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Airy, spacey production is seamlessly layered with spectacular vocal performances through LP1. In multiple ways, LP1 is a successful combination of both of Twigs' previous EPs, while also introducing a new and interesting experimental world to the listeners.
album review - first listen.
With Dawn FM, The Weeknd has brought new life to 80s pop with synthy, energetic tracks and slower, more savory songs. In short, Dawn FM is a legendary, perfectly crafted concept album and without a doubt will go down in musical history as a timeless classic. Abel continues to reinvent his sound in vastly unique and captivating ways, and I can't wait to see what comes next.
cherry bomb - short review.
Cherry Bomb is an energetic & fearless experimental direction for Tyler that not only laid the groundwork for his more developed self-production, but also a new braggy and entertaining rapping style; both of which were to resurface in later years to a greater extent..
wolf - short review.
Wolf is a more mature and important stepping stone for Tyler that wraps up his first trilogy in a strong & extremely interesting way.
goblin - short review.
Goblin is like an iceberg. As you keep going through the project, the themes are darker and darker, Tyler's mental stability is falling out harder and harder, and information about Tyler's friends and harmful relationships are suddenly revealed. It's a slow and painful transition from a disturbed and spiteful man into a deadly monster who has lost all touch with reality, which could relate to schizophrenia & fit in with the therapist's intentions.
Goblin is dark, ominous, horrific, disturbing, unsettling, and contains a tragic yet extremely intricate story that can only be observed if you pay enough attention.
Measure of a Man is catchy, energetic, and as cinematic as music can get. This is definitely one of the best songs I've heard this year.
M3LL155X is a flawless experimental masterpiece that delivers far beyond any expectations I could've set for the album. This EP is as beautiful as it is futuristic and unique, with incredible production from Twigs herself that blows me away every time.
album review - first listen.
Flower Boy is a massive turning point in Tyler, The Creator's passion and dedication for music, as he not only presents one of his most emotionally powerful pieces of work but also introduces a deeper look into his personality and motive within it. From concepts of loneliness, love, and double-sided concepts of life, each track presents a captivating story with equally appealing production. Songs like 911 / Mr. Lonely, Where This Flower Blooms and Garden Shed are more melodic and sweet, while tracks such as Droppin' Seeds, Who Dat Boy, and I Ain't Got Time! are harder-hitting records with more of a lyrical focus. A softer side of Tyler is also finally revealed through the album, as he explores his bisexuality and loneliness that led to deep contemplation. Lyrically, the album is flawless, and the features perfectly carry the torch that Tyler sets for the track, especially Frank Ocean & Lil Wayne. Tyler's heavy yet raw expression of his emotions is layered alongside sweet and mellow production throughout the album. All in all, Flower Boy is an album that truly deserves its flowers, with powerful creative expression and a mark of incredible evolution for a very talented artist.
I ROCK, I ROLL.
While Whole Lotta Red is a great experimental album that has a newly-influential & unique concept and sound behind it, a few tracks start to lack in substance and quality throughout the album. WLR is certainly not Carti's best, but a solid album nonetheless.
----MAN ON THE MOON: THE END OF DAY----
motm: the end of day - album review. (from August 2021)
MOTM: The End Of Day explores how imagination and creativity inspired Kid Cudi's life, introducing experimental and mostly interesting, fresh sounds throughout the project. The solo performances here are decent to great, while some are less impressive, possibly due to how old the album is now (about 12 years). This leads to a minor shortcoming with the album, as a few tracks feel somewhat dated, but it's a typical issue with older music that I won't let affect my rating too much. Lyrically, MOTM comes off as a more upbeat and inspirational project with almost completely captivating performances from both Cudi and most features. Cudi's melodies shine best on tracks such as Day 'N' Nite, Pursuit Of Happiness, and Enter Galactic alongside a few more songs. Overall, MOTM is a solid, consistently good album with a few setbacks that don't take away much from the great quality and substance of the project.
review - jesus is king. (from July 2021)
While the vocal performance is literally heavenly in this project, I'm unfortunately unable to fully relate to this album like I could for every other Kanye project, partially because i'm not Christian. However, the production and style of the album are pretty well executed and intriguing. Kanye's verses are also quite interesting and very entertaining to listen to, with great feature performance. I definitely enjoyed this album, even if it wasn't something I could completely connect with.
review - tlop. (from July 2021)
Almost every song on this project was a banger, with some of the best samples I've heard from Kanye yet to match. the feature performance is significantly better than 808s and Heartbreak, and the production has aged extremely well, almost as if the album released this year. Kanye's verses here are powerful reminders of his insane rapping ability and delivery, with lyrical prowess as always. Though some samples are basic and can't keep up with the tone of specific songs for too long, nearly every track was solid in its own way, and even better together in yet another generation-breaking album from Kanye.
