Brett Dennen-Loverboy (2011)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Surprise, Surprise
  2. Dancing at a Funeral
  3. Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)
  4. Frozen in Slow Motion
  5. Sydney (I’ll Come Running)
  6. Make You Fall In Love with me
  7. Only Rain
  8. Can’t Stop Thinking
  9. Must Be Losing My Mind
  10. Song For Leaving
  11. Queen of the Westside
  12. Little Cosmic Girl
  13. Walk Away, Watch Me Burn

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling blue, Brett Dennen has a natural way of lifting your spirits.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really really simple, and I like it that way, singer/songwriters usually have great album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, I’ve never seen it for sale though.

Final Thoughts:

Brett Dennen is my homeboy, he hasn’t always been (I’ve been a fan since this album released) but I’ve repeatedly found comfort in his tunes. Loverboy was the album that showed me his diversity as well as helping me through some lonely times when I was still trying to find my way in the world, it has a lot of sentimental value to me. He’s an excellent songwriter and a very warm soul, I got to see him live and I remember how soul soothing it was, just a man, his guitar, and a cup of tea (he was actually sipping tea during his performance). If you haven’t checked him out yet start with Loverboy, you won’t be disappointed.

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Method Man-The Meth Lab (2011)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 40%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 59%

Average Rating: 60%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. The Meth Lab (Feat. Hanz On & Streetlife)
  3. Straight Gutta (Feat. Redman, Hanz On & Streetlife)
  4. Bang Zoom (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife & Eazy Get Rite)
  5. 50 Shots (Feat. Mack Wilds, Streetlife & Cory Gunz)
  6. The Pledge (Feat. Hanz On & Streetlife)
  7. 2 Minutes Of Your Time
  8. Worldwide (Feat. Hanz On, Uncle Murda & Chedda Bang)
  9. Soundcheck (Feat. Hanz On & Carlton Fisk)
  10. Water (Feat. Chedda Bang)
  11. Lifestyles (Feat. Cardi, Eazy Get Rite & Freaky Marciano)
  12. The Purple Tape (Feat. Raekwon & Inspectah Deck)
  13. Intelligent Meth (Feat. Masta Killa, Streetlife & iNTeLL)
  14. Symphony (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife, Kash Verrazano, Carlton Fisk & Killa Sin)
  15. What You Getting Into (Feat. Streetlife & Donny Cacsh)
  16. Another Winter (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife & Carlton Fisk)
  17. Rain All Day (Feat. Hanz On & Dro Pesci)
  18. So Staten (Feat. Hanz On & Hue Huf)
  19. Outro

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for laid back gangster hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, cool colours.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

In a market where hip hop heads and critics pretty much demand innovation and experimentation, a few emcees hold up a middle finger, drink a Colt 45, and continue doing things their way, one of those emcees is Method Man, and it’s business as usual on The Meth Lab. Critics don’t like this album, but Method Man could give a shit, this is an album for Wu-Tang Clan fans, and they should be delighted, because I sure as hell am. This is solid hip-hop, it’s lots of fun, and it’s pretty simplistic, it’s not going to be my favourite album, but you know what? I’m not looking for a groundbreaking album from Method Man, I’m looking for old school hip-hop, and the man delivers on The Meth Lab.

Tyler, the Creator-Goblin (2011)

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 72%

Average Rating: 73%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Goblin
  2. Yonkers
  3. Radicals
  4. She feat. Frank Ocean
  5. Transylvania
  6. Nightmare
  7. Tron Cat
  8. Her
  9. Sandwitches feat. Hodgy Beats
  10. Fish
  11. Analog feat. Hodgy Beats
  12. Suck feat. Jasper Dolphin & Taco Bennett
  13. Window feat. Domo Genesis, Mike G, Hodgy Beats & Frank Ocean
  14. Au79
  15. Golden
  16. Burger feat. Hodgy Beats
  17. Untitled 63
  18. Steak Sauce

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry and want some grimy hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, one of those that I’m sure pop culture could easily mix to make t-shirts and what not (Goblin/Rick and Morty is what I’m thinking).

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hmmmmmmmm, perhaps if it were on sale.

Final Thoughts:

Tyler, The Creator is quite the rapper, he is definitely not music you put on with a large crowd around, he will 100% offend more than a few. His albums seem to follow a similar trend for me, lots of tracks with mostly good stuff, but a few major misses. Yonkers is such an amazing track, probably the song he will be most known for (even though he probably doesn’t want to be known just for that). I have a hard time getting through whole albums of Tyler’s, mostly because it is so explicit and kind of gets a little much after a bit. I do really like his flow and his lyrics are really clever sometimes, especially when it comes to mental illness (Email full of emails, I never write back. Ain’t kill myself yet, and I already want my life back). Tyler, The Creator is shocking, no doubt about it, but every once in awhile his vulnerability will drip through, and when it does it’s really out of place, but also relatable to the crowd I think he’s trying to cater to.

