San Cisco-The Water (2017)

My Rating: 90%

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 90%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Kids are Cool
  2. Sunrise
  3. That Boy
  4. The Distance
  5. Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?
  6. Waiting For The Weekend
  7. SloMo
  8. The Water
  9. Did You Get What You Came For
  10. Make Me Electrify

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a fun pop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually like the cover a lot, it’s really reminiscent of early electric music.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really one I think that would be that great as a record.

Final Thoughts:

San Cisco is fun music, really easy to put on and have anyone generally enjoy it. They’re good at what they do: making poppy bouncy music. The Water is really dance-able, consistently enjoyable, and not at all thought provoking, just the kind of tunes you need when throwing a summer pool party, or for those long days when you need something mindless to lift up your spirits. The music is really solid, not like a lot of the bands who are similar, and thank the sweet lord it’s not too repetitive. A fun summer listen.

The Drums-Abysmal Thoughts (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mirror
  2. I’ll Fight for Your Life
  3. Blood Under My Belt
  4. Heart Basel
  5. Shoot The Sun Down
  6. Head of the Horse
  7. Under The Ice
  8. Are U Fucked
  9. Your Tenderness
  10. Rich Kids
  11. If All We Share (Means Nothing)
  12. Abysmal Thoughts

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a contemporary band that sounds like they could be straight out of a 90’s Spielberg flick.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super weird, I think I like it…I think.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Own it, they did a good job at making it really unique too! One side of the two records is just a glossy “Abysmal Thoughts”.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums have been playing on my mp3 players since late High School, they’re a band that’s seen me through a lot of growing pains. And I think they’ve gone through growing pains of their own. With the more experimental sound of Encyclopedia, their release before this one, a lot of fans weren’t on board for songs like Magic Mountain (my all time favourite by them). But with the release of Abysmal Thoughts both fans from Encyclopedia and old school fans from the days of Money and Let’s Go Surfing should find lots to drool over. There is something a lot more accomplished about this album, true it doesn’t stray too far from their sound, but it’s almost like a confidence is being exuded through the tracks. It sounds like an instant classic, like the evolution of The Smiths. Abysmal Thoughts continues the theme of incredibly sad lyrics over fun instrumentals, and we thank them for it.

Thundercat-Drunk (2017)

Record Review Requested By: Samantha Matheson

My Rating: 85% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 85%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating:  83%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Rabbot Ho
  2. Captain Stupido
  3. Uh Uh
  4. Bus In These Streets
  5. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
  6. Lava Lamp
  7. Jethro
  8. Day & Night
  9. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
  10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  11. Blakkk
  12. Tokyo
  13. Jameel’s Space Ride
  14. Friend Zone
  15. Them Changes
  16. Where I’m Going
  17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
  18. Inferno
  19. I Am Crazy
  20. 3AM
  21. Drunk
  22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
  23. DUI

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

You want something experimental and funky.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Friggin’ awesome and terrifying.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

I can safely say that I have never heard anything quite like Drunk, it’s a truly one of a kind experience. Ridiculous lyrics, crazy sounds, way too many tracks for one album, it’s as if you are listening to Tim and Eric as a funk album. It’s hard to take the album too seriously, but honestly it’s just really good/fun music. I don’t know if it came on on shuffle if those nearby could appreciate it for what it is, but I think as an album not knowing what you’re getting yourself into but open to new experiences it can be quite the space ride. For fans of techno, funk, and hip-hop you’ll find plenty to fawn over.

KRS-One-The World Is MIND (2017)

My Rating: 83% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 83%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Show Respect
  2. Same Shit
  3. Keep Clicking Ft. Shai
  4. Out For Fame
  5. My Dreams
  6. Fuck This Ft. K.O.D
  7. Don’t Ever Stop Ft. Janiece
  8. RAW B.E.A.T
  9. You Ain’t Got Time
  10. No Problems
  11. You Like Me
  12. Put Ya Ones Up
  13. Keep Flowin’
  14. Hip Hop Speaks From Heaven
  15. The World Is MIND

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Really missing old school hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it, super psychedelic and weird.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yuuuuup.

Final Thoughts:

KRS-One is the man, if you don’t know that, you need to study your hip-hop history more. He’s one of those artists who is more respected than actually listened to, he doesn’t get much radio play. I’ll be honest, I’ve found some of his previous albums to be misses, but The World is MIND returns to his old school style and is just really really fun. I didn’t realize how much I missed having this sub-genre of Hip-Hop in my life until I sat through this album. I’m a big fan of inovation and experimentalization with music, but it’s a breath of fresh air to return to basics. Want a contemporary old school hip-hop album? The World is MIND is for you.

