RSS: Album Reviews

in #richfat4 years ago

Lee Gamble: Mnestic Pressure

Navigating the divide between club culture and conceptual art, the UK producer repurposes the momentum-based language of dance music into a hauntingly frozen inversion.

Armand Hammer: ROME

Brooklyn emcees Elucid and Billy Woods’ third album as Armand Hammer is a stellar underground hip-hop record. They are radical and full of heart, delivering cocksure homilies from the margins of rap.

Kamaiyah: Before I Wake

On the first of two mixtapes to be released before her major label debut, Before I Wake finds the Oakland emcee less relaxed and laidback. It plays out like a reassertion of control.

Taylor Swift: Reputation

Taylor Swift’s sixth album is an aggressive, lascivious display of craftsmanship, but her full embrace of modern pop feels sadly conventional.

Nico: Chelsea Girl

On her 1967 debut album, Nico’s unmistakable voice sings the songs of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Jackson Browne. *Chelsea Girl* helps define her as a mercurial aura and a manifold, complicated artist.

M.E.S.H.: Hesaitix

With Hesaitix, the Berlin-based DJ and producer has built a strange world that lives and breathes. It’s a catchy, fascinating electronic album that lives in a lucid unreality.

U-Men: U-Men

The Seattle band U-Men released only one full-length during their eight-year run in the 1980s, but their legend loomed large over a generation. A new Sub Pop reissue collects their crucial catalog.

Young Lean: Stranger

The Swedish rapper’s third album offers glimpses of his full potential, songs that pierce through the detachment that once obscured real emotion.

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys: Rot

On the follow-up to their 2013 debut LP, the beer-swilling, self-described former “party band” grows up without slowing down.

Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid/Jewels of Thought/Deaf Dumb Blind (Summun Bukmun Umyun)

Three invaluable reissues showcase a young bandleader and his top-tier players as they create a powerfully cohesive group sound: elegant, adventurous, warm, and ferocious all at once.

Call Super: Arpo

The second album from producer Joe Seaton offers a rush of effervescence. With a childlike and immersive touch, he pulls apart and rearranges small, twinkling sounds.

Angel Olsen: Phases

This collection of B-sides, demos, and covers is terrific and revelatory in its own right. It's a trail of dropped clues to the creative process of the defiantly mercurial Olsen.

Rabit: Les Fleurs Du Mal

Eric Burton’s latest album is a logical extension of his to 2015 album Communion, an experimental world of dissolving certainty where all light is gradually leached out of the landscape.

Willow: The 1st

With her second album, Willow Smith opts for a more organic and raw sound. It’s a huge leap in the right direction, as she uses her guitar to channel alternative singer-songwriters of the 1990s.

Kllo: Backwater

The Australian duo’s debut full length features warm, pleasing vocal lines and electro-pop beats, but it never coheres to tell the kind of story they want to tell.

Sleigh Bells: Kid Kruschev

Like everyone else, Sleigh Bells are feeling the weight of the world in 2017. Their lean new mini-album has more thematic cohesion than their previous releases and also a surprising tenderness.

Curls: Vante EP

Christopher Owens, formerly of Girls, calls Curls—a trio with drummer Cody Rhodes and bassist Luke Baće—his first “real band.” Their new EP contains some of the most lavish-sounding music he has released.

Maroon 5: Red Pill Blues

Adam Levine’s band return for their sixth album of smooth, professional, antiseptic soft-rock, which somehow also features Kendrick Lamar, Future, and A$AP Rocky.

Zazou/Bikaye/CY1: Noir et Blanc

Released in 1983, Noir et Blanc still sounds like a broadcast from the future—the influential work of Congolese and French musicians using analog synths, strange effects, and stranger time signatures.

James Holden and the Animal Spirits: The Animal Spirits

Electronic producer James Holden has remade himself into a bandleader on his new album—a collection of self-described “folk-trance” recorded with improv ensemble the Animal Spirits.


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