Ty Segall-Goodbye Bread (2011)

My Rating: 85% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 81%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Goodbye Bread
  2. California Commercial
  3. Comfortable Home
  4. You Make The Sun Fry
  5. I Can’t Feel It
  6. My Head Explodes
  7. The Floor
  8. Where Your Head Goes
  9. I Am With You
  10. Fine

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a more laid back garage rock album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, I love it a lot, one of my favourite covers of his.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

Ty Segall has been one of my favourite finds this year, being such an Oh Sees fan it totally checks out that I’d dig his stuff, he also puts on an amazing, high energy live performance. On Goodbye Bread we’re treated to what sounds like a mix of his high energy garage rock style (Emotional Mugger) and his laid back folk sound (Sleeper) to create a highly unique and entertaining album. It’s not without its faults, as with most garage rock albums it’s not entirely cohesive, you could put on a mix of all of Segall’s work and it would be hard to differentiate the albums, but ultimately Goodbye Bread is a solid addition. I would recommend music lovers to start with this one just so you can taste his diversity in musical styles. I’m excited to delve deeper into his discography, I’ve yet to be disappointed in his work.

Blind Pilot-We Are The Tide (2011)

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. Half Moon
  2. Always
  3. Keep You Right
  4. We Are The Tide
  5. The Colored Night
  6. I Know
  7. White Apple
  8. Just One
  9. Get It Out
  10. New York

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to feel happy instantly.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really beautiful.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh yeeeeeeeeessss.

Final Thoughts:

Blind Pilot is really close to my heart, there music is so happy and fun to me. We Are The Tide is a great place to start to hear what they’re all about. Their music can be perfect at the beach, winding down, or driving on the highway. There is something about their music that I find really human and healing. It’s very easy to introduce people to and it’s really feel good. Every damn song on this album is a hit to me. So picking a favourite song is never really accurate, just my favourite at the time of listening to it. Put them in your library and become a mega fan like me.

The Civil Wars-Barton Hollow (2011)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 89% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 71%

Average Rating: 80%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 20 Years
  2. I’ve Got This Friend
  3. C’est la mort
  4. To Whom It May Concern
  5. Poison & Wine
  6. My Father’s Father
  7. Barton Hollow
  8. The Violet Hour
  9. Girl With the Red Balloon
  10. Falling
  11. Forget Me Not
  12. Birds of a Feather
  13. I Want You Back
  14. Dance Me to the End of Love

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a male female duo to make your heart melt.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I don’t know if I totally know what’s going on on it but I think it looks pretty elegant and fits their style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah it’s be lovely on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

The Civil Wars were yet another mental block group for me, people really loved them, but I kind of just wanted to find my own thing. They’re one of the few popular duo’s that really work well together and make music for people from varying music tastes. It’s one of those sounds that most of us can agree on. The tracks are really mellow and catchy on Barton Hollow, I’ve been listening to I’ve Got This Friend for years and their version of I Want You Back is extremely sad and beautiful. A popular group that lives up to their reputation, at least on this album they most certainly do.

Julia Holter-Tragedy (2011)

My Rating: 56% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 68%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Introduction
  2. Try To Make Yourself A Work Of Art
  3. The Falling Age
  4. Goddess Eyes
  5. Interlude
  6. Celebration
  7. So Lillies
  8. Tragedy Finale

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Into listening to ambient/experimental/mellow tunes.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Trippy. Just like the music. I like it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Even though this scored fairly poorly, I’d love to own this on vinyl, mostly because I think it’d actually sound incredible on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Julia Holter loves manipulating sound to the point where she can take traffic, birds, and coffee shop noise into beautiful music. Tragedy is one of those unfortunate albums that works really well as a whole, but not at all as individual tracks, and in today’s shuffle obsessed culture (myself included) it just won’t make it onto most peoples radar, which is what is killing the modern album. Tragedy is lots of fun and original, it’s just not at all accessible.

Atmosphere-The Family Sign (2011)

My Rating: 79% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 58%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Key
  2. The Last to Say
  3. Became
  4. Just For Show
  5. She’s Enough
  6. Bad Bad Daddy
  7. Millennium Dodo
  8. Who I’ll Never Be
  9. I Don’t Need Brighter Days
  10. Ain’t Nobody
  11. Your Name Here
  12. If You Can Save Me Now
  13. Something So
  14. My Notes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling like some laid back but somewhat biting hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Great album cover, love the black and white and the font.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellz ya.

Final Thoughts:

Atmosphere is such a perfect gateway drug to the whole Rhymesayer crew, it’s easily accessible for those who aren’t necessarily Hip Hop Heads, and those beats are so sad/dark/eerie. It’s a solid contribution to an already impressive discography.

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