Albums of 2018

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Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:49 pm

Use this thread to post your thoughts on the albums coming out this year.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:40 am

First big release for me is First Aid Kit - Ruins coming out Friday.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Smithers-Jones » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:16 am

Jirin wrote:First big release for me is First Aid Kit - Ruins coming out Friday.


Might pick that album up, the singles off it have been really good.

Really enjoyed Shame's debut Songs of Praise which came out last week, that looks set to be one of my favourite releases of 2018 and the Camila Cabello album had a couple of good tracks on it. Looking forward to the new Sunflower Bean and Gwenno albums in March and hopefully new albums from Arctic Monkeys, Paul Weller, Melody's Echo Chamber and Hinds at some stage.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Gillingham » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:36 pm

When it comes to releases for tomorrow, I'm looking forward to "Xylouris White - Mother".

Tomorrows seems to be the first day/week of this year with several interesting/anticipated releases.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Pauler » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:59 am

I am having a blast with the Cupcakke album. She is such a character and her one-liners are hysterical.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:12 am

Shame- Songs of Praise

This whole post-punk revivalism trend is nice and all, but I can't help but feel like that's all it is to me. Nice. Ever since Interpol perfected said revivalism on their excellent 2002 LP Turn on the Bright Lights, I can't help but feel as if the bulk of the revivalists that came after that were just treading the same ground. Well we're 16 years past that album and not much has changed in the world of post-punk revivalism. Bands like Savages, Priests, and now Shame all make enjoyable, energetic, hell, even hook-laden post-punk, but their tricks are all the same. Songs like "Concrete" and "One Rizla" bring some serious pop sensibilities to the table, and the album plays to the strengths of the genre well enough (that is to say, it's brooding and dark and tense). An enjoyable listen if anything.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:59 pm

Panda Bear- A Day with the Homies (EP)

Panda Bear's first release since his pretty darn good 2015 LP Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, his vinyl only EP A Day with the Homies feels like a dumping ground for material, a clearing of house to make way for a new album. The signature psychedelic good vibes classic Panda Bear feeling is still there, but the songs are real loose, oftentimes devoid of traditional pop structure. Occasionally Panda Bear inserts lengthy clips of field recordings into the music, like on the opener "Flight". A solid release, but only really for fans.

Verdict: Decent

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:59 am

Cupcakke- Euphorize

I've seen people describe this album as trap. Which is ridiculous. This album is much too interesting to be considered a genre as bereft of ideas as trap. But I can't entirely blame these commentators. The snapping percussion and muted horns found on numerous tracks throughout Euphorize are common elements found in the trap genre after all. But then you get to songs like the tropic house flirting "Exit" and "Total", or the vaguely Latin inspired "Fullest", or the flute driven "Navel" and you realize that this album has much more to offer than what strict genre conventions allow for.

One of those things happens to be Cupcakke herself. Cupcakke is unabashedly sexual throughout the album, equal parts lewd and hilarious. If you don't believe me, then just read the lyrics for "Duck Duck Goose". Her sexual energy, coupled with her confidence, both make for inspiring music, even more so when Cupcakke raps about more introspective or socially conscious topics, like the reflective "Self Interview" and the LGBT anthem "Crayons". But all of this subject matter may have been for naught if Cupcakke's raps were to fail on a technical level. Fortunately Cupcakke is an especially deft MC, one that is more than capable of constructing interesting rhymes and carrying an engaging flow (and for further proof, see "Cartoons").

The extreme sexual nature of the album may mean that Euphorize isn't for everyone. But if you can embrace, or at the very least look past, that, there's a good chance you'll find much here to enjoy.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby notbrianeno » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:08 am

Nick wrote:Cupcakke- Euphorize

I've seen people describe this album as trap. Which is ridiculous. This album is much too interesting to be considered a genre as bereft of ideas as trap.


*deep sigh*
Current AOTY 2018: Low |Double Negative
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Pauler » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:32 am

Oh Lord. The new Justin Timberlake album is so horrible that I am flabbergasted by the mere existence of it. 3 of my favorite producers Danja, The Neptunes and Timbaland are involved in this train-wreck....How the mighty have fallen.

The new Rhye is lovely. It's not ground-breaking and it probably won't convert any new fan but after all the electronic-heavy R&B releases from last year, I am happy to hear an album full of organic instruments playing and a voice that is as luxurious as silk.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby bootsy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:28 pm

Pauler wrote:Oh Lord. The new Justin Timberlake album is so horrible that I am flabbergasted by the mere existence of it. 3 of my favorite producers Danja, The Neptunes and Timbaland are involved in this train-wreck....How the mighty have fallen.

