|StaffReviews 133Soundoffs 67News Articles 3Band Edits + Tags 3Album Edits 83Album Ratings 467Objectivity 72%Last Active 10-29-20 1:06 amJoined 05-13-09Forum Posts 5,879Review Comments 19,581
wrote this for my school newspaper; please excuse cheesy prose
All top-ten album lists must, by design, include a pick tailored toward uncovering a ?hidden gem? for those who may have
missed it; this is that pick. I mention this not because I want you, the reader, to listen to this album first and foremost out of
the whole ten?I want you to listen to all of them!?but rather because what Varner does on her excellent debut is so in tune
with the best mainstream pop sensibilities that it?s a shame her album isn?t blasting out of passing Chevrolets all day and all
night. The fiddle-sampling ?Refill,? in particular, is undeniable. Go ahead. Deny it.
Frankie Rose?s second solo album was released without much fanfare, is fairly derivative of a bunch of other albums that have
come out recently, and comes in at an incredibly lean 32 minutes. It?s also, however, a delicately fun listen, Rose?s vocals
floating lightly atop gorgeous spirals of guitar and automated-seeming drum patterns structured to provide a minimally-yet-
maximally pleasant trip across classic dream-pop tropes.
This one I probably have to explain. As concisely as possible: INTERNET CLUB is the nom de ordinateur of some mysterious
fellow who spends his days downloading audio clips of commercials and vintage video games from YouTube and messing with
them in Audacity and Ableton Live. Blog critics have taken to calling it ?vaporwave,? apparently a sub-sub-genre almost
Warholian in its simultaneous rebuff of and delight in the consumer culture of the bygone ?90s. It?s all much more fun?and,
yes, nostalgic?than that, I assure you.
good kid, m.A.A.d city
I wish I could place that ?7? up there with a question mark; such is the enigmatic force of Kendrick Lamar?s fervidly praised
magnum opus. Alas, it cannot be so, but Lamar?perhaps the single greatest rapper alive right now?deserves the spot. His
pseudo-concept album limns the experience of growing up in Compton, in all its brutal glory, inventing a virtuosic aesthetic of
the grotesque in the process. ?Sing About Me, I?m Dying of Thirst? may be the best song this year has produced.
Then, just as with Ms. Rose, the pleasure principle wins out. Lamar may have the hefty philosophy of the streets on his side,
but Miguel has the flat-out smoothest single of the year, ?Adorn,? on his?and there?s ten more of those. Wonderfully lucid,
strange R&B by a burgeoning master of the form; his three Art Dealer Chic EPs from earlier in the year also come highly
Again: Beach House?s latest LP isn?t particularly ?deep? in any sense of the word?in fact, it sounds a lot like their highly-praised
Teen Dream from two years ago?but it is on this here album that the dream-pop duo have perfected their languid guitar-organ-
and-drum-machine ambiance. ?Wild? is simply ecstatic.
Lonerism is one of those albums that sounds pretty much exactly like another?in this case, The Beatles?s Revolver?without
sacrificing its own personal charm. The neo-psychedelia presented here is the work not only of great songwriters and great
producers, but also of a band forging its own unique aesthetic through the influence of?well, The Beatles, clearly, but there?s
something deeper here, too. With ?Mind Mischief? and ?Why Won?t They Talk to Me??, Kevin Parker and company sing
convincingly about the damaging effects of loneliness (lonerism, if you will) while simultaneously sounding like the happiest
band in the world.
Julia Holter?s excellent, cryptic album is apparently all about its own ?about?-ness; about the ?Boy in the Moon? that lends his
title to the third track but also about how the structure and function of the song, like a biological system, are matched;
about a Keatsian ?negative capability,? of uncertainties and mysteries and how these qualities can sublimate themselves into
a fabric of Knowing the Self; finally but also not at all finally about the Hamlet-via-Harold Bloom process of ?making yourself a
work of art?. And then it is about being about all that, too. Crucially, the music that ties together all of these extra- and
intra-textual references is quite gorgeous.
Until the Quiet Comes
This one took a while: the ?post-hip hop? beatmaker FlyLo?s latest album, following the monumental diptych of Los Angeles
and Cosmogramma, is also his subtlest. Gorgeous magic carpet rides of texture and melody like ?See Thru To U? and ?Only If
You Wanna? might not make sense on first listen. But this one may also be his most intriguingly spiritual yet, stuck in that
space between the purely ethereal and the muscular, between us here on Earth and those up there in the Heaven FlyLo so
casually references with the title of the fourth track. ?Me Yesterday//Corded? is also one of his greatest songs ever.
Swing Lo Magellan
I would gladly give this top spot to just about any of these other nine albums, but it has to go to the album that I spent
most of my summer-and-afterwards on. It?s easy to see why: Swing Lo Magellan is simply infectious, a consistently surprising
set of twelve songs that only have one thing in common, which is their collective audible joy at the possibilities of pop music.
Opening track ?Offspring Are Blank? is hip-hop gone rock-and-roll gone Talking Heads; ?Just From Chevron? is a gorgeous
meditation on death and consumerism; ?Irresponsible Tune? sounds like an awesomely warped Elvis Presley ballad. Still-
baffling album cover aside, this is the best album of the year.
|5 is so fun need to jam it again|
|Nice I love 4|
|"Lamar--perhaps the single greatest rapper alive right now"|
try again lol
|Really, have we moved onto post hip hop now?|
|hmm I have 1 sitting around unopened somewhere|
maybe I should change that
|"Really, have we moved onto post hip hop now?"|
bro i put scare quote marks around it so you know im not beign serious
also is this genre niggling thing ALL you do
|Only every second day|
|wholy shit INTERNET CLUB was featured in a school newspaper? *thunderous applause*|