Caribou-Our Love (2014)

My Rating: 55% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 86%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 74% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Can’t Do Without You
  2. Silver
  3. All I Ever Need
  4. Our Love
  5. Dive
  6. Second Chance
  7. Julia Brightly
  8. Mars
  9. Back Home
  10. Your Love Will Set You Free

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to chill out to some electronic tunes.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Beautiful album cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

Caribou’s song Silver was getting tons of radio-play with similar artists such as Tame Impala and Future Islands. Rollingstone also put them in a list of greatest albums of the year so I took a chance with Our Love. Unfortunately it just didn’t impress me. The song Silver is great, there’s no doubt about that, but as far as Our Love is concerned I found it contained just as many misses as hits. As is the case with electronic music there can be a lot of dead tracks between the ones worth your time. Would I say I hate this album? No, I just found it really boring for the most part. Caribou has made some worthwhile tunes, but their album game needs some adjusting.

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Karen O-Crush Songs (2014)

My Rating: 87% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 58%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 65%

Average Rating: 70% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Ooo
  2. Rapt
  3. Visits
  4. Beast
  5. Comes The Night
  6. NYC Baby
  7. Other Side
  8. So Far
  9. Day Go By
  10. Body
  11. King
  12. Indian Summer
  13. Sunset Sun
  14. Native Korean Rock
  15. Singalong

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Have a low attention span and are going through a breakup.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely love this cover!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure!

Final Thoughts:

I don’t know how I found this album, honestly, more than likely I saw the album cover and was intrigued. I’ve been listening to Rapt religiously since I explored the album. Crush Songs is a weird album, most the songs are under 2 minutes long, but for some reason it worked for me. I guess I’ve always preferred shorter songs to really unnecessarily long ones, I loathe repetition so there’s not a lot of space for it within a couple minutes. Karen O experiments with minimalism in every sense on Crush Songs, and if that’s too simplistic for you this is not an album you’re going to enjoy.

Broods-Evergreen (2014)

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. Mother & Father
  2. Everytime
  3. Killing You
  4. Bridges
  5. L.A.F.
  6. Never Gonna Change
  7. Sober
  8. Medicine
  9. Evergreen
  10. Four Walls
  11. Superstar

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to branch out from your typical radio sounding music, but you’re not ready for anything too experimental.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really cool and sharp looking.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I think it’d be a fun contemporary record to own on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Broods are a great way to try to get out of your comfort zone a bit, their music still sounds like mall/radio friendly tunes, but there’s something a little more going on here. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I like the style and I’m always up for something that makes me question what I think of a genre. Typically, this kinda junk does not appeal to me in the least, but Broods do it in a fresh/unique way that’s almost similar to FKA Twigs or Little Dragon. Finally an album that me and the typical white girl could probably agree on. It’s all about making white girls happy, amiright?

Del The Funkyhomosapien!-Iller Than Most (2014)

My Rating: 73% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 74%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Leader
  2. Boogieman
  3. Delta Time
  4. Mental Fitness
  5. Bitin Ain’t Samplin
  6. Robust
  7. Militant
  8. Wreckin The Upside
  9. 10 Paces
  10. Grand Royal
  11. Land Of Immediate Rap Hits

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the search for renowned underground hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super trippy, I don’t like how I can’t tell what’s going on, it scares me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nah he has better stuff than this.

Final Thoughts:

Del The Funkyhomosapien! was my gateway drug to nerdy/alternative hip-hop, I remember listening to his album Eleventh Hour back in my high school skater days and half loving it and half being completely confused as to what was going on. He’s kinda one of those rappers that has done all he’s wanted stylistically and any other album he makes is just padding to his already impressive discography, I don’t see him making any albums that really catch me off guard (this one didn’t) but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the plan. Iller Than Most is a perfect definition for Del, it’s not showstopping hip hop, but it’s quality and it’s better than a lot of the stuff being made.

The Growlers-Chinese Fountain (2014)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 70%

Average Rating: 85%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Big Toe
  2. Black Memories
  3. Chinese Fountain
  4. Dull Boy
  5. Good Advice
  6. Going Gets Tuff
  7. Magnificent Sadness
  8. Love Test
  9. Not the Man
  10. Rare Hearts
  11. Purgatory Drive

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a mish mash of genres with an over all good feeling, especially hot for summer.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Meh. Doesn’t do a lot for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Oh hell ya!