The new Rhye is lovely. It's not ground-breaking and it probably won't convert any new fan but after all the electronic-heavy R&B releases from last year, I am happy to hear an album full of organic instruments playing and a voice that is as luxurious as silk.

LOL at the JT comment. I listened to both of these albums and I agree with you on JT after first listen. I like some of it but most of it is a pretty lazy effort. And Rhye's album is very good. That might be in the my top albums at the end of the year.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:44 am

Justin Timberlake- Man of the Woods

After releasing the brilliant 20/20 Experience (and its significantly less brilliant, but occasionally fun, companion album) back in 2013, Timberlake has remained conspicuously absent from the music world, his lone contribution in the past five years being the bubblegum pap that is "Can't Stop the Feeling!". But, bubblegum pap as it may be, "Can't Stop the Feeling!" is at least incredibly catchy bubblegum pap, and as such, is significantly more memorable than the bulk of his new album, Man of the Woods.

Man of the Woods starts off on the wrong foot, gets a bit better, and then starts to fall apart as soon as you thought it was really going to come together. The album opens up with lead single "Filthy", a track that could ostensibly be labeled as "glitch pop", which really works better as a vague concept than an actual song. The synths here sputter and stall and have no sense of momentum to them, keeping the song stuck in neutral instead of propelling it forward. The album then transitions to two of the album's best tracks, the fun/catchy/sexy/funky/rhythmic/insert whatever abject that used to adequately describe Timberlake's music here "Midnight Summer Jam" and "Sauce". Sadly, things can't stay this good for long. The second single off the album, "Supplies", comes mid-album and kills any hope of real redemption. I'll give it this much though, "Supplies" is unique, a romance pop/R&B song with apocalypse prepper lyrics. And no, I'm not making that up. Read the lyrics if you dare. The whole thing is hilarious, in a very unintentional way, and the generic hip-hop beat is one of the laziest instrumentals on the album.

In fact, unintentional hilarity is something of a theme throughout the album. The song "Flannel" is a harmony packed folk/pop song that makes you wonder if Timberlake is actually sincere or if his tongue is just firmly buried within his cheek (I'm inclined to side with the former, and there is something about the supposed sincerity of "Flannel" that is actually endearing).

Ultimately, the main problem of Man of the Woods is just that so much of it comes and goes without making any sort of lasting impact on the listener's memory, which, for a pop artist as attuned to catchy, immediate hits as Timberlake, is a serious issue. Now there are some nice surprises to be found here, like "Say Something", featuring country star Chris Stapleton. But there just aren't enough new tricks here to make for a satisfying return to music. Better luck next time, Justin.

Verdict: Poor

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby notbrianeno » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:27 am

Great (4/5)
Migos | Culture II
Porches | The House

Good (3.5/5)
Rhye | Blood
Jonny Greenwood | Phantom Thread
Scallops Hotel | Sovreign Nose of (Y)our Arrogant Face

Decent (3/5)
Don Broco | Technology
The Soft Moon | Criminal
Tune-Yards | I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
JPEGMAFIA | Veteran
CupcakKe | Ephorize
Profliate | Somewhere Else

Mediocre (2.5/5)
Efrim Manuel Menuck | Pissing Stars
Jeff Rosenstock | POST-
Justin Timberlake | Man of the Woods
Django Django | Marble Skies
H.C. McEntire | Lionheart
Shame | Songs of Praise
Maxo Kream | Punken
Camilla Cabello | Camilla
Current AOTY 2018: Low |Double Negative
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby spiritualized » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:29 am

I really liked Shame's Songs of Praise. Fall influences quiet evident, but I could hear Girls vs Boys as well, which is a huge reference for me. First track is a killer.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:18 pm

New Tune Yards is good. It’s overtly Dirty Projectors and Architecture In Helsinki influenced power pop and it’s just fun to listen to.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Gillingham » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Some lesser known recommendations:
- The Limiñanas / Shadow People: Recently heard a song off the album in a music store in Rotterdam. Checked out the album and was definitely not disappointed. Not always even, but therefore varied and with some great tracks.
- Xylouris White / Mother: Third album by this Greek/American duo. I like the experimental choices they make.
- Nils Frahm / All Melody: A bit less minimalistic than some of his previous work and it works out well.
- Weedpecker / III: Hadn't heard about them before I listened to this album. Contains some nice psychedelic rock.
- John Surman / Invisible Threads: Jazz that doesn't stand out all that much in the ECM catalogue, but it does come with he quality, too.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby acroamor » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:57 pm

I was gonna make a new thread, but that felt a little too self-promotion-y.

