Alberta Cross-Songs Of Patience (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 65%

Average Rating: 83% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magnolia
  2. Crate Of Gold
  3. Lay Down
  4. Come On Maker
  5. Wasteland
  6. Ophelia On My Mind
  7. I Believe In Everything
  8. Money For The Weekend (Pocket Full Of Shame)
  9. Life Without Warning
  10. Bonfires
  11. Rambling Home
  12. Wait

Label:

ATO

 

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving on a sunny day.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super trippy. I love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

The first song I heard of Alberta Cross was Hard Breaks and I liked it enough that it entered my 25 most played songs on iTunes. Usually when a band has a really catchy song, I’m cautious to explore the rest of their work because I’ve been burned one too many times. It wasn’t the case with Alberta Cross, their music has been shockingly enjoyable. Songs of Patience may be their most friendly album yet, anybody should be able to start with this album and understand the band a couple tracks in. It shocks me that this band isn’t bigger based on how friendly their music would be on the radio, it’s not too experimental and I’d be comfortable putting it on at a family gathering. Songs of Patience may be your new favourite record, it may be one that you put on shuffle, but I highly doubt it’d be one you’d end up disliking.

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Aesop Rock-Skelethon (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 82%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 87% (A-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Leisureforce
  2. ZZZ Top
  3. Cycles to Gehenna
  4. Zero Dark Thirty
  5. Fryerstarter
  6. Ruby ’81
  7. Crows 1
  8. Crows 2
  9. Racing Stripes
  10. 1,000 O’Clock
  11. Homemade Mummy
  12. Grace
  13. Saturn Missiles
  14. Tetra
  15. Gopher Guts
  16. Dokken Rules (feat. Rob Sonic)
  17. BMX (feat. Blueprint & Rob Sonic)

Favourite Song on Album:

Record Label:

Rhymesayers Entertainment

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Having an existential crises.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s rad, most of Aesop’s covers are awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already do, I spin it all the time.

Final Thoughts:

2012’s Skelethon caught me off guard, more than even The Impossible Kid which I think is the better of the two and should be considered a masterpiece (I hope it will get that title over time). What Skelethon did for me is gave me the ability to understand Aesop, I mean as much as one can understand Aesop. This was the album that turned me from casual listener to geeky fan, honestly anyone who knows me knows I love this guys work. Skelethon showcases Aesop’s diversity all while mixing in a couple songs with Kimya Dawson (giving them the idea to form The Uncluded). The best part of Skelethon is how accessibly it is, maybe not as much as The Impossible Kid, but still very easy for casual listeners to get into. Skelethon was the calm before the storm, an amazing album that led to his best, it’s the album that I thought he couldn’t surpass, but then did 4 years later.

P.O.S.-We Don’t Even Live Here (2012)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 57%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 76%

Average Rating: 72%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Bumper
  2. Fuck Your Stuff
  3. How We Land (ft. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver)
  4. Wanted/Wasted (ft. Astronautalis)
  5. They Can’t Come (ft. Sims)
  6. Lock-Picks, Knives, Bricks & Bats
  7. Fire In The Hole/Arrow To The Action
  8. Get Down (ft. Mitclan)
  9. All Of It
  10. Weird Friends (We Don’t Even Live Here)
  11. Piano Hits (ft. Isaac Gale of Marijuana Deathsquads)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Skateboarding at night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Simple is always good.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I own it, it’s one of the coolest looking vinyl I own.

Final Thoughts:

I bought a ticket to go see P.O.S. live when he visited Vancouver, but alas, I had one of the worst toothaches of my life, honestly it was just the worst, so I missed it. But I decided in return I’d dig through some of his albums and I’m stoked on what I’m discovering, or in this case rediscovering. I first heard P.O.S. through False Hopes by Doomtree, I later sunk my teeth into We Don’t Even Live Here and Never Better, finding We Don’t Even Live Here the better of the two. We Don’t Even Live Here is a really diverse album with a Bon Iver feature , lots of aggressive drumbeats, and lyrics that you want to study. P.O.S. is a very talented emcee, not one to make you laugh, but make you think, and any thought provoking emcee is a commodity nowadays.

