop on vinyl (yes I want it).

Final Thoughts:

Doomtree is a hip-hop super-group (at least in my eyes), Sims, P.O.S., and Dessa are all artists with amazing solo work, so to have them all in the same group making music is kind of a big deal for me. Granted I got into Doomtree before their solo careers but now that I’ve researched more I almost forgot that these guys all worked together. They take things in a different direction on All Hands, keeping the lyrics abstract and the percussion raw, they get much more electronic than I’m used to hearing them, which was a good move because they now can appeal to a larger audience. Old fans may be a little let down with the new sound but I’m on board and excited to hear these guys push themselves as a group and as individual artists.

Danger Doom-The Mouse And The Mask (2005)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 78%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 81%

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. El Chupa Nibre
  2. Sofa King
  3. The Mask Feat. Ghostface Killah
  4. Perfect Hair
  5. Benzi Box Feat. Cee-Lo
  6. Old School Rules Feat. Talib Kweli
  7. A.T.H.F. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
  8. Basket Case
  9. No Names (Black Debbie)
  10. Crosshairs
  11. Mince Meat
  12. Vats Of Urine
  13. Space Hoes
  14. Bada Bing

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You:

Have a bowl of cereal in your lap and are ready to party, son.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I’ve almost bought it multiple times but it’s like $50 and I’ve never been financially stable, soooooo yeah, one day!

Final Thoughts:

Ugh this album. What more does a weirdo like me need? Nothing, that’s what! MF Doom + Danger Mouse + [Adult Swim]= One of (if not my all time) favourite Hip-Hop records ever made! The beats are absolutely incredible (could you expect differently from Danger Mouse?) The lyrics are absurd and catchy (Could you expect differently from MF Doom?) and the interludes are funny, absurd and somewhat annoying (same thing but add [Adult Swim]). This is one of the most perfect albums I’ve ever heard, it’s as if they had me specifically in mind when they made it (maybe they did???). Get your hands on this and have a one of a kind experience ya dingus!

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.

Death Cab For Cutie-Narrow Stairs (2008)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 60%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Bixby Canyon Bridge
  2. I Will Possess Your Heart
  3. No Sunlight
  4. Cath…
  5. Talking Bird
  6. You Can Do Better Than Me
  7. Grapevine Fires
  8. Your New Twin Sized Bed
  9. Long Division
  10. Pity And Fear
  11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for an emotional roller coaster.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Lots of colour, I like it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

One of the first albums I bought on vinyl!

Final Thoughts:

So this is aging me a bit (more showing how young I am) but Narrow Stairs was the first Death Cab For Cutie album I listened to. My older brother was into The Postal Service and bought this album around the time I first started listening to them. I must’ve listened to this album 1,864 times (rough guesstimate), it’s one of the handful of albums that I can sing to word for word without missing a step. It’s a truly intimate and large sounding album that can hit a wide range of emotions for me. I will always have a soft spot for these tunes and even though many Death Cab fans think this is on their weaker side, it’s one of my favourite work of theirs.

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