I have one very simple mission. I want to show people music. Music they've never heard before. I know how much music means to me and I know that I am always looking for new music that I love. I created this blog in the hopes that perhaps I could help other people discover new music as easily as they possibly can. There are few things I love more than learning that I've helped someone discover music, and I love discussing music even more. If I have helped you discover something, feel free to let me know, I'd love to hear about it. And most importantly, if you read these reviews and, somehow, enjoy them, thank you.

If you would like to submit music to me to review, message me with a link to your music and I will review it. Please only send me music that is from the current year, as I prefer to stick to one year.







"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. It is the electric soil in which the soul lives, thinks and invents."
-Ludwig Van Beethoven

 

"Hell Can Wait" - Vince Staples
5/5. West Coast hip-hop has enjoyed a little bit of a revival lately, and a lot of that is due to the success of Kendrick Lamar. Vince Staples’ EP, “Hell Can Wait”, is sort of the opposite of Lamar’s “Good Kid, MAAD City”, the opposite viewpoint at least. While this is just a short EP, it packs a whole lot. Where Kendrick Lamar was the “good kid” in that “mad city” he lived in, the kid who tried to be good, who tried to be above the gangs and the violence, Vince Staples makes no apologies for who he is. This album is riddled with realism and even cynicism. Staples is just telling you, “This is what my life was like, this is what I saw, and this is how it is”. It just is what it is. You have songs like “Screen Door”, which details Staples’ father’s drug dealing and what Staples, as a young kid, had to deal with because of it. “Mom up off of work asking me if anybody came/To kick it with my dad or was he chilling in the alleyway/He was in the alleyway, that’s what he always had me say/Slangin’ for them bills he had to pay somebody at the door”, Staples was put in a difficult position, he had to either rat out his father or lie to his mother, eventually choosing the latter. If people weren’t coming to him to buy drugs, they were coming to collect debt money. You also have a song like “65 Hunnid”, which details Staples’ own gangbanging, going into detail about a hit that he and a few others had to carry out. He talks about how you have to shoot to kill, there is no mercy on the streets, if you shoot at the sky or shoot at the feet and show any mercy, any weakness, that person is going to come back for you, “Don’t stop til he drop”, Staples says. There’s also “Hands Up” which details the problem Staples witnesses of white-on-black cop violence. Staples talks about the hypocrisy he sees in the cops conduct, “I guess the pigs split wigs for the greater good/Cause I ain’t seen them lock up a swine yet/At the most they reassign ‘em to prevent protest”. Staples believes that the ease that cops get off with killing black kids in the ghetto promotes brutality and violence as “for the greater good”. This album may be short, but it’s not light on subject matter, it’s a heavy album and Staples isn’t pulling any punches, he isn’t having any of that, he’s just here to tell it like it is. Highlights include: “Hands Up”, “Screen Door”, “65 Hunnid” and “Blue Suede”.

"Hell Can Wait" - Vince Staples

5/5. West Coast hip-hop has enjoyed a little bit of a revival lately, and a lot of that is due to the success of Kendrick Lamar. Vince Staples’ EP, “Hell Can Wait”, is sort of the opposite of Lamar’s “Good Kid, MAAD City”, the opposite viewpoint at least. While this is just a short EP, it packs a whole lot. Where Kendrick Lamar was the “good kid” in that “mad city” he lived in, the kid who tried to be good, who tried to be above the gangs and the violence, Vince Staples makes no apologies for who he is. This album is riddled with realism and even cynicism. Staples is just telling you, “This is what my life was like, this is what I saw, and this is how it is”. It just is what it is. You have songs like “Screen Door”, which details Staples’ father’s drug dealing and what Staples, as a young kid, had to deal with because of it. “Mom up off of work asking me if anybody came/To kick it with my dad or was he chilling in the alleyway/He was in the alleyway, that’s what he always had me say/Slangin’ for them bills he had to pay somebody at the door”, Staples was put in a difficult position, he had to either rat out his father or lie to his mother, eventually choosing the latter. If people weren’t coming to him to buy drugs, they were coming to collect debt money. You also have a song like “65 Hunnid”, which details Staples’ own gangbanging, going into detail about a hit that he and a few others had to carry out. He talks about how you have to shoot to kill, there is no mercy on the streets, if you shoot at the sky or shoot at the feet and show any mercy, any weakness, that person is going to come back for you, “Don’t stop til he drop”, Staples says. There’s also “Hands Up” which details the problem Staples witnesses of white-on-black cop violence. Staples talks about the hypocrisy he sees in the cops conduct, “I guess the pigs split wigs for the greater good/Cause I ain’t seen them lock up a swine yet/At the most they reassign ‘em to prevent protest”. Staples believes that the ease that cops get off with killing black kids in the ghetto promotes brutality and violence as “for the greater good”. This album may be short, but it’s not light on subject matter, it’s a heavy album and Staples isn’t pulling any punches, he isn’t having any of that, he’s just here to tell it like it is. Highlights include: “Hands Up”, “Screen Door”, “65 Hunnid” and “Blue Suede”.

