A little while ago I decided that my music collection needed something new. I went out to the local music repository and bought, yes with hard earned cash (plastic counts, right?), some CDs. I know it is an archaic medium now but every once in a while I like something tangible to show that I am actually getting something for my money.
Here are short concise reviews of the albums that I got and a sampling of songs from each.
Beck Morning Phase
I don’t know what to say about this album. I greatly like/love most of Beck’s music. There is just something fun, ridiculous, honest, and heartfelt in all of it. His last couple albums, The Information and Modern Guilt, both steered more to the melancholy but the up tempo songs that kept the albums fun were still there; songs like “Think I’m In Love”, “1000BPM”, “Modern Guilt”, and “Soul of a Man”. But this album is missing that.
Don’t get me wrong, the album isn’t bad, it is atmospheric, meaningful, and instrumental, (some of the songs remind me of Mumford & Sons) but it makes me sad; it is not the kind of album I can directly listen to. I would put it on while having a dinner party, or while on the balcony reading a book, or while talking on the phone. I would not go for a walk and listen to this or just kick back and listen to the tunes, it is just too….heavy.
I know this is definitely in the wheelhouse for some of my friends. I actually decided to get it because one of my friends liked it, finding it “trippy”. But it is far too melancholy for me. I will be listening to it, just infrequently.
Pharrell Williams G I R L
It is hard to believe that this is only Pharrell’s second album. Sure he has an enormous musical repertoire since he has produced countless artists, put out albums as part of The Neptunes and N.E.R.D., and has done soundtracks for a couple of films but this is only number 2 for just him.
It is a good album filled with headboppin’ beats that will get your foot tapping without your consent. Sure his lyrics can be clumsy or extremely cheesy but the music itself is just so fun, light, and happy. It is the kind of music you put on when you’re in a good mood, when you are in a bad mood and want to feel better, or you want a party to get started.
Many of the songs off this album will be on heavy rotation for a while on my playlists.
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience Part 2
As with Part 1, this album is simply sexy but it isn’t as good. The album starts off strong but about half way through, when you hit “Drink you Away” (which seems out of place amid the rest of the album), it goes down hill. There are fewer instances of, “Oh yeah!”, and more, “It’s alright.”
That doesn’t make it a bad album, it is full of solid dancable beats and some good ole bump and grind with featured artists Drake and Jay-Z and production by Timberland. I just don’t think it has the same wow factor as the first half.
A few of these songs will be put into rotation but not the full album.
Childish Gambino Because the Internet
If you have been paying attention Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has been having a hard time and it is clear while listening to this album and watching the vids that have been released to accompany them. But oh MAN is this a good album. I listened to it exclusively for a week. A WEEK! And I didn’t get bored of it, it was just that I didn’t want to get bored of it.
Unlike his last album Camp he doesn’t seem as angry but disillusioned and defensive as he is trying to figure out ‘where’ he is. It is an interesting album filled with great beats, an eclectic use of instruments and sounds, and heavy lyrics. The use of f-bombs and the N-word has become more selective as I find that they are used in a more meaningful way. But with all of that he never forgets to add a bit of humour, to lighten the mood.
If you haven’t figured it out I highly recommend this album; keep in mind it is not for little ears.
Cuz I mentioned the videos I am including a couple of those. They are really interesting.