Creating one of the most innovative albums in a respective genre, as Cudi did with MOTM, comes with the burden of astronomical expectations and an elevated standard, which make it extremely challenging to follow up. With KSG, Cudi finds that elusive spark that made his albums from a decade earlier so visceral, evocative, and… alive. The key difference on KSG is that he’s shed his tendencies toward self-consciousness and insecurity, and replaced them with self-motivation and faith – culminating in his symbolic re-birth. Continue reading The Gradually Increasing Significance of Kids See Ghosts
Thundercat is on a mission to build his own brand of funky neo soul music. On his new album, It Is What It Is, the talented bassist concocts another blend of avante garde jazz with funky bass lines and dopey humor. Thundercat throws the weirdness of an Adult Swim segment into the webs of contemporary jazz compositions to tell goofy love stories that bring his musical comics to life. Continue reading REVIEW: Thundercat continues to invent his own brand of groovy and goofy soul
Childish Gambino does a little bit of everything on his best album yet: 3.15.20. By drawing clear influence from the likes of Frank Ocean, Prince, Kanye West, Toro y Moi, and Andre 3000, Gambino creates an eclectic and sprawling work that’s been a decade in the making. On 3.15.20, Donald Glover shifts the paradigm of what anti-genre entails in contemporary music – but his newest experiment doesn’t come without a catch. Continue reading REVIEW: Childish Gambino’s 3.15.20 is a sprawling example of anti-genre
Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is re-imagining what it means for fans to experience music. His new album Negus is exclusively available during ticketed listening sessions taking place at the Brooklyn Museum. The listening sessions will run through January 2020, and the album component will not be released on streaming services or hard copy – not any time soon at least. Continue reading In the Era of Unlimited Access to Music, Yasiin Bey’s Negus Exhibit is the Antithesis to Streaming Consumption
For all the debates ablaze in the hip hop community, the unanimous appreciation for Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s music is a true testament to its quality. The duo has released two albums together, Piñata (2014) and Bandana (2019), and are planning on a third installment to complete the trilogy. The rapper-producer team up combines Madlib’s pristine jazz-fusion, soul-sampling production with rapper Freddie Gibbs’s knack for storytelling that is hardcore yet full of streetwise sensibilities. The result is a sort of hip hop purism reminiscent of the early 90’s. Continue reading REVIEW: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
An invitation we can all enjoy, Let’s Rock is the Black Keys’ ninth studio album and a breath of smog-free air for rock listeners. After a 5-year hiatus, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are officially back. … Continue reading REVIEW: The Black Keys Return Confidently on ‘Let’s Rock’
Last year, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy released his memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), along with two 11-track solo albums, WARM and WARMER. It was an especially busy year for him, and fortunately this pace hasn’t slowed down in 2019. Tweedy reunited with his Wilco bandmates to release their 11th album, Ode to Joy, on October 4th, which they are following up with an accompanying tour through the rest of the year.
Continue reading REVIEW: Wilco’s ‘Ode to Joy’ Is the Band’s Best Album in Over a Decade