review - kids see ghosts. (from July 2021)
Kanye and Cudi have a perfect chemistry on this album, and every feature here matches that perfect chemistry... perfectly. Every song is amazing in its own way, with important lessons and a special aesthetic created for the listener in each one. Cudi was able to match his melodies with the instrumentals to create 7 unique masterpieces and was extremely essential to the album; while Kanye had some of his best, most interesting verses yet throughout every song he had an appearance on.
review - yeezus. (from July 2021)
Yeezus is Kanye at the top of the world, living his best life, and with it, making some of his best music ever. the production here is objectively unmatched by almost any other Kanye album, and sounds as if it was released way past our time. Kanye shows off his phenomenal skill in lyricism and flows yet again with every song transcending the barriers of typical music. Yeezus is filled with pure adrenaline and power, and is a timeless album that'll be used as my benchmark of music for the future, along with MBDTF.
----MAN ON THE MOON II: THE LEGEND OF MR. RAGER----
album review - first listen. (from August 2021)
MOTM II is my favorite Kid Cudi album so far. It certainly has higher highs than MOTM I, with a dreamy & otherworldly aesthetic similar to the first Man On The Moon. The production also helps to carry the theme across, consistently delivering powerful instrumentals and samples that are perfect for each song. Both the feature and solo performances are incredibly great as Cudi discusses how life is both mentally and physically difficult to get through and why it's important to continue and persevere through it all no matter what. At the end of the day, MOTM II is an improvement over its predecessor in almost every way from start to finish. Cudi is more comfortable and notably quite confident with his sound, and the music represents that extremely well - both in his melodies and rapping ability.
montero - album review. (from September 2021)
For a debut album, this is pretty good work. Lil Nas delivers on production and choruses easily, with flat-out bangers like INDUSTRY BABY and DEAD RIGHT NOW. There are also some pop records that I could see on the radio like THAT'S WHAT I WANT and SCOOP. The feature performance was solid, though I felt like a few features didn't add too much to their tracks. However, Lil Nas' performance was quite consistent throughout the project and kept me interested on nearly every track. A few songs like AM I DREAMING and LIFE AFTER SALEM were a bit weak and just dragged on, but this was my only concern with the album, despite being disappointing. Overall, Montero is mostly full of unique hits, and I'm very glad that Lil Nas X handled this album well. For Lil Nas, starting with a relatively strong project like this only signifies the fact that he's a certified hitmaker to everyone, fans or not.
----THE MELODIC BLUE----
melodic blue - album review. (from September 2021)
This album is pretty solid from start to finish. The production and samples were mostly creative and enjoyable throughout, with tracks like "trademark usa", "16", and "scars" standing out the most to me. However, I felt like a few tracks weren't up to par with Baby Keem's level of energy and hype, and in terms of substance, some verses were questionable. Every feature was quite good, and all 3 Kendrick features certainly brought a lot to the album. The atmosphere also kept me intrigued throughout the project, and Baby Keem was easily able to demonstrate his very unique skill and sound with many tracks. Though I have a few setbacks with The Melodic Blue, it's still a good album and a strong sign of Baby Keem's sky-high potential for the future.
blonde - album review. (from September 2021)
Frank Ocean's Blonde has easily been one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the past generation, and I'm extremely glad that I was able to have a fresh first listen 5 years after the project's release. On top of that, this album has amazing replay value and helped me truly connect with the project on a higher level with each listen. From Pink + White and Self Control to Nights and Godspeed, there's just something about every track that breaks all barriers and rules of music in this album. The production is a direct representation of that barrier-breaking music, as every part of the music takes you on a walk through this stunning emotional path that's unlike any other. Frank himself has an incredible vocal performance on every track, specifically with Ivy and Pink + White, which are 2 of my favorite tracks off the project. Blonde is unlike any album I've ever heard, and it's this type of special & unique music that I'll cherish for years to come.
----LIFE OF A DON----
album review - first listen. (from October 2021)
Life Of A Don is one of the best albums I've heard this year, and I'm very proud of Don for coming so far in his career. I love the smooth, dreamy feel and production by Mike Dean and Metro Boomin from the start to the end, and it's executed so well on this album. Each track has an amazing intro and outro thanks to the production, with no transitions needed. The 808s and instrumentals are perfectly layered together and very pleasing to listen to, which is exactly the type of mood Don was going for with this album. Don's vocal performance blew me away, and it sounds so much better than his previous solo project, Heaven or Hell. Every feature is very well integrated, with songs like OUTERSPACE with Baby Keem and You with Travis Scott being some of the best tracks on the project. This harmonious mix of beautiful R&B and rap with immaculate production is exactly what I needed this year from Don Toliver, and I'm glad to see such a huge improvement from a very talented artist like him.
album review - first listen. (from October 2021)
Punk is an interesting album, taking a relaxed and more acoustic direction yet still experimental for Young Thug. Thugger pours out his soul into this project, with heartwarming & inspirational messages on tracks like Contagious, Die Slow, and Stressed. His solo performances throughout most tracks are great, and most of the features deliver their verses to their respective songs quite well. However, the majority of the instrumentals are a bit repetitive, which makes some tracks very similar. Alongside that, the production on some tracks is very bland and not layered well. While these issues certainly do take away from the album, I'm pretty satisfied with what was given here. Though Punk was certainly not what I was expecting, it's a great, heartfelt piece of work that's outside Thug's comfort zone.
