Radiohead-OK Computer (1997)

My Rating: 92% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 100%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: 100%

Average Rating: 98%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Airbag
  2. Climbing Up the Walls
  3. Electioneering
  4. Exit Music (For a Film)
  5. Fitter Happier
  6. Karma Police
  7. Let Down
  8. Lucky
  9. No Surprises
  10. Paranoid Android
  11. Subterranean Homesick Alien
  12. The Tourist

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Going through a breakup and/or existential breakdown.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I really like this album cover, it reminds me of Saskatchewan and the SSX video games.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

One day for sure.

Final Thoughts:

I’m sure I’ve already proved myself irrelevant by not giving this album a perfect score and putting it as one of my favourites, especially when Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and Metacritic all gave it a perfect score. When it comes to innovation and importance, I have no doubt that OK Computer is essential. When it comes to this being a great album, well 92% is still a damn good rating so everyone calm their shit. OK Computer is emotional, epic, and groundbreaking. The album flows from song to song with expert care. The experience is truly one of a kind and I think that any music lover would be incomplete without at least listening through this album once.

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Rock Plaza Central-Cover Me In Brule (2012)

My Rating: 75% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Srexy Brack
  2. Ain’t No Grave (boom boom boom version)
  3. I Wrant You
  4. Monkey and Gecko
  5. Cow and Bird
  6. Pranama
  7. You Don’t Need
  8. Ain’t No Grave (movie version)
  9. Record Brody Crount
  10. Excellent Steel Horse (pseudo-acaprella)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

I don’t know, high I guess.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty ugly, but I get that it’s supposed to be a Tim and Eric reference.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Sure it’d be funny to own on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

What kind of psychedelic nightmare trip did I enter when I found this mish mash of an album? Seriously, Rock Plaza Central+Steve Brule+Justin Timberlake Covers=wtf? The whole album is hard to take seriously, I don’t think it is meant to be. It’s a lot of fun though, and certain songs even have the strength to strike a sad chord (I Wrant You), and the seriousness of the instrumentals are still there. I’m not in on the joke though, and for that it’s hard to understand what really is going on on Cover Me In Brule, but regardless we’re still looking at some solid tunes in a weirdly packed concept album.

Run The Jewels-Run The Jewels (2013)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 85%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 90%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Run The Jewels
  2. Banana Clipper (Feat. Big Boi)
  3. 36 Chain
  4. Ddfn
  5. Sea Legs
  6. Job Well Done (Feat. Until The Ribbon Breaks)
  7. No Come Down
  8. Get It
  9. Twin Hype Back (Feat. Prince Paul)
  10. A Christmas Fucking Miracle

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to get into Run The Jewels, start at part one and keep going through the next two albums, the evolution is fun to experience.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Classic, the next two albums follow the same theme, like the consistency.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Love to!

Final Thoughts:

Run The Jewels are doing something in hip hop that happens very rarely, they’re becoming popular practically based on their incredible flows alone. No doubt the production is amazing, beats are tasty, and marketing has been great too, but when it comes down to it Run The Jewels are successful because of the chemistry between El-P and Killer Mike and their ability to twist together incredible 16’s that are damn near impossible to rap along with, even though you may really feel tempted to. Their first album is not their best, but their worst is better than most rappers best efforts. It’s consistently political, hilarious, and jaw dropping. Run The Jewels are changing mainstream hip-hop, and I am so on board with them.

Randy Newman-Good Old Boys (1974)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 100%

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 94%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rednecks
  2. Birmingham
  3. Marie
  4. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
  5. Guilty
  6. Louisiana 1927
  7. Every Man A King
  8. Kingfish
  9. Naked Man
  10. A Wedding In Cherokee County
  11. Back On My Feet Again
  12. Rollin’
  13. Marie (Demo)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling a mix of nostalgia and bitterness.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty boring.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah it’d be wonderful on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Randy Newman is the musical voice of Disney, every time I hear his voice I picture the credits of A Bug’s Life or Monsters Inc. But with Good Old Boys we’re treated to the same voice, with a whole different kind of gravitas. It’s still upbeat and fun sounding at times, but a lot of the songs are about adult subjects like drinking, heartbreak, and rolling doobies. It’s truly an odd experience at first hearing this previously pure artists actual music, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s some sweet sweet self-deprecation tracks that fit really well with his sound. He sounds like a mix between Harry Nillson and Frank Sinatra, but that’s just me trying to rationalize him, to most people he’s Randy Newman, the influential artist, to me he’s the dude who rounded the Disney flicks out.

Roots Manuva-Run Come Save Me (2001)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 41%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. No Strings…
  2. Bashment Boogie
  3. Witness (1 Hope)
  4. Join The Dots
  5. Black Box Interlude
  6. Ital Visions
  7. Kicking The Cack
  8. Dub Styles
  9. Trim Body
  10. Artical
  11. Hol’ It Up
  12. Stone The Crows
  13. Sinny Sin Sins
  14. Evil Rabbit
  15. Swords In The Dirt
  16. Highest Grade
  17. Dreamy Days

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing a rap album to listen to while walking downtown at night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super original, love it! Fits the sounds so well!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Abso-friggin-lutely.

