Wasabi02 -
79
This is an extremely pretty record that balances neoclassical new age and field recordings to create an album that is both mystical and grounded. A very light set of tones are used on this album with higher-octave pianos and accenting strings building an environment that makes everything feel secure and soothing. This means that when the more progressive and flavourful neoclassical elements are introduced the journey takes centre stage, and it has a really easy time drawing you deeper into its ... read more
Wasabi02 -
75
With this being my first Earl album this one felt weird to listen to. It’s unusual to hear albums that are so short and precise in their goals, and while on one hand, this presents a concise artistic vision it can also give a sense that the project hasn’t explored the territory it could have. This balance is what’s giving me issues with coming to a firm opinion on this album, because as a project it doesn’t feel substantial enough, but I also know that it probably makes ... read more
Wasabi02 -
80
Surprising absolutely no one Bonobo’s latest offering is a well-rounded journey into the deeper and more minimal stylings of house and garage. It’s a project that balances richness and depth with lighter, more free-flowing sounds and for the most part, this is done excellently. Lead single Rosewood is a great example of this with the vocal sample and string flourishes injecting their light to a song dominated by layered synths and a great microhouse groove. The house tracks are ... read more
Wasabi02 -
74
Anyone coming into this new FKA twigs mixtape expecting it to be anything other than a mostly lighthearted affair with twigs having as much fun as possible will be disappointed that this doesn’t reach the heights of her prior two albums. Anyone coming in expecting a messy and/or boring project that coasts by on twigs’ excellent charisma will be surprised at how directly she handles the trauma of being in an abusive relationship on a few songs. Twigs makes a lot of decisions on this ... read more
Wasabi02 -
18
This is the worst thing I’ve heard in months. Not that I expected high art from The Wombats but I was expecting an album that I could turn my brain off to at 1 AM. Cue 40 minutes of wanting to curl up into a ball. I am now wide awake and bewildered at what I just heard. It’s not even that this album is aggressively bad, sure the vocals are ass, the hooks aren’t great and the lyrics are so on the nose and unnecessarily frivolous it makes Baby Shark look like Shakespeare, but ... read more
Wasabi02 -
75
Mashup albums I don’t give enough attention to, so when I saw this one bubbling up on RYM and some friends really enjoying it I thought it’d be worth my time, and I’m happy to report it is. It’s very difficult to review an album like this without talking about the specific instances, however I don’t want to ruin the surprise because working out that yeah, that really is Carly Rae Jepsen over that instrumental is a fair bit of fun. The tracks that shine the most ... read more
Wasabi02 -
70
The Weeknd makes a dance-pop radio-based concept album, I should be in heaven. And yet I’m not. That’s not to say Dawn FM is a failure by any stretch, but at this point, I want more from Abel than a perfectly decent pop record. It upsets me to say that too because there is some great stuff on this album, Abel is still a great performer and the production all sounds good. I just wish it grabbed me more. On the first listen I was so close to really liking this, and that feeling was ... read more
Wasabi02 -
57
The latest offering from Burial, and his longest since 2007’s Untrue, is a 45 minute ambient EP, and I don’t know how to feel about that. I know how to feel about the music, but on a conceptual level this seems off. My first assumption is that this is an EP because he wants to test the waters in terms of an extended ambient project given that he’s made individual tracks before, my second assumption is that he doesn’t have the confidence in this that he has in his classic ... read more
Wasabi02 -
71
Christmas really came early with this one, well a single day early, but when it’s Nas dropping his best project in ages out of nowhere who can complain? Now I’m making that claim having not heard most of his stuff, and with the stuff I have heard not connecting like I want it to, but the popular opinion seems to be that this is really good. Unfortunately, just like his other material, this isn’t hitting me like I want it to, but I like it a lot more and I think I can break ... read more
Wasabi02 -
70
Some of this album is really pretty, and the rest of it is alright. I mean, it’s a Jon Hopkins album so let’s get the obvious out of the way. It sounds lush and expensive, it’s extremely well-produced and it has a vision. This vision is to be relaxing, a little trippy, and ultimately a therapeutic experience, and unfortunately, this album only achieves the first of these. There are no elements of psychedelia to be found, which isn’t inherently an issue, but the lack of ... read more
Wasabi02 -
