Kanye West Review Royale: Yeezus

Kanye West

Yeezus

Kanye West Yeezus album cover art

Beyond comparing oneself to God, Kanye’s latest shows Kanye has more than a little bit in common with John Lennon. Both are undoubtedly musical visionaries, even if it’s annoying to hear Kanye call himself one: it’s true.  Both have an ongoing controversial relationship with the media, think quite highly of themselves, are very idealistic yet live very contradictory lifestyles: John being all about peace and love but being the most combative of all the Beatles, and Kanye talking about believing and following God in the same breath as his prideful, greedy, and misogynistic comments. This contradictory lifestyle is part of what makes Kanye so appealing though: we all to some degree live contradictory lifestyles, Kanye is just bold enough to wear it on his sleeve. Yeezus is Kanye’s Plastic Ono Band: a 21st century primal scream album stripped down to its simplest rawest form, with Kanye bearing his soul on relationships and race. While with John this lead to some very heartbreakingly honest and gut-wrenching moments, Kanye errs a little too often on the side of senselessness, even if the music is brilliantly groundbreaking.
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My Bloody Valentine Review: mbv

My Bloody Valentine
mbv
My Bloody Valentine, mbv, m b v, album cover art

After 22 years, a decade-long breakup, a reunion, and a reunion tour, My Bloody Valentine has finally dropped the follow-up to their incredible 1991 sophomore release, Loveless. While titled simply mbv, the band’s third album is anything but simple. In fact, this album has more layers of grungy complexity than a freshly painted onion tossed around in the dirt. Oddly enough, I have not been biting my nails in anticipation for this album, unlike most other music junkies; especially the ones with a love for grungy, shoe-gazing noise-rock. In fact, I gave up on My Bloody Valentine many, many years ago. In fact, last Thursday I had to double-check that I even had there complete LP discography … all THREE albums. However, after revisiting their first two albums, and a couple EP’s, I admit, I was instantly disappointed in myself for not maintaining a certain amount of loyalty to the band; especially the part where I skipped out on the chance to see them on their reunion tour. My Bloody Valentine helped pioneer a sound for so many bands I loved and still love to this day, and I didn’t just put them on the back burner, I took them off the stove completely. I think my main issue was that they had such a small body of work compared to Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Pixies, etc., let alone their few predecessors. Thankfully, lead man Kevin Shields finally made good on his promise to “release an album or die”, and thus, my love for My Bloody Valentine has been not only been rejuvenated, but has increased tenfold.
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Passion Pit Review: Gossamer

Passion Pit
Gossamer
album cover art for passion pit gossamer

I still remember the last few months of my college career like it was yesterday. Lots of friends, lots of “last times”, a lot of avoiding school work, too much of fun, a shit-ton of dancing, and a copious amount of drinking. Somewhere in the mix Passion Pits little EP found its way into my routine. Mostly correlated with the drinking/dancing. Chunk of Change was a pretty overly intense amount of fun to pack into 6 songs, but it really did the trick and made its mark. It also built expectations extremely high for Passion Pit’s first LP, which Manners did not live up too in many ways. Between the disappointment of Manners and the hideous excuse for a live performance I witnessed at Coachella 2 years ago, I was certainly expecting to be able to simply write this new album off the moment I hit play. Much to my dismay (I was really rather hoping to rip this album for some reason) I’ve seemed to have gotten a bit “carried away” by this album … very unexpectedly.
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Father John Misty Review: A Fox Less His Fleet, But Not Less the Music

Father John Misty
Fear Fun

album cover art for father john misty joshua tillman solo album fear fun ex fleet fox

Long before Joshua Tillman moved to Hollywood and took on the persona of Father John Misty, he was drumming for a little band known as Saxon Shore. Saxon Shore is a small post-rock instrumental 4-piece band that had the ability to put on some pretty insane shows. I remember seeing them my first year of college in Ball State University’s student center cafeteria. They left quite the impression, but I hardly heard from them again after that show. After he left Saxon Shore, he moved to Seattle, and began pursuing his solo career. Luckily for Joshua, Damien Jurado got his paws on one of Josh’s tapes and asked Josh to join him on a small tour, in which he was mostly not cared for. It was after that tour he joined up with his most promising musical venture to date, Fleet Foxes. Two masterful albums, a stunning EP, a few tours, and many praises later, he left the Fleet to re-pursue his solo career yet again, but this time with a new name, a new attitude, and a totally new sound. Even though Fleet Foxes seem to still be only growing by the minute in popularity, Joshua felt Father John busting from every pore of his body and couldn’t wait any longer to release him to the world. So he packed his things, moved down to Hollywood, and as a result, we are now blessed with Fear Fun.
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Best Coast Review: The Only Place

Best Coast
The Only Place

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Remember back in the late 50’s/60’s when life was simple? Just grabbin’ a burger at the stand by the beach, then paddling out in to the chilly blue water on your long board while the warming sun beats down on your shoulders and shimmers off the water. Then you catch that tubular wave into the sandy beach, grab your babe by the hip, hop in the ‘vette, and blast some Beach Boys on your way to catch a flick at the nearest drive-in … yea, I don’t remember that either. Instead I was born in 1986 in the state of Indiana. However, every once in a while I felt like I can relate to the feeling of the beach lifestyle via the music I am listening too. Beach Boys for example, Dick Dale, Jan and Dean, and for a post-1960’s example, Best Coast … ‘s first album.
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Santigold Review: NOT a Santogold Review

Santigold
Master of My Make Believe

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As a big fan of Santigold’s first album (back then, known as Santogold), I was eagerly awaiting this follow-up. Santi has a very unique way of crafting her music. “Unique?”, you may say, “doesn’t she just sound like M.I.A.?” Well on the surface, yes, this is an easy comparison to make. However, Santi’s second album helps demonstrate her drastic differences between M.I.A., and portrays why she deserves the praise she gets.
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Norah Jones Review: … Little Broken Hearts

Norah Jones
… Little Broken Hearts
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^ Sexy rip-off of the Mudhoney movie poster …

“Good Morning/My thoughts on leaving/Are back on the table/I thought you should know”. These are the softly sang opening lines to Norah Jones’ newest album … Little Broken Hearts, in which she paired-up with producer Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) to create her most melancholically heartbreaking album to date. These opening lines should not only serve as a warning to her recently lost love interest (after all, Norah is about to spend 12 tracks making him look like an ass), but also to the listeners who are about to embark on this journey of her love-lost and heartbreak.
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