Albums of 2016

Jirin
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Wed May 11, 2016 1:31 pm

What's a single or two from Lemonade I can sample? I don't know why pop artists think I will buy their album before even knowing if I like it. They should at least have some system where I can listen to a broad sample from the album once.

I guess pop artists can assume their core audience will put money down because they posted a good diss on Twitter and don't have to give anyone a chance to actually listen to it first.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Gillingham » Wed May 11, 2016 7:27 pm

A bit too much like the good ole days before the internet?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Wed May 11, 2016 7:46 pm

Death Grips- Bottomless Pit

While I love "The Money Store", most of Death Grips post-Money Store work has left me pretty cold. So I didn't go into their latest album, "Bottomless Pit", with high expectations.

To my surprise, the album is a breath of fresh air in Death Grips' discography. The album places a lot more emphasis on their punk rock roots than earlier works, at times sounding like a Death Grips reworking of Andrew W.K.'s seminal classic "I Get Wet". People who are turned off by the abrasiveness of the group, beware. This album isn't going to do much to convert people completely turned off to the band. But there's a great deal of energy found in these songs, enough to keep a fan like myself interested in seeing what the group has to offer next.

Verdict: Good

Radiohead- A Moon Shaped Pool

"A Moon Shaped Pool" is a good album. In fact, it's a really good album, and as a Thom Yorke solo album I'd be pretty impressed. But alas, it's a Radiohead album, an album by the band that gave us "The Bends", "OK Computer", "Kid A", and "In Rainbows". So next to those albums "A Moon Shaped Pool" is looking a little slight.

"A Moon Shaped Pool" is easily the group's most subdued album, which is both a strength and a weakness here. The strength lies in the fact that these songs are all incredibly tender, intimate works of art, lovingly crafted tracks that have had a long history in Radiohead's live sets. The weakness is that the subdued nature tends to make songs blend into one another, and with some notable exceptions ("Burn the Witch", "Daydreaming", and "True Love Waits") nothing really stands out.

"A Moon Shaped Pool" is a very good album, but it's the sound of a band formerly known for its relentless experimentation finally settling into a groove.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Wed May 11, 2016 9:35 pm

Gillingham wrote:A bit too much like the good ole days before the internet?


Yeah, a bit too much like the days when you'd buy an album because you liked the lead single then found out the rest of it was filler. :) Or the days when I first got into indie music and ended up buying 100 albums a year and regretting 85 of them.

There are so many great albums I've discovered just because someone made a random recommendation somewhere, I listened to it on Spotify and decided I liked it. Albums I never would have heard if I couldn't stream it without putting money down. I'm not making special exceptions for artists with *more* exposure.

Anyway I found the link in the Lemonade thread and decided I like the album enough to buy it.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Wed May 11, 2016 9:45 pm

Jirin wrote:What's a single or two from Lemonade I can sample? I don't know why pop artists think I will buy their album before even knowing if I like it. They should at least have some system where I can listen to a broad sample from the album once.

I guess pop artists can assume their core audience will put money down because they posted a good diss on Twitter and don't have to give anyone a chance to actually listen to it first.

Sweepstakes Ron gave us a link on the Lemonade thread. For which I will always be grateful to him. Check it out. It works.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Gillingham » Thu May 12, 2016 8:00 am

Jirin wrote:
Gillingham wrote:A bit too much like the good ole days before the internet?


Yeah, a bit too much like the days when you'd buy an album because you liked the lead single then found out the rest of it was filler. :) Or the days when I first got into indie music and ended up buying 100 albums a year and regretting 85 of them.

There are so many great albums I've discovered just because someone made a random recommendation somewhere, I listened to it on Spotify and decided I liked it. Albums I never would have heard if I couldn't stream it without putting money down. I'm not making special exceptions for artists with *more* exposure.

Anyway I found the link in the Lemonade thread and decided I like the album enough to buy it.

Yes, I'm still searching for a good balance between discovering new music and supporting the acts I really do like. But I agree that thanks to internet I've discovered artists (including some personal favourites by now) I wouldn't have discovered without it. Then again, the internet does make music (and art in general?) feel more disposable, unfortunately.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Sat May 14, 2016 4:32 am

Top five favorite albums so far this year:
01 | David Bowie | Blackstar
02 | Anderson .Paak | Malibu
03 | KING | We Are KING
04 | Loretta Lynn | Full Circle
05 | Beyoncé | Lemonade

All five above are stunning albums. Just too great to ignore.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Thu May 19, 2016 7:57 pm

Drake- Views

From 2009 to the present day, Drake has been on an incredibly climb to the top of the rap world, releasing hit after hit after hit, crossing all boundaries between rap and pop and R&B, and earning some critical acclaim along the way. So it stands to reason that "Views", released at the pinnacle of his popularity, should be his "Thriller", his moment of ascension to the throne of the pop kingdom. Instead, "Views" is mostly a bore, an over-long mess filled to the brim with cringe-worthy lyrics. You know that you're in for a real treat when the album opens up with this gem of a line..

"Always saw you for what you could've been
Ever since you met me
Like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley"

...a line so hilariously bad and rapped in such a serious inflection that I was still laughing about it hours after the album ended. Some other lyrical blunders include...

"Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake
You know I love to go there
Say I'm actin' lightskin, I can't take you nowhere
This a place for families that drive Camrys and go to Disney
They don't need to know all of our business
You wildin', you super childish, you go to CVS for Kotex
In my Bugatti, I took the key and tried to hide it
So you can't drive it, and put on mileage
Then you find it, awkward silence"

...and of course, who can forget...

And I turn the six upside down, it's a nine now

...which is the sort of realization that you have in kindergarten, not on a rap album. But despite the awful lyrics, the severe lack of memorable songs (the only song here that's really memorable is the closer, "Hotline Bling"), and the absolute excesses that come with most 82 minute long albums, "Views" is, for the most part, pretty inoffensive. It actually makes semi-decent background music. The instrumentals may not be memorable, but they tend to glide by pretty smoothly. I guess that's enough to warrant it a decent verdict.

