It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and with the ridiculous amount of albums I’ve grabbed in the past few months, I think it’s time to OD on some aural goodness. Let’s begin, shall we?
Aloe Blacc – Good Things: Some of you may have heard some of Mr. Blacc’s work as the title for HBO’s How to Live In America, and after hearing his amazing cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale”, I grabbed the rest of the album, and it is a damn good one hands down. John Legend fans should def. check this out, it’s soul music done right.
Autolux – Transit Transit: While shoegaze has never been my thing, this is actually a pretty solid album. It’s spooky and Carla Azar’s drumming is really friggin’ good. This might have to go in the “Maybe ” pile for a bit.
Clinic – Bubblegum: The first time I heard this band’s stuff was when their album Walking With Thee blew up back in 2002. I figured that giving them a listen would be a good idea. It wasn’t. Apparently, from the reviews I read this is a departure from their normal sound, which is true, but the destination is deletion, sadly.
Girl Talk – All Day: I can never say no to mashups, and Girl Talk really does bring it like no other. His sampling is still on point (Here’s a complete breakdown of them), from the opening Black Sabbath/Ludacris mix on “Oh No”, to the Portishead/Big Boi combo on “Jump on Stage”, and the Biggie Smalls/Cream one on “On and On”- Oh, just listen to the album already, it’s not like you have to buy it.
Lil’ Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being: After listening to Weezy’s laughably bad Rebirth, I was hoping his prison stay got the rock tendencies out of him and getting him back to rapping. It did, but the album sounds like a bloated mixtape, with sucks because normally his mixtapes are pretty good. I’m deleting this and just have to wait ’til Tha Carter IV comes out.
Lupe Fiasco – Lasers: Oh, Mr. Fiasco. What the hell did Atlantic Records do to you? I’ve heard the “Oh, but there’s 1 or 2 good tracks on it” argument for this album (Which is sort of true; on a second listen “Words I Never Said” is actually solid, and “All Black Everything” is good by all rights). I call BS on that though; Food & Liquor and The Cool had more signal than noise than this one. And what kills me the most is that his first single, “The Show Goes On”, samples “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Don’t get me wrong, I want rappers to tap into the indie scene, but Kanye West did it better with Bon Iver on “Lost In The World”. And what really kills me is that this is the guy that gave us “Hello Goodbye”, with a solid UNKLE/ Josh Homme sample to back it up. Just get the hell out of your Atlantic contract and go back to mixtapes, man. You’re killing me.
Miike Snow – Miike Snow: Long story short: If I want my electropop, I’m going with Royksopp and The Knife. “In Search Of ” is a good remix-able track, but besides that, screw these guys.
Salem – King Night: I heard about this “witch house” scene in the last couple of weeks, and upon reading Warren Ellis mentioning the title track of this album on his blog, I gave it this a go. First off, the title track is the ONLY good song on this. when they actually get to John Holland’s rapping, things go bad quick. For example, his clearly Autotuned voice sounds like the voice of a very high black rapper. Here’s a photo of the band:
I listened to some more songs from this scene (here’s a link to it) and after giving it a good listen, I’m dumping the ENTIRE witch house BS into my Recycle Bin.
Tricky – Mixed Race: I’ve routinely kept up with Tricky’s stuff, and I wasn’t a big fan of Knowle West Boy so I was a bit hesitant to check this one out. “Kingston Logic” is a pretty interesting take on Daft Punk’s Technologic, but it lacks a certain punch. The overall sound of the album goes all over the place from jazz feel of “Early Bird” with the Arabic singing in “Hakim”, and it makes the album disjointed. “Come to Me” had a female vocalist that really had me missing Martina Topley-Bird’s voice on his older tracks. I hope he really does work on the next Massive Attack project, because I’m probably not gonna check out Tricky’s solo stuff for a while.