Archive for the Album Review Category

tUnE-yArDs-The Real Thing; Nikki Nack: Album of the Year

Posted in Album Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

I have just acquired Nikki Nack, I will go on record and say this is the best album of the year.  Real Thing has to be one of my favorite songs, as it is stuck in my head.  I liken Nikki Nack to an earlier Streets album, ironic and real; experimental, aggressive, unique, empathetic, and full of passionate, rich sound.  The melodies are enormous, and obscure, as are the lyrics.  A few listens through proves you will most likely be singing along.

On such albums I typically hit repeat and wear a song out, which I have done, but unlike other albums, I have been playing Nikki Nack from start to finish.  On the first listen I was blown away, on the second and third I was surprised at the unprecedented sound.

Dan and Hannah gave me the album, but it is worth a purchase.  Support this wonderful artist and her music.  This album is top-tier 2014 material, musically.

 

Advertisements

Album Review: Jellyfish Brigade, Diving Lessons

Posted in Album Review, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on Saturday, June 28, 2014 by Tim Althaus

a2597729900_10Aldous Huxley once said, “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” I know this statement very well – mainly because it was my senior quote back in 2005. After listening to Jellyfish Brigade‘s new album Diving Lessons in great detail, it’s apparent that Lucas Dix also knows this statement; in fact, based on his lyrical content, it seems as though he’s beginning to master the philosophy. Lucas has been through more in the last two years than most people have in two decades; he lost his best friend and long-time music partner Gavin “Theory” Soens to a battle with terminal cancer, and the love of his life relocated to the opposite side of the country to be closer to her family. Saturated with real-life stories and relatable metaphors, Diving Lessons is one of the most profound and honest records of 2014.

Continue reading

Album Review: M.i & Tyler Keyes, Pushing Keyes

Posted in Album Review, Music Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 27, 2013 by Tim Althaus

pushing-keyesWhen artists begin collaborating with each other online, there’s really no telling what’s going to happen. They might only collaborate on a few tracks through e-mail, or they could end up releasing volumes of vivacious music. Tyler Keyes & M.i collaborated copiously on the 2011 album Prep Time; this was done entirely through phone calls and e-mails. After visiting Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Festival, Keyes left the Twin Cities to form a more proximal working relationship with M.i – a bold and wise choice.

Continue reading

Album Review: The Amends, What We Could Be

Posted in Album Review, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, April 21, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

The Amends - What We Could Be

This story starts out with a band and a dream. The Boulder, CO based band, The Amends, has aspirations to gain popularity by way of self-promotion. Recently they reached out to see if I would check out their second studio album that was released earlier this year. Fortunately for them, I just started writing again and fortunately for me, I took that chance and gave the album a listen. The Amends consisting of band members Drew Weikart (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Tyler Taylor (Vocals, Keys and Rhythm Guitar), Chris Childress (Bass) and Shay Byington (Drums) caught me off guard with an album that touches base with classic rock and blues while adding that hint of Indie rock.

What We Could Be starts straight out with an edginess that says we have arrived and we have come to kick your door in. “Second Take” makes me think back to when the Arctic Monkeys first came out of the gate. You can really hear the direct message from a band that just wants to jam and make people have fun. The second track, “A Certain Speed”, keeps the party vibe going. They start out the album with a kick and you think that is what you have turned yourself on to but you better think again.

As soon as the keys hit in a “Big City Way” you get more of a blues sound to their rock music. This tells you that this band is not a one-dimensional rock group. Continue reading

Album Review: Poolside, Pacific Standard Time

Posted in Album Review, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

Poolside PacificStandardTime

Greatness in the most subtle form is “pure blissfulness”. Poolside, an electronic duo based out of Los Angeles, has done just that; made an album that equates to “pure blissfulness”. If you have never heard the delicate electronic music, from Filip Nikolic and Jeff Paradise, that has you wishing you were sipping a mojito poolside. Then take a gander over to that oversized lounger and order yourself a mojito. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, starts off real mellow and real instrumental. “Tulsa” lets you in, gets you comfy and gets you ready for the rest of what is to transpire over the course of the next 68 and a half minutes. Let me tell you, it won’t seem like that long once you drift away in this great and magical album.

The second track, “Next to You”, is an upbeat electronic jam with a chorus that is heavy on harmonic melody. Even when the harmonized lyrics are not being sung, you can still hear where they would fit in perfectly with the music.  In “Why You Wanna” they come at you with less harmony and a little more direction. Continue reading

Album Review: Tyler, The Creator, Wolf

Posted in Album Review with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Dylan Isensee

TylerTheCreatorWolf

I would assume that you probably know who Odd Future is by now, and if you don’t know who they are, then I would assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years. Tyler, The Creator dropped his third album, Wolf, today, and you can say I’ve been looking forward to it. I listened to both Bastard and Goblin a ton, and Wolf will also be getting regular rotation from me. Tyler’s music seems to get better the more I listen to it. I’ll admit the first time I heard “Bastard” I didn’t really like it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.

Odd Future is known for having graphic material in their songs; Bastard and Goblin both had a lot of songs about murder and rape, and while Wolf definitely has it’s fair share of outrageous lyrics, Tyler has toned it down a little bit. He has definitely moved away from the ridiculous shock raps and the “fuck everybody” punk attitude. The themes that show up on Wolf include dealing with fame and success, girl problems, having an absent father, and his career thus far. His flows are all pretty nice on this album. When it comes to the beats, Tyler has stepped his production game up – a lot. The whole album is entirely produced by him, and the beats sound great. His production style is very unique and he’s definitely created his own sound.

The single off the album “Domo 23” has Tyler bragging over mischievous horns, while the following track “Answer” is much darker with Tyler longing for his late grandmother and absent father over a relaxed guitar track and bright organs. “IFHY” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Tyler talks about his conflicted love interest over a dark organ track which evolves into electric synthesizers while the darkness is continued in the bass and drums. “Rusty” is the standout track on this album. The beat almost sounds like something RZA would’ve done in the 90’s, and Tyler’s verse is on point. He basically gives all of his critics a big “fuck you” and finishes off his verse with “Fuck buying studio time, I’ma go purchase a shrink/ record the session and send all you motherfuckers a link”.

While Tyler’s production is better than it’s ever been, his rhyming hasn’t really gotten any better. He’s definitely not a bad rapper, and it’s good that he’s moved away from the rape and murder, but his rhymes aren’t any better than they were on Goblin. With that being said the album still has some of the best songs he’s ever written. There are several tracks really dive deep into his personal matters, and “Rusty” is one of his best lyrical performances to date.

Overall, Wolf is a beautiful sounding album. The production is beyond great, and rather than venting his anger like Bastard or Goblin, Tyler has opened the doors to show off the talent behind his music.

7.5/10

Album Review: Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city

Posted in Album Review, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Dylan Isensee

Album cover for "good kid, m.A.A.d city"If you’ve gone on the internet in the past two years, I’m sure you’ve at least heard the name Kendrick Lamar. Last week his much anticipated major debut was released and has been talked about over and over while receiving critical acclaim. good kid, m.A.A.d city is Kendrick’s sophomore album, and it’s a follow up to his independent release Section.80 which dropped in the summer of 2011. I was a huge fan of Section.80,and it wasn’t long after I started listening to it that I realized Kendrick’s lyrical ability – especially when it comes to storytelling. Section.80 was a concept album, and good kid, m.A.A.d city follows in the same foot steps; I was very happy he didn’t let go of that style of music with this album. Continue reading