Sunday, March 29, 2015

Drake- If You're Reading This It's Too Late (2015)

Why did I review the album?  Was working on another album review when I found out this came out and immediately listened
Did I like it? No
Will I listen again? To select songs
I don’t like this album which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve read any of my previous rap album reviews. It’s an album full of chopped rapping that I’m not a fan of. The only exceptions are the last three tracks. So I’ll sum up my review of the first 14 tracks like this: Given my preferences, I was never going to like this offering. It’s a shame too because some of the songs has some potentially great content, but I was so distracted by the delivery that I couldn’t get as invested as I wanted to. As I review this album though I’d be remiss not to bring up one last point. During the song From Time Drake talks about doing something more with music. i.e. “ I want to take it deeper than money, P****, vacation.” I inferred from that line that he’d like to experiment and see how much further he can push himself and the music industry. This album is an exercise of that wish.
I feel the same way about this album as I did with Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail. There is a trend in the industry and rather than be swept away by sticking to norms, they agree to adapt and change.  As a person that asks artist to experiment, I can’t penalize him completely when he tries. I don’t like it, but I do understand why it was done and contend that it does hold some value.
My Favs
3. 6PM in New York
2.  Jungle
1.  You & the 6

Overall Rating: 1.5 of 5 spins

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Top 5 of 2014

So, I’m going to do something a little different today. Instead of a review I’m going to do my top 5 favorite song of 2014. The only rule, one song per artist.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

J.Cole- 2014 Forest Hills Dr. (2014)

Why did I review the album?  He’s my favorite artist (of the newer ones)
Did I like it? Still not sure (but I think so)
Will I listen again? Yes, for multiple reasons. I still don’t know exactly how I feel about this album.
I feel like Cole was going to have a hard time pleasing me with this album regardless of what he put out. Cole’s got a formula that he’s used to gain popularity in his mixtapes and his first two albums. So if he made the same type of music for this album, I’d have been a bit bored (not that the songs would be bad) because he’s made five collections of music using that formula. At some point, I’d want him to step out of his original niche and experiment a little bit. However, the other end of the spectrum is that he’d try something so foreign that there wouldn’t be a hint of the old J. Cole that made me love him as an artist. In this album he tried a mix of both, but leaned a little heavier on the experimental side. The problem is, I don’t like a majority of the experimental things he tried with this album.
I really want to give this album three spins, but considering that I gave Birdy and Sam Smith three spins, I can’t give this three stars with a good conscience. However I am very glad I got this album and would do it again in a heartbeat.  
My Favs
3. No Role Modelz
2.  January 28th
1. 03’ Adolescence
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Spins 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Young Jeezy- Seen It All:The Autobiography (Deluxe Edition) (2014)

Why did I review the album?  I liked his last album
Did I like it? Yes
Will I listen again? Yes
I got this album a few months ago and stopped listening after the first three sings I heard. Even now, I still find them subpar to Jeezy’s normal standard, but I’ve learned to find value in them regardless. After the rough start, it manages to find its way rather well.
Compared to the last effort, I find this one more impressive. This may be my prejudice coming to light, but I find this one much more personal. As a man that listens to rap for the stories it tells, I appreciates the rawness and real life experience spread throughout the album.He calls it an autobiography and while I wouldn’t go that far, it’s by far his most personal work.
As you will see in the longer version of this review, I fell in love with the beats too. I mainly focus on content and usually am indifferent to beats, but it seemed like every time I heard a track I was praising the beat.
Another thing to note is that Jeezy travels the same roads as previous albums (drug heavy content) , but finds a way to make it fresh. He describes his experience with drugs so vividly that I can imagine being there with him. That vividness allows you to be entrapped in the story he’s telling and separates him from all other drug rappers.  My favorite drug related album is still Pusha T’s My Name is My Name, but this is a valiant effort that serves a worthy runner up.  
My Favs
3. How I Did It (Perfection)
2.  Holy Ghost
1.  Seen it All
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Spins  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Shy Girls: "Under Attack" AUDIO

My sister introduced me to this artist and I must admit, I’m a fan.  I love his voice and his approach to R&B.
The thing that intrigues me the most is the sound and production. It’s definitely R&B based but throws in touches of Jazz (with an amazing solo), some electronic influences, and one-time-only sound effects that are perfectly placed. If most song had tried this, I’d normally say that it’s trying too much and should strip some parts/instruments to make it more cohesive, but in this case I wouldn’t dare suggest it.
As beautiful as his voice is, the cleverly crafted production really made this song stand out 5/5

What is he doing now?
He released an EP Timeshare in October of last year and is performing at various venues. To find out more about Shy Girls follow him on Twitter, Soundcloud, or on Youtube through Hit City U.S.A. I know that I only review albums, but i may make an exception for this artist.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birdy- Fire Within (2014)

Why did I review the album? Not About Angels and her cover album convinced me to give her original content a chance
Did I like it? Eventually
Will I listen again? To some tracks
The majority of the problems I have with this album are my own and in no way Birdy’s fault. For some reason I was expecting an R&B type album. I didn’t get that, but looking back I shouldn’t have expected it. I believe that’s the issue though. I had preconceived notions that were misguided. Her first album was one based largely off covers of other artists, so I didn’t know what she specialized in.
I’ve found that most albums have a purpose, but I couldn’t find out what Fire Within’s purpose is. So, I felt like I was taking a journey with no end. I was listening to a random collection of songs that did not have a main theme to tie them together.
Despite all that, I still enjoyed the album. Birdy has amazing talent and listening to her sing is a pleasure every time. Add the fact that her songs are not over produced and I’m bound to be pleased. That’s the part I like best concerning this album. Many times when artists are signed to labels they run from the basics and instead opt for over produced beats that interfere with the quality that originally made the artist successful. Birdy doesn’t fall into that trap and the album is better because of that fact. I’d gladly listen to her next album. 
Is it what I envisioned? Not quite. Does that make it bad? Of course not.
If you like great singers and are willing to try something that’s not R&B I’d definitely give Fire Within a listen.
My Favs
3. All About You
2.  No  Angel
1. Strange Birds
Overall Rating: 3/5 Spins

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Michael Jackson- Thriller (1983)

Why did I review the album?  Needed something that I knew I would like
Did I like it? Well…Yes
Will I listen again? It’s one of my favorites of all time.
 Thriller is a compact album at nine songs, but it packs as much punch as albums twice its length. Because it’s so short each song carries much more significance. It has something for everyone, There are danceable tracks (Wanna Be Startin Something, P.Y.T.,) creative tracks (Wanna Be Startin Somethin, Thriller) and some really solid pop (Baby Be Mine, P.T.Y.
My Favs
3. The Lady in My Life
2.  Thriller
1. Human Nature
Overall Rating: 5/5 Spins