Archive for August, 2010

Oliver Nelson – More Blues and the Abstract Truth

Posted in Jazz on August 31, 2010 by

Jazz; 1964


There’s very few things I know about Jazz. I like to think that I can give a few names of stuff I listen to from just about any genre anybody can think of. Unfortunately, I know very few Jazz names. I really need to fix that. Especially since my extended family is very big on Jazz and some of them are even pretty big names in the Jazz scene. I was at one of my uncles’ shows and he and the band he was fronting played a cover of Blues and the Abstract Truth, the first track on this album. I had heard it before on the intro to Pharoahe Monch’s (one of my favorite rappers) Internal Affairs LP in which the beat is a looped sample of that song. So after the show I went and talked to my uncle and asked what they had played and he told me and I went and looked it up and got the album it was on. Good thing too, cuz this is a really great album.

Hopefully that useless anecdote will be a good enough substitute for an actual review of this album >_< I don’t know enough about Jazz to do a real review.

1. Blues and the Abstract Truth
2. Blues O’Mighty
3. Theme From Mr. Broadway
4. Midnight Blue
5. The Critic’s Choice
6. One for Bob
7. Blues for Mr. Broadway
8. Goin’ to Chicago Blues
9. One for Phil
10. Night Lights

Stand-out tracks:
Blues and the Abstract Truth
The Critic’s Choice
Midnight Blue


Between the Buried and Me – Colors

Posted in Metal on August 29, 2010 by

Progressive Metalcore; 2007


Metalcore is just above Emo on the genre hierarchy that too many Rock fans adhere to (stupidly, might I add). I understand why it is, as much as I disagree with the way people dismiss entire genres (I’m a bit of a hypocrite, I hate Grunge). The genre inherently has mass mainstream appeal. It’s Metal, but not nearly as inaccessible, with clean vocals for the people who don’t like their music too heavy and high-pitched screams for the people who wanna act hardcore and stick their hands up with devil horn symbols. It’s not the genres’ fault, it’s just the people it tends to attract. This album will prove that.

Some arguments against Metalcore I’ve heard include “it takes no talent,” “the songwriting is basic,” “vocals suck,” and “it’s mainstream and all mainstream music sucks.” Well… this album quells the first three arguments at least. The last one is a result of stubbornness and idiocy and this album is mainstream so yeah… now enough ranting, TO THE ALBUM.

Transitions. This album shines there. You’ll notice it as soon as Foam Born (a) ends assuming you don’t have a laggy music player (or the link I give sucks :p) and transitions into (b) so perfectly. Every track ending is like that. This album is meant to be listened to as a whole. It never stops. Like I’m listening to it right now and I was listening to something else before I started writing this and I was just listening to one section of Ants of the Sky so I could bring it up and now I’m 5 minutes into the next song even though I meant to get back to the album I was listening to before this. It’s just so painful to pause this album anywhere. Then there’s the songwriting on it. This album has so many different influences just everywhere on it. In the second half of Ants of the Sky, in about 3 minutes, it transitions from a chill-out jam band thing to a country/bluegrass riff to a Metalcore riff in a major key (I love hearing Metal in major keys, it’s unique). Stuff like this happens all the time in the album, they’ve just got so much going. The fact that they’re able to include so many different sounds in each song and have a totally logical bridge connecting the ENTIRE album is pretty astounding, they’re quite possibly the best songwriters Metal has ever seen.

1. Foam Born (a) The Backtrack
2. (b) The Decade of Statues
3. Informal Gluttony
4. Sun of Nothing
5. Ants of the Sky
6. Prequel to the Sequel
7. Viridian
8. White Walls

Stand-out tracks:
Ants of the Sky
White Walls
Foam Born (a and b)


The Very Best – Warm Heart of Africa

Posted in Electronic on August 28, 2010 by

Electronic/Malawian; 2009


The title track of this album features a very appropriate appearance from Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. Vampire Weekend are known for playing Western Indie music that’s influenced by the music of Southern Africa. The Very Best are known for playing music of southern Africa that’s influenced by Western Indie music. It sounds great both ways.

