After a year of hype and guest features in 2012, A$AP Rocky has released his awaited debut album, “LongLiveA$AP.” The album captures Rocky’s trill persona while delivering a wide range of recognizable musical features.
Author: Felipe Godoy
KRUA’s Felipe Godoy reviews the top five albums of 2012.
Earlier this week 25 year-old, Kendrick Lamar, Compton, Calif., emcee, released his major label debut “good kid m.A.A.d. city.”
After Dr. Dog visited Alaska a couple weeks ago, the Philadelphia-based band released a five track EP titled “Wild Race” Oct. 2 as a brief follow-up to their critically acclaimed album “Be The Void.” The highlight of the EP is last song and title track, “Wild Race.” The song begins with five quick strikes from…
In my time as KRUA music manager, the station has never anticipated an album release quite like this. With countless days, sleepless nights and one amazing single, every Grizzly Bear fan had their dream come true last week. The Brooklyn-based band finally released their fourth studio album, “Shields.” Grizzly Bear is perhaps far more recognized…
Beach House is a Baltimore-based duo consisting of French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally. In their short time together this dual of music genius have released an impressive catalog of what has been defined as their distinct sound of dream pop, now including their fourth album, “Bloom.” While Scally arranges all the music and creates the illustrious vision of Beach House, it is Legrand’s sweet vocals that carry the listener through this stellar journey.
As the group has attracted and gained attention, Legrand’s voice has become almost iconic for its soft and sultry tone that completely differs from so many in the music industry today. As for the album, Bloom starts right where their last album Teen Dream left off, beginning with the airy, feel-good opening track “Myth.” As the album progresses a rather uptempo sound is encountered such as in the songs “Wild” and “Lazuli.” By the end of the album one is left almost mesmerized by the soothing and ethereal melody of the songs “The Hours,” “Wishes,” and particularly the closing track “Irene.” If there had to be one criticism of the album itself, it would be the similarities between “Bloom” and their previous work.
Recommended Tracks: “Myth,” “Lazuli,” “Irene.”
This week, we’re reviewing Papa and their brand spankin’ new EP, “A Good Woman is Hard to Find.”
Right away there are two things that need to be said about this record: First, it’s amazing, and second, it’s amazing. Although it’s only five tracks long, they are five solid ones. Papa is an alternative-indie band from Los Angeles consisting of Darren Weiss and Daniel Presant. While Weiss plays the drums and is also the lead vocalist (don’t see that combo very often), Presant manages the bass and background vocals. The rest of the band is made up by a guest guitarist in each of their songs.
Influences of punk, blues and even some late 60’s Motown feel are present in Papa’s sound, making the album very distinct from other indie bands. The EP starts off with the lead single “Ain’t It So,” which brings forth nothing but good summer vibes, catchy guitar riffs and consistant head bobbing. The rest of the album continues with “I’m The Lion King,” “Let’s Make You Pregnant” and “Collector” which contain more vibes, riffs and head bobbing. The last song on this EP, “A Song for Mike Gigliotti,” progresses the album to a very strong finish with the buildup of a powerful chorus. Whoever Mike is, it can be immediately sensed that the dedication towards him in this song is both heartfelt and emotional.
Overall, if you’re looking for an awesome summer soundtrack, you might of have just found your match.
Recommended Tracks: “A Song for Mike Gigliotti,” “Ain’t It So,” “I’m The Lion King.”
The White Stripes may have never had a bassist, and a lot of people aren’t big fans, but don’t lie; you’ve probably caught yourself mumbling the bass line to “Seven Nation Army” at least a couple times.
Recently, Jack White released his first solo debut album, titled “Blunderbuss,” and it isn’t exactly your ninth grade White Stripes pop rock. There are influences of loud rock, country folk, R&B soul, gospel, blues and even some rapping on the album (which was recorded in Nashville, TN).
The lead single “Sixteen Saltines” is a fast-paced song with an aggressive, distorted melody. The rest of the album varies; there are songs that are much slower, such as “Love Interruption” that features a duet with Ruby Amanfu, and “Freedom at 21,” (where White raps at one point, but it actually works into the song quite well).
Overall, you might have your opinions about Jack White and his music in the past, but those assumptions may soon come to an end with “Blunderbuss.”
Recommended Tracks: “Sixteen Saltines,” “Love Interruption,” “Freedom at 21.”
Lead by frontman James Mercer, (the band’s longest active member), the Shins bring an influx of indie, mid 80s rock feel, and even some electronic sounds to this album. Mercer has recruited famous names such as Joe Plummer, drummer for Modest Mouse; Yuuki Matthews, bassist of the Crystal Skulls and even Richard Swift to play keyboards.
This new composition of the Shins may come off as strange at first, but once one listens to the title track “Simple Song,” everything suddenly turns into the Shins of old. Bringing back memories of records such as “Wincing the Night Away” and “Chutes Too Narrow” from their indie label Sub Pop Records. In other instances, we see the poppy, mainstream side of this all-star lineup like in “No Way Down,” which comes off as a song that would be featured on the high school drama television show “One Tree Hill.”
That being said, this is the Shins first major label debut, (which will result in plenty of backlash from indie heads everywhere), but at the end of the day James Mercer is the Shins itself and he can do whatever the hell he wants with the band.
Recommended Tracks: “Simple Song”, “September”, “Fall of ‘82”
This week we reviewed the new Andrew Bird album “Break It Yourself,” and for all you indie heads out there that were fortunate enough to see him perform live over at the PAC back in November; this album screams you.