Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
In my very humble opinion, consistency is one of the most underappreciated aspects of music. An artist/group can put out one solid record among many and still receive praise (very common in the modern mainstream). The same can be said in the context of tracklists. This statement leads me to Stadium Arcadium.

By 2006, the Chili Peppers were in their 24th year as a band. Writing this in 2023 (round it up to 2024), it's absolutely baffling to consider they are currently in their 42nd year and ... read more

Coldplay - X&Y
In their third effort, Coldplay delivers a record that is equal parts fun pop rock and slow, balladesque tracks - although neither side reaches the threshold set by either of their two previous records. There's a lot to enjoy here: Fix You is a classic Coldplay staple, Talk is a heavily underrated gem, and Speed of Sound will never get old for me. I think the length is a thorn in the side of this record. No reason why this shouldn't have been a 40-minute project. While I would choose other ... read more
PowerPCME - Kmart 1989-1992 (The Definitive Edition)
Honestly a neat concept and has a lot of potential but PowerPCME doesn't exactly execute it in a way where that potential is realized. The ambition is there, for sure, and the narrative that progresses through the album is admirable but I think they're trying to do too much here. By the end, it feels like an ARG rather than a nice vaporwave concept album.
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
Bruce and the boys come out swinging on their debut record with about as much energy, passion, and metal wizardry as most other metal groups possess at their peak. All of which are tightly packed in under 40 minutes! They show up, beat you down, and leave before you even know what hit you. Very impressive debut that I'll definitely return to!
Drake - For All The Dogs
Drake returns with an 84-minute record that only includes about 10 minutes worth of interest. The rest is our familiar Drake sounds: the eyeroll-inducing lyrics, cringeworthy singing attempts, fruitless features, questionable production choices, and a whole lot of boring nothing. Good ole' modern Drake.
Scorpions - Love at First Sting
Scorpions' magnum-opus is truly a hard rock classic packed with both radio hits and underground gems alike in a very tight 40-minute package. Meine's vocals are in peak German-metalhead form here, and the instrumentation is very diverse and well-arranged. The closer, "Still Loving You", is arguably the group's best track and absolutely kills as a closer. That long build-up and the eponymous phrase not appearing until the outro-chorus is brilliantly cathartic. Six and a half-minute ... read more
Tyler Childers - Rustin' in the Rain
For Childers' fans (true fans, not tiktok fans), this album is sort of a disappointment. All but one of these tracks (Luke 2:8-10) had long been familiar with fans in the form of live performances and live recordings on youtube. In fact, I have been listening to downloaded live versions of the title track, "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "Percheron Mules", and "Space and Time" for about a year now. While it's nice to have clean, studio recordings of these ... read more
Hozier - Unreal Unearth
Hozier delivers well on his third album; a great improvement upon his prior release but still contains too many holes to surpass his immaculate debut.
Jason Mraz - Look For The Good
Mraz encourages universal love on an album that simultaneously evokes so much hate in me. It's not bad at all sonically. The diverse instrumentation actually (somewhat) saves its reputation. It's the repetitive, corny, unrealistically optimistic lyricism that rubs me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, I try to be an optimist as much as possible in my own life. When giving advice, I always advocate optimism. When it comes to music, however, I often expect more. Mraz's intended appearance is to ... read more
The Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me
Pleased to Meet Me is The Replacements in their unrivaled prime and possibly their peak, despite the record being scattered with several highlights along with borderline skips. Depending on who you ask, you may get a different answer for what song(s) constitute a skip. However, one common citation may be "Nightclub Jitters", at least, that's my answer. You have this slow, percussion-driven tune that sounds like it should be sung by an anthropomorphic alley-cat jazz band from a '70s ... read more
Greta Van Fleet - The Battle at Garden's Gate
I know the group's debut is their worst-received album to date, but I have genuinely found a handful of highlights/fun moments hidden in the rubble. I cannot say the same for their sophomore release here. The first two songs (both singles) are relatively good and I remember enjoying them upon release but I never had the ambition to follow through with the full album. That day unfortunately came recently and I suffered through the longest 63 minutes of my entire life. To this record's credit, it ... read more
Greta Van Fleet - From The Fires
A truly more than solid debut from a group that receives way too much hate for simply wearing their influences on their sleeve. Sure, both sleeves and both pantlegs but who cares? This record rocks and it's aged just fine as well.
Colter Wall - Little Songs
Wall delivers a record that will no doubt fly under the radar of '23 releases but will surely go down in country fans' heads as one of the all-around best releases of the decade thus far. These "little" songs carry a big punch.
Soulja Boy - Soulja Season
not even the most nostalgic people have enough ironic love to enjoy this dumpster fire.
Geese - 3D Country
A quick-witted, creatively produced, and lively-as-all-hell record that invokes elements of past and future(!) indie rock into a well-packaged 43-minute explosion of greatness.
12 RODS - If We Stayed Alive
12 Rods officially return in a somewhat underwhelming but nonetheless entertaining in spots little album. The singles are great. Our three new tracks are not, but they don't absolutely suck either. They have their highlights. The group's sound is pretty identical to their late '90s heyday, maybe a bit more eclectic with the production but barely. Regardless, a big welcome back to my favorite indie guys, they certainly don't overstay it.
McKinley Dixon - Beloved! Paradise! Jazz​!​?
truly memorable sophomore release from Dixon with sharp, poignant lyricism matched with lounge-esque jazz rap production. very inciteful and well-made. I'm not crazy about the cover though...
Bella White - Just Like Leaving
White is a natural-born songwriter and her early wisdom and wit for words shows plainly on her debut album, the likes of which hails above most other debuts in country/folk.
TV Girl - Grapes Upon the Vine
The absolutely perplexing production choices are just one of the many aspects that make Grapes Upon The Vine a horribly mediocre and straight-up confusing album. It sounds like the group got a new soundboard and just sprayed it over an already-completed album.
Thug throws the latest stone, causing no ripple in the stagnant pond that is modern trap.
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Recent Review Comments
On JC's review of Roger Waters - The Dark Side of the Moon Redux
"it is dull and unnecessary but i find it soothing in an odd way. and i don't believe it's necessarily harming DSOTM's legacy at all, we still have the original ofc. but yea it's a weird one alright."
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"great way to put it"
"@Queenie4Real / it's legitimately been 3 years since I've listened to this record but i went back to the two songs you mentioned and feel mostly the same: uninterested. the energy is there but they're both still pretty bland to me. the opener is still a banger tho."
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On Kenny's review of Coldplay - X&Y
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On mike_drop's review of 100 gecs - 10,000 gecs
"i'm not a hyperpop fan in the slightest. it's one of the only mainstream genres i actively avoid. i respect 100 gecs and similar artists for their work in an incredibly niche genre; however, i don't see myself ever listening to them. (food house tho! that's good hyperpop!)"
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On Dalton's review of The Kinks - Lola
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On maryfreegirl's review of my bloody valentine - loveless
"it gets better if you give it chances later on. it gets better as your taste develops/progresses. but i understand the mixed feelings, i didn't care for it at all on first listen a couple years ago. now i adore it, although i wouldn't say it's one of my favorite albums ever. I'm just not a huge shoegaze guy in general."
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""bummer music for a beautiful day" is a nice description for this. also agree it's his best, far and away."
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February Playlist