Verdict: Decent

Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book

I'll admit it, I was a bit hesitant to check out the new Chance the Rapper album. Even though I thought "Acid Rap" was great, I wasn't totally sold on "Surf", and as someone entirely non-religious, the gospel influences I kept hearing about on "Coloring Book" seemed like a pretty big turn-off. As it turns out, the gospel influences were actually a rather nice touch, for the most part. My gripes with "Coloring Book" came from entirely different aspects of the mixtape.

For starters, there's the production. The mixing on the album as a whole isn't fantastic, but the opening track "All We Got" has to have some of the worst mixing I've heard on a professional recording ever. There's one point in the song where an autontuned Kanye West launches a genuine sonic assault on your ears, and it happens about a minute into the album. Not exactly a great first impression. Thankfully, things look up from there, with the following song "No Problem" being an album high-light. The sequencing on the album is also pretty questionable too. You have the pretty awful "All Night", an upbeat song with an inane drinking chorus that comes right before a song that starts off with a 2.5 minute gospel choir singing about how great God is. What exactly would compel someone to put these two songs right next to one another? I truly cannot say.

That being said, most of the songs here are actually pretty enjoyable. The instrumentation is actually an absolute joy on some songs, with a jazzy inflection courtesy of The Social Experiment that helps boost the already optimistic nature of the mixtape, and Chance's rap skills are as sharp as ever. But the mixtape is missing the highs of "Acid Rap", and as such, comes in as a bit of a disappointment.

Verdict: Good

Bob Dylan- Fallen Angels

If you've heard "Shadows in the Night", Bob Dylan's previous studio album, you know what you're getting in for here. If you haven't, be aware that the phrase "2016 Bob Dylan covering Frank Sinatra songs" sounds a lot worse on paper than it does in real life. Dylan's voice is, against all odds, amazing for this material. The album may not be "essential Dylan", but it's certainly worth checking out, if only to hear re-imagined versions of The Great American Songbook.

Verdict: Decent/Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Fri May 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Nick wrote:Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book

I'll admit it, I was a bit hesitant to check out the new Chance the Rapper album. Even though I thought "Acid Rap" was great, I wasn't totally sold on "Surf", and as someone entirely non-religious, the gospel influences I kept hearing about on "Coloring Book" seemed like a pretty big turn-off. As it turns out, the gospel influences were actually a rather nice touch, for the most part. My gripes with "Coloring Book" came from entirely different aspects of the mixtape.

[...]

That being said, most of the songs here are actually pretty enjoyable. The instrumentation is actually an absolute joy on some songs, with a jazzy inflection courtesy of The Social Experiment that helps boost the already optimistic nature of the mixtape, and Chance's rap skills are as sharp as ever. But the mixtape is missing the highs of "Acid Rap", and as such, comes in as a bit of a disappointment.

Verdict: Good


I edited the parts that reflect my opinion (though I do like Surf a lot). I guess it shouldn't surprise anybody that I really like Coloring Book, Chance's joy is as infectious as ever and even if I don't either share his religious point of view, I find it more endearing than annoying, which is an accomplishment of its own ; though I should say some of my favorite tracks, No Problem and Mixtapes, are the non religious ones. I'd agree though that it seems to lack the highs of Acid Rap, don't think there's a Chain Smoker in there. But it will for now fight with my number one of the year spot against :

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
There's nothing really innovative about this album, but it's great catchy rock songs after another. Also seems to be very quotable (though I still only get lyrics when I'm focused, so I must have missed a lot of good lines). That's a lazy sell, but I'd call it the "Sometimes I Sit and Think..." of 2016.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Mon May 23, 2016 5:56 pm

Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest have released something in the range of 11 albums to their name, but "Teens of Denial" is the first one that's landed on my radar. And what an album it is. At 70 minutes long, complete with songs that run into the 7, 8, and 11 minute range, and occasional stream of consciousness lyrics that feature ruminations on topics like the Van Gogh painting found on the Wikipedia article for depression, among other esoteric subjects, "Teens of Denial" is a lot to digest.

Stylistically the album isn't breaking any new ground, but if you are drawn to the emo/punk/indie rock sound found on the excellent lead single and opening track "Fill in the Blank", you'll end up liking the other 66 minutes here.

Verdict: Very good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Thu May 26, 2016 7:28 pm

Gillingham wrote:
Jirin wrote:
Gillingham wrote:A bit too much like the good ole days before the internet?


Yeah, a bit too much like the days when you'd buy an album because you liked the lead single then found out the rest of it was filler. :) Or the days when I first got into indie music and ended up buying 100 albums a year and regretting 85 of them.

There are so many great albums I've discovered just because someone made a random recommendation somewhere, I listened to it on Spotify and decided I liked it. Albums I never would have heard if I couldn't stream it without putting money down. I'm not making special exceptions for artists with *more* exposure.

Anyway I found the link in the Lemonade thread and decided I like the album enough to buy it.

Yes, I'm still searching for a good balance between discovering new music and supporting the acts I really do like. But I agree that thanks to internet I've discovered artists (including some personal favourites by now) I wouldn't have discovered without it. Then again, the internet does make music (and art in general?) feel more disposable, unfortunately.


I agree it's had both those effects. It's great that it allows me to take a lot more risks on albums. Someone recommends me some weird obscure album, I think there's only a 5% chance I'll like it, and I have to buy it to listen to it, no way I'm buying it. With Spotify, no problem. I give it the same chance to win me over as the the over marketed mainstream and the album that has a 95 on Metacritic and is topping all the critics' lists.

But because you have more to choose from, it's much more difficult for an album to stand out and feel 'special'. You're not listening to the same few albums over and over and they don't quite hit the same sentimental chords. There's no one album you associate intrinsically with a special time in your life, because you were listening to hundreds of albums at that time of your life.

I think it's worth it because it takes the advantage away from artists supported by big labels with million dollar music videos.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby tieb » Thu May 26, 2016 11:57 pm

This is a pretty solid list, I just need to check out Hinds record, Haven't heard it yet.

notbrianeno wrote:Guess I'll join in as well. My current top ten (32 releases listened to so far) of 2016

1. Kanye West | The Life of Pablo
2. MONEY | Suicide Songs
3. Anne Meredith | Varmints
4. David Bowie | ★
5. Anderson .Paak | Malibu
6. Hinds | Leave Me Alone
7. Kendrick Lamar | untitled unmastered.
8. Rihanna | ANTI
9. Wacław Zimpel | Lines
10. Chairlift | Moth

So far, 2016 is looking a bit slower than 2015, though a certain April release might change that for me..

