AOTY 2023
Thirty Seconds to Mars - It's the End of the World, But It's a Beautiful Day
I didn't know Jared Leto joined Imagine Dragons. Neat!

Listen, I'm not saying the thing was a masterpiece, but A Beautiful Lie at least has some guilty pleasure nostalgia attachment. The only guilt related to It's the End of the World, But It's a Beautiful Day is that I listened to the first two songs and didn't just instinctively say "I won't like the next 33 minutes if I don't stop this."

Favorite track: The pretend bonus track I decided plays at the very end, which is just the ... read more

Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good!
Jessie Ware's follow up to the critically acclaimed What's Your Pleasure? from three years ago is somehow even more sleek, glittery, and catchy, despite how refined that album already was. The 38-year-old is the embodiment of a diva across this full project, crafting something undeniably danceable without sacrificing the kind of artistry that calls back to the kinds of artists that made this genre unforgettable in its heyday. Despite clearly taking inspiration from the past through disco and ... read more
Mac DeMarco - One Wayne G
This man is out of his god damn mind for making this, and I am out of my god damn mind for starting it, see you in a month I guess

An update: It has been four days and I am officially four hours deep. Almost halfway there. Pray for me.

shame - Food for Worms
As someone who has been a huge fan of shame since their debut and continuing through with their sophomore effort, Food for Worms is the first the group didn't do much to impress me. The singles drummed a bit of interest up initially, but ultimately it is their weakest effort and one that hasn't called me back nearly as much as their previous two efforts. Some variety was welcome, but ultimately the album just doesn't live up to their name and doesn't create much reason to anticipate greater ... read more
Kelela - Raven
Full of dance-heavy club tracks and ethereal vocals, Raven is a transcendental sophomore album that deserves more than just plays on a dance floor and justifies focused and effortful listening. The continued evolution of modern pop and R&B music is in good hands with the likes of Kelela.

Favorite track: Contact

Paramore - This Is Why
As frontwoman Hayley Williams continues to show increased growth and maturity in her musicianship now in her mid-30's, naturally her music has grown and by proxy improved with her. This was already evident on her most recent solo outing, but Paramore's most recent group effort in This Is Why is an even better indication of the trajectory of the group. After Laughter had many of the post-punk dance elements seen on this recent outing, but This Is Why only heightens them and refines them, ... read more
Mac DeMarco - Five Easy Hot Dogs
The worlds most laidback artist you could imagine has an outing that screams lack of effort. Five Easy Hot Dogs more than anything else exists, serving little to build on a previously interesting career and sadly bringing little to what he has done in the past. Just about any other instrumental music would be worth your time more than this, as DeMarco's background noise just isn't as interesting without his stoner-vibe lyricism and vocalization.

Favorite track: Gualala

The Murder Capital - Gigi's Recovery
Although the group ditch the level of the bleakness from their debut When I Have Fears, Gigi's Recovery still maintains the enjoyable dimness of the best of post punk while keeping a groove to their songs that brings you back for more. There are some genuine standout tracks on the album like The Stars Will Leave Their Stage and Only Good Things that have plenty of replay value, but the album as a whole still stands firm. The title track encapsulates the best of the group, though - emotional, ... read more
I think I speak for everyone when I say... Damn Peggy.

Fully recognizing how hyperbolic this is, SCARING THE HOES may be one of the best things to ever happen to experimental/abstract hip hop. Danny Brown and JPEGMAFIA are already modern legends of the last decade from their individual work so there was no mystery that the two would have more than enough talent to put together a fun collaborative project. That's not even scratching the surface - Brown and JPEG aren't just complimentary ... read more

De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
I can't express to you how excited I am that De La Soul's music is finally out from under the thumb of the industry and back into the spotlight for a generation of young hip hop fans to experience. I'm fairly confident I've relistened to 3 Feet High and Rising about four times since the streaming rights allowed for their music to be heard outside of YouTube compilations of tracks, rare physical copies, and I don't know maybe an oldhead humming the tunes. I haven't lost interest yet and promise ... read more
Kali Uchis - Red Moon In Venus
Everything Kali Uchis has done on this album is at bare minimum marginally more gorgeous than everything any of us have ever done. Sleek doesn't even begin to describe Red Moon in Venus - the gloss on this thing could blind a family of four. Uchis puts the soul in neo-soul; these aren't fabricated like fool's gold, if take a bite of any of these tracks and they'll crack your teeth in half with the amount of sincerity in the emotions communicated. Wow! Cool!