63
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss drop a second country and bluegrass covers record 14 years after their last and it’s a perfectly decent Americana album. This is a consistently robust record that rarely surprises or provide a significant high, but like you’d expect from two artists with a calibre like this, it never gets bad. It’s a well-produced record, knowing when and how to apply some grit and earthiness without ever feeling particularly heavy or offputting, they know their ... read more
Wasabi02 -
65
Despite not being as strong as her Euphoric Melodies EP from earlier this year, Harmonic Frequencies is still a strong showing from one of the most exciting young producers in the country. Recently named BBC Introducing Dance Artist of the year, Elkka knows how to make music that is exciting, dynamic and smart. This EP has a slight metallic tinge to it that makes the bangers a perfect fit for the winter clubbing season. The title track is fierce, fluid and passionate with its 2-step leaning ... read more
Wasabi02 -
75
Curtis Harding’s latest effort is a really solid retro-soul record with plenty of uplifting sentiments, good hooks and some great instrumentation. This album shines when it plays within its grounds, the straight-up soul cuts are really well made and the more psychedelic, jazzy stuff ranges from hypnotising to sensual, and often both at once. Spacey drum grooves are stitched together with a range of guitars, synths and horns on these tracks to create something that’s loose enough to ... read more
Wasabi02 -
80
I’m so glad I’m connecting with this more than part 1. While that album felt disjointed, insignificant and messy to me, this feels much more jubilant and consistent, even if I was looking for a bit more variety as it continues. This album is very light and airy and that allows the songs to feel really uplifting, there aren’t terrible amounts of vibrance but it makes up for that in the amount of serotonin it pumps. This lack of vibrance does cause it to drag in a few places, ... read more
Wasabi02 -
68
Critics seem to be really loving Snail Mail’s sophomore effort, and I’m very happy they’re enjoying this so much. I wish I was too. That’s not to say I think this is bad, it’s a perfectly acceptable indie-pop/rock record but there’s clearly something people are latching onto here than I’m not. Lindsey’s vocals are good, the production is very clean and she clearly knows her way around a pop song but I just found the record to drift along at a ... read more
Wasabi02 -
71
Belgian popstar Angéle returns for her sophomore album and her first since becoming “that French girl” on that one Dua Lipa track. I’m happy to report that Dua Lipa has solid taste in Continental pop singers because this is pretty nice. This is a pure pop record and sees Angéle drift between different strains of dance-pop and RnB, and even if it is generic it has this refreshing lightness to it. Angéle has an incredibly soft voice that glides across these ... read more
Wasabi02 -
72
Holly's second EP is nice. It’s a warm indie-pop EP with everything a teenage girl could want. Melodrama, a messy breakup, teenage heartbreak, all of the standard themes are here and Holly deals with them well. It’s honest, it’s emotional, it’s not quite as raw as an Olivia Rodrigo but that same sense of teenage vulnerability is certainly there. All of this happens over some pop music that sounds good on the radio, it’s not challenging, it’s just bubbly ... read more
Wasabi02 -
82
Damn this was fun. From what I’ve heard of theirs so far I wasn’t expecting much less but this is a vibrant, energetic and hooky record that shows a great understanding of the vibe they want to create. However whilst showing their experience they drift away from a predominantly math rock sound on this record, allowing them to experiment in a way that often pays off. Several tracks dip into post-hardcore, the closer is funk rock and track 10 is a straight-up art rock song. These are ... read more
Wasabi02 -
83
What the hell Arca? I mean seriously, how does one make an album like this? This is the craziest thing I’ve heard all year, and it’s great. She’s paired some of the glitchiest and most out of control synths I’ve ever heard with a mix of furious rapping and intelligible vocal chops and in a weird way, it’s kind of beautiful, somehow. The album is complete chaos, you could randomly pick any point on it and feel like you’re being assaulted by millions of gender ... read more
Wasabi02 -
88
As someone largely unfamiliar with Arca’s dips into classical, kiCK iiiii was not what I was expecting to close out this pentology. As someone who knows how great Arca’s music can get, I am thoroughly unsurprised by how great her dip into classical is. This album is beautiful. Arca lays out everything she has on this album; it feels vulnerable in a completely different way to the rest of the set. Instead of putting itself in your face, Arca takes a step back on this record as the ... read more
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