Drake and Eminem are a couple of the few Rap artists that I enjoy listening to. They are different, and in Drake’s case, his rap is smooth and has a purpose. If only both artists did not use profanity as much as they do, they could focus more on their art instead of trying to sound like they are bad or angry. This album was average and not as good as his previous work.
Now this was strange. Goodie Mob brings together a mixture of Hip-Hop and Rap that seems to be very creative at first, but after a while things just get weird and annoying. Cee-lo Green is the dominant figure here (which should be a good thing), but I don’t think the album ever really clicked. I had never listened to this band before, and thought I would like it because I find Gnarls Barkley a nice collaboration. I was wrong. Too bad.
Let me start by saying that this is one of the best albums of 2013. Neko Case seems to have the talent that so many other artists lack: that of creating a complete musical experience. She has already been recognized as a top talent (“Female Artist of the Year” a few years ago), but this time she has solidified her position as an outstanding lyricist and performer. I will definitely be listening to this one again!
Oklahoma Indie Rockers Kings of Leon are regarded as one of the best rock bands at this time. They have matured as a band and their newest record is filled with great songs that are somewhat groovier than their previous works, showcasing their celebrated musical talent. The first couple of songs were not as good as the rest of the album, so if you can get passed them you will enjoy the listening experience!
I discovered this band recently and listened to their two previous albums before reviewing this one. White Lies are really good Indie Rock band that holds a lot of promise. Their second album was not as good as their debut, but this third effort is outstanding. There are echoes of Depeche Mode and lots of atmospherics that make this a truly enjoyable record. I will certainly watch for their next release!
Bob Dylan’s latest compilation, Another Self Portrait (also known as Bootleg Series, Volume 10), is a true treasure of songs, demos and other snippets of one of the most influential songwriters and musicians in the world. Dylan is in top form and at times this does not seem like a compilation album at all. If you like Dylan, this is a must have two-disc record! After listening to it, I am seriously considering investing in his newly-released Complete Albums collection.
I had already disliked MGMT’s last album, and now this one is even worse. The sound seems as it is coming out from blown up speakers yet the music is mellow. Those two don’t go together! Other bands may get away with it if they are naturally loud (e.g. Metallica). In addition, MGMT may have hit a creative wall with their lyrics and overall arrangements… their songs sound nothing like their first album (the only good one, in my opinion).
If you are a fan of dissonance and change-up rhythms, you will like Speedy Ortiz. This Punk/Alternative Rock band delivers an interesting collection of songs that may hurt the ears of sofisticated listeners–unless they are into this kind of music. I give them credit for making it work and somehow making it pleasant to listen to.
Indie Rockers Arctic Monkeys are back with what I consider to be their best album to date: this is truly a Rock album and not so much a Dance/Party/Bubbly record. Their guitars, bass and drums are stronger and one can feel the energy. Not necessarily heavy, the songs here are somewhat reminiscent of Wolfmother, making this a curious album to say the least.