Redcloud-Hawthorne’s Most Wanted (2007)

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. Deep Thoughts
  2. Welcome All
  3. Guns & Roses (feat. Jayo Felony, Eek-A-Mouse, & Tonex)
  4. Boulevard Knights
  5. 405 (feat. Lord Zen & Dannu of Visionaries)
  6. Tapatio (feat. Pigeon John)
  7. Hawthorne’s Most Wanted (feat. Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound)
  8. The Boombox Saints
  9. Krylon Teardrops
  10. The Time Has Come
  11. Battle Of Little Bighorn (feat. Def Shepard)
  12. My People
  13. Songs They Sang
  14. Death Of A Salesman (feat. Pigeon John)
  15. South Central Farms

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a really funky hip hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s what got me to buy it, super cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly.

Final Thoughts:

There are few albums that I can remember the first time that I listened to, but Hawthorne’s Most Wanted was so jaw droppingly original that I remember first hearing DJ Wise’s crazy intro and getting excited for the rest of the album. Redcloud has made one of the funkiest hip hop albums I’ve ever heard, there are no weak tracks on this project, all the pieces fit together so well. But it’s not just the awesome sampling that makes Hawthorne’s Most Wanted classic, Redcloud’s vocals and lyrics are original, funny, and honest. One of my favourite lines (from Songs They Sang) is: “God’s a blanket I’m Linus, it’s 10 degrees below minus.” Clever writing, awesome DJing, Hawthorne’s Most Wanted is one of my favourite hip hop albums of all time.

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Lifesavas-Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack (2007)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro: Welcome To Razorblade City
  2. Double Up
  3. Gutterfly
  4. No Surpise/[Scene I: Fly Paper]
  5. Shine Language
  6. Take Me Away
  7. A Serpent’s Love/[Scene II: Jimmy Slimwater’s New Orleans Funeral]
  8. Dead Ones/[Scene III:Revenge]
  9. The Warning
  10. Superburn/[Scene IV: Trouble]
  11. Night Out/[Scene V: Connects]
  12. The Squeeze
  13. Long Letter
  14. Freedom Walk/[Scene VI: Marvelous The Mouthpiece]
  15. Celebrate/[Finale]
  16. Hidden Scene: The Legend Of The Gutterfly
  17. Hidden Track: Tailormade Razorbladez

Favourite Song on Album:

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s friggin’ rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes! I’m sure it won’t be easy to find, though.

Final Thoughts:

Lifesavas have been slept on for far too long, and I’m here to wake a few of you up to their albums. They’ve done stuff with the likes of Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, and Lyrics Born, yet they’re forced to tour as hype men for Gift of Gab instead of doing their own thing. That’s not to diss Blackalicious, I have no doubt Lifesavas love working with them, what I’m getting at is that they deserve their own stage and it’s more than evident on their album Gutterfly. Pitchfork gave the album an 8, which is rare for any underground hip hop album (even Jurassic 5 has a hard time getting that kind of love from pitchfork). Gutterfly is consistently catchy, powerfully political, and incredibly original and I don’t know how it’s gone so long without getting the dues it deserves. Please do me (and yourself) a favor and spin this album.

John Reuben-Word Of Mouth (2007)

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. Sing It Like You Mean It
  2. Trying Too Hard
  3. Make Money Money
  4. Focus
  5. Word Of Mouth
  6. Miserable Exaggeration
  7. Universal
  8. Curiosity
  9. Cool The Underdog
  10. Good Evening

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for easy listening Hip Hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it, it’s original, I especially like the font.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah but I don’t think I’ll ever find it.

Final Thoughts:

John Reuben has been tragically underappreciated, his albums have always been really diverse and entertaining. Word Of Mouth, a ten track carnival, is a great example of the artists abilities to mash multiple genres and themes into one coherent listen. He can go from party/funny tracks like Trying Too Hard, to thought provoking tracks like Cool The Underdog. The famous line at the ending of the album where he chants “Bob Dylan’s Microphone” repeatedly is also a really quirky little story (that you should totally look up) and adds to the overall mystery of this mystifyingly impressive and aloof emcee.

Blonde Redhead-23 (2007)

Record Review Recommended By: Richard Sandlin

My Rating: 100%

Pitchfork Rating: 70%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 83%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 23
  2. Dr. Strangeluv
  3. The Dress
  4. SW
  5. Spring and by Summer Fall
  6. Silently
  7. Publisher
  8. Heroine
  9. Top Ranking
  10. My Impure Hair
  11. Signs Along the Path
  12. (We are a Real Team) Harry and I

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a happy poppy dream like album to fade out to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really awesome, I’m a big fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Well my roommate already does but if/when he moves out I’ll want it.

Final Thoughts:

I can imagine that this was a highly influential band for some of my favourite pop bands (The Drums and Bombay Bicycle Club to name a couple). It’s a really chill album with a lot of cool soundscapes to keep everyone entertained. I like to think that this is what Bon Iver would sound like if they went pop, but maybe my brain’s way off the mark on that one, I don’t know that’s where it wandered to, sue me. Blonde Redhead’s 23 offers a lot of fun tracks, and a lot for newbies (like me) to sink their teeth into.

Iron & Wine-The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 86%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 87%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
  2. White Tooth Man
  3. Lovesong Of The Buzzard
  4. Carousel
  5. House By The Sea
  6. Innocent Bones
  7. Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd’s Dog)
  8. Resurrection Fern
  9. Boy With A Coin
  10. The Devil Never Sleeps
  11. Peace Beneath The City
  12. Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You:

Need to grieve something. Or you’re alone in a cabin with a whiskey.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh, it’s alright. I think as a vinyl it’d look cool, but  on my ipod it’s kinda whatever.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

YES!

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those albums that I didn’t realize that was actually really close to my heart until I sat down and listened to the whole thing. It’s hit after hit, flowing smoothly from one song to another. Absolutely beautiful music.

Bon Iver-For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 88%

Average Rating: 82.2%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Flume
  2. Lump Sum
  3. Skinny Love
  4. The Wolves (Act I and II)
  5. Blindsided
  6. Creature Fear
  7. Team
  8. For Emma
  9. Re: Stacks
  10. Wisconsin

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sad, so very sad.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It brings home the fact that most of this was written in the wilderness, it’s not a bad cover, but it’s not an amazing one either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already own it, and it sounds haunting.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of my all-time favourite albums, Bon Iver’s best work here, I’d be shocked if I found another album of theirs to surpass it. It’s so beautiful and has helped me through a lot of rough nights.

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