Favorite track - I Wish you Roses

slowthai - UGLY
King Krule hasn't released an album since 2020 so I have to like something.

Sorry, I don't know how to do this anymore. I like the change up here. The last album had some fun elements to it but, quite frankly, I didn't come back to them much. UGLY definitely feels like something I can come back to later as a full project. Neat! Wow!

Favorite Track - UGLY

Dance Daughters.

God I should do more than that, listen I'm rusty, it's good shut up.

Favorite track - Donkey Show

Aesop Rock & Blockhead - Garbology
Aesop Rock may not be experiencing a career renaissance in the public eye, his most recognizable songs still being relegated to his 2000's material on Def Jux, but the underground legend is certainly performing like he's in the midst of one.

After El-P's label closed its doors Aesop Rock went on a five year hiatus before releasing Skelethon, then took another four year hiatus (outside of singles) before The Impossible Kid. Over the last three years, though, Aesop has been busier than ever, ... read more

Silk Sonic - An Evening with Silk Sonic
Like many others, a year ago I wouldn't have likely been putting bets on Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars collaborating at the extent of a full album. Anderson .Paak has seen his star rising higher over the last half decade since his breakout album Malibu, a gorgeous and soulful album that had critical acclaim as well as commercial appeal. Since then he has collaborated with modern titans like Kendrick Lamar, rap staples like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Andre 3000, and even soul legend Smokey ... read more
Thus far in the career of IDLES the group have stayed married to their particular style of aggression, riddled in socio-political vitriol, humor, and violence. For some, their previous effort last year could have been seen as a safe one, remaining close to the material of their smash debut and critically beloved sophomore effort, but with a little less punch and fewer memorable moments. As much as they had become fresh staples in the punk scene, they ran the risk of becoming stale if they ... read more
Linkin Park - Reanimation
If I were to point a non-fan of Linkin Park toward any of their material in an effort to sway them, Reanimation may be where my finger goes. As a remix album it would be hard to find one that so drastically diverts from the source material, to the point that the group themselves have stated it could be considered both a remix album as well as a proper studio album. That shift in sound likely could work for someone who scoffs at their nu-metal adjacency and would seek something entirely ... read more
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
Yes hello. If you've kept an eye on my page, or listened to the Record Roundtable/Good Band Bad Band podcast you may be aware of my writing hiatus. I'll get into it briefly, explain why I'm writing this review, then actually like write a review or something.

My brother, who was also a member of the podcast, passed away a little over a month ago now. He spent three months in the hospital dealing with various health issues surrounding a heart transplant he received as a baby. After his heart ... read more

Injury Reserve - By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Tragedy can feel impossible to move on from. A few weeks ago I had a close friend of eight years and former partner pass away to a drug overdose; I saw family members openly weep, felt the sting of the inability to save them, and embraced as much of the positive memories as possible to not crumble to dust. Yesterday it became more clear that my brother, who has been in the hospital for approaching three months, may be running out of time. But like positive memories that give us the hope that ... read more
Kanye West - Donda
If Kanye can take forever to release his album then I can take a month to review it, sue me.

This is an album of highs and lows, including a complete nosedive by the end that severely impacts the ability to enjoy Donda as a whole project. It took what felt like ages for the controversial star to finally release his highly anticipated album, seeming to push it back and tease it and preview it and try and pull it back again so much that it already made the wait feel like it wasn't worth it. You ... read more

