Release Date: November 01, 1965
Nobody’s Smiling—a Common record in 2014 about Chicago’s gun violence problem—falls deep into that trap, turning in a collection of mostly forgettable tracks that tries far too hard and has little to show for it.
Nobody’s Smiling is a well-rounded discourse on gang violence and inner city plight in Chicago that translates to almost every urban city in America. It is a triumph for conscious rap in a city that could use more self-awareness.
Artistically, it’s a new and deeply concentrated side of the veteran MC we haven’t seen and, as a result, it comes off as one of his best albums yet.
While not flawlessly executed, Common arguably regains some of the relevance he may have lost from his last couple of albums with the focus of Nobody's Smiling.
Fervent throughout, Common deals out some of his hardest and heaviest rhymes.
Nobody’s Smiling is defiant, as full of commanding musicality as it is of Common’s own provocation. Of his recent output, it deserves to be the most touted since that 2005 darling.
Pe’ahi is an uneven reinvention, but it’s a brave one, too - the manner of its release isn't the only surprise that comes with it.
Pe-Ahi, despite being entertaining, cries out for something we haven’t heard from them before.
There’s huge amounts of skill in the balance they find, in creating these brutal roaring clouds of noise and then contradicting it by positioning something beautiful within.
Above all ‘Pe’ahi’ is a thoroughly enjoyable skim across the top of the Danish duo’s murky, unknowable fathoms.
Building on the more intricate and thoughtful approach of 2012's Observator, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo craft a sound that's full of the duo's expected overdriven-to-the-point-of-breaking guitars, but also has lots of breathtaking dynamics and more focus on beats and rhythms than usual.
Produced by folk-rock veteran Chad VanGaalen, Alvvays capitalizes on its use of reverb and nostalgia to create a charming wistfulness in some places, but hasty aftereffects in others.