|Grading 2018 Very Early On|
These are just the albums I've heard so far. I haven't had as much time to focus on music due to work, so feel free to rec me stuff. Pianos Become The Teeth and Car Seat Headrest are still on my "albums to listen to" radar...
If There Is Light, It Will Find You
4/5 - A very well-crafted, accessible album with plenty of hooks and choruses to remember. The lyrics are pedestrian but not cheesy, as they pack plenty of substance. It's a beautiful listen from start to finish, with nary a skippable track...the curtain-closer is god-tier.
|2||The Dangerous Summer|
The Dangerous Summer
4/5 - You can really feel the passion stirring in this one. Say what you will about War Paint, but it was missing something. I didn't even bother with Golden Record. But this is vintage Dangerous Summer, and it just makes me want to learn all the lyrics and scream along until June gets here.
4/5 - Sleek and sexy EP. I'm not usually one to fawn over R&B, but this little collection of tracks is the perfect length, featuring five smooth, infectious jams. Early EPOTY candidate.
|4||Belle and Sebastian|
How to Solve Our Human Problems
4/5 - As an entire LP (split into three EPs), How to Solve Our Human Problems is a little bit inconsistent, but aspires to some truly mesmerizing and gorgeous heights. Pt.1 and Pt.3 are the peaks, with a respectable but comparatively bland Pt.2. The highlights across the fifteen song experience are 'Sweet Dew Lee", "Fickle Season", "I'll Be Your Pilot", "Poor Boy", and "Too Many Tears." This is a high mark for Belle and Sebastian, proving that The Boy With The Arab Strap has competition as the band's premier release.
|5||When We Land|
3.8/5 - This feels like the kind of album that you would play on repeat as the snow gently covers the Minneapolis streets: it's meant to be easily enjoyed from a melody/hook perspective, offering its fair share of unique twists without forcing you to do a deep dive for meaning.
Little Dark Age
3.5/5 - A fun little psychedelic pop record, but nothing that stands out as spectacular. It's still the best thing they've done since Congratulations. "When You Die", "Me and Michael", and "Hand It Over" get the highest marks from me.
|7||Tiny Little Houses|
3.5/5 - I can't make up my mind if this guy's voice annoys me or is perfect for their style. Either way, the songs themselves are catchy as hell. "Short Hair", "Nowhere SA", and "Drag Me" are my early favorites.
|8||Efrim Manuel Menuck|
3.5/5 - This was pretty neat. Definitely better than the new Godspeed. Leans a little heavy on the drone elements for my taste but it also gets better and more memorable as it goes on.
3.5/5 - Really fun and catchy album, even if it's shallow radio-pop. Regardless of what you think of the songs, Camila sure can sing.
3.3/5 - I've never listened to Rosenstock's solo stuff until now (although BTMI! was great). The two long tracks here are downright incredible, the rest is hit or miss. This will probably grow on me.
3.0/5 - I don't really get this. It's a well put-together indie-rock album for sure, but...it's forgettable. (Gasp)
We Will All be Gone
|14||Legend of the Seagullmen|
Legend of the Seagullmen
2.0/5 - At its best, the album makes you want to hear more. But right when that intrigue is piqued, the album plummets into 10-15 minutes of aimless and discordant nonsense with angsty and cringeworthy breakup lyrics.
Illusion of Love
2.0/5 - Offensively safe acoustic singer-songwriter tunes. It's not really poor, it's just so basic that it evokes apathy so intense that it almost becomes rage, like "why am I wasting my time?" A shame considering how good 'Sister, I' and a select few others are.
Man of the Woods
What a huge vacuum this left. I was hyped for a pop/R&B artist with JT's talent to bridge the gap between folk/americana and relevance, with some sort of experimental statement album that established him as something other than a one trick pony. Fucking foolishness that was, because this is a haphazard heap of mismatched ideas, cramming square faux-folk into the same damn round holes. It's just an R&B record with JT singing about flannel, fires, and Montana. There's no music to support the idea that Justin has actually ever set foot outside of a resort in LA with a couple pine trees nearby. What a fraud.
|19||Fall Out Boy|
M A N I A
1.5/5 - There are some hooks to be found, but even at its best M A N I A is a hot mess that doesn't know how to capitalize on the few ideas it has. I'm a huge FOB fan and I can't stand this, so that should tell you something.