This week brings us a slew of fresh tunes. Check out what’s hot and what’s not!
“Live From Home” by Shudder to Think
Apparently its been more than 20 years since Shudder to Think released their first single. I can honestly say I’ve never listened to this band hailing from the post-hardcore days of punk. Considering “Live From Home” has 21 tracks (all from their 2008 reunion tour), you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with the quantity of music. Now in terms of quality … not so much. Perhaps there’s a reason why I’ve never listened to them. I will give it up for the band though, the instrumentals are very high energy and will engage your body into some rockin’ out movements as well as some mellow sways. But I’m just not feeling the front man’s vocals. He pretty much annoys me.
Check it: “No Rm. 9, Kentucky”- Sounds like a dreary love anthem fit for the broken heart of a bad boy greaser from the 50’s who’s a lil fucked in the head.
“A Brief History of Love” by The Big Pink
Touche! This British electro-rock duo has released a pretty cool debut album. The lazy vocals of font-man Robbie Furze, complement the spastic breaks of ambient sounds and screeching psychedelia. Although The Big Pink is coined as a duo, they are joined by a band of five more peeps when taking the stage live. From soft and more tender ballads like “Love in Vain,” to some beat driven tracks and sonic soundscapes in “Velevet,” “A Brief History of Love” keeps it fresh although treading a bit more on the dark side for the majority of their tracks. I guess you can say, they can get a lil emo on your ass.
Check it: “Too Young to Love” – Sounds like a gnarly party going off in an insane asylum. Very awesome instrumentals.
“Diary” by Sunny Day Real Estate
I never listened to them 15 years ago when their debut album “Diary” was released and I’m not too hip on hearing them this time around. Although, I do think my skinny-pant wearing 15-year-old emo nephew would like this band. Talented in their own genre and groundbreaking for their time, but this kind of music just all sounds the same after the first three tracks.
Check it: “9 (Bonus Track)” – Sounds like a sore thumb. Standing out above the rest, is the most unique of the album, in which it doesn’t sound like every other track. Well, maybe just a little, but the intro is pretty sick.
“Kamaal the Abstract” by Q-Tip
Now why the hell was this album shelved for some eight years? Although I’m sure it has gone through some major changes before re-surfacing back into the current day and age, “Kamaal the Abstract” brings back that groovin’ 90’s hip-hop vibe. Flowing rich with jazz undertones, you’ll also hear some sonic guitar chords and delicate melodies all over a dope hip-hop beat and the distinct vocals that we all recognize as Q-tip. I like that Q-tip gets a lil weird with it pushing tripped out sounds of the atmospheric unknown and vocal manipulations such as in “A Million Times.”
Check it: “Barley in Love” – Sounds like a sexy number to enchant an unsuspecting fool on the dance floor. I’m loving that blues thump that automatically get that foot stomping and hands clapping.
“Central Market” by Tyondai Braxton
Looks like the front-man of the experimental rock group, Battles, has followed in his father’s footsteps (Anthony Braxton) and has composed quite the avant-garde solo effort (his sixth). This shit is gnarly and way to cool for average ears. As I listen to these eccentric musical compositions, sometimes I feel like I’m frolicking in a fluffy forest filled with trolls and fairies, while other times I feel like I’m running for dear life! After various scores or some amazing music fit to grace the big screen of the next fantasy blockbuster, “J. City” is the only track of seven with any substantial vocal presence―very experimental and all that is unusual yet beautiful, fitting to the Braxton name.
Check it: “Dead String” – Sounds like a not-so-happy ending. The exceptional megalomania that closes up the track leaves you with the craving for more beautiful madness.
“Sort of Revolution” by Fink
As the fourth studio album for the very gifted jack-of-all-trades (singer-songwriter, producer and DJ), Fink presents an album full of soothing and beautiful aural pleasures. It’s the kind of album I’d like to grab a nice bottle of pinot to, light up some candles and just relax in a warm bubble-bath (either that, or some good love-makin’ music). Track for track, “Sort of Revolution” is drenched with luscious rhythms and enchanting words. With two tracks co-written by John Legend, “Move on Me” and “Maker,” you best believe panties will be dropping to this album.
Check it: “Pigtails” – Sounds like sexy love. Radiating a sensual vibe, this song brings in the soulful, rhythmic sounds of lustful thoughts through Fink’s breathy words. The dark blues instrumentals make the track all the more intense.
“Blood of Man” by Mason Jennings
Isolation at it’s best. Looks like Mason Jennings went on a solo mission into the Minnesota wilderness to deliver this earthy album. With handsome vocals and catchy melodies accented by sweet honest words, Jennings brings forth yet another enchanting folk album we can all chill to. If you’re looking for an easy listen, this album will do the job. But if you want something with a little more edge and energy, “Blood of Man” might put you to sleep. But wait! Track six, “Ain’t No Friend of Mine” is all that and then some. Full of gritty blues and muffled vocals, Jennings rocks out to this jam with repetitive hooks hard enough to represent in a rap song. It’d be nice to add a few more rippin’ tunes to spice up the album a bit.
Check it: “Blood of Man” – Sounds like what it is to miss somone so damn much, but can’t do shit about it. This track is absolutely beautiful with lyrics so bitter sweet they just may bring tears to your eyes. Oddly enough, the sweetness ends with an ascending intensity that leads into blissful distortion.
“Survival Skills” by KRS-One & Buckshot
Do you got the skillz to pay the bills? Looks like KRS-One & Buckshot’s new album “Survival Skills” is some hard ass shit that will bring in them Benjamins. Featuring big names such as Slug of Atmosphere, Mary J. Blige, Talib Kweli, K’naan, Immortal Technique, Pharoahe Monch, and more, the album has made quite a name for itself. But how does the music pan out? Hard ass raps, dirty rhymes and words to make your mama angry. This is a full on RAP album, not a groovy hip-hop collection you can get your groove on to. Although there are some dope scratchin’ and chilled out vibes. “Survival Skills” will get that head bobbin’ and your blood pumpin’ but that’s about it. Perfect for them boys that like to feel all hard and “gangsta” as they blow the bass out of their crappy car stereo speakers and cruise with one arm on the steering wheel (usually some puny white-boy).
Check it: “Survival Skills” feat. DJ Revolution – Sounds like I’m way better than you. Opening up with a hot track rich in hard flows, you’ll hear a throwback to Boogie Down Productions’ “I’m still #1.” Oh, and Smif N Wessun’s rhymes are smooth as buttah in “Connection.”