As some of y'all may know, I'm a film director and I recently finished my first feature film, entitled Progidy. In addition, I served as the composer for it, as well as the soundtrack coordinator. Today, I released the soundtrack on Youtube, so if anyone has any interest in hearing my compositions or some very good pop/punk/house/rap songs made by my friends, give it a listen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAE5WQl9FF0&list=PLJnP01lmzW2hMHGQVU_CGLMJxrbIpg6_i

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:07 pm

Franz Ferdinand- Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand, famed Scottish indie rockers, are great and all, but they are probably the living, breathing definition of diminishing returns. Their first album is a classic, and rightfully so. Their second album is great. Their third is very good (actually quite underrated if you ask me), and their fourth is just okay. Which brings us to their fifth album, Always Ascending. While this album doesn't break the pattern of diminishing returns, I can safely say that it's only a small step down from their fourth.

At this point in their career Franz Ferdinand will probably never change their signature post-punk/dance-punk aesthetic, which might not be such a bad thing. After all, they've done five albums in this style so far, and while the returns have been less and less, such a style has never resulted in anything outright bad. Franz Ferdinand have settled into a comfortable groove as a band, content with pumping out decent indie rock. There are worse ways for a band to end up.

Now, as for the actual music of Always Ascending, if you've heard one Franz Ferdinand album, you've heard this one too. The main issue with the album, as it stands compared to their previous albums, is that nothing on it comes close to the pop perfection of "Take Me Out" or "Do You Want To" or "Matinee" or "Ulysses". Some songs are sufficiently catchy though, like "Paper Cages" and "Lazy Boy". But why listen to this album when you have their first three albums out there?

Verdict: Decent

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:07 pm

MGMT- Little Dark Age

Speaking of diminishing returns, MGMT put out an album on Friday too. But in spite of the fact that each of their three previous studio albums have been markedly worse than the last, Little Dark Age is actually quite good. So good that it actually manages to break this trend, and become better than its predecessor, the uninspired MGMT.

The first thing you need to know about Little Dark Age is that it's a straight up chillwave album. What, did you think that chillwave was a failed pseudo-genre that no one has cared about since 2011? Well, you'd probably be right, but that hasn't stopped the band from channeling their inner 2009 era Ariel Pink and crafting a blissful album of psychedelic pop. The album opens up with "She Works Out to Much", a genuinely funny (think about how hard it is to make intentionally funny music and succeed) song with the killer lyric...

"The only reason that we didn't work out was he didn't work out enough"

The song also contains clips of what is clearly supposed to be an exercise video, which just adds to the track's hilarity (seriously, you've got to hear this thing). The album then transition to lead single "Little Dark Age", which gives the album something of a gothic vibe, before following up with the catchy "Me and Michael" and the "TSLAMP", a song that skewers our modern day addiction to phones (but just so you know this is a chillwave album, the song, which is clearly about smartphones, is littered with the sounds of retro phone rings circa 1990, because, you know, revivalism and nostalgia and such).

The album's middle section, however, gets a little too dreamy and novel gazey for its own good, like on the formless "Days That Got Away", but soon picks up again for a satisfying conclusion.

Little Dark Age is a solid album, and not just for those of us who are nostalgic for the era of chillwave (which, when you think about it, is a sort of double nostalgia, as the era of chillwave was just nostalgia for the 1980s/1990s). I wouldn't exactly call the album great though, it does little to advance the genre and the middle section isn't all too interesting. But for fans of the band, it's a must hear.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nassim » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:53 pm

Don't think I had ever listened to as many albums on their release dates, but Car Seat Headrest, Ought, US Girls and Superchunk albums are all well worth the spin !

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Harold » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:33 pm

Nassim wrote:Don't think I had ever listened to as many albums on their release dates, but Car Seat Headrest, Ought, US Girls and Superchunk albums are all well worth the spin !


Car Seat Headrest's Twin Fantasy is a fascinating case - it's a complete re-recording of the 2011 CSH album of the same name, which was the release that really started the band's cult following but with which Will Toledo has clearly never been fully satisfied because of its extreme lo-fi nature. The new version is a 2-CD release that also includes the original. I'm eagerly looking forward to this, because Teens of Denial is one of my favorite albums of the decade.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:31 am

Harold wrote:
Nassim wrote:Don't think I had ever listened to as many albums on their release dates, but Car Seat Headrest, Ought, US Girls and Superchunk albums are all well worth the spin !


Car Seat Headrest's Twin Fantasy is a fascinating case - it's a complete re-recording of the 2011 CSH album of the same name, which was the release that really started the band's cult following but with which Will Toledo has clearly never been fully satisfied because of its extreme lo-fi nature. The new version is a 2-CD release that also includes the original. I'm eagerly looking forward to this, because Teens of Denial is one of my favorite albums of the decade.


