The Killers-Wonderful Wonderful (2017)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 63%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 71%

Average Rating: 73% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wonderful Wonderful
  2. The Man
  3. Rut
  4. Life To Come
  5. Run For Cover
  6. Tyson vs Douglas
  7. Some Kind Of Love
  8. Out Of My Mind
  9. The Calling
  10. Have All The Songs Been Written?
  11. Money On Straight
  12. The Man (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
  13. The Man (Duke Dumont Remix)

Label:

Island

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to party.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Doesn’t do a lot for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I’ve loved The Killers since high school, and despite all the heat they seem to catch from critics and friends, I love them. Sam’s Town was a great album that introduced me to these guys (fun fact I got it from Columbia House, different times), since then they’ve gone a whole lot more synthy and commercial, I suppose that’s one of the reasons they get a lot of hate. True, their music isn’t very experimental or innovative, but you know what? It’s really really catchy and fun! And sometimes that’s all you need. I’ll always stick up for The Killers, because they’ve always made fun music and haven’t tried to be someone they’re not. Wonderful Wonderful sticks to the plan of what you expect of them in later years, lots of candy glossed pop that’s easy to dance to.

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Passion Pit-Tremendous Sea of Love (2017)

My Rating: 55% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 75%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 65% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Moonbeam
  2. Somewhere Up There
  3. Hey K
  4. You Have The Right
  5. Tremendous Sea of Love
  6. Inner Dialogue
  7. I’m Perfect
  8. The Undertow
  9. To The Otherside
  10. For Sondra (It Means The World To Me)

Label:

Wishart Group Recordings

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Half asleep.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Gorgeous cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the least.

Final Thoughts:

Damn, I’m getting fed up with Passion Pit, they can’t make a good album to save their lives. Tremendous Sea of Love is the same story, a few really catchy songs that are the reason I got into them in the first place, buried in absolute unlistenable trash. When these guys sit down to make an album I really wonder if they actually think it out or if they just kind of wing it and hope it will work together. Passion Pit has pushed me a little far, I keep getting their new album hoping that this time it will be different, but it never is. I need those few rad tracks, but c’mon work on your albums.

The Shins-Heartworms (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 80% (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Name for You
  2. Painting A Hole
  3. Cherry Hearts
  4. Fantasy Island
  5. Mildenhall
  6. Rubber Ballz
  7. Half a Million
  8. Dead Alive
  9. Heartworms
  10. So Now What
  11. The Fear

Label:

Columbia

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling like a mix of Arcade Fire and Empire of the Sun.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Anything acid art is pretty much a win, so this one really works for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Just bought it! So stoked on it.

Final Thoughts:

I hate when a band I’ve loved for a long time releases an album that trumps all their previous work, why? It always makes me sound like an amateur fan and I lose 100 pretentious points. Heartworms is The Shins best album yet, it’s a good mix of awesome instrumentals and really unique vocal performances. The album reinvents the band in a good way, they rolled the dice on this release and won big. It’s like we got a little bit of both worlds between The Shins and Breaking Bells on Heartworms. Controversial claim or otherwise, The Shins have never been this good, Heartworms is a huge accomplishment from this instantly lovable band.

Wu-Tang Clan-The Saga Continues (2017)

My Rating: 44% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 45%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 66%

Average Rating: 52% (D)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wu-Tang The Saga Continues Intro (feat. RZA)
  2. Lesson Learn’d (feat. Inspectah Deck and Redman)
  3. Fast and Furious (feat. Hue Hef and Raekwon)
  4. Famous Fighters (Skit)
  5. If Time Is Money (Fly Navigation) [feat. Method Man]
  6. Frozen (feat. Method Man, Killa Priest and Chris Rivers)
  7. Berto and the Fiend (Skit) [feat. Ghostface Killa]
  8. Pearl Harbor (feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA and Sean Price)
  9. People Say (feat. Redman)
  10. Family (Skit)
  11. Why Why Why (feat. RZA and Swnkah)
  12. G’d up (feat. Method Man, R-Mean and Mzee Jones)
  13. If What You Say Is True (feat. Streetlife)
  14. Saga (Skit) [feat. RZA]
  15. Hood Go Bang! (feat. Redman and Method Man)
  16. My Only One (feat. Ghostface Killah, RZA, Cappadonna, and Steven Latorre)
  17. Message
  18. The Saga Continues Outro (feat. RZA)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Just needing some Wu-Tang in your life.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s the best part of the album, so friggin’ rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

The Saga Continues is proof that not everything Wu-Tang Clan produces is absolute gold, so what went wrong here? Well the whole project just feels lazy, as if the emcees weren’t really into the project, but just making it for the fans. Wu-Tang is still an amazing group of rappers, but The Saga Continues is really boring, I’m not even kidding, it feels like they were half asleep while putting this sloppy mess together. When you’re as big as the Wu-Tang is, fans have big expectations for your collective albums, The Saga Continues couldn’t have been what fans/critics/or the emcees themselves really wanted. Can we all just pretend it didn’t happen? Please?

