reddogsquad -
71
Once one of the dozen or so CDs that graced my high school miniminivan's speakers, Hokey Fright holds up 7 years later.

I don't really know why I even purchased this in the first place, as I wasn't a huge of Aesop Rock until The Impossible Kid, but I'm quite glad I did. Contrasted with the album's pleasantly playful instrumentation and Kimya Dawson's delicate ~indie~ vocals, Aesop's dense bars feel less cryptic than they often do. The duo's styles mesh together, perhaps surprisingly, into a ... read more
reddogsquad -
72
I've admittedly only listened to Illmatic & NASIR, so I don't really know where this might fall into Nas's discography, but the production & bars on this all feel very above average- enjoyable to listen to while saying something real, if safe. It is by no means a classic, but this project is one of my favorite hip-hop records of 2020.

Highlights: Ultra Black & its bizarre Doja Cat diss, Hit Boy's production & classic tag, Spicy & its solid features (like most of the ... read more
reddogsquad -
70
Rewound through not one, but two tracks in order to determine what absolute groove that was that came on the mix while I was making a chicken pot roast. It was Colours! My pot roast was also colorful & a 7/10! How serendipitous!

Actually though, great vibes on this lil EP. I like the idea of naming EPs after the scenery in which they were created, even if this sound doesn't really mesh with my experience of Smith Rock. I also think the pulsating nature of these tracks would wear on me over ... read more
reddogsquad -
48
Dreamland is an appropriate title, in that I fell asleep while listening to this.
Dreamland is also somewhat of an inappropriate title, in that none of it is reminiscent of any dream vibe.. The exception to this is that the consistently filtered vocals, which wear on me, and the lack of sonic variety within the production ultimately blend together into nothing very memorable ~as if it was all just a dream~

Particularly not a fan of the lyrics (see Waterfalls Coming Out of Your Mouth) and the ... read more
reddogsquad -
85
After years of not being floored by his hits, I really enjoyed After Hours and decided there might be more to this Weeknd fellow (the current #1 streamed artist in the world [???]) So, I was going to listen to each of Trilogy's constituent tapes, but ended up just repeated the songs of this debut all week. WOW, what a debut, wish I had been there. But at least I am here now.

I hear the lyricism complaints, and I get it, but the production and vibe of this record almost precludes any need for ... read more
reddogsquad -
58
I'm always a fan of short films that accompany albums. This one is a little odd though. It's almost like a fan-made music video about a play, rather than being a play itself? And if this album is meant to thematically mirror this The Falling Man concept then I think it falls short. Even just as an album, it falls short of my expectations from his earlier tapes.

Favs: Fall Back, Nobody Falls
UUGLY: "blah blah blah blah blah, Love is like a moshpit" is one of my least favorite hooks ... read more
reddogsquad -
90
My favorite mixtape of all time. Much like Just Blaze, I can't think of any other rapper that would even think to do something like this. My enjoyment of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (and Willy Wonka & even The Prestige) greatly increases my enjoyment of this tape, and vice versa. But even aside from the brilliant concept here, and perfect choice to limit the production strictly to Jon Brion's score, Jay's lyricism, flows, and tone create a super strong project. It's crazy that ... read more
reddogsquad -
81
Maybe I underestimated Nnamdi & need to relisten to DROOL or maybe this is a massive growth from his earlier music (or probably a mix of both?). Whatever the case, there is hella depth on this record, a lot of which surprised me. I actually restarted the album when I hit the halfway point and I realized I really loved what I was listening to and should focus more. There's a lot of weirdness on this, which rarely sounds annoying as might have happened with some of DROOL, and almost always is ... read more
reddogsquad -
72
I love this lofi jazzrap style. Some Rap Songs is the obvious comparison; Blu's much much lesser known Jesus LP pairs well too. And baby, songs that you gotta read most definitely appeal to me, unless the mood of the songs don't match what I inevitably end up reading on Genius. Fortunately that is not the case with this record, as the jazzy sample-rich production anchors this project in themes of which MAVI's bars generally match.