Final Thoughts:

Any Gorillaz fans will recognize the name Roots Manuva, he gave a spectacular performance on their song All Alone on their crown jewel Demon Days. He’s a big deal in the UK, but kinda unheard of up here in Canada. But he should be played a lot more! His sound can go from anything to fun alt hip hop: ex. Join The Dots to introspective sad rap much like the stuff coming out of Seattle (Grieves comes to mind) such as songs like Sinny Sin Sins where he talks about his Pentecostal upbringing. He can also do songs that capture hearts much like Method Man’s You’re All I Need, Roots has Dreamy Days a ballad like love song sure to be relatable to more than a few. Bring it all together with muddy, dark, and often overpowering beats and we get Run Come Save Me, a hip hop album not to be missed.

Relient K-Mmhmm (2004)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The One I’m Waiting For
  2. Be My Escape
  3. High Of 75
  4. I So Hate Consequences
  5. The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One
  6. My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend
  7. More Than Useless
  8. Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet?
  9. Let It Out
  10. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
  11. Maintain Consciousness
  12. This Week The Trend
  13. Life After Death And Taxes
  14. When I Go Down

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling nostalgic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s great, really simple and original.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really the Relient K I’d buy if I ever were to get some of their vinyl/

Final Thoughts:

Perhaps I’m a little biased when it comes to this album, but I was raised with these songs, and being raised Christian, it would be impossible to go without hearing a handful of Relient K tracks. Luckily this album ages really well (much better than others of theirs I’m sure) it’s juvenile, it’s simple, it’s dripping with growing pains (both as a band and in the overall themes) and that makes it endearing, who’d a thunk it? If you weren’t raised in a Christian household than I’m sure you’ve never or rarely heard this band, but these songs were anthems at Bible Camp, and because of that they’ve kinda buried their way into my brain and have become a nostalgic trip for me.

The Raconteurs-Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Consoler Of The Lonely
  2. Salute Your Solution
  3. You Don’t Understand Me
  4. Old Enough
  5. The Switch And The Spur
  6. Hold Up
  7. Top Yourself
  8. Many Shades Of Black Featuring Adele
  9. Five On The Five
  10. Attention
  11. Pull This Blanket Off
  12. Rich Kid Blues
  13. These Stones Will Shout
  14. Carolina Drama

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Out in the woods.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Creepy and classic, it’s rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh so friggin’ much.

Final Thoughts:

Controversial statement time: The Raconteurs is the best project Jack White has ever done (White Stripers calm yourselves). Consolers Of The Lonely is an album with so much going on for it: garage rock, ballad, hip hop like vocals, it’s a blender of genres and styles coming together to make one delicious listen. I love love love this album and I wish more people were into it because it’s so damn good. Jack White is complimented nicely by the backup band while still being able to showcase his amazing vocals. The lyrics are really solid and fable like at times. This album deserves your attention and Jack White fans should be ashamed if this isn’t in their library.

Run The Jewels-RTJ3 (2016)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 86%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 88%

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Down (feat. Joi)
  2. Talk To Me
  3. Legend Has It
  4. Call Ticketron
  5. Hey Kids (Bumaye) (feat. Danny Brown)
  6. Stay Gold
  7. Don’t Get Captured
  8. Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)
  9. 2100 (feat. BOOTS)
  10. Panther Like A Panther (Miracle Mix) (feat. Trina)
  11. Everybody Stay Calm
  12. Oh Mama
  13. Thursday In The Danger Room (feat. Kamasi Washington)
  14. A Report To The Shareholders : Kill Your Masters

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to be reassured that Hip-Hop is still in good hands.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Alone, it doesn’t do a lot for me. But as the rest of the albums together, I like the concept they’re going for.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, almost bought it the other day!

Final Thoughts:

In Aesop Rock’s Impossible Kid review I stated that he is my favourite rapper still making music, and although I’ll stick to my guns on that statement (cry me a river Lamra-ites) Run The Jewels is my favourite rap group currently making tunes. It’s a great blend of old school break beats that got me into hip-hop in the first place, mixed with more contemporary synth and industrial sounds. Killer Mike and EL-P make an awesome duo with amazing beats, politically charged lyrics, and over the top brags that sometimes don’t really make sense (ex. “I do pushups nude on the edge of cliffs” “I’m the living swipe right I’m Mike I’m a slut.” “I’m fuckin’ magic, in fact I’m a warlock of talk I got a unicorn horn for a STOP.”) They are making showstopping tracks that keep me stoked on Hip-Hop, I’m glad that these old school dudes are making it big, they deserve every bit of acclaim they are receiving. RTJ3 is a great mix of fun, serious, and impressive tracks to keep fans stoked while garnering new followers.

The Roots-Phrenology (2002)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 87%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Phrentrow
  2. Rock You
  3. Thirsty
  4. !!!!!!!
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Rolling With Heat
  7. WAOK (AY) Rollcall
  8. Though @ Work
  9. The Seed 2.0
  10. Break You Off
  11. Water
  12. Quills
  13. Complexity
  14. Something in the Way of Things (In Town)
  15. Rhymes And Ammo
  16. Thirsty

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a mix of old school hip-hop and incredible jazz beats.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a really solid cover, big fan of it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

The Roots have always been a band I’ve really respected more than have listened to. The Seed 2.0 is the song of theirs I listen to the most, but past that I’m just not too familiar with their work. Sitting through this album was  a little tedious, amazing flows and beats were to be found, but somewhat buried in a mix of ambient tunes. The album as a whole is just incredibly uneven, I couldn’t sink my teeth into it and let it wash, it was more frustrating wishing that they would rap more and screw around a little less.

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