Final Thoughts:

The Growler’s have toured with bands that I’m a big fan of, such as acts like Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees, and FIDLAR to name a few, and it was only time for me to check em out. I was blown away with how consistent this album was. This is a great example of a short and sweet album, they don’t drag it out to the point where I get tired, they leave me wanting more instead. It’s a surfy sounding album, with a lot for people to like. Country, Psychadellic, Pop, and Rock fans will feel right at home here.

Damaged Bug-Hubba Bubba (2014)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 68%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 67%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Gloves For Garbage
  2. Rope Burn
  3. Eggs At Night
  4. SS Cassidinea
  5. Catastrophopbia
  6. Hubba Bubba
  7. Sic Bay Surprise
  8. Photograph
  9. Hot Swells
  10. 1-2 An Airplane
  11. Metal Hand
  12. Wasteland

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood to take a psychedelic ride through space.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s really solid, lots to stare at and it’s psychedelic looking like the music.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yep anything from this label I almost am always gonna want on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Jon Dwyer is slowly becoming one of my favourite contemporary artists, with his projects Thee Oh Sees, Coach Whips, and Damaged Bug, there is so much to sink your teeth into. Damaged Bug goes heavier on the lo-fi electronic sound. Giving you muffled vocals and 80’s sound effects that can be both danceable and mellow. Hubba Bubba offers a wide scope of sound that’s sure to keep psychedelic fiends entertained, but is not all too accessible to others not familiar to the genre.

Generationals-Alix (2014)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 88%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Black Lemon
  2. Gold Silver Diamond
  3. Reviver
  4. It Took A Minute
  5. Reading Signs
  6. Charlemagne
  7. Welcome to the Fire
  8. Heart In Two
  9. Now Look At Me
  10. Would You Want Me

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving with the top down on a hot day.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, nothing special, but it does make me think that they musicians are just normal people.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

Put On A Light was the first song I heard from these guys and I’m stoked to hear what else they can make. This album is just delightful! Is it original or show-stopping? You know, probably not. But it’s really enjoyable and dammit, I like it! It’s also really chill, I found it really easy to just turn my brain off and let this album do its thing, which is a nice change of pace with some of the other albums I’ve been listening to (Aesop Rock comes to mind). Generationals aren’t anything new, but they’ve perfected their craft and are a great listen for a nice day!

The Drums-Encyclopedia (2014)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 71%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magic Mountain
  2. I Can’t Pretend
  3. I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him
  4. Kiss Me Again
  5. Let Me
  6. Break My Heart
  7. Face of God
  8. U.S. National Park
  9. Deep in My Heart
  10. Bell Laboratories
  11. There Is Nothing Left
  12. Wild Geese

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an album to mellow out to/be sad to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, everything from the position they take on the couch to the objects above their heads, it all fits their sound.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, fer surrrre.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums feel like the evolution of bands like The Smiths or The Animals, catchy tunes for sensitive people. They have an overall sad sound that really translates to the themes that they tackle (see There Is Nothing Left). Although the theme of Encyclopedia isn’t exactly as flushed out as I’d like it to be, the album still stands. And holy crap Magic Mountain as the opening track, I’ve never felt so excited to delve into a album by these guys.

Damien Rice-My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 94% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 76%

Average Rating: 85%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Favourite Faded Fantasy
  2. It Takes a Lot to Know a Man
  3. The Greatest Bastard
  4. I Don’t Want to Change You
  5. Colour Me In
  6. The Box
  7. Trusty and True
  8. Long Long Way

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry/sad and need to get it out of your system.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super cool, I wish I could draw as well as the person who did the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Damien Rice’s My Favourite Faded Fantasy sounds like an epic. As if a man who has been in a marriage for years has lost everything and is putting it into his music. Huge sounding. Really beautiful, but incredibly sad and angry. It’s great for any angsty teen/adult/baby that may be out there. I can see myself singing some of these lyrics loudly in the middle of the night. Honestly if you haven’t gotten into Damien Rice yet, it’s about damn time. This is a great starting point, but honestly all of his albums are.

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