----PRETTY GIRLS LIKE TRAP MUSIC----
album review - first listen. (from October 2021)
Before I even start, this is easily 2 Chainz's best work to date. This album is filled with a psychedelic & moody trap sound that feels nearly genre-defining with tracks like 4AM, Saturday Night, and It's A Vibe. 2 Chainz's solo performances are amazing on the project, and he flows perfectly on every beat. Lyrically, Chainz outdoes himself on Burglar Bars, with a powerful story of his come-up alongside beautiful production by none other than the legendary Mike Dean. The features also fulfilled themselves extremely well on many tracks, specifically Travis Scott on 4AM, Jhene Aiko on It's A Vibe, and Pharell Williams on Bailan. My only complaint with this album would be the song Riverdale Rd, which is a good song but a bit anticlimactic near the end. Apart from that, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music is a near-flawless introduction to the trap genre and a great experience for new and old listeners alike.
----GOOD KID, M.A.A.D CITY----
album review - first listen. (from October 2021)
These days, it's quite rare to find such intricate, perfectly crafted albums such as Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. There's a very important story taking place, and if the listener pays just enough attention, it can be understood, track by track. Within the lyrics, there's a gripping autobiography explaining how Kendrick's society faced severe conditions they had to survive day by day in constant poverty, and the events are as dark as they are real. Kendrick's storytelling is so flawless that I continuously feel like I'm watching a grand movie or play, even until the end credits. The dynamic production perfectly compliments the portions of the story being told, from purely beautiful instrumentals with uplifting messages (such as B*tch, Don't Kill My Vibe, Poetic Justice, & Money Trees) to darker and heavier beats with aggressive verses (like Backseat Freestyle, m.A.A.d city, & The Art of Peer Pressure). All solo tracks and features are spectacular while being unique in their own ways. Without a doubt, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a timeless record that will certainly go down as one of the most legendary pinnacles of the hip-hop genre forever.
YOU CAN GET IT.
----TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY----
album review - first listen. (from November 2021)
What an album. The storytelling is unmatched by any work of art I've ever experienced. With each track, the narrative unfolds itself through an extending monologue that's constantly captivating until the very end. Kendrick's solo performances are flawless and exceptionally grand, down to every syllable. Every feature is the best of the best and makes songs feel so much more lively and whole. From the sensual, gentle tones alongside Anna Wise's beautiful vocals on These Walls, to rougher and heavier production with pounding beats in The Blacker The Berry, and a top-notch funk-like aesthetic in "i", this project appeals to dedicated listeners in a detailed yet sonically polished fashion. Without a doubt, Kendrick's perfectly smooth layers of funk and rap being combined with one of the best musical narratives of all time may be hip-hop's timeless magnum opus. Need I say more?
review - my beautiful dark twisted fantasy. (from August 2021)
The instrumentals alone are enough to call this a phenomenal album. I was truly able to relate to some songs, while enjoying all of them, even if it took a few listens to understand the stories Kanye tells. Those stories are unlike anything from the College Dropout Trilogy and are much more heavy, engaging, and important to today's world and the journey of life as a whole. Each and every song is timeless, and so are their lessons, if interpreted correctly. Kanye has really done something extremely special with MBDTF.
donda - album review. (from August 31, 2021)
Donda just dropped as an official album a few days ago, and throughout 3 listening parties with the most powerful rollout of 2021 yet, the stakes were quite high for Ye this time around. Luckily, I'm so glad to say that Kanye massively exceeded my expectations with this project. The feature performance was so incredibly good, and Kanye was truly able to bring out the best in everyone with this project. The vocals from the Sunday Service Choir, Kid Cudi, Don Toliver, and even Ye himself on songs like Come To Life were all phenomenal. Every track has a deep and heavily engaging feel to it, keeping you intrigued from start to finish. My only shortcoming with the album was Pop Smoke's inclusion that wasn't well handled from my standpoint, along with a few stretched-out instrumentals on tracks like God Breathed. Other than that, Donda is already one of the most consistent & powerful albums of this generation, with a legendary collection of features and performances that make a lot of room for insane replay value. Kanye absolutely made his mother proud with such a breathtaking project.
Step into the psychedelic and magical world of Japan, all seen through The Weeknd's eyes. Abel searches for an opportunity of love, sex, and a drug-filled experience one final time before coming face to face with the cold hard truth of his fame. Japan turns out to be a curse and blessing for The Weeknd, as he concludes the Trilogy narrative in the most masterful journey yet.
10/10 + my favorite album of all time.
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