I just listened to this album and it's absolutely incredible. It might even be better than Teens of Denial.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby notbrianeno » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:23 am

Nick wrote:
Harold wrote:
Nassim wrote:Don't think I had ever listened to as many albums on their release dates, but Car Seat Headrest, Ought, US Girls and Superchunk albums are all well worth the spin !


Car Seat Headrest's Twin Fantasy is a fascinating case - it's a complete re-recording of the 2011 CSH album of the same name, which was the release that really started the band's cult following but with which Will Toledo has clearly never been fully satisfied because of its extreme lo-fi nature. The new version is a 2-CD release that also includes the original. I'm eagerly looking forward to this, because Teens of Denial is one of my favorite albums of the decade.


I just listened to this album and it's absolutely incredible. It might even be better than Teens of Denial.


I've only heard the original Twin Fantasy a few times, but I really enjoyed it, and the lo-fi 60's pop vibe of the production was one of the things I enjoyed the most about it. A little afraid to hear what this re-recorded version sounds like...
Current AOTY 2018: Low |Double Negative
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Sweepstakes Ron » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:59 pm

Feelin' good on a Wednesday

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:37 pm


I'm excited, but it's been so long that I am also cautious.

Initial expectation is that this is going to be an edgier version of Lemonade.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:55 am

I really like Mary Gauthier - Rifles and Rosary Beads

Possibly the most conservative album I've ever genuinely liked, it's a very emotional album mostly about the experience of soldiers after they come home. In the opening track she says "The same things that save you on the battlefield hurt you when you come home".

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Maschine_Man » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:16 am

I haven't heard too much that has really excited me but one that has stood out is U.S. Girls - A Poem Unlimited. A fantastic set of songs, politically charged and razor sharp. I hope it isn't forgotten by critics at the end of the year.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby LZ » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:45 pm

I second the Car Seat Headrest release best one this year so far. Beautiful addicting pop noise.
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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Pauler » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:02 am



The first two singles released yesterday have knocked me the fuck off my feet. One is funky Prince and one is Ms. Janelle spitting BARS. She certainly does not come to play.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:19 pm

U.S. Girls- In a Poem Unlimited

U.S. Girls is the moniker of Canadian-American artist Meghan Remy, who has been making music under that name for over a decade now. In that time she's released eight albums, quite the feat indeed, although I must confess that this is the first of her albums to grab my attention.

But what an album to grab my attention! In a Poem Unlimited is thick, creamy, luscious sophisti-pop music with production so shiny I can almost see myself in it. The sonic details that pervade the album are a real treat, in particular the percussion, which borders on exotica on songs like "M.A.H." and trip-hop on "Rosebud". The album takes an unexpected detour in the middle with the song "Incidental Boogie", which ditches the album's opening sophisti-pop salvo and replaces it with aggressive yet danceable electronic rock (think "Army of Me" by Bjork and you get the idea), before returning back for a satisfying sophiti-pop finish to the album.

In a Poem Unlimited is a silky smooth, sometimes seductive salvo of sensuous yet sophisticated string and saxophone-drenched songs. If that's your kind of thing, you have no reason not to check it out.

Verdict: Great

I still have to listen to the first version of Car Seat Headrest's Twin Fantasy before writing a review of the new version, but that new version is probably my AOTYSF.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:22 pm

Any album I consider worth listing in this thread can be assumed I'd give them at least 8/10 as of the first listen.

All those so far this year:
1. Nils Frahm - All Meldoy
2. First Aid Kit - Ruins
3. Hookworms - Microshift
4. Tune Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
5. Mary Gauther - Rifles & Rosary Beads

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Sweepstakes Ron » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:22 am

Check out Ravyn Lenae's Crush EP. It's similar to SZA, but with less trap production and more '90s R&B inspiration. I'll definitely be on the lookout for her debut LP, whenever that may come around.
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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:33 am

Car Seat Headrest- Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

The story of Twin Fantasy is one told many times over, but it's just so damn inspiring that I have to tell it again. It goes something like this. 19 year old bedroom rock musician Will Toledo, the wunderkind behind Car Seat Headrest, releases five full length albums of music between May 2010 and March 2011, building a small but loyal fanbase, all of which culminates in the release of his sixth LP, the original Twin Fantasy. The album was an underground success, the kind that made his 2016 mainstream breakthrough possible with his album Teens of Denial, but ultimately it was the product of a 19 year old kid using cheap equipment to record an album in his bedroom. To say it's rough is an understatement.

