New Music Quick Reactions Nov 19

SINGLES

  • The Lumineers, A.M. Radio (B+): A new track from their upcoming album, BRIGHTSIDE, the Lumineers utilize retro organ and their regular poignancy to create a simple and sublime anthem. The track does drag a little due to tempo changes, but this is a minor issue.
  • Earl Sweatshirt, 2010 (B): Rap prodigy, Earl Sweatshirt releases his first single since 2020. As with most of his music, this track is tough to critique but it seems to be a little less focused and little more accessible. Throughout, his prowess at rapping and writing poetic bars is evident.  
  • Tyga, Lift Me Up (B): Famous for his beach songs about women and being amazing, Tyga comes out with a different sound on this track. Sampling a choir and switching up his flow (!), Tyga puts out one of his best tracks to date.
  • NLE Choppa, I.Y.B. (B-): NLE continues to struggle against the success of his original sound. With this new single his flow has become more erratic and his lyrics have become more heartfelt and passionate. This banger has everything that NLE is good at even if it is a little obnoxious.
  • Freddie Gibbs and Jadakiss, Black Illuminati (B-): Freddie Gibbs is the face of late-blooming rap. With each project, Freddie seems to get better and this new single continues his ascendancy; his flow is more varied and his writing is better. The Jadakiss feature on this track is not amazing, however, and the production is a little cheap.
  • Popcaan, Levels (B): If you have not listened to the dance-hall music of Jamaican singer-songwriter Popcaan you are missing out. On this single, he continues his catchy streak of output in typical fashion; a weird sample, repetitive lyrics, and a whole lot of energy.
  • Method Man, NEW OLD SCHOOL (C): A new single from the Wu Tang man Tical himself. It is undisputed that Method Man is one of the best rappers to ever grace the game but this beat is just not good and his flow has no variance at all. This song is enjoyable but its not a good representation of his skill.
  • Boy in Space, Let You Go (C): On this new single, Robin continues a spacy journey through pop cliches. Although his voice and the intriguing production almost carries this song, it is nothing special or even very good.

ALBUMS

  • Elbow, Flying Dream 1(B+): Monumental British rock quintet, Elbow, gets even more intimate and warm on their ninth album. At first glance this project seems overindulgent and nostalgic, but its mellow sentimentality serves as an excellent medium for the thoughtful and subtle lyricism and writing throughout.
  • Kaytranada, Intimidated (B): A new (and brief) EP from the legendary producer, Kaytranada, featuring HER, Thundercat, and the elusive Mach-Hommy. Each of these tracks is centred around the production and, as a result, HER’s vocals sound like an afterthought on “Intimidated. The other two tracks are better with some amazing vibes on “Be Careful” and great bars on “$payforhaiti.” Biggest peeve is this thing is too short.
  • Snoop Dogg and Various Artists, Snoop Dogg Presents Algorithm (B-): On this collaboration album, Snoop acts as an MC for a massive cast of talented players. The result is understandably devoid of structure but includes several great tracks and performances with a good vibe throughout.
  • French Montana, They Got Amnesia (C-) Clean production throughout, including some fun samples (like on “FWMGAB”), but French is purely vapid on this album. None of the songs stand out and 21of them this album overstays its welcome. That being said, there are a couple good features on this album, but most of them are a waste of material, including a Pop Smoke feature.

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