Kendrick Lamar-Good Kid M.A.A.D City (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 95%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 91%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinters Daughter
  2. Bitch, Dan’t Kill My Vibe
  3. Backstreet Freestyle
  4. The Art Of Peer Pressure
  5. Money Trees (Feat. Jay Rock)
  6. Poetic Justice (Feat. Drake)
  7. Good Kid
  8. M.A.A.D City (Feat. MC Eiht)
  9. Swimming Pools (Drank) (Extended Version)
  10. Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst
  11. Real (Feat. Anna Wise Of Sonnymoon)
  12. Compton (Feat. Dr. Dre)
  13. The Recipe (Feat. Dr Dre)
  14. Black Boy Fly
  15. Now Or Never (Feat. Mary J. Blige)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for innovative hip-hop with impressive beats and rhymes.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Boring, I really don’t like most of Kendrick’s album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure.

Final Thoughts:

This is the album that got Kendrick on my radar, I didn’t dig into it much until recently, but I’ve been listening to both The Recipe and Swimming Pools since their release and have been thoroughly impressed with both. I didn’t think that the rest of the album would hold up, but I was proven wrong after one listen through, Good Kid M.A.A.D City is an incredible album showcasing one of the most beloved artist making music today. Kendrick is the new Tupac or Biggie, screw Jay-Z, Lamar owns the mainstream rap scene, and the funny thing is I don’t think many people would disagree with me on that, even non-hip-hop heads.

Wu-Block-Wu-Block (2012)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 65%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 73%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Crack Spot Stories (feat. Raekwon & Jadakiss)
  2. Pour tha Martini (feat. Cappadonna)
  3. Pull tha Cars Out (feat. Method Man)
  4. Guns for Life (feat. Styles P)
  5. Comin for Ya Head (feat. Styles P & Raekwon)
  6. Cocaine Central (feat. Styles P)
  7. Take Notice
  8. Drivin’ Round (feat. Masta Killah, GZA & Erykah Badu)
  9. Different Time Zones (feat. Inspectah Deck)
  10. Stick Up Kids (feat. Jadakiss)
  11. All in Together (feat. Styles P & Jadakiss)
  12. Do It Like Us (feat. Raekwon)
  13. Stella (feat. Method Man)
  14. Been Robbed
  15. Bust Shots (feat. Inspectah Deck)
  16. Bust Shots (Andrew Kelley Remix)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the search for Wu Tang side projects.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s not amazing, but it’s not offensive to look at either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Meh if it was cheap, if not then no.

Final Thoughts:

Ghostface Killah is my favourite emcee of the Wu-Tang Clan, easily. Anything Ghostface is involved with is automatically interesting to me, but that’s not to say he can do no wrong, he’s more of the artist who when they hit they hit hard and when they miss it’s a whole lot of meh. Surprisingly Wu-Block landed in the middle for me, it wasn’t the best album Ghostface has touched, it wasn’t the worst, it was great shuffle material. The album as a whole didn’t do a lot for me, I’m not going to laugh giddily if I come across it in a record store, but if I saw it I would briefly consider picking it up. Wu-Block is great fodder for your shuffle, but it’s not an album you’re going to turn to often.