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby spiritualized » Fri May 27, 2016 9:45 am

Has anyone listened to White Lung's latest ? VERY impressed by it - although it is right up my alley, musically. I wonder what the forumers think ?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Fri May 27, 2016 11:52 am

1. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
2. Emma Pollock - In Search of Harperfield
3. David Bowie - ★
4. Mothers - When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired
5. Damien Jurado - Visions of Us on the Land

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jackson » Fri May 27, 2016 8:15 pm

New Swans single "When Will I Return?" was released today. It's excellent. So excited for the album.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri May 27, 2016 10:18 pm

Apparently there's a ton of evidence that The Avalanches will finally, after 16 years, release their follow up to "Since I Left You". Seeing as that album is in my top 40 albums of all time, I'm VERY excited.

New Swans and Unknown Mortal Orchestra songs sound great as well.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby mowino » Sat May 28, 2016 3:15 pm

1. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
2. David Bowie - 'Blackstar'
3. Anderson .Paak - Malibu
4. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
5. Beyonce - LEMONADE

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Sat May 28, 2016 3:18 pm

My list has updated enough to warrant another top 20.

1. Savages - Adore Life
2. PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project
3. David Bowie - Blackstar
4. Kendrick Lamar - Untitled Unmastered
5. Ben Harper - Call It What It Is
6. Itel Tek - Hollowed
7. Lucinda Williams - Ghosts Of Highway 20
8. Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
9. Thao & The Get Down - A Man Alive
10. Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
11. Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
12. Underworld - Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future
13. Animal Collective - Painting With
14. School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB
15. Milk Teeth - Vile Child
16. Yndi Halda - Under Summer
17. The Jezabels - Synthia
18. ANOHNI - Hopelessness
19. Beyonce - Lemonade
20. Rosie Lowe - Control

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby amnt1882 » Tue May 31, 2016 5:02 pm

Current top ten would be look a bit like

1. David Bowie - ★
2. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
3. Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
4. Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo
5. School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB
6. Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye
7. Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness
8. Suede - Night Thoughts
9. WIld Nothing - Life Of Pause
10. Massive Attack - Ritual Spirit EP OR And Also The Trees - Born Into The Waves

but completely subject to change.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby spiritualized » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:26 am

Nassim wrote:Really enjoyed my first spin of the new Aesop Rock album, might actually be his best. Lyrics and flow have always been top notch, but the production and beats are better than ever. His best song is probably not in there (don't think there is something as awesome as Daylight, None Shall Pass or the fantastic Run the Numbers on El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead in there) but his other albums all had lesser songs, this one doesn't.
And as usual it seems immensely quotable, the elegant and witty kind of quotes, not the fun punch lines ones, though as a French speaker it's hard to tell on first spin... with lines like "New with the matutinal or peckish with the vespertine", it's hard not to be a bit lost when you are not a native speaker...


I just listened to it and I agree with you. Far better release than any of the other I listened to. The beats/samples are crisp and resonate far more with me than Bazooka Tooth, None Shall Pass or Skelethon - all of which did not excite me much. This is different.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Bruno » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:29 am

Top Albums so far ... (RATING: 0.0-5.0)

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool l 4.0
Beyoncé - Lemonade l 4.0
David Bowie - Blackstar l 4.0
Anohni - Hopelessness l 3.5
Kanye West - The Life of Pablo l 3.5
PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project l 3.5
Parquet Courts - Human Performance l 3.5
Kendrick Lamar - Untitled Unmastered l 3.5
Anderson .Paak - Malibu l 3.5
James Blake - The Colour in Anything l 3.5
Savages - Adore Life l 3.5
Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth l 3.5
Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial l 3.0
Drake - Views l 3.0
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression l 3.0
Tim Hecker - Love Streams l 3.0
Tindersticks - The Waiting Room l 3.0
Last edited by Bruno on Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby acroamor » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:17 am

I guess I'll finally make a top 10:

1. Puberty 2 - Mitski
2. Will - Julianna Barwick
3. Program Music II - Kashiwa Daisuke
4. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
5. The Wilderness - Explosions in the Sky
6. When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired - Mothers
7. A Moon-Shaped Pool - Radiohead
8. Blackstar - David Bowie
9. The Catastrophist - Tortoise
10. The Ghosts of Highway 20 - Lucinda Williams

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby spiritualized » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:31 am

acroamor wrote:I guess I'll finally make a top 10:


Me too. Although I think it's far removed from the general opinion from the forum - story of my life, really
In no particular order, yet

Awesome
White Lung - Paradise

Excellent
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity
Woods - City Sun Eater in the River of Light
Dressy Bessy - KINGSIZED
Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts
PUP - The Dream is Over

Really Good
Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid
Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
Animal Collective - Painting With
The Cult - Hidden City
DIIV - Is the Is Are
Elliott Smith - Heaven Adores You


Good, must listen to it again

New Order - Complete Music
Roly Porter - Third Law
The Field - Reflecting Lights
The Goon Sax - Up to Anything
DJ Vadim - Dubcatcher 2: Wicked My Yout
Moodymann - DJ-Kicks
Shearwater - Jet Plane and Oxbow
Basia Bulat - Good Advice
Money - Suicide Songs
Motorpsycho - Here Be Monsters
Peter Astor - Spilt Milk
Drowning Pool - Hellelujah
Prong - X: No Absolutes
Last edited by spiritualized on Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:20 am

The good news: The Avalanches are back with a new album on July 8th!!!

The bad news: The lead single, "Frankie Sinatra", really isn't that good. Generic slice of electro swing with serious mixing issues and confounding Danny Brown and MF DOOM features. You guys had 16 years to create a follow up and this is what you put out?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:39 pm

Nick wrote:The good news: The Avalanches are back with a new album on July 8th!!!

The bad news: The lead single, "Frankie Sinatra", really isn't that good. Generic slice of electro swing with serious mixing issues and confounding Danny Brown and MF DOOM features. You guys had 16 years to create a follow up and this is what you put out?


