Oliver The Penguin-Button Pusher (2009)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100% (A++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Girls & Boys
  2. Scissors & Glue
  3. Paper Airplane
  4. Pictures By the Seashore
  5. Pressing the Function Key
  6. Do I Leave My Heart Here
  7. Mad Scientist
  8. From Long Sleep
  9. Second Chances
  10. Something Like Love

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Walking home from a great first date.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty chill.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

What an underrated band Oliver The Penguin is, I love every one of their tracks on Button Pusher, and that’s not just being generous, I legitimately love this album. It’s kind of like a band formed around the song Nothing Better the song on The Postal Service’s Give Up. Oliver The Penguin is a more mature Owl City, with both female and male vocals, their songs are usually pretty flowery, mostly about relationships, but there is a certain level of maturity and creativity behind their music. I love this band and wish I could find more of their stuff, but for the time being I guess I’ll just have to stick to Button Pusher.

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OK Go-Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky (2010)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 67%

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. WTF?
  2. This Too Shall Pass
  3. All Is Not Lost
  4. Needing/Getting
  5. Skyscrapers
  6. White Knuckles
  7. I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe
  8. End Love
  9. Before The Earth Was Round
  10. Last Leaf
  11. Back From Kathmandu
  12. While You Were Asleep
  13. In The Glass

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some glitsy fun indie rock.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love the simplicity.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure!

Final Thoughts:

I first heard of OK Go, like most people, through their song Here It Goes Again, I’ve been an avid fan ever since. Sure their stuff hasn’t been show-stopping, but they manage to pull off one thing a lot of artists have a very hard time doing: consistency. Every OK Go album I’ve listened to after their album Oh No has had at least a few solid tracks on it that I’m happy to have show up on my shuffle. Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky threw me off initially, I was used to the more Indie Rock sound from Oh No, so the pop/synth heavy album took me a bit to warm up to. It’s one of those albums that has became really familiar to me without ever wearing out its welcome. Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky is a solid addition to OK Go’s already impressive discography, any fan will be pleased with what they hear on this release.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard-Return To The 36 Chambers (1995)

My Rating: 74% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 74%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Shimmy Shimmy Ya
  3. Baby C’mon
  4. Brooklyn Zoo
  5. Hippa To Da Hoppa
  6. Raw Hide
  7. Damage
  8. Don’t You Know
  9. The Stomp
  10. Goin’ Down
  11. Drunk Game (Sweet Sugar Pie)
  12. Snakes
  13. Brookly Zoo II
  14. Protekt Ya Neck II The Zoo
  15. Cuttin’ Headz
  16. Dirty Dancin’
  17. Harlem World

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting crazy non-conventional hip hop that’s grimy and dirty.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s iconic, can’t say enough about it. A+

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

If it was on sale, sure.

Final Thoughts:

Ol’ Dirty Bastard is The Wu-Tang Clan’s wild card, while Method Man is sleepy, Redman is goofy, Ghostface is lyrically impressive, Ol’ Dirty sounds like he’s being unleashed from a cell somewhere deep in a mental asylum. Although this album is iconic among hip-hop heads, I personally thought it was a little too all over the place for my liking. When Dirty has his Clan members to keep him somewhat contained, his dangerous flow style is a breath of fresh air and keeps the Wu-Tang interesting and diverse. On his own though, there is nobody to reel the crazy man in, and although it makes for a unique and influential album, it doesn’t always make for the best listen. I love Dirty, there are some amazing tracks on Return To The 36 Chambers but it just will never mean as much to me as it seems to to others.

OutKast-Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 91%

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Ghetto Musick
  3. Unhappy
  4. Bowtie Feat. Sleepy Brown And Jazze Pha
  5. The Way You Move Feat. Sleepy Brown
  6. The Rooster
  7. Bust Feat. Killer Mike
  8. War
  9. Church
  10. Bamboo (Interlude)
  11. Tomb of the Boom Feat. Ludacris, Konkrete, And Big Gipp
  12. E-Mac (Interlude)
  13. Knowing
  14. Flip Flop Rock Feat. Jay-Z And Killer Mike
  15. Interlude
  16. Reset Feat. Cee-Lo And Khujo Goodie
  17. D-Boi (Interlude)
  18. Last Call Feat. Slimm Calhoun, Mello, Lil Jon, Eastside Boyz
  19. Bowtie (Postlude)
  20. Hey Ya
  21. The Love Below (Intro)
  22. Love Hater
  23. Happy Valentine’s Day
  24. Spread

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for a funky fun hip-hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s terrible, I hate it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh yes, but I hat the cover so much.

Final Thoughts:

OutKast’s Hey Ya gets every white person dancing immediately, and it doesn’t surprise me at all, it’s really catchy and funky, just like most of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. I love how this album really formed bridges for people who may have not checked out Hip-Hop otherwise, it’s one of those albums that’s usually highly regarded by all kinds of music reviewers. The problem lies in the pure amount of tracks on the damn thing, it’s usually a warning to me whenever an album passes 16 tracks, it’s often filled with filler/unnecessary interludes. Really this album could’ve stayed at 16 songs and been absolutely incredible, but we’re treated to a kid talking (which is on every damn rap album apparently), and random friends talking about weird things. Stick to the formula, no need for these useless minute long breaks that hurt the overall flow of the album. Overall though there are some incredibly influential tracks on here that are still great, just wish that they focused on making a great album instead of adding in random nonsense.

Open Mike Eagle-Dark Comedy (2014)

My Rating: 65% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 72.7%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Dark Comedy Morning Show feat. Toy Light
  2. Qualifiers
  3. Thirsty Ego Raps
  4. Golden Age Raps
  5. Very Much Money (Ice King Dream)
  6. Doug Stamper (Advice Raps) feat. Hannibal Burress
  7. Jon Lovitz (fantasy booking yarn)
  8. Idaho
  9. Sadface Penance Raps
  10. A History of Modern Dance
  11. Deathmate Black
  12. Informations feat. Kool AD
  13. Big Pretty Bridges (3 days off in Albuquerque)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

You’re kinda tired but still want to listen to a rap album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a really solid piece of art, I really like the cover and think that Open Mike Eagle can continue garnering fans through his album covers alone.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Open Mike Eagle’s Dark Comedy kinda put me asleep, and I think that lazy flow is what he’s going for. It’s great for what it is, but I also started finding myself getting a little out of the album about halfway through. This is the kind of artist who could really make a solid album with some more featuring artists.

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