Anna Meredith – Varmints

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Experimental electro which dabbles in a variety of styles and compositional approaches.

Moods

Creative, is there a Julliard for electro? Anna Meredith should probably be the dean

Thoughts

There's an unpolished approach here that appeals to me; things aren't perfect. It's got a punk-like intensity as art that demands attention. A lot of musicians seem to be confirming to this mood-muzak style and Varmints fights that.

Compositionally rooted in prog rock and classical moments, I struggle with how to describe this. That's a good thing as its succeeds in its ambitions.

Need to look further into her catalog.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Anna-Meredith-Varmints/release/8205358

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vajhs2wBeCU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMLXiNfxdI8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4F2_cWk8cY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_MO6fL6D7M

Spotify


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Anna Meredith – Varmints

Description: Album Review of Anna Meredith – Varmints


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Electro-pop, bit of instrumentation, light soul funk

Moods

Mainstream panda bear

Thoughts

I like his brand of pop, he's got this lazy delivery that feels very much his own. It's got a reverb effect which is really the extent of the panda bear comparison. Just the right amount of house friendly electronics and chilled out pop band.

Confident with a clear vision in mind, the end result speaks for itself with good and varied pop songs; I can honestly say I like every track here with a few standouts early in the album:

'Swinging party' is a nice little sing along, he can cut a good pop-friendly house beat too,

Album opener 'SEOD' sets the mood appropriately.

Good fun vibes on 'anyone can fall in love'.  

Recommend for male alt-pop fans who like acts like twin shadow and how to dress well.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kindness-World-You-Need-A-Change-Of-Mind/release/3488609

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdeR3Mw1fhE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZxPsLjinP4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jddGsBE_eIs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI73NFINsyo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROAjl5JkunI

Spotify


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Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind

Description: Album Review of Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Gritty 70s rock with a strong modern lyricst

Moods

A gritty, literary, pop-rock masterpiece

Thoughts

I'm not familiar with Meg Remy's entire catalog but this is a good example of something that borrows heavily from music in the past but without trying to imitate entirely. Great textures and jazzy horns that move quick. Not polished, gritty and textured with modern electro flourishes here and there.

Great pop writing at its core. Her voice is a delicate alto which naturally adds a vulnerable personalness. She's a fantastic lyricst who can keep up with the best abstract and literary singers albeit in a direct wit. She's protesting, it carries aggression towards aspects of life from emotional abuse to plastics, most importantly the struggle of being a woman in today's world.

Very full, not a bit of filler on this and a standout of modern rock.

Incidental boogie.. damn love that track.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/US-Girls-In-A-Poem-Unlimited/release/11564458

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YkIvuGYGqA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9PLXHDEUFE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtGb5NiGBjc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cFnewlPpzI

Spotify


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U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

Description: Album Review of U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Shawty Pimp, Reddog – Comin’ Real Wit It

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

90s graphic southern rap

Moods

A hipster gangster rap reissue and classic soundtrack for riding dirty.

Thoughts

This is the stuff of hipster dreams: a tape reissue from an obscure southern rapper. The result has this pleasing lofi quality, you get the sense that part of the production is missing from the version you're hearing; as if you've been ripped a tape of a tape that's lost part of the fidelity.

Songs are really just flows, not much pop structure but it's fun and loose, noones swinging for the fences with over production and songwriters. Gives it a refreshing personal intimacy. Graphic for sure but if you're OK with that its appealing.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Shawty-Pimp-Feat-Reddog-Comin-Real-Wit-It/release/6341713

Listen!

Spotify


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Shawty Pimp, Reddog – Comin’ Real Wit It

Description: Album Review of Shawty Pimp, Reddog – Comin’ Real Wit It


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

brit-pop with an incorporation of dance ideas (80s style)

Moods

Manchester kids discover rave  

Thoughts

A bit dated but I can understand the influence. This sounds like a definitive representation of rock kids discovering the joy of raving, there's something undeniably youthful about this. I prefer modern versions of rock / dance-pop hybrids as they sound more refined, the initial impact of this albums originality is waning.

There are comparisons to the stone roses ( I guess cause their both from manchester?) which I don't agree with. I much prefer the stone roses brand of brit-pop infused with  psychedelica.