Did you Stream it or just watch the video ? The mixing is terrible in the video but top notch on the actual version imo ! I like the song, not their best but pretty good ; not fully convinced that the endless list of featurings in the album is a good thing but we'll see.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Romain » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:54 pm

Savages - Adore Life 7 A little bit dispointed. I like a lot Adore and Evil, but the rest of the songs are less goods. But whatever, it's not bad at all.
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool 7 Is it a good album? Yes, for sure. A great one? For me, clearly not! Good string arrangement but where is the melodies?
Yuck - Stranger Things 7,5 Once again, they make the job and, if it's not the album of the century, the disc is full of melodies and guitars.
The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect 8 Excellent ! Melodies…melodies everywhere!


David Bowie - Blackstar 10
Erik Truffaz Quartet - Doni Doni 8,5
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression 8,5
The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect 8
Prince Rama - Xtreme Now 8

Yuck - Stranger Things 7,5
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool 7
Savages - Adore Life 7
Jain - Zanaka 6,5
Anderson .Paak - Malibu 6
Field Music - Commontime 6
John Carpenter - Lost Themes II 5,5

M83 - Junk 0,4 (because I'm kind).

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:48 pm

Nassim wrote:
Nick wrote:The good news: The Avalanches are back with a new album on July 8th!!!

The bad news: The lead single, "Frankie Sinatra", really isn't that good. Generic slice of electro swing with serious mixing issues and confounding Danny Brown and MF DOOM features. You guys had 16 years to create a follow up and this is what you put out?


Did you Stream it or just watch the video ? The mixing is terrible in the video but top notch on the actual version imo ! I like the song, not their best but pretty good ; not fully convinced that the endless list of featurings in the album is a good thing but we'll see.


I watched the video and listened to the initial triple j stream. But I suspect that triple j stream may have been ripped from the video. I'll have to see if it's on Spotify.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Maschine_Man » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:37 am

I really enjoy the new track, such a sucker for that creepy circus feel. Every listen I hear something new. It will be interesting to see how it fits into the rest of the album.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:14 pm

The Strokes- Future Present Past (EP)

As a four track EP, with three new songs and a remix, "Future Present Past" could very well be a sneak peek into an upcoming Strokes album. Whether that sneak peek is a good sign of things to come is debatable.

Opening track "Drag Queen" answers the question nobody's been asking, "what would a 2016 version of Joy Division fronted by Julian Casablancas sound like?" The answer isn't great. And while "Threat of Joy" certainly sounds pleasant enough, it never really rises above the level of "decent "Is This It" era B-side", and is a bit lacking in memorability. However, "OBLIVIUS", present here in both an original version and a superfluent remix, might just be the best song The Strokes have put out in ten years. The guitar riff here is clean and catchy and somewhat out of left-field, and the chorus is singalong levels of fun. It's a shame the other two tracks couldn't be this great.

Verdict: Decent

Tegan and Sara- Love You to Death

Tegan and Sara are probably fated to always being remembered as a singles band, and "Love You to Death" doesn't do much to convince me otherwise. The songs here are immensely catchy, but it's disappointing to see the band following trends here (80s synthpop revivalism) instead of setting them. After 2014's "1989" and 2015's "Emotion", big female lead pop albums that mine the pop landscape of the 1980s are growing a bit old for me. There are some choice cuts here, like the immensely great single "Boyfriend", and Tegan and Sara have a bit of fun with some of the album's lyrics, like on the anti-marriage "BWU". But for the most part, "Love You to Death" is a competently executed, fun little record, that is unfortunately content with being a follower, not a leader.

Verdict: Good/Decent
Last edited by Nick on Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:53 am

While i'm still digesting Autechre's behemoth elseq 1-5, anyone else have any thoughts on it?
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby bootsy » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:14 pm

notbrianeno wrote:While i'm still digesting Autechre's behemoth elseq 1-5, anyone else have any thoughts on it?

I'm a fan of Autechre but been hesitant about this album. I'm curious to know what you thought about it? Is it similar to his previous work? If so what albums in particular is it similar to?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:45 am

bootsy wrote:
notbrianeno wrote:While i'm still digesting Autechre's behemoth elseq 1-5, anyone else have any thoughts on it?

I'm a fan of Autechre but been hesitant about this album. I'm curious to know what you thought about it? Is it similar to his previous work? If so what albums in particular is it similar to?


Though i've yet to have hear all of Autechre's 21st century albums, This album most strongly reminds me of a modern, minimal take on the metallic, beat-heavy polyrhythms of Tri Repetae and LP5 mixed with the experimental composition of Confield. Some of the material is their darkest and most aggressive ("feed1", "acdwn2", "elyc6 0nset"), while other parts are quite tranquil and beautiful ("spaces how V", "freulaeux", "pendulu hv moda"). Don't fear the length, one of the albums strongest suits is its ability to thrill the listener even through 20+ min tracks. Songs like "eastre" slowly morph over the course of their immense length, but keep the listener rapt the whole length. Whereas past Autechre albums attempted to aurally attack with maximalist beats, this album excels at building tension until it is almost unbearable, before achieving release. While i would strongly recommend finding a stream or leak to listen to instead of blindly pulling the trigger on a $35 album, I will say this, this is one of the most challenging, rewarding, and fascinating electronic releases I've ever heard, and when I fully absorb it, I expect it to factor in heavily in my EOY lists.

I'll also copy RYM user boldfaure's review below, as he makes a lot of great technical points that I find complimentary to the album.

"Autechre's music is made with a clear understanding of the avantgarde. The duo have talked about composers such as Satie and Stockhausen being influences, or at least leaders for them to follow in pushing boundaries. Their journey has been a comprehensive tour through just about every genre of electronic music, from Ambient to Noise; and a continual reminder of the untrustworthiness of music journalism.

Yes, similar to recent pro-vant-cateurs Liturgy, Autechre have never received a Best New Music, nor much acclaim from music "criticism" in general. Groups like them simply aren't marketable, are too "in-it-for-the-art" for mostly uneducated rock critics to care about them. Thankfully, thoughtful consumers don't value these institutions; thus we find ourselves now at Autechre's 12th major release, elseq 1-5.

