Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts-Future Blues (2001)

My Rating: 50% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 50% (D)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 24 hours Open
  2. Pushing The Sky
  3. Time To Know
  4. Clutch
  5. Musawe
  6. Yo Pumpkin Head
  7. Diggin’
  8. 3.14
  9. What Planet Is This
  10. 7 Minutes
  11. Fingers
  12. Powder
  13. Butterfly
  14. No Reply
  15. Dijurido
  16. Gotta Knock A Little Harder ft. Mai Yamane
  17. No Money
  18. Rain (Demo Version) ft. Mai Yamane

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Cooking.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I would’ve gone with a Cowboy Bebop still frame, but this is pretty good too.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Well yes because I must own everything Bebop.

Final Thoughts:

The Seatbelts are the 6th member of the Bebop, meaning that their music played such an important role in the anime series that they deserve a good chunk of the critical acclaim being poured on Cowboy Bebop. It’s crazy to think that a band that was created for a TV show has released multiple albums and even gone on tour. Future Blues is not their best release, when I think of Bebop none of these songs really come to mind, although it’s great fun at times (Yo Pumpkin Head, Diggin’ and What Planet Is This especially) it’s not their best release. I would gravitate towards their album Blue as having more of the classics, but Future Blues does have a few really good moments on it as well.

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The Shins-Oh, Inverted World (2001)

My Rating: 77% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Caring Is Creepy
  2. One By One All Day
  3. Weird Divide
  4. Know Your Onion!
  5. Girl Inform Me
  6. New Slang
  7. The Celibate Life
  8. Girl On The Wing
  9. Your Algebra
  10. Pressed In A Book
  11. The Past And Pending

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a really different/unique sounding alt album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super unique, I like.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this Shin’s release.

Final Thoughts:

The Shins were one of the first alt bands that I got into, I must’ve listened to Caring Is Creepy over 100 times now. This album has a nostalgic hold on me, the artwork will always remind me of my teen years, walking through the high school feeling like nobody understood me (the real me, y’know?) The album itself has a few highlights (New Slang being the other big standout for me) but is kind of boring overall. I don’t know if it was a pioneering album that didn’t age well or if it was just one of those albums I always assumed I loved until I listened from start to finish. At any rate, this is a well regarded album that is not lazy or grating by any sense, just not as wonderful as I remember it being.

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.

MF Doom-Operation Doomsday (2001)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 89%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Time We Faced Doom (Skit)
  2. Doomsday
  3. Rhymes Like Dimes
  4. The Finest
  5. Back in the Days (Skit)
  6. Go With the Flow
  7. Tick, Tick…
  8. Red and Gold
  9. The Hands of Doom (Skit)
  10. Who You Think I Am?
  11. Doom, Are You Awake? (Skit)
  12. Hey!
  13. Operation: Greenbacks
  14. The Mic
  15. The Mystery of Doom (Skit)
  16. Dead Bent
  17. Cas Drawls
  18. ?
  19. I Hear Voices Pt. 1

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some abstract/psychadellic/nostalgic hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s interesting to see where he went with the theme.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hell yes.

Final Thoughts:

This album only got such a low rating because of the amount of skits dispensed throughout the whole thing, although I like the vibe it gives, sometimes it’s hard to get into the album because of it. MF Doom will always, always, always be one of my favourite emcees. His beats are so jazzy, his vocals are odd, lyrics make no damn sense, hook-less tracks, it doesn’t make sense because it should be a train-wreck, but it’s not at all. It’s like a beautiful risky disaster that somehow comes together to make something abstract enough that you want to listen to it more than once. I especially like the cleverness of the beat on Hey! where one can hear Scooby Doo sound-effects in the background, if that sounds like an intriguing concept to you, then give Operation Doomsday a listen!

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