Rock Plaza Central-Cover Me In Brule (2012)

My Rating: 75% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Srexy Brack
  2. Ain’t No Grave (boom boom boom version)
  3. I Wrant You
  4. Monkey and Gecko
  5. Cow and Bird
  6. Pranama
  7. You Don’t Need
  8. Ain’t No Grave (movie version)
  9. Record Brody Crount
  10. Excellent Steel Horse (pseudo-acaprella)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

I don’t know, high I guess.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty ugly, but I get that it’s supposed to be a Tim and Eric reference.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Sure it’d be funny to own on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

What kind of psychedelic nightmare trip did I enter when I found this mish mash of an album? Seriously, Rock Plaza Central+Steve Brule+Justin Timberlake Covers=wtf? The whole album is hard to take seriously, I don’t think it is meant to be. It’s a lot of fun though, and certain songs even have the strength to strike a sad chord (I Wrant You), and the seriousness of the instrumentals are still there. I’m not in on the joke though, and for that it’s hard to understand what really is going on on Cover Me In Brule, but regardless we’re still looking at some solid tunes in a weirdly packed concept album.

Mac Demarco-2 (2012)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 82%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 81%

Average Rating: 85%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Cooking Up Something Good
  2. Dreamin
  3. Freaking Out the Neighborhood
  4. Annie
  5. Ode to Viceroy
  6. Robson Girl
  7. The Stars Keep On Calling My Name
  8. My Kind of Woman
  9. Boe Zaah
  10. Sherrill
  11. Still Together

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready for a more under-polished Mac Demarco album, but still love his vibe as much as I do.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s funny, but not doing a whole lot for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh for sure.

Final Thoughts:

Mac Demarco has turned into one of those artists who I’ll pretty much love anything they release, his style is unique, chill, and groovy. He has this unique way of being kind of sad while still being uplifting. 2 is a surprisingly solid album for an earlier release in his career. Not as “clean” sounding as his later albums, but still really catchy, sexy, and so laid back. Demarco knows his audience, he’s found his niche and has slowly crept out of it with his album This Old Dog, which got a lot of radio play, but his heart will always be with the isolated and the weirdos. Somehow he can still cater to a wider audience like my parents, and customers that walk into the bookstore I work at.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti-Mature Themes (2012)

My Rating: 69% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 85%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 74%

Average Rating: 75%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Kinski Assassin
  2. Is This The Best Spot
  3. Mature Themes
  4. Only In My Dreams
  5. Driftwood
  6. Early Birds Of Babylon
  7. Schnitzel Boogie
  8. Symphony Of The Nymph
  9. Pink Slime
  10. Farewell American Primitive
  11. Live It Up
  12. Nostradamus & Me
  13. Baby

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a mix of genres that stays generally mellow.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Cool colours and trippy!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is all of over the place when it comes to genre, at times it reminds me of Thee Oh Sees, other tracks make me think The Smiths or Ween, others Mac DeMarco. So putting your finger on this album is not an easy task. That being said it makes for an overall entertaining, but confusing listen. The first half seems a little more coherent as the B-Side gets more and more out of control and experimental. I can see the draw to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and I love a couple tracks (loved Only In My Dreams for years now), but I’m not quite on board yet. Perhaps another album listen would solidify my opinion.

Father John Misty-Fear Fun (2012)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 73

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 83

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Funtimes in Babylon
  2. Nancy From Now On
  3. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
  4. I’m Writing a Novel
  5. O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me
  6. Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2
  7. Only Son of the Ladiesman
  8. This Is Sally Hatchet
  9. Well, You Can Do It Without Me
  10. Now I’m Learning to Love the War
  11. Tee Pees 1-12
  12. Everyman Needs a Companion

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a laid back album to turn your brain off to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s incredible, best part of this album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Just want it for the cover, but no I won’t actually own it.

Final Thoughts:

Father John Misty’s been on a mental block for me for some time now. Mostly it’s one of those things where a ton of my friends wouldn’t shut up about it and I got weird and stubborn and just didn’t listen to him. I’d be lying if I didn’t find it a little over-hyped, I mean there are a few good tracks on this album, but was it something completely unique that caught me off guard? Not really. While he shines on a few tracks I can’t see myself going out of my way to listen to another one of his album (unless my friends get oddly aggressive and force me to).

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