I say release instead of album for a particular reason: that being the unique presentation of the recordings. Sorted into 5 roughly equivalent parts, Warp says it can be experienced in one segment or in tandem together. As a result, I've come to think of this collection as further from the antiquated ideal of the album and closer to the boldness of a digital, aural art gallery. This is reinforced by the individual artwork for each track, along with the parts' artwork and the overall artwork.

When considered with the musical stylings enclosed however, it brings a particular correlation to a specific work: Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel. Composed for a temple containing art by the famed artist, there's quite a few similarities between LP12 and this work as specific influence. Particularly, Autechre uses the style of minimal and/or post minimal composers like Feldman and John Luther Adams. The tracks across all 5 parts are created as sort of vaguely shifting soundscapes, static portraits that gradually change over the course of 5, 10, 20 minutes into entirely different worlds.

Discussing every part of the record would needlessly extend this review to a ludicrous extent: instead, the track "elcyc6" comes particularly in mind. Starting with a clear tonality of A Major it gradually through each repetition decays more and more, with the tones being twisted more and more. The tremendous climax occurs in the final five minutes, as between siren calls and static a lone C# pierces through, the only remnant of the beginning A Major chords now turned into a bleak pitch center for the work to end on. In 2014, Alex Ross referred to JLA's work Become Ocean as a "lovely apocalypse": I feel that description strongly in this track, an apocalyptic descent beneath the waves, a universal heat death. Yet this time, it isn't sugarcoated in the ambience of piano and harp arpeggi: it's hammered in through brutal marcato synths and the black depths of Tartarus.

I'm not sure how this stacks up in AE's oeuvre: when dealing with such great artists with such clear influence and creativity, every work can be as good as the last. elseq 1-5 is certainly their most challenging work though, and perhaps the one that people will point to the most as proof that they are the most dynamic, inspired, and modern electronic group in this time, if not all times."
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby bootsy » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:36 am

notbrianeno wrote:
Though i've yet to have hear all of Autechre's 21st century albums, This album most strongly reminds me of a modern, minimal take on the metallic, beat-heavy polyrhythms of Tri Repetae and LP5 mixed with the experimental composition of Confield.

Well if it's similar to those albums then I will probably enjoy it. Thanks

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Live in Phoenix » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:51 pm

Nick wrote:You guys had 16 years to create a follow up and this is what you put out?

My brother-in-law is a fan and cued this song up a few days ago. I don't know much about the Avalanches, but it seems like you & I shared the same sentiment at the same time...

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:42 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:
Nick wrote:You guys had 16 years to create a follow up and this is what you put out?

My brother-in-law is a fan and cued this song up a few days ago. I don't know much about the Avalanches, but it seems like you & I shared the same sentiment at the same time...


If you're at all interested in electronica or dance music or instrumental hip-hop or plunderphonics or hell, just music in general, their album "Since I Left You" is a must listen and an absolute classic.

Very concerned about "Wildflower", though the live version of "Subways" I heard sounded really promising.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:31 pm

Joey Purp- iiiDrops

Much like Kamaiyah's "A Good Night in the Ghetto" that preceded this album by a couple months, "iiiDrops" is a relatively easy listen rap album tailor made for playing out of a car's stereo during late summer nights. But where "A Good Night in the Ghetto" takes all its sonic touches from the West Coast environment it was made in, "iiiDrops" is distinctively more midwestern, with Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper's touch all over the project. There's not any particular song that stands out on the album though, with one exception- the Chance the Rapper featuring "Girls @", which combines Neptunes-esque production and a bouncing chorus to create one of the most indelible (and fun!) songs of the year thus far.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:34 am

spiritualized wrote:Has anyone listened to White Lung's latest ? VERY impressed by it - although it is right up my alley, musically. I wonder what the forumers think ?


I liked it too, came as a big surprise as I had never heard anything from the band so I didn't expect a sound so close to bands that usually don't get much critical traction (at best the solid reviews of Pretty Girls Make Grave or Forward Russia!, at worst the complete dismissal of alt rock bands like Thrice or the Blood Brothers.).

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jeff » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:41 pm

I think there are at least a few others here that liked the last Huerco S. album. Sad to say that his new one--For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)--is not impressing me as much (some critics like it a lot though). He has nearly completely abandoned his deep house trappings in favor of a more ambient style. I like that he is willing to change up his formula, but the album sounds mediocre to me. Perhaps it takes a few listens to connect, but it left me with such a ho-hum initial impression that I do not think I'm going to devote much more time to it. Regardless, it's worth a quick listen if you like ambient or even if you were a fan of his (fantastic) last album.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby whuntva » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:01 am

It's Swans day! I waited with baited breath all year for this one album.

Every Swans release gets me pumped as heck. And The Glowing Man was no exception. The mountain of hype comes mostly because of how Swans arguably hit their creative peak 30 years on. They had it larger than usual this time....

...and they proved themselves yet again.

It starts with those lilting guitar chords in "Cloud of Forgetting" and I am already sucked in. These songs sound especially mournful and depressing, even by Swans standards. "Cloud of Unknowing" is an emotional gut punch. Doesn't matter where you are or how you are feeling, this 25-minute track will DESTROY you with one listen!

"The World Looks Red/The World Looks Black" feels the most like a traditional Swans song. It makes sense since this was written awhile before for Sonic Youth. It continues this dank, depressing atmosphere, but with an ironically pleasant melody.

The Glowing Man is a strangely beautiful record from a band I had always known for making ugly music. It is soul-crushing, but also uplifting and makes me glad to be a fan of this band.