King Krule-The Ooz (2017)

My Rating: 84% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 85% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Biscuit Town
  2. The Locomotive
  3. Dum Surfer
  4. Slush Puppy
  5. Bermondsey Bosom (Left)
  6. Logos
  7. Sublunary
  8. Lonely Blue
  9. Cadet Limbo
  10. Emergency Blimp
  11. Czech One
  12. A Slide In (New Drugs)
  13. Vidual
  14. Bermondsey Visin (Right)
  15. Half Man Half Shark
  16. The Cadet Leaps
  17. The Ooz
  18. Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)
  19. La Lune

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sleepy and angry/confused.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, fits the music perfectly.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Already do, it’s awesome.

Final Thoughts:

I finally got to see this guy live and I was stoked out of my mind, I couldn’t believe how big the crowd was to see him, I kind of thought he was somewhat unheard of but I guess I was wrong. Well, maybe that was the case before The Ooz dropped this year, an album that gained considerable critical acclaim from both fans and music bloggers. It’s worthy of the praise, The Ooz is unlike anything you’ve ever heard, even previous King Krule albums don’t quite sound like it. This is one of those albums that an amazing pair of headphones would really bring alive. There are multi-layered tracks that are so hard to unpack, but I can’t wait to sit down and spend more time with it. The Ooz is an incredibly unique album, I’m so glad King Krule is gaining popularity!

Beck-Colors (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 63%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 72%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Colors
  2. Seventh Heaven
  3. I’m So Free
  4. Dear Life
  5. No Distraction
  6. Dreams (Colors Mix)
  7. Wow
  8. Up All Night
  9. Square One
  10. Fix Me
  11. Dreams

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Starting off on a fun road trip.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s okay, kinda reminiscent of Sea Change.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Beck continues to be impressive with Colors, honestly, will this dude ever fall off? It’s kind of frustrating really, like dude give some other people the spotlight, stop being such an attention seeker. Colors is enjoyable throughout, there’s weaker tracks than others for sure, but none are bad by any stretch. Beck is one of the few artists I know who can leave the studio for a long time and come back and continue making relevant music. Beck never feels like he’s following someone’s idea of popular music, he makes music and others follow him.

P.O.S.-Chill, Dummy (2017)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 83%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Born A Snake
  2. Bully
  3. Faded
  4. Get Ate
  5. Gravedigger
  6. Infinite Scroll
  7. Lanes
  8. Pieces-Ruins
  9. Roddy Piper
  10. Sleepdrone-Superposition
  11. Thieves-Kings
  12. Wearing A Bear

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling like a funky bad ass.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s incredible I love it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!!!

Final Thoughts:

P.O.S. continues to impress me, every album of his I dig into I’m reminded of how original and underrated he truly is. Chill, Dummy is an album that made me proud to have been with this guy for awhile, he’s growing as an artist and it’s awesome to see his growth with this album. He mixes in a little bit of his hard-core side on this album, where even the opener Born A Snake makes you wonder if you invested in an early Rage Against The Machine release. P.O.S. is an artist who will be respected in time, with all of the music coming out it’s easy to miss this release, but I think given a few years this will be as well respected as Aesop Rock’s The Impossible Kid.

St. Vincent-MASSEDUCTION (2017)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 88%

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hang On Me
  2. Pills
  3. Masseduction
  4. Sugarboy
  5. Los Ageless
  6. Happy Birthday, Johnny
  7. Savior
  8. New York
  9. Fear The Future
  10. Young Lover
  11. Dancing With A Ghost
  12. Slow Disco
  13. Smoking Section

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a glittery pop-esque album that has more to it then what’s on the surface.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Anything I say will make me sound like a pervert.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

When an artist takes the stage to cover a Nirvana song for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s time to take notice. That’s exactly what St. Vincent did, she covered Lithium (one of my all time favourite Nirvana tracks) and rocked it, which is not easy to do. MASSEDUCTION is very much like that Nirvana cover: a little shocking. Before this album both of her albums had a more “innocent” feel to them, then we’re given MASSEDUCTION where she is very clearly not just another pop icon, taking a darker, edgier, and somewhat apocalyptic turn, and I loved it. It’s just so out of nowhere, but I think that’s what St. Vincent does best, she surprises you and keeps you on your toes.

Lecrae-All Things Work Together (2017)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 71% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Always Knew
  2. Facts
  3. Broke
  4. Blessings (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
  5. Whatchu Mean (feat. Aha Gazelle)
  6. Hammer Time (feat. 1k Phew)
  7. Come and Get Me
  8. Lucked Up
  9. Wish You the Best (feat. Verse Simmonds)
  10. Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)
  11. I’ll Find You (feat. Tori Kelly)
  12. 8:28
  13. Cry For You (feat. Taylor Hill)
  14. Worth It (feat. Kierra Sheard & Jawan Harris)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing something more contemporary but need to clear your head from the explicit stuff.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I like it, it reminds me of something Pusha T would choose.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

I have such mixed feelings about Lecrae, on one hand he’s a really talented emcee who has really knocked down the walls of Christian hip hop and made the culture take it more seriously, but on the other hand he just seems to swim through lanes already made by popular emcees. Honestly, my biggest criticism of All Things Work Together is that Lecrae is really just going for the style that’s popular at the moment. It seems somewhat unauthentic when an artist follows, I wouldn’t say he’s biting, but he’s definitely changing for commercial appeal. I can’t fault an artist on trying to get sales or listens, but at the end of the day I love authenticity in my music and if you change every album to fit what’s good at the time it’s not authentic and has an expiration date, it won’t standout as THE album during any season, and that’s what stops me from loving Lecrae despite an overall pretty good album.

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