"Wild Onion" - Twin Peaks
4/5. If you couldn’t tell by the album cover, this album is an homage to music of the past. There’s a lot of stylistic nods here and there, whether it’s to The Kinks or The Stooges, you can hear the influences all throughout the album. When bands are that heavily influenced by other, more famous bands, you usually get one of two types of bands: they either try to imitate their influences or they take those influences and make them their own. Twin Peaks leans more towards the latter on this album. It’s pretty good quality psych-rock with two very distinct styles. There’s the upbeat, rocking Twin Peaks, and then the slower, more reserved Twin Peaks. Both have their good moments, though the songs that fall in the second category tend to be better. Overall though, a really cool album and worth listening to if you like psych-rock. Highlights include: “Mirror Of Time”, “Ordinary People” and “Flavor”.

"Wild Onion" - Twin Peaks

4/5. If you couldn’t tell by the album cover, this album is an homage to music of the past. There’s a lot of stylistic nods here and there, whether it’s to The Kinks or The Stooges, you can hear the influences all throughout the album. When bands are that heavily influenced by other, more famous bands, you usually get one of two types of bands: they either try to imitate their influences or they take those influences and make them their own. Twin Peaks leans more towards the latter on this album. It’s pretty good quality psych-rock with two very distinct styles. There’s the upbeat, rocking Twin Peaks, and then the slower, more reserved Twin Peaks. Both have their good moments, though the songs that fall in the second category tend to be better. Overall though, a really cool album and worth listening to if you like psych-rock. Highlights include: “Mirror Of Time”, “Ordinary People” and “Flavor”.

"Carry On The Grudge" - Jamie T
3.5/5. It’s interesting how an album can sound unique and generic at the same time. This album is really hit or miss all over the place, at times it sounds like Jamie T is trying too hard to sound different or trying to hard to be catchy, but other times he executes it really well. It especially doesn’t work when he tries to rap, he just is not particularly good at it, it’s not his thing. Lyrically, this album is interesting, a delving into Jamie T’s troubles in life, a sad, messed-up life, so it would seem. But overall, with the constant see-sawing between good and boring, this album ends up being an above average album with some good moments. However, Jamie T has the potential to be a lot better. Highlights include: “Don’t You Find”, “Zombie” and “Turn On The Light”.

"Carry On The Grudge" - Jamie T

3.5/5. It’s interesting how an album can sound unique and generic at the same time. This album is really hit or miss all over the place, at times it sounds like Jamie T is trying too hard to sound different or trying to hard to be catchy, but other times he executes it really well. It especially doesn’t work when he tries to rap, he just is not particularly good at it, it’s not his thing. Lyrically, this album is interesting, a delving into Jamie T’s troubles in life, a sad, messed-up life, so it would seem. But overall, with the constant see-sawing between good and boring, this album ends up being an above average album with some good moments. However, Jamie T has the potential to be a lot better. Highlights include: “Don’t You Find”, “Zombie” and “Turn On The Light”.

"Lateness Of Dancers" - Hiss Golden Messenger
4/5. This album is sparse, open and thoughtful. Hiss Golden Messenger is a folk duo consisting of MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch, though Taylor does most of the songwriting as well as the singing, and as such, this album sounds personal. This is MC Taylor looking over his life, talking about what he’s gained from it, where his “outlaw life” has taken him. Musically, as I said, the album is pretty sparse (except for a couple upbeat songs), but its appropriate for what Taylor is doing, it fits his lyrics and his voice well. Overall, a solid Americana album. Highlights include: “Day O Day (A Love So Free)”, “I’m A Raven (Shake Children)” and “Black Dog Wind (Rose Of Roses)”.