This does sound like a final sendoff album. If this is really the end, Swans retired in admirable fashion. Pat yourself on the back, Gira. You remain one of my musical heroes. Expect to see this pretty high on my personal EOY ballot.
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:13 am

Swans- The Glowing Man

With "The Glowing Man", Swans close out their latest iteration. And what an iteration it was. Few artists are making seriously great music 30 years into their career. Just about no artist other than Swans are making their absolute best music 30 years into their career. 2010's "My Father..." was a very good album, but nothing could've prepared me for 2012's "The Seer" and 2014's "To Be Kind", two of the most ferocious, punishing, brutal, raw, unholy albums I've ever heard. Now 2016's "The Glowing Man" is here, in all its 2 hour long majesty. Sonically the album is in the same vein as "To Be Kind", though less harsh (for Swans at least). While the album retains all of the power that drove "To Be Kind", it is missing some of the immediateness that that album had. There's no obvious "A Little God in My Hands" or "Oxygen" here, but the album does work incredibly strong as a whole, and ends on a high note, with some of Swans most beautiful music yet (for such an ugly sounding band, they're rather prone to these moments of beauty, both here and on other albums. If anything, the ugliness of the rest of their music only enhances that beauty.) If you've heard "To Be Kind" and liked it, you'll like this. If you thought "To Be Kind" was a little too harsh, check this out. Otherwise, it's Swans. You know what you're getting into here.

Verdict: Very Good/Great

Todd Terje & The Olsens- The Big Cover-Up (EP)

After releasing my favorite album of the year in 2014, and releasing an EP of remixes in 2015, Todd Terje is back with an EP of new music, "The Big-Cover Up". "The Big Cover-Up" is joyously fun and outrageously silly, much like the rest of Terje's music. The best songs here are covers, "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" is annoying on first listen but charming on the second, and his cover of "Firecracker" (as made popular by Yellow Magic Orchestra") ranks among Terje's best singles. The remixes that close out the album are mostly superfluous though. If this EP were just the four songs as opposed to eight, it would be among the best released this decade. As for now, it's still pretty damn good.

Verdict: Good

Mitski- Puberty 2

Mitski has been releasing albums for a couple years now, starting when she was a student at SUNY Purchase (alma mater of Regina Spektor, Wesley Snipes, and some some friends of yours truly, among others), though "Puberty 2" is her first album to gain any real traction in the world at large. The album starts off with a pulsing krautrock percussive beat followed by a blaring punk rock saxophone and Mitski's sweet, sweet vocals. From there the album jumps around a little stylistically, always staying within the vague descriptor of "indie rock", but borrowing heavily from pop music, punk rock, and the occasional dips into balladry. While I wish Mitski would take more risks, like she did on the fantastic opener, "Happy", "Puberty 2" is still an engaging, bold listen.

Verdict: Very Good

Disclosure- Moog for Love (EP)

After 2013's mind-blowingly excellent "Settle", Disclosure had nowhere to go but down, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that 2015's "Caracal" was a massive dud of an album. Things are looking promising though, on their new three song EP "Moog for Love". The album contains the same aesthetic that Disclosure have been working with their entire career, but remains closer to "Settle" than "Caracal" when it comes to fun and memorability. There's nothing here in the realm of "White Noise" or "When a Fire Starts to Burn" or "Latch" though, but there's enough here to indicate that LP3 will be worth giving a listen to.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:47 am

G.L.O.S.S.- Trans Day of Revenge (EP)

Everything I've read about G.L.O.S.S. and this EP of theirs talks about their politically charged lyrics, with a heavy focus on transgender themes (if the title of the EP wasn't obvious). I'll have to take these publications at their word, because I can only understand about 5% of the lyrics on "Trans Day of Revenge".

"Trans Day of Revenge" is 5 songs long and a couple seconds shy of the 7 minute mark. Yupp, you guessed it. It's a hardcore punk album. The songs are energetic, and actually pretty accessible for hardcore punk. I'm sure the lyrics are worth looking into too.

Verdict: Pretty good? How do you give a verdict to 7 minutes of music?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jackson » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:22 pm

After my first listen to The Glowing Man, I don't see Swans pulling a four-peat for my album of the year. The two-hour album length for the third album in a row is just too much. They don't have as many interesting ideas this time around to carry that kind of length, and it would have been more creative and interesting for them to make a 40-minute album (which they can do very well: see My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky). I certainly don't hate the album; there are some great moments and songs. "When Will I Return?" will be a classic Swans song. But after The Seer and To Be Kind, I just don't think they had enough material to make a third consecutive two hour album.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jackson » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:23 pm

Jeff wrote:I think there are at least a few others here that liked the last Huerco S. album. Sad to say that his new one--For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)--is not impressing me as much (some critics like it a lot though). He has nearly completely abandoned his deep house trappings in favor of a more ambient style. I like that he is willing to change up his formula, but the album sounds mediocre to me. Perhaps it takes a few listens to connect, but it left me with such a ho-hum initial impression that I do not think I'm going to devote much more time to it. Regardless, it's worth a quick listen if you like ambient or even if you were a fan of his (fantastic) last album.


I'll check this out. Colonial Patterns was one of my favorite albums of 2013, particularly the song "Prinzif," which I've still never heard anything remotely like.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:16 am

Kaytranada- 99.9%

There are several ways I find albums to listen to. A majority of them come from the hype machine, whatever has been getting attention from critics, or from sources whose opinions I've put some credence in. I'll also check out a new album from a group whose previous work I've enjoyed. And of course there's the albums my friends recommend for me to listen to.

But every so often I'll listen to an album based solely on its cover art. This was the case for the debut album from producer Kaytranada. Most of the time I pick an album out because of its art I'm left somewhat disappointed, that the music on the album failed to live up to the great art I was initially drawn to. So I'm pleased to announce that this isn't the case with "99.9%". Not one bit.

The sound of "99.9%" is every bit of a glorious mess as the cover art is. House music, jazz, funk, hip-hop, and indie pop intersect in the most offbeat of ways, and the guest list, ranging from Little Dragon to Vic Mensa to BABADNOTGOOD to AlunaGeorge to Anderson .Paak and more reflects that. The way the album combines these genres is done in such an informal, off the cuff way that I thought "99.9%" must've been a mixtape. Not so, "99.9%" is a studio album with a mixtape aesthetic.

This mixtape aesthetic is among the greatest strengths the project has. Whereas many albums find their fault in their lack of cohesion, "99.9%" takes strength from it. If there's one fault with the project it's that Kaytranada has a tendency to take a perfectly good 2 or 3 minute song and push it to 4 or 5 minutes. The rapid fire change in genre here helps alleviate some of this weakness, allowing the listener to focus on a new sound just when things are beginning to get a little stale. Kaytranada is young, and hopefully has a great career ahead of him as both a producer and as a main artist. I certainly look forward to following him, wherever he goes.