I don't plan on revisiting this. Though give it a try, allmusic thinks it's a perfect 5.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Happy-Mondays-Pills-N-Thrills-And-Bellyaches/release/79847

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6i_a6UGrhs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WifHgsBhd4M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CQLAhNlbfQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M0xdLO_bmo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD4Nfdv0tcc

Spotify


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Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches

Description: Album Review of Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Blood Orange – Negro Swan

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Modern day emo synth pop with flourishes of hip hop

Moods

Comfortable with who you really are

Thoughts

Dev hynes feels fully exposed on negro swan and I'm not sure I like it. I love his songwriting (see my other reviews of his records) but the quiet style he portrays here lacks his great pop songwriting I've come to expect. I feel like a jerk writing this, he's getting more personal and yet I like it less? The production is great. His basic synth thing has just the right amount of modern dark hip hop production to it. I like the overall message (be yourself) and his inclusion of the recurring narrator works well. Just won't be the album of his that I come back to

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Blood-Orange-Negro-Swan/release/12647360

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVH_wxk9ZtE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fSgsvJC9Nw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj5uvKrDbmQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIlauccaH88

Spotify


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Blood Orange – Negro Swan

Description: Album Review of Blood Orange – Negro Swan


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

The Cure – The Head On The Door

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

80s alt rock with a bit of jangle pop

Moods

A radio friendly cure record

Thoughts

a mediocre cure album with some standouts like 'six different ways' and 'close to me'. It's still the cure so even mediocre is great, there's something so timeless about their jangliness. Here there is a wistful love of life and exploring the world. Robert Smith has a knack for creating enjoyable pop.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Cure-The-Head-On-The-Door/release/379923

Listen!

Spotify


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The Cure – The Head On The Door

Description: Album Review of The Cure – The Head On The Door


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Junior Walker & The All Stars – Shotgun

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

Sounds like?

scorching sax driven r&b

Moods

Motown at its most explosive

Thoughts

All hits on this LP of raw sax driven r&b. Walker's scorching solos screech out the sax, as if he can barely contain his sax playing. The result is an explosive swinging energy on every track. The recording has an appealing grit that likely results from the studio. It sounds it's age but doesn't feel dated.

Songwriting is kind of monotone but with energy this good it's hard to imagine the history of popular music without Jr. Walker.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Jr-Walker-And-The-All-Stars-Shotgun/release/6837125

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV27DtGUhnc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI7CtxlisCk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyGHXD3WQ-I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrDVZVBekcg

Spotify


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Junior Walker & The All Stars – Shotgun

Description: Album Review of Junior Walker & The All Stars – Shotgun


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Mano Le Tough – Trails

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Hip electro

Moods

Electro for cool haircut bros

Thoughtsp

Discogs calls this deep house, if it is it's a very pop friendly version of that if it is; call it radio friendly deep house. His production is top notch with a professional polish and rich sound. Tracks are often built around generic house beat but then he'll add production flourishes with borrowed acid synths and bass lines with a slight leftfield stutter. Songs run a little long and he takes his time opening them up, truthfully it feels at odds with the accessible vibe he's putting on. 'Trails' for instance has a strong celebratory feeling but it lingers too long at 6 minutes and it wants by the end.

Lyrically its weak. Feels forced like he's reaching for profound but it's lacking; I'd prefer a more personal approach.

Overall more bad than good with an impressive amount of consistency. I'm not sure this will be the sort of thing I continue to come back but we'll see.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Mano-Le-Tough-Trails/release/7696009

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFFMB89K5yI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIS4Q4TwZG0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRgUoyqrlkw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX9EmXkjRqA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOAAjV0GfCQ

Spotify


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Mano Le Tough – Trails

Description: Album Review of Mano Le Tough – Trails


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

The Japanese House – Good At Falling

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Synth pop rock

Moods

Some incredibly catchy and well crafted pop music.

Thoughts

Another BJ Burton jammer, dude is on a seriously good streak at creating memorable pop. After many repeated listens the album is top heavy with good singles like 'maybe you're the reason' and 'you seemed so happy', the later borrows from jangly 80s pop in a good way. Production overall borrows from that big synthetic 80s drum sound. Amber Bain's voice, a lovely indie (re: imperfect) front girl, is produced in a way that could carry ships across seas; full and extending.

The album takes a deliberately quieter and personal midsection. Amber lazily singing lines like "everybody hates me" in true millennial fashion is juxtaposed with Giorgio moroder like synth lines.

Production gets decidedly more basic as the album unfolds with the final two tracks really just leaving her singing some slow songs. It's not my favorite but they are genuine and crafted with love.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Japanese-House-Good-At-Falling/release/13372422

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzYD4ZielY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88UF4HxHhw

Spotify


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The Japanese House – Good At Falling

Description: Album Review of The Japanese House – Good At Falling


Rating: 3 out of 5