"Lateness Of Dancers" - Hiss Golden Messenger

4/5. This album is sparse, open and thoughtful. Hiss Golden Messenger is a folk duo consisting of MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch, though Taylor does most of the songwriting as well as the singing, and as such, this album sounds personal. This is MC Taylor looking over his life, talking about what he’s gained from it, where his “outlaw life” has taken him. Musically, as I said, the album is pretty sparse (except for a couple upbeat songs), but its appropriate for what Taylor is doing, it fits his lyrics and his voice well. Overall, a solid Americana album. Highlights include: “Day O Day (A Love So Free)”, “I’m A Raven (Shake Children)” and “Black Dog Wind (Rose Of Roses)”.

"Rich Gang: Tha Tour, Part 1" - Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan & Birdman
4/5. The fact that two fairly big rappers with big record deals would get together and make an 84-minute mixtape is actually pretty cool. Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan are pretty big, and they could virtually do anything they wanted, but instead of making a big, heavily produced album or whatever, they make a mixtape. Quan and Young Thug work really well together, bouncing off each other almost seamlessly throughout the album. Young Thug outperforms Quan by a slim margin, Quan’s verses, while well-written, get a little stale after awhile, but virtually every time Young Thug comes in, you’re in for something cool. Birdman’s production is solid too, the beats harken back to old gangsta rap, bumpin’ beats that’ll make you bob your head. All that being said, where this album falls a little short is in its length. I give them credit for being bold enough to make such a long mixtape, something that may not be considered a popular thing to do, however some of the songs drop the overall quality of the album a bit. It’s nothing terrible, but this album could’ve been a lot better with a little self-censorship. Overall though, the album is pretty solid and worth checking out. Highlights include: “Givenchy”, “Milk Marie” and “Flava”.

"Rich Gang: Tha Tour, Part 1" - Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan & Birdman

4/5. The fact that two fairly big rappers with big record deals would get together and make an 84-minute mixtape is actually pretty cool. Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan are pretty big, and they could virtually do anything they wanted, but instead of making a big, heavily produced album or whatever, they make a mixtape. Quan and Young Thug work really well together, bouncing off each other almost seamlessly throughout the album. Young Thug outperforms Quan by a slim margin, Quan’s verses, while well-written, get a little stale after awhile, but virtually every time Young Thug comes in, you’re in for something cool. Birdman’s production is solid too, the beats harken back to old gangsta rap, bumpin’ beats that’ll make you bob your head. All that being said, where this album falls a little short is in its length. I give them credit for being bold enough to make such a long mixtape, something that may not be considered a popular thing to do, however some of the songs drop the overall quality of the album a bit. It’s nothing terrible, but this album could’ve been a lot better with a little self-censorship. Overall though, the album is pretty solid and worth checking out. Highlights include: “Givenchy”, “Milk Marie” and “Flava”.

"Way Out Weather" - Steve Gunn
4/5. If you’ve ever listened to Kurt Vile’s music and said to yourself “You know, I like this music, but I wish there was more here, I wish there was more to this music” then this album might be for you. It’s no coincidence that Gunn’s music sounds similar to Vile’s, as the two have worked together before. The strength in this album is in two things: its lyrics, and its lush instrumentation. Gunn puts everything where it needs to be, everything in a particular place for a particular reason, but it doesn’t sound mechanical in any way, it sounds laid back and relaxed. Sometimes even like you’re listening to a jam and or something (especially on the last track). There are some songs that are a bit slow in that they’re not particularly interesting, but generally this is a pretty solid album and worth listening to. Highlights include: “Tommy’s Congo”, “Atmosphere” and “Wildwood”.