Electric Guest-Plural (2017)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Zero
  2. Glorious Warrior
  3. Back & Forth
  4. Dear To Me
  5. Oh Devil
  6. Back For Me
  7. See The Light
  8. Over
  9. My Omen
  10. Sarah
  11. Bound To Lose

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a pop/electric album that’s fairly straightforward.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s rad, reminds me a bit of The Human League’s album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Electric Guest has been on my watch list since their incredibly catchy song This Head I Hold. I’ve expected these guys to make more waves but very few people seem to be tuning into their stuff. I can understand that, the lead vocalists can be a little whiny sounding at times (ex. Back & Fourth) but when he doesn’t try those really high notes his voice is great. Plural is a great album in the sense that it will add nicely to my shuffle, but it’s not about to be an album that I’d go searching for on vinyl. The problem is that it’s just a little too simplistic and for a band that has only made two albums that can be a problem. Nothing wrong to sticking to the plan, but these guys need to work on their plan a little more. There are some incredibly catchy tunes on this album, though, and it can be a lot of fun at times, I just don’t think they’ve hit their stride quite yet.

Elbow-Little Fictions (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 71%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magnificent (She Says)
  2. Gentle Storm
  3. Trust the Sun
  4. All Disco
  5. Head for Supplies
  6. Firebrand & Angel
  7. K2
  8. Montparnasse
  9. Little Fictions
  10. Kindling

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for big sound out of a typically quiet indie band.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I REALLY LOVE THIS ALBUM COVER!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly.

Final Thoughts:

There’s a scene on Peep Show, a famous UK comedy, where one of the main characters is failing at charades and thinks to himself something along the lines as “I don’t want to know these bands! I don’t want to listen to shitty bands like Elbow.” It’s a really funny quote, and at the risk of sounding like a typical millennial dirt bag, I love Elbow. I love how they offer such diversity with each album all while staying true to some familiar vibe (ugh I used the word vibe). With Little Fictions were given the big band treatment and it sounds so epic and beautiful. This is a serious contender for best album of the year.

blink-182-California (Deluxe Edition) (2017)

Record Review Requested By: Drew Brown

My Rating: 21% (F)

Pitchfork Rating: 55%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 52.3%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

Disc 1

  1. Cynical
  2. Bored To Death
  3. She’s Out Of Her Mind
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Sober
  6. Built This Pool
  7. No Future
  8. Home Is Such A Lonely Place
  9. Kings Of The Weekend
  10. Teenage Satellites
  11. Left Alone
  12. Rabbit Hole
  13. San Diego
  14. The Only Thing That Matters
  15. California
  16. Brohemian Rhapsody

Disc 2

  1. Parking Lot
  2. Misery
  3. Good Old Days
  4. Don’t Mean Anything
  5. Hey I’m Sorry
  6. Last Train Home
  7. Wildfire
  8. 6/8
  9. Long Lost Feeling
  10. Bottom of the Ocean
  11. Can’t Get You More Pregnant
  12. Bored To Death (Acoustic)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Feeling self-abusive.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I’ve always loved blink-182’s album covers, this one is just as awesome.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Helllllll no.

Final Thoughts:

I didn’t grow up on blink-182, I mean I listened to All The Small Things and I Miss You (a really great song), but for the most part I was just not into it. I tried the Christian-esque type instead (Hawk Nelson, FM Static, etc.) and those bands were great in high school, but didn’t age well. I tried the new album out of curiosity and a hope that blink-182 would help me love pop-punk, it didn’t go as expected. It didn’t age well, immediately, like it may have sounded great in the studio but as soon as it was put together as an album the thing was outdated. This genre refuses to develop (or at least I haven’t seen it develop). It’s the same ol’ same ol’. Boring songs. Immature high schoolish hooks. This is an album DOA, and I for one will not be excited if this band decides to release another album.

The I.L.Y’s-Bodyguard (2017)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 90%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wash My Hands Shorty
  2. Well Known People Want to Know
  3. Gargoyle
  4. Quietly Being the Best
  5. 49er Lighter
  6. I Love You Man
  7. The Treatment
  8. This Is How It Is Now
  9. Bobo
  10. The Studio

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some unique garage/noise rock.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Wut?

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely!

Final Thoughts:

The I.L.Y’s are on John Dwyer’s record label Castle Face, and being such I thought that they worth my time to listen to. The album is diverse and expertly crafted, just what I’d expect from any musician that aligns themselves with Dwyer. It’s weird, it’s funky, it’s angry at times, but mostly it’s in good spirits. Wash My Hands Shorty is a great start to the album, from there let your brain slowly melt away with the weird and enticing sounds.

Brother Ali-All the Beauty in This Whole Life (2017)

My Rating: 77% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 80%

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pen to Paper (feat. Amir Sulaiman)
  2. Own Light (What Hearts Are For)
  3. Special Effects (feat. deM atlas)
  4. Can’t Take That Away
  5. Dear Black Son
  6. We Got This (feat. Sa-Roc)
  7. Uncle Usi Taught Me
  8. Pray for Me
  9. It Ain’t Easy
  10. Never Learn
  11. Tremble
  12. Before They Called You White
  13. The Bitten Apple (feat. Idris Philips)
  14. Out of Here
  15. All the Beauty in This Whole Life

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a soul sounding hip-hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s great, really unique. I like it a lot.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Brother Ali is a unique artist who has been releasing great music for years now. With his newest addition fans will feel back at home while strangers can approach without too much of a learning curve (if any at all). I want to see Brother Ali grow in his unique style a little bit, maybe a concept album or a mix with a different producer (my vote would be for Hervé Salters). It’s a good album, like all of his others, but I’m starting to know what to expect, and it’s getting a little repetitive.

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