Eels-Shootenanny! (2003)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 28%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 67% (C+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. All In A Day’s Work
  2. Saturday Morning
  3. The Good Old Days
  4. Love Of The Loveless
  5. Dirty Girl
  6. Agony
  7. Rock Hard Times
  8. Restraining Order Blues
  9. Lone Wolf
  10. Wrong About Bobby
  11. Numbered Days
  12. Fashion Awards
  13. Somebody Loves You

Record Label:

Dreamworks

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Not really sure on what genre you’re currently in the mood for.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Reminds me of early Blues covers, nothing special, but kind of cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I went to college in Saskatchewan, a province that gets so cold that doors are frozen in the morning, and it was there that I discovered Eels. Maybe it was something about the dark utterly miserable conditions where I lived, or maybe it was being in a transitory part of my life, but Eels made a lot of sense to me. I loved the vulnerability in the lyrics, the openness to be sad and not try to cover up, but then following up with songs about how excited he is for Saturday is a really odd mix, but one that I really like. Shootenanny! flows from genre to genre, and to some these may work against Eels, but for me it kept the experience entertaining, if not a little jumbled.

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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.

People Under The Stairs-…Or Stay Tuned (2003)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Yield
  2. Plunken’ Em
  3. Roadbeaters
  4. Fly Love Song
  5. Drumbox
  6. OST Remix
  7. Yo
  8. LA Song (Sensitive Mix)
  9. SF Knights Remix
  10. Take The Fruit
  11. Outrun

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to chill while cooking.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Not their best, but not their worst either. Doesn’t have much of an impact on me at all.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly but these guys are hard to find.

Final Thoughts:

In a righteous world People Under The Stairs are considered as important to the hip-hop scene as Run The Jewels, but we don’t live in a righteous world, so mumble rap is a thing. Double K and Thes One have incredible chemistry, their rhyme schemes match up impeccably over the incredibly chill beats they make in some basement somewhere. …Or Stay Tuned is another fantastic album in an already impressive discography, these two know their craft, their audience, and their flow will never get old to me. People Under The Stairs should be on the radio, they should be referenced by other hip hop heads, but part of their charisma is knowing that they are making music for a small group of fans, and somehow you found yourself to be one of them.

Viktor Vaughn (MF Doom)-Vaudeville Villain (2003)

My Rating: 79% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 91%

Rolling Stone Rating:N/A

Metacritic Rating: 71%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Overture
  2. Vaudeville Villain
  3. Lickupon
  4. The Drop
  5. Lactose and Lecithin
  6. A Dead Mouse
  7. Rae Dawn
  8. Let Me Watch Feat Apani B
  9. Open Mic Nite Part One Feat Lord Sear Benn Grimm Rodan and Louis Logic
  10. Saliva
  11. Modern Day Mugging
  12. Open Mic Nite Part Two Feat Lord Sear and Hydro
  13. Never Dead Feat Sayyid
  14. Pop Snot
  15. Mr Clean
  16. G.M.C
  17. Change the Beat

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to dig deep into the mad world of Doom.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty boring honestly, usually love his covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly yes.

Final Thoughts:

MF Doom is one of, if not my all time favourite, rappers. His flow is so unique and his beats are so dangerous sounding, I honestly wouldn’t even know how to begin to write a rhyme over the beats he uses. On Vaudeville Villain we’re introduced to his alias Viktor Vaughn, a younger man than Doom who is more interested in sipping brew and picking up chicks than the old Villain. Viktor has a few interesting tracks that get at his personality such as Let Me Watch and the the title track Vaudeville Villain, but where he truly shines is on the track Lickupon where the rhyme scheme is both fast and delicious (“if these walls could talk, they probably still ignore me“). Doom fans will be stoked about this installment in Doom lore, non converts shouldn’t start here, but they should find themselves here after doing some research.

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.

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