"Way Out Weather" - Steve Gunn

4/5. If you’ve ever listened to Kurt Vile’s music and said to yourself “You know, I like this music, but I wish there was more here, I wish there was more to this music” then this album might be for you. It’s no coincidence that Gunn’s music sounds similar to Vile’s, as the two have worked together before. The strength in this album is in two things: its lyrics, and its lush instrumentation. Gunn puts everything where it needs to be, everything in a particular place for a particular reason, but it doesn’t sound mechanical in any way, it sounds laid back and relaxed. Sometimes even like you’re listening to a jam and or something (especially on the last track). There are some songs that are a bit slow in that they’re not particularly interesting, but generally this is a pretty solid album and worth listening to. Highlights include: “Tommy’s Congo”, “Atmosphere” and “Wildwood”.

"…And Star Power" - Foxygen
4/5. Self-censorship is an important thing to remember in music. Just because you’ve written 30 songs doesn’t necessarily mean that 1. They’re all good and 2. That they all need to be on the same album. Double albums are often pretty hit and miss, it’s not often that you get a double album that’s great all the way through, often times there’s filler that could have been and should have been cut out. That’s exactly the case with this album. Foxygen’s last album, “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic”, was great and naturally I was expecting something great from this too. They’ve mastered the ability to show how 60s music has influenced them without sounding entirely derivative of that music. That sound is still there, but they’ve just overblown themselves this time. This album is 24-tracks long, a very full double album, and there are some really cool moments. It’s actually, overall, a pretty good album, but it could have been a great album if some of the fat had been trimmed. If the best songs from this album had been picked out and the filler discarded, then this album would’ve been awesome, instead, it’s just a good album. Now, don’t let all that discourage you from listening to it, it’s worth listening to, but it could have been a whole lot better. Highlights include: “How Can You Really”, “Cosmic Vibrations” and “You & I”.

"…And Star Power" - Foxygen

4/5. Self-censorship is an important thing to remember in music. Just because you’ve written 30 songs doesn’t necessarily mean that 1. They’re all good and 2. That they all need to be on the same album. Double albums are often pretty hit and miss, it’s not often that you get a double album that’s great all the way through, often times there’s filler that could have been and should have been cut out. That’s exactly the case with this album. Foxygen’s last album, “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic”, was great and naturally I was expecting something great from this too. They’ve mastered the ability to show how 60s music has influenced them without sounding entirely derivative of that music. That sound is still there, but they’ve just overblown themselves this time. This album is 24-tracks long, a very full double album, and there are some really cool moments. It’s actually, overall, a pretty good album, but it could have been a great album if some of the fat had been trimmed. If the best songs from this album had been picked out and the filler discarded, then this album would’ve been awesome, instead, it’s just a good album. Now, don’t let all that discourage you from listening to it, it’s worth listening to, but it could have been a whole lot better. Highlights include: “How Can You Really”, “Cosmic Vibrations” and “You & I”.

"You’re Dead!" - Flying Lotus
5/5. Genres exist because it’s human nature to want to categorize things. We want to put everything, people, art, everything that exists, into little categories with certain attributes so that we don’t have to spend all of our time examining each individual thing to observe its unique properties. It’s just easier that way, it’s easier to see something and say “I now know what this thing is” because of how it has been categorized, either by us or someone else. This can be problematic though, especially in the world of music genres. If any one album fits perfectly into the hole of one genre, then chances are, that album is not particularly interesting (though this is not necessarily true). The best albums, the best music, transcends genres, they look genres in the face and directly defy them. The best music is the music that, when your friends ask about it, you say “It’s kind of a mix between….well it’s kind of like….. you know what just listen to it.” That’s what “You’re Dead!” is. There are so many different genres shoved into this 38-minute, 15-second album that it’ll make your head spin. This is one of the most all-over-the-place, neurotic, chaotic albums that I’ve ever heard. It’s really hard to pin it down in words, and that’s the beauty of it. Listening to this album is like being on a roller coaster with a loose lap-bar. The whole album deals with life and death, it feels like this album is about the futility of life, the futility of what you do with your life. It’s an album that absolutely requires, and will take by force, your whole attention, and needs multiple listenings, and even then, you might not even fully grasp what has just happened, as if you just witnessed a man resurrected from the dead, this album will be swirling around in your head and you may even question whether or not it actually happened, but be assured, it happened, and you loved every glorious, frantic second of it.