And so, equipped with mainstream success and all its trappings, Will Toledo returned to the studio to recreate the album that initiated his cult following. It's a beautiful notion, really, the thought of this artist getting to go back and perfect his art, making it turn out the way that he wished it could have turned out, if only he had the proper equipment and budget and refined aesthetic sensibilities.

If you can't tell by now, I greatly prefer the recreated version of Twin Fantasy to the original. Now, that's not to knock the original. The 2011 version of the album is full of promise, and has all the same melodies and most of the same lyrics that the 2018 version does. But this album is a testament to the power of good recording equipment and the wisdom that comes with a little bit of age. The 2011 version of Twin Fantasy has a certain charm to it, the kind of charm that comes with seeing a budding young artist find his signature sound, but all too frequently the roughness of the album overwhelms the actual music, which to some may be a feature and not a bug, but to me is just a distraction.

This isn't to say that the 2018 version is some ultra-shiny glossed over piece of pop music. Far from it, the 2018 version of the album keeps a certain air of roughness to it, an air that complements the music as opposed to cheapening it (for a good idea of what I'm talking about, look no further than the drum track on both versions of the song "Nervous Young Inhumans". Where the 2011 version has drums that sound incredibly brittle and thin, the drums on the 2018 version sound full bodied and anthemic, the way Will Toledo surely meant for them to sound when he envisioned the album).

Another major improvement found in the 2018 version comes with the song "Bodys", which is a great, yet fairly standard indie rock track on the original, but is a damn near dance number on the remake. Adding a more danceable groove to the song was no doubt a bold move, and probably one that lead to a couple of pissed off purists, but it was a move that ultimately gave the album's middle a much needed kinetic force. If there's anything that the original version has over the remake, it may come in the length of the album. The 2011 version of Twin Fantasy was an hour long, and the 2018 version, despite including no new songs, is a full eleven minutes longer. While I'm glad that Will Toledo was able to make the album the way he had always wanted to, I seriously question as to whether the already ten minute long penultimate track "Famous Prophets" really needed an extra six minutes appended to it. Nevertheless, criticisms such as this are rather mild in the grand scheme of the album.

Twin Fantasy was the album that launched Car Seat Headrest to cult fame over six years ago. Today we have its remake, and we can now see the album for what it is and was always meant to be. Their masterpiece.

Verdict: Great

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby PlasticRam » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:57 pm

U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited 7.9
Migos - Culture II 7.9
SOB X RBE - Gangin 6.7
Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy 6.5
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:54 pm

Are we considering How To Solve Our Human Problems three 2017 EPs or one 2018 LP?

Body Talk situation?

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Rob » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:52 pm

Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin

This album was released in January and made sure the year was off to a great start for me, regardless of what else was released around the same time. I fell in love with Freedom's Goblin from the first listen and after several more spins I can confirm what I knew from the first time out: this is belongs to the list of greatest rock albums.

Sure, it is only slightly over a month old, so it might be early for such big statements, but damn, this is just the type of album I've been waiting for. I'm always in for a good rock record, but in 2018 we are not that accustomed to expect a 75 minute hard rock album to be released and also being incredibly good. Especially not one like Freedom's Goblin, which isn't exactly reinventing the wheel. Instead, it is very traditional. That it still sounds fresh is an achievement.

Part of what makes it work is that it takes a lot of influences. From traditional hard rock on the opener Fanny Dog, through rock-funk in Despoiler of a Cadaver, Beatle-esque pop-rock in Cry, Cry, Cry (on which Segall sounds eerily like Lennon), Irish pub music in The Last Waltz, the Radiohead-like Rain, The White Stripes stomp of Shoot You Up and an unexptected cover of Every 1's a Winner. Heck, Meaning even sounds like a Riot Grrrl track, not least thanks to the growled vocals of his wife Denée Segall. It's a bit of everything, but all executed equally well, while also sounding oddly uniform.

Above all it is simply a great album to rock out to. It is an air guitar album through and through. My favorite track, Fanny Dog, contains both a great riff as well as a deep sound. There are also some extended jams on She and And, Goodnight which I can't love more. Even the one minute instrumental Prison works very well for me.