I grew up in Swaziland, Africa, which is surrounded by South Africa and Mozambique. I miss it like crazy so music that reminds me of it always makes me happy. (hence, Vampire Weekend is my favorite band and Graceland is the best album of the 80’s imo.) Most of this album is in Malawian, so I hope you don’t like lyrics too much, you won’t be understanding them. I think it’s safe to say they’re very optimistic though, based on the music. (Well maybe not THAT safe… listen to Best Friend by The Drums) This album has happy Electronic Indie music, dance tunes with pumping beats, and traditional folk tunes with minimal instrumentation. All three are good though, being the huge Indie fan that I am, I like the upbeat tunes the best.

1. Yalira
2. Chalo
3. Warm Heart of Africa feat. Ezra Koenig
4. Mwazi
5. Nsokoto
6. Angonde
7. Julia
8. Mfumu
9. Ntende Uli
10. Rain Dance feat. M.I.A.
11. Kamphopo
12. Kada Manja
13. Zam’dziko

Stand-out tracks:
Warm Heart of Africa
Kada Manja


Busdriver – Jhelli Beam

Posted in Hip-Hop on August 26, 2010 by

Art Rap; 2009


^my own upload

Busdriver is a weird guy. Some people will tell you his songs are genius and he magnificently uses irony, sarcasm, other rhetoric terms, etc. to get some point across to us. No. He’s just insane and his lyrics don’t mean anything and listening to them to try to figure out what he’s talking about will just make you mad. (Case in point: the Allmusic review of this album) The only song that really makes sense lyrically on this album is Least Favorite Rapper, which features a nice cameo from NoCanDo, another rapper that makes me think west coast is the best coast (for Rap at least). This album, along with most of Busdriver’s library, is about his lyrical acrobatics. In Me – Time, he raps note-for-note to a fast paced sample of Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart (it’s one of those songs everybody’s heard but only a classical listener can name). His voice is hard to describe. It’s nasally I think but it sounds great. My favorite thing that stands out in his rapping is his unparalleled control of melody. He raps to the beat AND the music without sounding like he’s singing (unless he’s singing like in Quebec and Back) which is something I’ve never heard another rapper pull off. The production on this album is perfect for him. I need to find out who did it and see if they always sound like that but his beats are quick, heavy, and sporadic with heavy Electronic influence and hints of Rock in certain beats. Songs like Do the Wop would fit in on an instrumental Hip-Hop album perfectly.

This album may not be for you. I love avant-garde/experimental stuff, I’m a huge fan of stuff from The Residents to Portal to The Dillinger Escape Plan so this album and this rapper just make me happy to know they exist because they’re right down my alley and I’ve only heard experimental Rock before, never experimental Rap. Listening to songs like World Agape, I’ve never heard such technical beats before. It’s weird and perfect.

1. Split Seconds (Between Nannies and Swamis)
2. Me – Time (With the Pulmonary Palimpsest)
3. Handfuls of Sky
4. Scoliosis Jones
5. Least Favorite Rapper feat. Nocando
6. Quebec and Back
7. Do the Wop
8. World Agape
9. Manchuria feat. Myka 9
10. Unsafe Sextet/Gilded Hearts of Booklovers
11. Happy Insider feat. Nick Thorburn
12. I’ve Always Known
13. Fishy Face feat. John Dieterich
14. Sorry. Fuckers

Stand-out tracks:
Split Seconds
Me – Time
World Agape


Camu Tao – King of Hearts

Posted in Hip-Hop on August 20, 2010 by

Hip Hop; 2010


This album is probably one of the strangest albums this year, I’m not even sure how I like it yet. The best I can say about it is it’s an exact underground copy of “The Love Below” by Andre 3000. With that said you can guess Camu Tao’s singing overtakes the album more than his rapping. While El-P produced the majority (unless he produced it all) of the album the beats remained spacey and poppy, which is strange to hear from El-P, the poppy part anyway. The album feels rushed and pushed together, and I was disappointed with Camu Tao singing on the majority of the songs. Only song he truly raps on is “Ind of the Woul”, which is probably one of my favorites because I believe Camu Tao was a great rapper, he outshines Cage on “Nighthawks” a lot of the time and was the one member of Weathermen that stood out the most. I wished he would’ve rapped more. This album though, I would recommend, same with the Central Services album. Both I would recommend if you’re a heavy Def Jux and/or Camu Tao fan.