"You’re Dead!" - Flying Lotus

5/5. Genres exist because it’s human nature to want to categorize things. We want to put everything, people, art, everything that exists, into little categories with certain attributes so that we don’t have to spend all of our time examining each individual thing to observe its unique properties. It’s just easier that way, it’s easier to see something and say “I now know what this thing is” because of how it has been categorized, either by us or someone else. This can be problematic though, especially in the world of music genres. If any one album fits perfectly into the hole of one genre, then chances are, that album is not particularly interesting (though this is not necessarily true). The best albums, the best music, transcends genres, they look genres in the face and directly defy them. The best music is the music that, when your friends ask about it, you say “It’s kind of a mix between….well it’s kind of like….. you know what just listen to it.” That’s what “You’re Dead!” is. There are so many different genres shoved into this 38-minute, 15-second album that it’ll make your head spin. This is one of the most all-over-the-place, neurotic, chaotic albums that I’ve ever heard. It’s really hard to pin it down in words, and that’s the beauty of it. Listening to this album is like being on a roller coaster with a loose lap-bar. The whole album deals with life and death, it feels like this album is about the futility of life, the futility of what you do with your life. It’s an album that absolutely requires, and will take by force, your whole attention, and needs multiple listenings, and even then, you might not even fully grasp what has just happened, as if you just witnessed a man resurrected from the dead, this album will be swirling around in your head and you may even question whether or not it actually happened, but be assured, it happened, and you loved every glorious, frantic second of it.

"Our Love" - Caribou
3.5/5. Typically, Dan Snaith under the Caribou moniker has been money with every album he’s released. Now, there’s only three other Caribou albums out there, but they’ve all been great, and his stuff as Manitoba is solid too, so naturally one would be expecting something different and innovative from a guy like Snaith. This is his first album as Caribou since 2010’s “Swim”, and impressive, mesmerizing album. However with this album, Snaith falls a little flat, though only a little. Perhaps its because I’ve come to expect nothing but excellence from Snaith that when he releases an album that’s just alright I’m disappointed. There are interesting parts here and there throughout this album, but overall, it’s simply an above average album, nothing near stuff like “Swim” and “Andorra”. Still though, not a bad album by any stretch.

"Our Love" - Caribou

3.5/5. Typically, Dan Snaith under the Caribou moniker has been money with every album he’s released. Now, there’s only three other Caribou albums out there, but they’ve all been great, and his stuff as Manitoba is solid too, so naturally one would be expecting something different and innovative from a guy like Snaith. This is his first album as Caribou since 2010’s “Swim”, and impressive, mesmerizing album. However with this album, Snaith falls a little flat, though only a little. Perhaps its because I’ve come to expect nothing but excellence from Snaith that when he releases an album that’s just alright I’m disappointed. There are interesting parts here and there throughout this album, but overall, it’s simply an above average album, nothing near stuff like “Swim” and “Andorra”. Still though, not a bad album by any stretch.

"Happiness Is Happening" - Roman Flüegel
4/5. Roman Flüegel has put out a lot of albums under a bunch of different aliases, this is only his second album under his real name, and I think that’s significant. This album is all about putting yourself out there, trying different things, experimenting and being confident in your experiment. This album is entirely instrumental, all electronic, IDM kind of music, and it’s very interesting. Flüegel experiments with different kinds of beats and rhythms, different ideas, everything being put in it’s right place. Certainly there are moments where the album can drag a little, but there are some beautiful moments too, like “We Have A Nice Life”, which starts out as an expansive soundscape and slowly works its way into a faster pace dance piece. It’s very interesting stuff, worth giving a shot.

"Happiness Is Happening" - Roman Flüegel

4/5. Roman Flüegel has put out a lot of albums under a bunch of different aliases, this is only his second album under his real name, and I think that’s significant. This album is all about putting yourself out there, trying different things, experimenting and being confident in your experiment. This album is entirely instrumental, all electronic, IDM kind of music, and it’s very interesting. Flüegel experiments with different kinds of beats and rhythms, different ideas, everything being put in it’s right place. Certainly there are moments where the album can drag a little, but there are some beautiful moments too, like “We Have A Nice Life”, which starts out as an expansive soundscape and slowly works its way into a faster pace dance piece. It’s very interesting stuff, worth giving a shot.