If a true hard rock album is not your cup of tea this won't be your album, but if you care only a little about rock there is no excuse to not try this one. For me, the bar of 2018 is raised very highly and it will take an incredible left-field type of album to knock this off first place. To compare, last year this would have ranked at #2 on my EOY-list and only because my #1, A Crow Looked at Me, was so incomparable.
*****

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby notbrianeno » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:10 pm

Excellent (4.5/5)
A.A.L. (Against All Logic) | 2012-2017

Great (4/5)
U.S. Girls | In a Poem Unlimited
Migos | Culture II
Porches | The House

Good (3.5/5)
Jonny Greenwood | Phantom Thread
Rhye | Blood
Car Seat Headrest | Twin Fantasy
MGMT | Little Dark Age
Ty Segall | Freedom's Goblin
Various Artists | Black Panther: The Album
No Age | Snares Like a Haircut
Scallops Hotel | Sovreign Nose of (Y)our Arrogant Face
Don Broco | Technology

Decent (3/5)
The Soft Moon | Criminal
Tune-Yards | I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
JPEGMAFIA | Veteran
Peggy Gou | Once
CupcakKe | Ephorize
Profliate | Somewhere Else
Shirt | Pure Beauty
Ought | Room Inside the World

Mediocre (2.5/5)
Efrim Manuel Menuck | Pissing Stars
Jeff Rosenstock | POST-
Son Lux | Brighter Wounds
Justin Timberlake | Man of the Woods
Django Django | Marble Skies
H.C. McEntire | Lionheart
Nils Frahm | All Melody
Shame | Songs of Praise
Maxo Kream | Punken
Camilla Cabello | Camilla
Current AOTY 2018: Low |Double Negative
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:23 pm

David Byrne- American Utopia

David Byrne, famed singer of the Talking Heads, is back with his first non-collaborative studio album in 14 years, American Utopia. The music here is trademark Byrne, with the slick, jangly rock that he perfected on those first couple of Talking Heads albums. But the lyrics here tread the line between greatness and sounding like an especially incisive parody of the Talking Heads. For an example, the second verse of the song "Every Day is a Miracle" goes...

"Cockroach might eat Mona Lisa
The pope don't mean shit to a dog
And elephants don't read newspapers
And the kiss of a chicken is hot

The brain of a chicken
And the dick of a donkey
A pig in a blanket
And that's why you want me

What does it feel like
To be your tongue
Moving around in your mouth
To be free in the forest of your love
A cockroach in the cosmos of your house"

So yes, cockroaches might eat the Mona Lisa and the pope really doesn't mean all too much to a dog, and as such everything that humans treasure and exalt ultimately means nothing in the grand scheme of the vast and uncaring cosmos. And sure, the mental image of a befuddled dog standing before the pope is both funny and gives the song's nihilistic outlook a bit of much needed humor and lightness. But I'll be damned if I knew what the dick of a donkey has anything to do with it.

Verdict: Good

A.A.L (Against All Logic)- 2012 - 2017

A.A.L is the pseudonym of Chilean-American electronic musician Nicolas Jaar, an artist that I've followed with a sort of vague interest for several years now. As such, I've heard both of his studio albums under the Jaar name, 2011's Space is Only Noise and 2016's Sirens, as well as his collaborative album with Dave Harrington under the name Darkside, 2013's Psychic. And while these albums have all received a good deal of acclaim, I can't really say that I've ever been too captivated with any of them. They're nice listens, but a bit too formless for my taste.

So it was natural that I'd go into his album 2012 - 2017 with some hesitation. But this album is very, very far from anything Jaar has done in the past. Whereas his previous music was spacey and ambient and loose compositionally, Jaar's latest album is a straight up sample-heavy dance party soundtrack. In fact, 2012 - 2017 might just be the single best dance album I've heard since Disclosure's Settle or Todd Terje's It's Album Time.

The brilliance of 2012 - 2017 doesn't just come from the fact that it'll make you move your feet. It comes in little moments scattered throughout the songs. Take the second track for instance, "I Never Dream", which has high-pitched female vocals accompanying the rising house beats. What this woman is saying is totally incomprehensible, but the feeling is unmistakable, it's a feeling of longing, of needing, of pleading for someone or something. The album's fourth track, "Some Kind of Game" also understands the importance of this basic human connection, and features a heavy use of house music pianos and emotive vocals crying out "hallelujah!" and "some kind of game, some kind of game!" Again, the full context of the lyrics here is irrelevant, and as such, it really speaks to the production skills of Jaar when he's able to isolate these small fragments of a sampled vocal track and still retain their inherent pathos.

The songs on 2012 - 2017 rarely follow conventional pop song structures, but that doesn't stop the album from being an immensely catchy, and satisfying piece of dance music. Devotees of Jaar's previous work may not be feeling the groove, but for the rest of us, 2012 - 2017 is here to soundtrack late night basement raves all across the world.

Verdict: Great

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:48 pm

Superorganism- Superorganism

If you put an album of pretty standard, albeit enjoyable indie pop, through a futuristic machine that twisted it and pulled it apart and broke it down and reassembled it so that it was 95% the same as the original, it may sound something like the self-titled release by the group Superorganism.

