Pigeon John-Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister (2003)

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. Highschool Reunion
  2. Life Goes On
  3. Identity Crisis
  4. Deception
  5. Emily
  6. Fox Hills Mallmacks
  7. Originalz
  8. Crazy
  9. Hello Everybody
  10. Orange County
  11. Sam the Goat
  12. 2 Step
  13. What Is Love?
  14. The Art of Falling Off
  15. Alone…

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a goofy hip hop album that still can be sad at times.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, I love it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah don’t know if it exists but if it does I want it.

Final Thoughts:

Before I discovered the whole genre of joke rap (Heath McNease and Lil Dicky come to mind), Before I discovered the Good Life Cafe (Jurassic 5, Abstract Rude, Freestyle Fellowship), I found Pigeon John. I heard his song Hello Everybody on a Hip Hope compilation and really loved it. I ordered this album and listened to it repeatedly on my CD walkman walking down my High School’s hallways feeling like the pimpiest nerd in the whole town. Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister is extremely fun (Highschool Reunion), catchy (Hello Everybody), easily accessible (Identity Crises), and heartbreaking (Emily), it’s a really diverse well rounded album that every hip hop head should indulge in.

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People Under The Stairs-Fun DMC (2008)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 88%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Swan Fever
  2. Step Bacc
  3. Up Yo Spine (Fishbucket Pt. 3)
  4. The Fun
  5. The Grind
  6. Anotha’ (BBQ)
  7. The Ultimate 144
  8. Letter 2 c/o The Bronx
  9. Party Enemy No. 1
  10. Enjoy
  11. Gamin’ on Ya
  12. Critical Condition
  13. The Wiz
  14. People Riddum (Feat. Odell)
  15. California (Feat. Blvme)
  16. Love’s Theme
  17. A Baby
  18. Same Beat (The Wesley Rap)
  19. D
  20. The Mike & Chris Story

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to party or just vibe out to some laid back hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty funny, definitely on the better side of their album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh if only I could find it, but yes I want it very badly.

Final Thoughts:

If it’s not obvious that I’m a big fan of People Under The Stairs I don’t know when it will ever be, perhaps when I review all of their albums? Fun DMC is my favourite album of theirs so far, it’s just so much…fun. The title really gets to the heart of the mentality of the group, old school fun hip-hop. It’s like Jurassic 5, but with two emcees who love their craft and focus on their beats to a worrisome level. The lyrics are goofy, the flows are in the pocket, there is little else I need from a hip-hop album than what Fun DMC delivers. Now start re-releasing some vinyl so I can listen to it forever and ever.

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.

San Cisco-Gracetown (2015)

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. Run
  2. Too Much Time Together
  3. Magic
  4. Snow
  5. Wash It All Away
  6. Bitter Winter
  7. Jealousy
  8. Super Slow
  9. Mistakes
  10. About You
  11. Skool
  12. Just For A Minute

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing some happy music.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually love these guys’ covers, they always look super artsy and cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to bouncy stupid pop music, San Cisco is my go to. They’re the embodiment of the rule “keep it simple stupid”. Their albums are exactly what I want pop to be: fun, happy, catchy, not too repetitive, not too experimental. They aim for their mark and they hit it on Gracetown. The album is a great example of what pop should be, a genre you can put on in a mall or restaurant without offending anyone. Is Gracetown going to go down in history as an influential album? Absolutely not. But there’s something to be said about making an album that aims for a genre and gets it 100% correct, no need to get fancy with the spices, this is pure pop.

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.

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.

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?)!

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!

John Reuben-Word Of Mouth (2007)

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. Sing It Like You Mean It
  2. Trying Too Hard
  3. Make Money Money
  4. Focus
  5. Word Of Mouth
  6. Miserable Exaggeration
  7. Universal
  8. Curiosity
  9. Cool The Underdog
  10. Good Evening

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for easy listening Hip Hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it, it’s original, I especially like the font.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah but I don’t think I’ll ever found it.

Final Thoughts:

John Reuben has been tragically underappreciated, his albums have always been really diverse and entertaining. Word Of Mouth, a ten track carnival, is a great example of the artists abilities to mash multiple genres and themes into one coherent listen. He can go from party/funny tracks like Trying Too Hard, to thought provoking tracks like Cool The Underdog. The famous line at the ending of the album where he chants “Bob Dylan’s Microphone” repeatedly is also a really quirky little story (that you should totally look up) and adds to the overall mystery of this mystifyingly impressive and aloof emcee.

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