Mars Ill-ProPain (2004)

My Rating: 76% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 76% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pro*Pain (Intro)
  2. Say So
  3. Sound Off
  4. Too Strong To Change Feat. Cappadonna
  5. Dog Eared Page
  6. More Feat. Ahmad Jones & Anthony David
  7. Jus The Two Of Us
  8. Stand Back And Watch
  9. Wicked Ways
  10. Saturday Night Special Feat. Ishues & D.R.E.S. The Beatnik
  11. Glam Rap Feat. Prince Po
  12. Higher
  13. Effortless Feat. X:144
  14. Write Of Passage Feat. Ben Hameen & J-Mil
  15. When Heaven Scrapes The Pavement
  16. I Is
  17. We Out (Outro)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some solid old school/industrial sounding beats.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s what actually first drew me into listening to this group, I absolutely love it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I own a couple singles of theirs on vinyl from this album and those are awesome, so I’ll probably just stick to that.

Final Thoughts:

Mars Ill is one of those groups that aged really well, some Christian groups or emcees I liked in high school didn’t grow with me, but Mars Ill definitely did. The two reasons these guys stand out are their beats and their lyrics. The beats on ProPain are incredibly unique, sounding like a mix of Yeezus and Be, really original. Manchild’s flow and lyrics have always been worthy of my  attention, other emcees I can put on and turn my brain off, but Manchild continues to have lyrics to dig into after all these years, it’s never more prevalent then on When Heaven Scrapes The Pavement which is one of my all-time favourite Christian Hip Hop songs. ProPain has showed it’s maturity with my own, it’s an album I’ve always respected and although it’s not one I’ll list among my favourites it’s one I will more than likely always speak highly of.

Advertisements

Z-Trip-Z-Trip (2004)

My Rating: 34% (F)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 34% (F)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Listen To The DJ Feat. Soup
  3. Furious
  4. The Get Down Feat. Lyrics Born
  5. Bury Me Standing Feat. Luke Sick
  6. About Face
  7. Breakfast Club Feat. Murs And Supernatural
  8. Take Two Copies Feat. Busdriver
  9. 3rd Gear Feat. Ikey Owens
  10. Everything Changes Feat. Aceyalone And Mystic
  11. For My People Feat. Supernatural
  12. All About The Music Feat. Whipper Whip
  13. Walking Dead Feat. Chester Bennington
  14. Shock And Awe Feat. Chuck D
  15. STR (Revolution)
  16. The Grandmaster Feat. Grandmaster Caz

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

When you’re diggin’ for samples.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Stupid. It’s boring.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not at all.

Final Thoughts:

First off, I don’t think Z-Trip is a bad DJ, in fact I usually think of him as a very good one, but oh my my, this self titled album is a mish-mash of bad ideas. How an album can have Soup, Murs, Busdriver, Aceyalone, and Chuck D. and still score this low is boggling. Here’s the problem, instead of this self-titled album being a celebration of underground hip hop, the thing just makes you wonder why it’s not better. Seriously, listen to the song Breakfast Club and you’ll understand my beef, it’s okay, but it’s never very good. I like a couple tracks on here, but they are available on other albums (Everything Changes is on an Aceyalone release) so I just don’t see much need for this album to even exist. I hope Z is desperately trying to bury this release, because it’s not a good representation of his skills or any of the emcees skills either.

Gift Of Gab-4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up (2004)

My Rating: 93% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 76% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Ride Of Your Life
  2. Rat Race
  3. Way Of The Light
  4. Stardust
  5. Flashback
  6. Up
  7. The Writz
  8. To Know You
  9. Real MC’s
  10. Hold On
  11. In A Minute Doe
  12. Evolution
  13. Moonshine
  14. Ride On
  15. Just Because

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some positive hip hop that’ll blow your mind.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a super original awesome cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly yes.

Final Thoughts:

Gift of Gab is one half of Blackalicious, but more than that, he is one of the most talented emcees that I’ve been able to see live. His flow is insane, his freestyle ability is ridiculous, and his albums are solid. 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up is one of the albums that really shaped my taste in hip hop, I’ve been listening to this one since high school (around the time it was released) and still love it when it comes on my shuffle. Gab has a diverse track-list on 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, from the catchy Rat Race, to the feel good Way of the Light to the nostalgic Flashback, there’s something here for all the hip hop heads. Gab will never get the dues I want him to, but I can still play his tracks loud on my headphones and respect the hard work that went into it.

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.

Arcade Fire-Funeral (2004)

Record Review Requested By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 97%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 90%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
  2. Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)
  3. Une Année Sans Lumiere
  4. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  5. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
  6. Crown Of Love
  7. Wake Up
  8. Haiti
  9. Rebellion (Lies)
  10. In The Backseat

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for something epic.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s an okay cover, not my favourite of theirs but it’s not bad or anything.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellllllllllllllllll yeah!

Final Thoughts:

Arcade Fire is, in short, incredible. Their music has been used in so many ways and they are one of the few household name groups that truly deserve their acclaim. I mean damn, this is their first album, and they are already this accomplished? It’s mystifying, considering other artists I love take an album or two to find themselves. Funeral is epic and simple, high energy and mellow. It’s an album that demands to be listened to multiple times. It’s an album many other artists have been trying to replicate for years but can’t get the mix right. It’s painful how good it is for a first release and it makes me mad that they can be this talented…bastards.

Coachwhips-Bangers Vs. Fuckers (2004)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. You Gonna Get It
  2. Extinguish Me
  3. I Knew Her, She Knew Me
  4. Purse Peeking
  5. Dancefloor, Bathroom
  6. I Drank What?
  7. Evil Son
  8. Thee Alarm
  9. Recline, Recline
  10. Harlow’s Muscle of Love
  11. Goodnite Goodbuy

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry and need something to rock out to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Lol wut?

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I already do, it’s awesome!

Final Thoughts:

Coachwhips were a logical progression for me, being as I’m such a John Dwyer fan it was only time until I listened to this album. It’s not incredibly different than his other stuff, but it’s different enough that it’s worth checking out. Really fast paced, really muffled vocals, really loud. It’s a lot of fun if you need to wake up, rock out, or get rid of some of that pesky teenage angst, looking at you Holden Caulfield.

Madvillain-Madvillainy (2004)

My Rating: 67% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 94%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 93%

Average Rating: 84.6%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Illest Villians
  2. Accordion
  3. Meat Grinder
  4. Bistro
  5. Raid
  6. America’s Most Blunted
  7. Sickfit (Instrumental)
  8. Rainbows
  9. Curls
  10. Do Not Fire! (Instrumental)
  11. Money Folder
  12. Shadows of Tomorrow
  13. Operation Lifesaver AKA Mint Test
  14. Figaro
  15. Hardcore Hustle
  16. Strange Ways
  17. Fancy Clown
  18. Supervillain Theme (Instrumental)
  19. All Caps
  20. Great Day Today
  21. Rhinestone Cowboy

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some weird ass rap that’s not going to be what you expect it to be. It’s really friggin’ original.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Iconic. It’s probably in my top 10 album covers of all time. Love me some Doom folks.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely, just for All Caps alone.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of my reviews where my formula really worked against me, the pure amount of instrumentals and interludes made it really work against it. At the end of the day I love Doom, and his rap is on point every time he picks up the mic on the album, I guess I just wish he’d do it more.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