The Kills-Ash & Ice (2016)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 62%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 68%

Average Rating: 70% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Doing It to Death
  2. Heart of a Dog
  3. Hard Habit to Break
  4. Bitter Fruit
  5. Days of Why and How
  6. Let It Drop
  7. Hum for Your Buzz
  8. Siberian Nights
  9. That Love
  10. Impossible Tracks
  11. Black Tar
  12. Echo Home
  13. Whirling Eye

Label:

Domino

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Getting ready to go out for the night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Very cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

I have no idea how I originally found The Kills, it must’ve been around the time that I was getting into bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, and Alabama Shakes. Ash & Ice continues suit, a really solid album that is really easy to put on to appeal to a large audience, but nothing too different or impressive that it stands out than more than a solid album. The Kills are great musicians and Ash & Ice is a really enjoyable album, but it’s not something that caught me off guard or that demanded a second listen. I’m hoping that their other work gives me a couple tracks to sink my teeth into more than Ash & Ice did.

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The Kooks-Inside In Inside Out (2006)

My Rating: 93% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 75% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Seaside
  2. See The World
  3. Sofa Song
  4. Eddie’s Gun
  5. Ooh La
  6. You Don’t Love Me
  7. She Moves In Her Own Way
  8. Matchbox
  9. Naïve
  10. I Want You
  11. If Only
  12. Jackie Big Tits
  13. Time Awaits
  14. Got No Love

Label:

Virgin

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Need to dance and let out some steam.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Not the greatest.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, for sure.

Final Thoughts:

The Kooks have been on my shuffle for a while now, but I have not explored their discography nearly as much as I’d like to. So I started off with their debut Inside In Inside Out and damn is it good for a debut. It’s funny how there only seems to be two lanes for artists to take in my experience: 1. The Illmatic lane: always trying to one-up their debut album but never quite making anything as significant. 2. The My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy lane: hitting their stride later in the career and keeping fans on their toes. I’m curious to see if Inside In Inside Out is an Illmatic or if I’ve got a My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy coming down the queue from The Kooks.

The Killers-Wonderful Wonderful (2017)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 63%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 71%

Average Rating: 73% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wonderful Wonderful
  2. The Man
  3. Rut
  4. Life To Come
  5. Run For Cover
  6. Tyson vs Douglas
  7. Some Kind Of Love
  8. Out Of My Mind
  9. The Calling
  10. Have All The Songs Been Written?
  11. Money On Straight
  12. The Man (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
  13. The Man (Duke Dumont Remix)

Label:

Island

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to party.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Doesn’t do a lot for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I’ve loved The Killers since high school, and despite all the heat they seem to catch from critics and friends, I love them. Sam’s Town was a great album that introduced me to these guys (fun fact I got it from Columbia House, different times), since then they’ve gone a whole lot more synthy and commercial, I suppose that’s one of the reasons they get a lot of hate. True, their music isn’t very experimental or innovative, but you know what? It’s really really catchy and fun! And sometimes that’s all you need. I’ll always stick up for The Killers, because they’ve always made fun music and haven’t tried to be someone they’re not. Wonderful Wonderful sticks to the plan of what you expect of them in later years, lots of candy glossed pop that’s easy to dance to.

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.

King Krule-The Ooz (2017)

My Rating: 84% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 85% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Biscuit Town
  2. The Locomotive
  3. Dum Surfer
  4. Slush Puppy
  5. Bermondsey Bosom (Left)
  6. Logos
  7. Sublunary
  8. Lonely Blue
  9. Cadet Limbo
  10. Emergency Blimp
  11. Czech One
  12. A Slide In (New Drugs)
  13. Vidual
  14. Bermondsey Visin (Right)
  15. Half Man Half Shark
  16. The Cadet Leaps
  17. The Ooz
  18. Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)
  19. La Lune

Label:

True Panther Sounds, XL

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sleepy and angry/confused.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, fits the music perfectly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already do, it’s awesome.

Final Thoughts:

I finally got to see this guy live and I was stoked out of my mind, I couldn’t believe how big the crowd was to see him, I kind of thought he was somewhat unheard of but I guess I was wrong. Well, maybe that was the case before The Ooz dropped this year, an album that gained considerable critical acclaim from both fans and music bloggers. It’s worthy of the praise, The Ooz is unlike anything you’ve ever heard, even previous King Krule albums don’t quite sound like it. This is one of those albums that an amazing pair of headphones would really bring alive. There are multi-layered tracks that are so hard to unpack, but I can’t wait to sit down and spend more time with it. The Ooz is an incredibly unique album, I’m so glad King Krule is gaining popularity!

Karen O-Crush Songs (2014)

My Rating: 87% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 58%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 65%

Average Rating: 70% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Ooo
  2. Rapt
  3. Visits
  4. Beast
  5. Comes The Night
  6. NYC Baby
  7. Other Side
  8. So Far
  9. Day Go By
  10. Body
  11. King
  12. Indian Summer
  13. Sunset Sun
  14. Native Korean Rock
  15. Singalong

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Have a low attention span and are going through a breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely love this cover!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure!

