When one wades into their first listens of A Moon Shaped Pool, they may feel as though they've entered this dreamy, somewhat surreal state of being as Radiohead's ninth studio album creates a powerful sensory experience across its 52-minute runtime. But make no mistake, the dreams conjured up by Radiohead on this record are not the type most would like to be having.
Brown has finally found a sonic backdoor into the A list rap career he's been destined for by huddling amongst the sharp genre-bending, sampled scraps of his own mental demise and the backing of his new eclectic label.
It’s .Paak’s banner year, and its capper, Yes Lawd!, seems to further indicate that he has quite the future ahead of him. What remains to come is his decisive statement. While it's endlessly enjoyable throughout, what we have here feels like a placeholder, a victory lap.
Kendrick's untitled unmastered. ... stands well on its own as a cohesive gritty offering, but is better understood as an appendix to Kendrick's previous work, both sonically and conceptually.
After seven manic albums attempting to prove his perfection, Kanye is seeking penance on The Life Of Pablo. Here, he delivers 18 heavenly hymns. It's everything else that needs forgiving.
With 22, A Million ... Justin Vernon shows that his greatest skill as a performer is not simply his ability to craft beautifully original music, but is found in his knack for seamless reinvention.
Blood Bitch sees Hval re-united with Lasse Marhaug, with the two sharing production duties. Marhaug, is arguably more in his element here with Hval embracing noise and drone more than she has on any previous record. It makes Blood Bitch an interesting step forward from previous record Apocalypse, girl.
A complement to Homer, whose exquisite myth catapulted the bard himself into the realm of myth, Crampton fashions a performative poetics that performs its own brown, queer, and sublime reality.
His generously free spiritual-based tutorial - brimming with critical goodwill, religious undertones and conscious-minded hope - is a cohesive sonic statement directed at a generation struggling to find peace and purpose among conflicted priority, along with redemption for the windy city he hails from.
A Seat At The Table – like the headlines of 2016 - is the score of black pain, black rage, black strength and black joy. And for everyone else enjoying the enticing R&B, it's for the rest of us to quiet ourselves, listen, learn and respect.