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Recent Review Comments
On YuriDING's review of For Those I Love - For Those I Love
"Oh hey, going back and rating a bunch of albums and saw this, just wanted to pop in and say this take is really bad!"
On 𝕮𝖍𝖔𝖉𝖊's review of Arca - KicK iii
"Just voted, glad I could contribute SOMETHING to this site in the last six months."
On August's review of Kanye West - Donda
"I'd argue that if I were the author I probably would have just skipped rating it at all at that point, so I'll give you that. It's possible the formatting of their articles just doesn't allow for that. I just think it's really questionable to equate high ratings to other albums (that I would agree are way too gracious) to the 0 given here when they evidently had different purposes. It just makes your statement seem like it came with less thoughtfulness. Counterpoint though is that the author didn't have the same approach to Dummy Boy when the person involved is also themselves real problematic, but that album came out before his awfulness was less popularized in the conversation. So it's possible this instance is more based on clout chasing than sincerity. I don't know, I give this shit too much thought for AOTY. It's usually the wrong platform for it."
On August's review of Kanye West - Donda
"Yeah... This review is in really poor taste and evidences the issue with barely glancing at something without actually reading it. They gave it a 0 very clearly because of the involvement of problematic figures. They aren't saying those albums are "better", they're saying "those albums don't include an artist with multiple sexual assault charges." If you're going to reference an article, read the article."
"I'm glad that getting back to writing is making up for our absence. It's been weird for me to be this far removed from talking about music, whether that be on here or through the podcast, but it feels nice that someone has been keeping an eye out for us. It looks like you liked the album, which is awesome!"
On MaceBlade42's review of Between the Buried and Me - Coma Ecliptic
"That’s a fair comparison honestly."
On Me First and The Gimme Gimmes - Take a Break
"The surgery went well and now he has an artificial heart (crazy, I know.) he’s still on a vent to help with breathing and lots of sedation, so he’s definitely not all there right now. I was at the hospital tonight and it’s not a fun sight by any means. But we’re on our way, and that’s at least something."
On notbuzzzila's review of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
"You're gonna have to finally get to L.W. now, if you wait too long you'll end up at least a few albums behind when it comes to ol' Gizz."
On TomBejoy's review of Squid - Bright Green Field
"... no it’s definitely the other review. That is definitely the joke."
On TomBejoy's review of Squid - Bright Green Field
"I did not commit to memory a random and brief review from two weeks ago, I am sorry. Lol."
On TomBejoy's review of Squid - Bright Green Field
"This... This is a joke?"
On 𝕮𝖍𝖔𝖉𝖊's review of Squid - Bright Green Field
"No issue at all, friend! This is actually a super common phenomenon when you do extensive research before approaching your own take. Comedians actually have this happen a lot when they write standup sets; they forget they heard a joke from somewhere, think it's really funny, and integrate it into their own set. It just means you're uniting personal thoughts with well-backed experts, and it tends to make writing way more fleshed out. No shame in doing your research!"
On 𝕮𝖍𝖔𝖉𝖊's review of Squid - Bright Green Field
"Great review! Only minor criticism, your description of Black Country and black midi "... strips them of Black Country’s considerably awkward presentation and some of midi’s dementedness" is mostly ripped from the Gigwise review statement "... they do everything that their Brit Schooled peers do, without the awkwardness of Black Country or the sometimes impenetrable nature of Black Midi." No need to take statements from the pro reviews, your writing is fine without!"
On Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine
"Wow, thank you for bringing this to my attention. This is absolutely terrifying stuff. I’ll do some more looking into this as well. I’m sorry to hear that this is something happening in your country, I can’t even imagine that experience or what your fellow citizens are enduring daily."
On Weezer - Weezer (Teal Album)
"@BGL13 A magician never reveals their secrets."
On Rollo_P's review of Sheck Wes - MUDBOY
"Yeah, I’m on your side with that one."
On The Roots - Phrenology
"Thanks, and thanks for keeping an eye on what I’ve been writing lately!"
On notbuzzzila's review of Chinese Football - Chinese Football
"My friend mentioned this album to me a few weeks ago and I keep forgetting to check it out sadly."
On The Armed - Ultrapop
"Yeah, clearly you haven't seen a video of what a dung beetle sounds like. It's adorable and you stink like a dung beetle."
On Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
"Much appreciated, as always!"
On Rollo_P's review of Vince Staples - Summertime '06
"Your account better get more followers."
On Rollo_P's review of Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - HARAM
"I’m glad you ended up really digging this album, I knew you were holding off on the group until it dropped. Definitely worth digging deeper if you really liked it!"
On Rollo_P's review of Busdriver - Temporary Forever
"Stellar review, you definitely put together some really cool thoughts on this one. I’m glad you liked the recommendation overall and I LOVE your word choice and writing style."
On PunkRevNow's review of Various Artists - Flex Gang, Vol. 3
"Now I don't know if anyone ever said that..."

November Playlist