Final Thoughts:

I don’t know how I found this album, honestly, more than likely I saw the album cover and was intrigued. I’ve been listening to Rapt religiously since I explored the album. Crush Songs is a weird album, most the songs are under 2 minutes long, but for some reason it worked for me. I guess I’ve always preferred shorter songs to really unnecessarily long ones, I loathe repetition so there’s not a lot of space for it within a couple minutes. Karen O experiments with minimalism in every sense on Crush Songs, and if that’s too simplistic for you this is not an album you’re going to enjoy.

King Krule-6 Feet Beneath The Moon (2013)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 73%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Easy Easy
  2. Boarder Line
  3. Has This Hit?
  4. Foreign 2
  5. Ceiling
  6. Baby Blue
  7. Cementality
  8. A Lizard State
  9. Will I Come
  10. Ocean Bed
  11. Neptune Estate
  12. The Krockadile
  13. Out Getting Ribs
  14. Bathed In Grey

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling introspective and need a background to figuring things out.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s incredible, I love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

One of the first I owned on vinyl actually.

Final Thoughts:

King Krule was criminally underrated for a very long time, I say was because with his 2017 release The Ooz, his step into the spotlight became much more prominent. He’s one of those artists I don’t know how to explain to other people, relaxing at times, angry at times, jazzy and electronic, he’s an orgy of sounds and styles. Not only is he experimental when he needs to be, he can bring the house down (Baby Blue), can have a great sunny day stroll feel (Border Line), and a big band his-fit (A Lizard State). 6 Feet Beneath The Moon isn’t all things to all people, but to the few of us who it hit, it’s everything.

Kendrick Lamar-Good Kid M.A.A.D City (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 95%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 91%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinters Daughter
  2. Bitch, Dan’t Kill My Vibe
  3. Backstreet Freestyle
  4. The Art Of Peer Pressure
  5. Money Trees (Feat. Jay Rock)
  6. Poetic Justice (Feat. Drake)
  7. Good Kid
  8. M.A.A.D City (Feat. MC Eiht)
  9. Swimming Pools (Drank) (Extended Version)
  10. Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst
  11. Real (Feat. Anna Wise Of Sonnymoon)
  12. Compton (Feat. Dr. Dre)
  13. The Recipe (Feat. Dr Dre)
  14. Black Boy Fly
  15. Now Or Never (Feat. Mary J. Blige)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for innovative hip-hop with impressive beats and rhymes.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Boring, I really don’t like most of Kendrick’s album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure.

Final Thoughts:

This is the album that got Kendrick on my radar, I didn’t dig into it much until recently, but I’ve been listening to both The Recipe and Swimming Pools since their release and have been thoroughly impressed with both. I didn’t think that the rest of the album would hold up, but I was proven wrong after one listen through, Good Kid M.A.A.D City is an incredible album showcasing one of the most beloved artist making music today. Kendrick is the new Tupac or Biggie, screw Jay-Z, Lamar owns the mainstream rap scene, and the funny thing is I don’t think many people would disagree with me on that, even non-hip-hop heads.

Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 100%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 94%

Average Rating: 95%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Dark Fantasy
  2. Gorgeous Feat. Raekwon, & Kid Cudi
  3. Power
  4. All of the Lights (Interlude)
  5. All of the Lights
  6. Monster Feat. Jay-Z, Bon Iver, Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj
  7. So Appalled Feat. RZA, Jay-Z, Prynce Cy Hi, Pusha T & Swizz Beatz
  8. Devil In a New Dress Feat. Rick Ross
  9. Runaway Feat. Pusha T
  10. Hell of a Life
  11. Blame Game Feat. John Legend
  12. Lost In the World Feat. Bon Iver
  13. Who Will Survive In America
  14. See Me Now Feat. Big Sean, Beyoncé & Charlie Wilson

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready for a mish mash of different genres and proof that Kanye is a genius.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Well it depends on the cover but I like the story behind it more than I actually like the look of it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely friggin’ yes.

Final Thoughts:

Kanye and I have an interesting history. I swore to myself I would never like his music in high school, and when it came to Columbia House (my monthly ordered album service) I would never pick his album Graduation (which was popular at the time) because of this oath, even though the album cover was really intriguing. Around comes 2010 and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is dropped and I’ve significantly calmed down from my overly conservative self and I decide to finally give the guy a shot. I couldn’t stop listening. It was one of those albums that changed the way I looked at music. This is one of those times my rating system doesn’t do the album justice, it’s one of my favourite albums of all time, and definitely my favourite Kanye record, but the purest that I am must stick to the formula even when it doesn’t meet my personal draw to the album. The tracks flow well and are diverse, experimental and expertly done. This is an album that will continually impress generations and I’d be surprised if it’s not the album that he is most known for.

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