The music on Superorganism is like indie pop with a computer virus. There are sugary sweet voices and conventional pop song structures and guitar and bass and drums and all the traditional furnishings of an indie pop album. But there are also digital artifacts, wobbling basslines, oddball samples, heavily distorted voices, the sound of cash registers, the constant sound of lapping water, and moments where all the sound just cuts away.

The aesthetic is interesting, but it's probably good that the album is only 33 minutes long. This sort of gimmick would be all too easy to overdo, but Superorganism give just enough to satisfy.

Standout track: Everybody Wants to Be Famous

Verdict: Good
Last edited by Nick on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:36 pm

Are there good places to find the Ty Segall and No Age albums streaming? They are not on Spotify and they are both in the category of people whose previous work I've liked but not so much I would ever blind buy.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby jamieW » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:59 pm

Jirin wrote:Are there good places to find the Ty Segall and No Age albums streaming? They are not on Spotify and they are both in the category of people whose previous work I've liked but not so much I would ever blind buy.


This continues to be my last resort to listen to hard-to-stream albums:

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_ty-segall__a ... oblin.html

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_no-age__albu ... ircut.html

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:03 am

Titus Andronicus- A Productive Cough

On their latest album, A Productive Cough, Patrick Stickles and co. finally consummate their decade long love affair with New Jersey demigod Bruce Springsteen. Opening song "Number One (In New York)" begins with twinkling pianos and ends with a mournful saxophone, and the intervening 8 minutes contain some of the most climactic, towering music that you'll hear all year. It's all very E Street Band, and it's the sort of logical progression that Titus Andronicus have been working their way towards for their whole career. The rest of the album continues to stick to the heartland rocking influence of guys named Springsteen and Petty, a far cry from the punk rock of songs like "A More Perfect Union" and "Dimed Out", though the album does throw us a bit of a curve ball with its second song, "Real Talk", which sounds like the sort of showtune written to accompany a big song and dance number in a Broadway musical set in a neighborhood full of Irish immigrants circa 1935.

Oh yeah, and there's also a 9 minute long cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" right smack dab in the middle of the album.

Just saying.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Rob » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:12 pm

jamieW wrote:
Jirin wrote:Are there good places to find the Ty Segall and No Age albums streaming? They are not on Spotify and they are both in the category of people whose previous work I've liked but not so much I would ever blind buy.


This continues to be my last resort to listen to hard-to-stream albums:

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_ty-segall__a ... oblin.html

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_no-age__albu ... ircut.html


Or simply on YouTube:




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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby jamieW » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:51 pm

Rob wrote:
jamieW wrote:
Jirin wrote:Are there good places to find the Ty Segall and No Age albums streaming? They are not on Spotify and they are both in the category of people whose previous work I've liked but not so much I would ever blind buy.


This continues to be my last resort to listen to hard-to-stream albums:

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_ty-segall__a ... oblin.html

https://musicmp3.ru/artist_no-age__albu ... ircut.html


Or simply on YouTube:





Rob is correct. Both of these are on YouTube (even in the U.S., which sometimes they aren't). So much for MP3RU being my "last resort!" :P

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:47 pm

Thanks

Bold strategy, for Titus Andronicus to name their album after being sick.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:55 am

Andrew W.K.- You're Not Alone

You're Not Alone is party god Andrew W.K.'s first album since his 2009 collection of covers from the Gundam anime franchise, Gundam Rock. In the time since then W.K. has hosted a television show (Destroy Build Destroy), became a motivational speaker, and has turned into a walking, talking meme. The personality of W.K. (or if you'd rather, persona) is one of overwhelming positivity, life affirmation, and, of course, partying.

The sound of You're Not Alone is more or less the same as that of his 2001 magnum opus, I Get Wet, which is to say, this album is basically a dozen or so fist pumping, beer chugging, lighter in the air, anthems. If you've heard that album, then you know exactly what to expect here, and if you haven't heard that album, just listen to "Party Hard" a couple times and you'll get the gist. W.K.'s music is pure, dumb fun distilled into a single sound, and the success of his albums rests on his ability to hone that sound into something truly great. He accomplished this on I Get Wet, which was an album with hooks inside of hooks inside of hooks, and remains in this reviewer's opinion, among the catchiest of rock albums. You're Not Alone doesn't have quite the hooks that that album did, but songs like "Ever Again" and "The Devil's On Your Side" can stand with the best of that 2001 LP.

