You Are Going To Hate This ALBUM REVIEW

You Are Going To Hate This Score

You Are Going to Hate This, the sophomore album from San Diego’s surf-punk power trio The Frights, now with Marc Finn on the drums, is nothing short of self-aware. Actually that self-awareness is a quality that runs deeply in the surf-variations of genres and bands that hail from California. Most of them want to make music with their friends and get drunk on cheap beer. Some musicians go overboard and over their heads, yet these surf-rock bands that keep popping up know exactly where they are musically. Nevertheless the name of this album is somewhat misleading at first glance. It is not a statement about the quality of their songs. It seems to target you personally but that “You” is not singular but plural. The album name is a message to their fans, the fans from their previous work and while the band is still riding their rockabilly, dirty doo wop sound, there are some slight variations from their previous works that is due to the production direction. Continue reading “You Are Going To Hate This ALBUM REVIEW”

The Gamble ALBUM REVIEW

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Long before its initials became synonymous with background music for spring break amphetamine binges, electronic music represented a counterculture far more sophisticated. Groups like Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin gained near mainstream popularity in the late 90’s for their true alternative to conventional pop music, their songs nearly academic in their depth and experimentation. Instead of conveying lyrics, vocals are often processed, unintelligible fragments which complement the dynamic drum patterns, synth lines, and samples that comprise hauntingly beautiful records like Richard D. James Album or Geogaddi. Continue reading “The Gamble ALBUM REVIEW”

In My Mind ALBUM REVIEW

In My Mind Score

The Soul and R&B genre is attempting a renaissance, but popular music tastes tend to skew toward the “art-rap” genre with artists like Future, Young Thug and the like. Against these odds, singer/songwriter/professional crooner BJ The Chicago Kid is leading this revival. He’s been putting out music since 2001, but was recently signed to classic soul record company Motown Records. He’s worked with other rappers, like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, but his Motown Records debut goes back to the Soul/R&B classics. In My Mind features relaxed grooves, loose bass lines and puts BJ’s voice at the forefront— which may be the best part of the whole album. He guides the listener across the story of a relationship, painting a picture of how each stage of the relationship goes. His music is personal, but open, letting the listener connect easily. Continue reading “In My Mind ALBUM REVIEW”

James Blake – “Modern Soul” TRACK REVIEW

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James Blake has always been associated with the dubstep scene. With most of his early singles and EPs, this was obvious. By the time his debut LP was released, much of his focus was controversially focused on a more bare, focused attempt to replicate those emotions, while still utilizing the dub. Since then, he’s just moved farther and farther away. Similarly, his music has always felt at least a tinge of sadness. It’s straddled the emotional fence, rarely if ever fully diving into pools of sorrow, but constantly looking longingly in that direction. His last LP really laid these feelings bare, giving us more of an insight to James’ psyche than we ever had before. Continue reading “James Blake – “Modern Soul” TRACK REVIEW”

Past Cloaks ALBUM REVIEW

Past Cloaks Score

In 2015, a collaboration between Madlib and Earl Sweatshirt was briefly rumored. While nothing came of this, 18 year-old Chester Watson is essentially the embodiment of what could have been. He made a name for himself in 2012 with the release of Phantom, and in 2014 he released Tin Wooki, which ignited a barrage of Earl Sweatshirt comparisons. Past Cloaks is Chester’s first album, a near-compilation of the original material spanning his career, with some new flavors sprinkled in sporadically. On this project, Chester rides the line between influence and “biting”, something the underground artist is not unfamiliar with. But it tows a weird line; too grimey for an Earl clone, too lyrical for a Mac Miller clone. Continue reading “Past Cloaks ALBUM REVIEW”