The Plugs I Met (2019) – Benny The Butcher
Overall a relatively one-note rap album about selling coke, but it does this very well. The beat selection is very haunting and while the depth of tracks could be deeper, it was still an enjoyable listen. The album could be longer. I probably won’t return to this album for a full listen.
Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990) – A Tribe Called Quest
The debut Tribe album has everything you’d expect from the iconic jazz-rap group: Infectious hooks, funky jazz-inspired beats, and the jovial attitude. However, this is also at points Tribe’s corniest album, with some simplistic rhyme schemes and surface-level lyrics that are out preformed on their later albums. Still a good listen that I would return to.
The Money Store (2012) -Death Grips
At my core, I know this is a good album, but I just can’t get past some of the abstractnesses of most of the songs. I liked the first song on the album, Get Got, but every song after that just turns into noise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s top-notch noise, and I can tell a lot of craft went into the experimental industrial production of every song, just none of them (until Hacker) are very re-listenable for me. I won’t be returning for another full listen (Michael says I should).
Pink Moon (1972) – Nick Drake
Pink Moon is Nick Drake’s third (and final) studio album and perhaps one of the best folk albums I have ever listened to. Even with “Know” being its lowest point, the whole album is still a no skip. Every song has a perfected stripped-back sound consisting of an acoustic guitar with the occasional piano. “Pink Moon” the first song on the album, welcomes you with complex and intoxicating opening guitar strums, followed by Drake’s smooth vocals that just draw you in for the rest of the album. Listening to Pink Moon put me in front of a campfire or on a long road trip with my friends, and I would gladly listen again and again.
If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is (2021) – Still Woozy
After releasing a string of excellent singles starting in 2017, If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is, does not surprise, but it certainly does not disappoint. Still Woozy’s ability to blend top-notch production with his unique vocal harmony style is on full display on his debut album. Best heard on the Window (released as one of those great singles), the track opens with an ear-worm guitar hook that leads right into still Woozy’s signature singing voice overlaid with himself to create his iconic Woozy sound. If you like Still Woozy, then you’ll like this album. It has very little news in terms of sound, but it remains consistent in high quality. I will return to this album for future listens.
Flower Boy (2017) – Tyler, The Creator
Highs: See You Again, Who Dat Boy, Boredom|
Lows: Garden Shed
It is GREAT
For transparency sake, I was not a huge Tyler fan before listening to this album, so I do not have enough knowledge of his past work to make any good comparisons. With that out of the way, I was truly impressed by this record. From the very first track, with its fantastic Rex Orange County Feature, the album oozes with complexity I just was not expecting. The production is diverse with guitars, synths and pianos sprinkled amongst every track. I am also a fan of the percussion selection with lots of real sounding drums instead of trap snares and hi-hats.