- good kid, m.A.A.d city
95
My latest session with this album has opened my eyes more than any other play-through in the past decade, and now I’m rethinking whether TPAB is ‘easily’ Kendrick’s best album. Everything here is perfect, bar “Real.” The story that plays out is essentially a Shakespearean tragedy, the themes are dark but enlightening, and every other track here is memorable—incredible both within the structure of the project and on their own. I mean, “Sing About ... read more
 - +
60
The production and hooks here are a big step up from the first Skullface Bonehead project that dropped in January. While I still don’t fully understand the appeal of the pitched vocals and messy, lo-fi beats, I do acknowledge they add some much needed character—something the last project was desperately lacking. I’d argue I even had fun listening to this.
 - Where Myth Becomes Memory
65
While I really enjoy the front-to-back visceral tunes, like “Cloaked,” as well as the solely soft power jams, like “Closer,” I can’t get past the way this album attempts to combine the two. The collision often feels like two different songs that have no business conjoining. “To Resist Forgetting” is a prime example. Rolo Tomassi feels the need to constantly interrupt their raw, brutal atmosphere and riffs with these cheesy, uninspired melodic choruses ... read more
 - Punomo
80
A consistently great—albeit imperfect—retro soul record out of Finland, Punomo’s eponymous debut took years to craft, and it shows. This album is proof patience pays off. It’s got infectiously energetic performances from the band and Johanna Rauma’s killer vocals, gorgeous horn arrangements, and disgustingly good bass work courtesy of Ami Kajan. I highly recommend giving this a listen. There’s a good chance this will end up on my year-end list.
 - Claustrofobia
85
‘Claustrofobia’ is a punky, enthralling free jazz LP out of Argentina that absolutely rules. Despite being comprised of merely a rhythm section and a tenor sax, this album boasts more energy and charisma than most. It’s brief but hits hard. Every song is captivating, and not a second is wasted. If you haven’t listened to this yet, you need to. It’s a crime the record wasn’t already on this site.
 - caroline
60
If you’re someone who likes to fuck around with effects or is into noisy, experimental folk and ambient dirges, you’ll probably get a lot out of this project. Now I dabble in those things, so I can definitely see the appeal of caroline’s eponymous debut, but I don’t know if I’m crazy about the group’s sound myself. I find it much more fascinating—like something to study or ponder—than I find it entertaining. That’s not to say this ... read more
 - Marchita
75
Without question, the main appeal of Silvana Estrada’s music is her vocal capabilities. The songstress’ beautiful voice leaps and bounds while she sings, yet it all sounds smooth and seamless. Despite the artist’s incredible timbre, however, I find I’m not in love with the instrumentals here. Sure, the production and what little instruments there are sound great, but I just think the minimal approach escapes me. While on one hand, I completely understand letting ... read more
 - Everything Was Forever
70
The second half of ‘Everything Was Forever’ isn’t quite as interesting as the first, but it all comes together to form a pretty good art rock album with some great tracks in the mix. “Doppelgänger,” “Transmitter” and “Fear Eats the Soul” are my favorites. This is everything I expected from the veteran—formerly British—band.
 - The Tipping Point
60
What ‘The Tipping Point’ lacks that made Tears For Fears’ original work so impactful is some edge in the production. Either as a result of studio equipment evolving so much in the years since, or perhaps because these two have outlived caring about aesthetic (I choose to believe the former), this is far too polished. The album feels like it’s mostly void of personality which should never be the case for any album from two masterminds of ‘80s pop

Don’t get me ... read more

 - There In Spirit
65
It’s admittedly somewhat boring, but ‘There In Spirit’ is still an enjoyable tape (“Voices” is great). My main complaint is that Sandman’s lackadaisical style and Illingsworth’s energetic beats don’t always work together.
 - Lucifer on the Sofa
65
This is very hit or miss, but when it hits, it hits hard. I just wish I could remember anything from this aside from my notes. Sure, a lot of this sounds quite good, but it’s not memorable in the slightest. Not to mention, the album does drag at multiple points. I suppose I’m simply disappointed. I’ll give it another chance later this year, though.
 - Sweet Tooth
60
Mom Jeans. has switched up their style on ‘Sweet Tooth.’ They’ve moved away from their acoustic-heavy, emo-tinted pop-punk, this time around utilizing the drumming and glittery guitar work of prime American Football and the generic, pop “punk” structure of bands like Simple Plan. It’s lame but honestly really charming, and there are some insanely catchy melodies.

I wouldn’t say the record is particularly good, but it’s goofy and entertaining. If ... read more

 - Zeal & Ardor
80
Zeal & Ardor picked a great record to bestow their own name to. Not only is this project the group’s best to date, it also best represents the band’s eclectic, emotive and harrowing style. This album tries out so many unique sounds and genres, and each endeavor pays off. It all comes together to form a fascinating, explorative epic that I doubt I’ll ever get tired of.

It’s amazing seeing just how far the band has come in six years time, and I couldn’t be more ... read more

 - Possessions
80
’Possessions’ treads the line between shoegaze and dream pop in a beautiful, impassioned way. My first experience with Blushing’s music will certainly not me my last. I adore this (as did my girlfriend). It’s definitely one of my favorite records of the year so far and debatably the most energetic.
 - The Dream
40
Painstakingly boring. I never wanna sit through this again.
 - Texas Moon
75
The EP as a whole is pretty damn good, but “Doris” and “Mariella” are next-level stellar. I need Khruangbin and Leon Bridges to make more songs named after women as soon as possible.
 - Cowboy Tears
35
I liked a few songs from Oliver Tree before ever trying this, and he seemed pretty fun. Never tried a full project of his before today, but I was excited to. ‘Cowboy Tears’ is not fun. It’s obvious to me that more effort is put into the aesthetic and Tree’s persona than the music itself. This project is derivative and boring. I sort of get the appeal, but man, this is really obnoxious. Inoffensive, sure, though I can’t get past how redundant this all sounds.
 - Continuance
70
I mean, it’s an Alchemist joint; it sounds great. That said, a lot of this went in one ear and out the other. There’s not too much here that’s memorable in comparison to his other collaboration projects. A few of the tracks here do bump in the whip, though. Namely “Half Moon Mornings,” “Whale Watching,” “The Tonight Show” and “Kool & The Gang.”
 - Life On Earth
65
The first half of “Life On Earth” has a lot to offer, but the second half teeters off course a bit. I think the latter half is just as good thematically, but sonically, the Riff Raff could have done better. I’m really disappointed, but this is still a good record overall. It doesn’t have any highlights near as strong as, say, “Palanté” off their last LP, but it’s probably a better album front-to-back. I might revisit this down the line.
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