Central Services

1. Be a Big Girl
2. Bird Flu
3. Death
4. Fonny Valentine
5. Actin a Ass
6. Get At You
7. Ind of the Worl
8. Intervention
9. King of Hearts
10. Major Team
11. Plot a Little
12. The Moment
13. The Perfect Plan
14. Play O Run
15. When You’re
16. Going Down
17. Kill Me
18. Fuck Me

Stand-Out Tracks:

“Plot A Little”
“The Moment”
“Ind of The Worl”


Sway DaSafo – This Is My Demo

Posted in Hip-Hop on August 19, 2010 by

Hip-Hop; 2006


Sway DaSafo is a British rapper with Ghanian roots. I’m not sure how mainstream he is in Britain but I’m pretty much the only person in the U.S. who’s heard of him. He’s got a really fast flow along with some pretty funny songs and other serious ones as well. This is his debut album, (he’s released two and has a third coming) and is pretty great. His voice sounds different from a lot of rappers because of his origins. Especially for people who haven’t listened to British Hip-Hop/Grime before. (Though I’m sure most of us remember Dizzee Rascal’s song Where’s Da G’s)

This album’s productions are really hit and miss. If there’s one thing Sway needs, it’s a better production crew, but that probably won’t happen. A lot of the beats he raps to would be better used for an R&B slow jam, which is really unfortunate. When he does get some good production though, he tears it up, and it’s worth sifting through the weaker songs on this album just to hear songs like Flo Fashion and the title track.

1. This Is My Demo feat. Sewuese
2. Products (Of the City) feat. El Rae
3. Hype Boys
4. Little Derek feat. Baby Blue
5. Pretty Ugly Husband
6. Flo Fashion
7. Up Your Speed feat. Pyrelli
8. Download
9. Loose Woose
10. Sick World feat. Sewuese
11. Still on My Own
12. Back 4 U feat. Haydon & Ny

Stand-out Tracks
Flo Fashion
Pretty Ugly Husband
This Is My Demo


Deep Purple – The Book of Taliesyn

Posted in Rock on August 19, 2010 by

Hard Rock; 1968


This album is a bit ignored in Deep Purple’s library.  For some reason, nobody likes to talk about their work before In Rock. Probably because that was their first album with Ian and Roger replacing Rod and Nicky, respectively, to form their most renowned line up. And In Rock IS their best album. But still, I felt the need to remind people of this one. The band doesn’t suffer when they don’t have that famous Mark II. Just look at Burn and even their new stuff is pretty good. Their original line-up, which played this album, is very respectable. Ian Paice, Jon Lord, and Ritchie Blackmore are all present and they’re the really important ones anyway. This album has lots of psychedelic sounds that the band had gotten rid of by In Rock. Rod Evans’ vocals definitely aren’t as epic as Ian Gillian’s but they do the job and this album really has a much more instrumental focus. (Case in point: Wring That Neck. Their best song, imo.) Nick Simper actually might be a better bassist than Roger Glover. It’s true. He really shines on Kentucky Woman and Shield.

1. Listen, Learn, Read On
2. Wring That Neck
3. Kentucky Woman
4. a)Exposition b)We Can Work It Out
5. Shield
6. Anthem
7. River Deep Mountain High

Stand-out Tracks
Wring That Neck
a)Exposition (Just Exposition. We Can Work It Out is possibly the worst song on this album)