The intro/interludes on this thing aren't very strong. I like ... read more
reddogsquad -
67
If I listened to this during a night on the Cape Town, it would be a 100. Here's to hoping that I'll one day have to change this rating.
reddogsquad -
73
A truly fun listen, crisp pop music that mostly gives me the same vibes that I got when something clicked for me regarding pop music at a Charli XCX set. The Electric Guest feature is much welcomed, the album is pleasant overall, and I would unashamedly smile and dance to this at a festival.
reddogsquad -
87
I'm very picky when it comes to meeting the songwriting balance between too vague & broad, too unrelatably specific, too contrived and cliche, too this, too that.... Fetch the Bolt Cutters nails it. Coursing through the Fiona Apple's writing are very specific, authentic & relatable anecdotes that convey universal emotions and experiences as well as fresh axioms that could never be confused as cliche. The mixing, particularly of the percussion and the singing, is perfect. The occasional ... read more
reddogsquad -
52
Oof. This was actually difficult to listen to at moments. The dissonance and noise is not for me, though I think I 'get' it. Maybe not though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This was like if Dev Hynes had a traumatic brain injury that injected 50% steampunk into his sound.

I really enjoyed Kerosene!, including Diana Gordon's channeling of Dolores O'Riordan (RIP). Strawberry Privilege is quite pleasant. Most of the rest just isn't enjoyable to me.
reddogsquad -
63
Like the content seeker said, it's fairly simple & generic. Maybe so generic that it doesn't differentiate itself from the many singles they have released, enough that you might think Teardrops playing on shuffle after the play-through is still a part of the project. It's pleasant though, particularly Dumb Love.
reddogsquad -
94
After some thought, I'm fairly certain this is my 2019 AOTY. I know I have an inclination toward sadder music, and this album is no exception, but even accounting for that bias, I'm calling this a masterpiece.

thousand eyes is the perfect slow build intro that accurately sets the album's tone both thematically and musically. Two of the singles follow: home with you, which reminds me of a fully idealized mashup of Lana Del Rey & Billie Eilish (maybe that is shortchanging it), and sad day, ... read more
reddogsquad -
60
There are some truly awful skits tied in with a played out mixtape type theme, but they don't completely torpedo the rating since they're on separate tracks from the songs, which I actually generally enjoy (I disavow G2g). Most of those songs are fairly generic, but, again, enjoyable. It's much better listened to as a background album than in the foreground, and in my case, I had a pretty ideal setting reading on the beach. His self-titled EP probably also falls into the background category, ... read more
reddogsquad -
85
I randomly put on Lianne La Havas' Tiny Desk Concert a month back and was blown away at 1) her talent and 2) that I hadn't heard her music before. I listened to this today (twice) and am again blown away at 1) her talent and 2) that I hadn't listened to her whole discography yet. I was completely impressed by this album. It starts off a bit iffy- I don't really know why the extended version of 'Bittersweet' is the first track... seems like that could have ended the album maybe without having ... read more
reddogsquad -
56
I do dig lofi Earl, but I'm thinking Some Rap Songs was probably the sweet spot for me. A lot of this just sounds too muddled with Earl's vocals way muted and almost slurred. El Toro Combo Meal is phenomenal and the added songs on this deluxe version are the 2nd and 3rd best songs of the project, so this score is a lil higher than I would give the original EP.
reddogsquad -
75
It's an interesting move to drop an EP with 2/3 of it already released as singles, but if Becky and the Birds only releases 15 minute dreamy EPs every couple years that might just be ideal. Just like her last project, which featured a legendary bio read intro, there is an interesting departure here: Trasslig's spoken word track over piano chords that really really needs to be translated and would probably subsequently completely transform my understanding of the album and raise this rating. In ... read more
reddogsquad -
70
Far and away my favorite Taylor Swift project (probably... I've never actually listened to an album of hers but I have been around radios for the last dozen years). When I saw the album cover, and the name, and that Bon Iver was featured, I was hoping this was gonna be a lot more woodsy and folksy. I suppose this is very folksy for TSwift, especially compared to her recent hits, but I just maybe had too high hopes. My thoughts track by track:

the 1: Nice soothing vocals. Nice chorus. Nice ... read more
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