The major difference between this album and W.K.'s classic debut is found in the lyrics. Where I Get Wet was more concerned with partying over strict positivity, You're Not Alone is practically a self-help album, in the best possible way. In fact, three of the album's sixteen songs are minute long motivational monologues on self-reliance and how life's bad times will ultimately make you stronger. It's a charming sentiment, and W.K. sells it well, but it's a sentiment that has never really managed to connect with me in the way that it has with others. After all, we live in a universe governed by chaos, one where the earth is just a mote of dust suspended in the vast and uncaring cosmos. I find it a little hard to be convinced that the bad times are here to strengthen us when people die every single day for the most random and meaningless of reasons.

But hey, it works for other people. And it's nice to believe in what W.K. says, even if I can't parse the logic in it. Maybe that's the trick. It's all bullshit, but you have to buy into the bullshit in order for all of the good stuff to happen to you. And in a way, maybe that means it was never bullshit to begin with.

Verdict: Good

As an aside, I've really been abusing the "good" verdict as of late, but I guess that's the issue I run into when I review albums I have a good feeling I'll like. Oh well.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:33 pm

Mount Eerie- Now Only

So here's the story if you don't know it already. Phil Elverum, singer and songwriter behind The Microphones and Mount Eerie marries musician and illustrator Geneviève Castrée. Their life is one of happy domesticity, they have a daughter and a house and their own artistic endeavors to keep themselves occupied. That is until Castrée gets pancreatic cancer and dies a short time later. She was only 35.

Elverum's resulting grief was well-documented on his last album as Mount Eerie, 2017's excellent A Crow Looked at Me, and on his latest album under that moniker, Now Only, Elverum expands on the grief that still haunts him.

As such, it's only natural that Now Only will be compared to his previous album. Subject matter wise, the two releases are incredibly similar, albeit with some small, yet notable, differences. Elverum still writes with the incisive introspective tone that he used on A Crow..., documenting the minutia of his loss in the way that few other writers can (comparisons with Sun Kil Moon and his death-centric album Benji are apt). If anything, Elverum's latest album takes this introspection to a level beyond that which we had previously seen. Here he writes about taking the songs about his wife's death on the road, singing them at a music festival, overhearing Skrillex perform and talking to Father John Misty about songwriting, and the resulting weirdness of the whole situation. If A Crow Looked at Me was about his wife's death, then Now Only is about what happens after you've released this monumentally cathartic work and still feel awful.

Musically the two albums are a little different as well. Both of them are folk music, but whereas the folk on A Crow... was rather stripped down, oftentimes consisting of just Elverum's voice and his acoustic guitar, the music of Now Only is a little more fleshed out. Lead single "Distortion" lives up to its title, as it's an eleven minute long track that uses the sound of distortion not as an ornament, but as the very structure of the song. Later on the album Elverum uses a raucous noise rock instrumental to back the song "Earth".

Some of the raw impact of Now Only may be a little blunted by the fact that it was released after the similar A Crow Looked at Me. But that doesn't mean that the album is any less of a moving portrait of loss.

Verdict: Great

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:10 pm

Yo La Tengo- There's a Riot Going On

Yo La Tengo are back with their first proper studio album since 2013, There's a Riot Going On. Named after the classic Sly and the Family Stone release, which was a powerful meditation on capital-B Big issues like race and violence and familial strife, one would expect Yo La Tengo's album to focus on issues that, while maybe not the exact same as Sly Stone's album, are nonetheless issues of great importance to the world. It's trying times in America right now, and there's certainly an abundance of chaos here to document.

Alas, the album fails to deliver in this regard. Actually, it's more accurate to state that the album never really even tries to deliver in this regard. Failure, at the very least, implies an attempt. There's a Riot Going On is a 63 minute long album devoid of politics, purpose, or memorable hooks. Most of the songs float by with a cheerful, blissed out ambiance, which doesn't exactly make for a compelling listen. That being said, the album is still fairly enjoyable. The songs here may be sketches, but their rather loose quality makes for some pretty serviceable background music, if anything.

There is nothing outright bad about There's a Riot Going On, save for the head scratch inducing missed opportunity of the album's title. That being said, there's nothing outright great either.

Verdict: Decent

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby prosecutorgodot » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:08 pm

Any thoughts on this new Jack White album? I'm not a Jack White expert, but it seems to be a very scattered-sounding album. He jumps back and forth between loud, gospel and guitar-backed tracks, all the way to spoken word tracks.

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Re: Albums of 2018

Postby Jirin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:06 pm

I agree Jack White’s new album is very uneven but has lots of good tracks.

Barrence Whitfield and The Savages -Soul Flowers Of Titan sounds The Sonics. Beautiful retro rock.


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