Keep it tight; Keep it fresh

After a whirlwind 3 weeks with a wedding every weekend, I am more than ready to put an end to my tour de Midwest, and just sleep.  But, in the 40+ hours I have been traveling I have had a lot of time to listen to music, and pretty much did not taken advantage of this opportunity at all.  M83, which Wes will be reviewing in the next couple of weeks here, provided the bulk of my musical listenings.  Instead of music, I took the alternate path of the stand-up comedy album to consume my time.  I basically just searched “best stand-up comedy albums” and downloaded various recommendations from blogs just like this one, or sites like avclub.  I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to these near as much as I did, and came away with a few thoughts, favorites, and recommendations of my own.
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Wilco Review Royale: The Whole Love

Wilco
The Whole Love

Over the years I have made an affirmative effort to try to get into certain bands or albums that my friends have raved about.  These efforts have been met with varying degrees of success.  While inorganically force-feeding myself a certain album or band is not the ideal way to begin to enjoy a band, I have learned that it sometimes leads to rewarding results.  Due to my efforts, I fell in love with early Kings of Leon (which has led to crippling disappointment in their more recent work). I also have been able to enjoy a fair amount of Radiohead (when Thom Yorke’s voice is not sodomizing a track).
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Lil’ Wayne Review: Tha Carter IV

Lil’ Wayne

Tha Carter IV

One listen into Tha Carter IV, several elements of the album had me pretty excited.  Between two tracks, “Interlude” & “Outro”, Lil’ Wayne employs a murderer’s row of Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes to basically give the album a complete break from anything Wayne. Conceptually, I love this idea. Get a bunch of extremely talented rappers to team up on a couple songs, completely removing the focus of the album (Lil’ Wayne) from the equation. It actually seems somewhat selfless. And it works. “Interlude”, with Tech and Andre laying verses over the same simple paranoid drone of a beat as “Intro” and “Outro” could not be more thrilling.  In fact, I didn’t even find it particularly lazy to use the same beat three times on the album.  Tech N9ne lays down what may go down as one of the best verses of the year, on “Interlude”. Andre 3000 follows him up with a very solid verse, pretty much just doing his thing. It is hard to pick out one guy who shines the most in “Outro”, but with a gun to my head I would have to say Nas’s verse challenges Tech’s as best verse on the album, and likewise some of the best material I have heard all year.  Busta manages to make a serious impact in his appearance, grabbing our attention with his fast pace as well as his Luda-like delivery in portions of his verse.  Finally, Shyne’s verse is absolutely street, and Bun B has a solid verse, but is overshadowed to some degree by the later verses of Nas, Shyne, and Busta on the same track.
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