Verdict: Great

Blood Orange- Freetown Sound

The third album by Dev Hynes under his Blood Orange moniker, "Freetown Sound" is a continuation of the lush atmosphere he explored in 2013's "Cupid Deluxe", a sound composed of smooth R&B, funk, horns, and Prince-like vocal deliveries. The aesthetic Hynes put forth on that 2013 effort is gorgeous, as is the effort he puts forth here, as Hynes crafts thick layers of 80s inspired instrumentation for his soulful, sexual voice to sing over. But there are some notable ways in which "Freetown Sound" fails to live up to its predecessor. At 17 songs, "Freetown Sound" drags, especially due to the fact that Hynes' aesthetic never really changes over the course of the album, causing a majority of the songs to blur together. Still, the album is more than worth a listen if you enjoyed "Cupid Deluxe".

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jeff » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:48 am

Jackson wrote:
Jeff wrote:I think there are at least a few others here that liked the last Huerco S. album. Sad to say that his new one--For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)--is not impressing me as much (some critics like it a lot though). He has nearly completely abandoned his deep house trappings in favor of a more ambient style. I like that he is willing to change up his formula, but the album sounds mediocre to me. Perhaps it takes a few listens to connect, but it left me with such a ho-hum initial impression that I do not think I'm going to devote much more time to it. Regardless, it's worth a quick listen if you like ambient or even if you were a fan of his (fantastic) last album.


I'll check this out. Colonial Patterns was one of my favorite albums of 2013, particularly the song "Prinzif," which I've still never heard anything remotely like.


For what it's worth, I have warmed up to For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) since writing that I found it underwhelming. Colonial Patterns made an immediate impression on me, so I was let down when the new one did not. That said, I still do not rate it as highly as Colonial Patterns (but then I really like Colonial Patterns).

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:56 pm

The Avalanches- Wildflower

Due to 16 years of hype, this album is going to take a bit to digest in order for me to offer up an opinion without the burden of my expectations on it. As for now I can safely say that I like the album a good amount, though nowhere close to "Since I Left You".

Maxwell- blackSUMMERS'night

While I liked "Malibu", this is, for me, the first great R&B album of 2016, and the best R&B album I've heard since...well it's been a while. Maxwell turns R&B songs into these weird ethereal creations, adding funky guitars and twinkling keyboards and synths and strings and the whole kitchen sink full of instruments to his songs, turning them from standard R&B pop songs to genuine mission statements on love and lovemaking. There's a longing in his voice that already renders this album among the most powerful sounding of the year, the way that Maxwell sings makes you believe in every word that he's saying, even when he drops a bum line or two. The album's centerpiece is "1990x", a song that embodies all the best that the album has to offer, soaring to stratospheric heights in a slow burning R&B opus, where the keyboards that play throughout the song call to mind space music and Maxwell's sings like this is the last song he'll ever sing. "blackSUMMERS'night" truly lives up to its title. The album is innately nocturnal.

Verdict: Great

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:10 pm

The year's halfway over, so I figure I'll give my take on the 2016 albums I've heard thus far...

Excellent:

1. David Bowie- Blackstar
2. Anohni- Hopelessness

Great:

3. Maxwell- blackSUMMERS'night
4. Kanye West- The Life of Pablo
5. Beyoncé- Lemonade
6. Kaytranada- 99.9%

Very Good:

7. Swans- The Glowing Man
8. Radiohead- A Moon Shaped Pool
9. Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial
10. The Avalanches- Wildflower
11. PJ Harvey- The Hope Six Demolition Project
12. James Blake- The Colour in Anything
13. Death Grips- Bottomless Pit

Good:

14. Sturgill Simpson- A Sailor's Guide to Earth
15. Mitski- Puberty 2
16. Blood Orange- Freetown Sound
17. Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book
18. Kiran Leonard- Grapefruit
19. Chairlift- Moth
20. Anderson .Paak- Malibu
21. Parquet Courts- Human Performance
22. Tegan and Sara- Love You to Death
23. Joey Purp- iiiDrops
24. Todd Terje & The Olsens- The Big Cover-Up (EP)
25. Pinkshinyultrablast- Grandfeathered
26. Woods- City Sun Eater in the River of Light
27. Kamaiyah- A Good Night in the Ghetto
28. Kendrick Lamar- Untitled Unmastered
29. Weezer- Weezer (White Album)
30. Bob Dylan- Fallen Angels

Decent:

31. G.L.O.S.S.- Trans Day of Revenge (EP)
32. Disclosure- Moog for Love (EP)
33. Tim Hecker- Love Streams
34. Brian Eno- The Ship
35. The Strokes- Future Present Past (EP)

Meh:

36. The Field- The Follower
37. Drake- Views
38. M83- Junk
39. Primal Scream- Chaosmosis
40. Savages- Adore Life
41. Animal Collective- Painting With

Very Bad:

42. Jesu and Sun Kil Moon- Jesu/Sun Kil Moon

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:27 pm

White Lung- Paradise

At barely over half an hour in length, White Lung's latest album, "Paradise" makes for a quick, engaging punk rock record. The album could've easily fallen into the same "by the numbers" punk rock standard that so many other bands are quick to follow. Instead, White Lung coat their album with a glossy sheen, the guitars here are noisy but clean, as is the singer's Joan Jett-esque voice. It's a sort of controlled chaos, but it works.

Verdict: Good

The Avalanches- Wildflower

Oh, The Avalanches. Where do we even begin? 16 years ago they released "Since I Left You", one of the greatest albums ever created, my idea of a perfect 10, an album that took over 3,000 samples and pushed them together in ways nobody could've ever made before or since. It was true lightning in a bottle, and maybe it's because of these lofty expectations placed on everyone's favorite Australian plunderphonics group that it took so long to create a sophomore LP. But here we are.

The first song to be released from "Wildflower" was the Danny Brown and MF DOOM featuring "Frankie Sinatra", a long that was, for me, hate on first listen. The song is essentially an electro swing ditty, which creates problems for me right from the get go. Electro swing is among my least favorite genres. Where some artists are able to take two disparate genres and push them together in ways that complement each other (think Run-DMC's rendition of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", a rendition that highlights the similarities between rock and rap instead of highlighting the differences. Upon hearing the Run-DMC version all one can think of is how similar the drums on the Aerosmith version sound like the percussion on a rap song, how suitable the guitar part is for a bit of turntablism, and how akin Steve Tyler's vocal delivery is to rapping), electro swing combines two genres in the laziest of ways, awkwardly forcing these two genres together like a square peg into a round hole. I often think that fans of the genre aren't actually interested in swing music at all, but are instead interested in the idea of swing music, the idea of going to some Great Gatsby themed party and drinking champagne and talking in old timey slang without actually subjecting themselves to a Benny Goodman record. Hence, electro swing.

That all being said, "Frankie Sinatra" is, to give credit where credit is due, among the best electro swing songs I've heard, and even manages to sound better in the context of the album. The album version of the song even cleans up the production a bit, allowing the verses from Brown and DOOM to gain a level of intelligibility that was missing from the poorly mastered music video version. Though none of this can still excuse some of the awful, out of place lyrics on the song, like when Brown raps...

"I'm so high

You're so high

If I take another sip then I just might die

Take another sip then I just might lie

Tell her what she wanna hear just to get between them thighs"

...as well as the awkwardly forced "My Favorite Things" interpolation that closes out the song. Some of the other songs on the album, like "Colours" and "If I Was a Folkstar" show a great deal of promise with their comfortable, laid back summer good times vibe aesthetic, but also encapsulate one of the major problems facing "Wildflower", the fact that many of these songs have a serious issue with progression. It feels, upon listening to many of these songs, that after you've heard the first minute to minute and a half, you've essentially heard the entire song. The songs on "Since I Left You" progressed, changing things up as they moved effortlessly from sample to sample. "If I Was a Folkstar", for instance, is a song made out of one admittedly catchy synth riff. And even when the songs here do progress, they tend to do so in the wrong way. "The Wozard of Iz" starts off amazing, with an ominous beat and some strange high pitched singing (chanting?), but then trails off during the second half, unable to keep its own momentum up. And let's not even get into the Biz Markie featuring "Noisy Eater", a song that interrupts the flow of the album in a half-assed "Superfast Jellyfish" ripoff.

But enough about the negatives here. Despite all of this I have to admit, the album is still really good. The overwhelming majority of the songs here manage to evoke that same laid back summer good times vibe that made "Since I Left You" such a classic. And while the songs here never reach the level of craft that they do on their debut album, there are more than enough great songs to go around. The track "Because I'm Me" works as an updated version of Jay-Z's "December 4th" (from a purely sonic perspective, not so lyrically), and is an all around amazing opening track, a track that embodies triumph and individuality and determination. And "Subways" could fit right in with "Since I Left You" and still manage to stand out as among the best songs of that album. And the album still manages to capture that same sense of journey that their debut did, making you feel like you really are be taken for a ride throughout the disparate genres and moods of "Wildflower". Say what you will about some of the album's lesser songs, but this album is a master of cohesion (except, of course, for "The Noisy Eater"). Granted, this commitment to cohesion shouldn't come as a surprise to any fans of the Avalanches, seeing as "Since I Left You" is effectively a 60 minute long song split up into 18 tracks. But it's still nice to see The Avalanches commit to some of the key ideas of their first album without simply creating a "Since I Left You 2: Electric Boogaloo".

And so here we are, in 2016. We have the new Daft Punk album. The new Boards of Canada album. The new My Bloody Valentine album. The new Dr. Dre album. We even have "SMiLE". And now we have the new Avalanches album. Was it worth the wait? No, probably not. "Wildflower" is really good, but let's get this clear, it's no masterpiece. It's not even close to some of those other "comeback albums", like "Random Access Memories" and "m b v". Truth be told, "Wildflower" could've just as easily come out in 2002. It doesn't sound like an album that took over a decade and a half to create, which is really just headscratching. How does a group with a bona fide masterpiece under the belt take 16 years to make a perfectly...good album?

Oh well, questions like these will never be answered. For now, let's just enjoy what we have. A perfectly good album is still nothing to complain about.

Verdict: Very Good

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VanillaFire1000
Let's Get It On
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:27 am
Location: Taichung, Taiwan

Re: Albums of 2016

Postby VanillaFire1000 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:16 am

Nick wrote:Mitski- Puberty 2

Mitski has been releasing albums for a couple years now, starting when she was a student at SUNY Purchase (alma mater of Regina Spektor, Wesley Snipes, and some some friends of yours truly, among others), though "Puberty 2" is her first album to gain any real traction in the world at large. The album starts off with a pulsing krautrock percussive beat followed by a blaring punk rock saxophone and Mitski's sweet, sweet vocals. From there the album jumps around a little stylistically, always staying within the vague descriptor of "indie rock", but borrowing heavily from pop music, punk rock, and the occasional dips into balladry. While I wish Mitski would take more risks, like she did on the fantastic opener, "Happy", "Puberty 2" is still an engaging, bold listen.

Verdict: Very Good



This is probably my favorite album I've listened to that came out this year. I don't seem to get to current albums on time; the most played albums for me this year are Martin Courtney and Beulah.

Nassim
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1735
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:35 pm
Location: Paris

Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:31 am

Here is my mid year list :

Favorite album in a long while (would have probably topped my 2014 and 2015 lists)
1) Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

Great :
2) Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book
3) Moderat - III
4) Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid

Very Good :
5) Pup - The Dream is Over
6) David Bowie - Black Star
7) Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
8) Daughter - Not to Disappear
9) Mitski - Puberty 2
10) Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered
11) Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness
12) Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
13) The Avalanches - Wildflower
14) Anna Meredith - Varmints
15) White Lung - Paradise
16) Anohni - Hopelessness
17) Deakin - Sleep Cycle
18) Parquet Courts - Human Performance
19) Emma Pollock - In Search Of Harperfield
20) Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Ok :
21) Animal Collective - Painting With
22) James Blake - The Colour in Anything
23) Savages - Adore Life
24) Brood Ma - Daze
25) Weval - Weval

Meh :
26) Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
27) Andy Stott - Too Many Voices (huge disappointment)
28) Kaytranada - 99.9%
29) The Field - The Follower

Strong dislike :
30) Tim Hecker - Love Streams


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