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KANYE WEST ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM TITLE

Kanye West has announced the title of the followup to 2013’s Yeezus.

The album will supposedly feature the tracks “Only One (feat. Paul McCartney)”, “Wolves (feat. Vic Mensa and Sia)”, and “All Day”. The release date is still unknown as West revealed on The Breakfast Club that the album will be a surprise release.

Watch his interview with The Breakfast Club:

Listen to “Wolves” (starts at 8:26):

Listen to “Only One”:

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STREAM PURITY RING'S <em> ANOTHER ETERNITY </em>

The electronic-pop – and self proclaimed “future pop-  duo, Purity Ring, will release their new album, Another Eternity, this Tuesday. However, if you do not want to wait, their album can be streamed here! That’s the album art above.

Listen to “begin again”:

from the album "I Love You, Honeybear"

“I Love You, Honeybear” Father John Misty

Father John Misty

I Love You, Honeybear Album Review

Sub Pop Records

Released February 10, 2015

Genre: Indie Folk, Psychedelic Folk, Art Folk, Indie Rock

Father John Misty is in love. Very much, in love. But promotional performances for Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman’s, sophomore album I Love You, Honeybear told a different story. When the Fleet Foxes ex-drummer appeared on Letterman, he sang a cynical and satirical yet gut-wrenching and eye-opening ode to the very country that promised him freedom and opportunity.  Sitting in solitude and clad in a fine suit, Tillman belts “They gave me a useless education/ And a subprime loan/ On a craftsman home!”- and laughter filled the room. Simulated, of course: how could anyone laugh at someone so miserable, about such middle-class problems? There was a bit of reluctance with the audience’s applause, but the praise and cheers found their way towards Tillman.

“Bored In The U.S.A” is one of the 11 tracks on I Love You, Honeybear, Tillman’s second album under the Misty moniker. It is an album so open-hearted, sweet but cynical it would make Kurt Vonnegut weak at the knees; But, above all, it’s incredibly honest and convictive. At his root, Father John Misty is a folk singer at heart, but on I Love You, Honeybear Misty’s arrangements come off as more eclectic, more grand, and more varied. And while almost all the tracks fit into one cohesive package, Honeybear, and Tillman, are full of contradictions. Since his roots are folk, you’d expect his music to be soft and mellow; his lyrics, sweet and lacking in profanity. But the more you listen, the more you begin to see the real man behind the mystical Father John Misty.

I Love You, Honeybear is a concept record, predominantly about Tillman’s relationship with his wife in every aspects. At times the moods and emotions poured into the songs can be applied to anyone’s love life, but every lyric and note is a snapshot into the life of Josh and Emma Tillman’s amorous relationship. The opening title track peers into Tillman’s overall perception of his wife, but also delivers the emotional glop of scope the album will come to deliver. With no solid structure lyrically, Tillman rants on an on, pouring his heart out with each lyric beautifully and with heart. The following track “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) explores Tillman’s sex life, with an enormous chorus and an interesting instrumentation diversion, which artfully segues from basic folk to mariachi horns towards the back end.

“The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” starts off sounding like something from The Velvet Underground’s debut, while “When You’re Smiling And Astride Me” is all soul and emotion. While the tracks here mostly deal with love, the track “Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow” features one of the most interesting approaches Tillman has put forth. The track begins with Tillman describing a night at a bar, LA’s The Crow, and how he’s unavailable while turning down numerous women. Then towards the second half of the song he bashes on the multitude of men hitting on his wife proclaiming “Doesn’t take half that long for men about town to forget what’s mine/ Now my genius can’t drink in silence/ She’s gotta listen to your tired-ass lines,” all while sounding like a wounded animal in a painfully powerful tenor.

But the lyrical and musical gems don’t end there. Tillman switches things up a bit with “The Ideal Husband” which satirizes Emma’s portrait of an ideal husband by listing things that don’t make an ideal husband. And the song is the rawest and grittiest track Tillman has ever made, complete with a driving force and a guitar solo that’ll make paint peel off the wall. The aptly titled “Holy Sh*t” was written on Tillman’s wedding day and describes his mindset upon making a decision like saying “I do”. Moreover, how could one make a decision like that based on what you believe in, when factoring all the potential unhappiness and failure that could happen. After all, nothing is guaranteed. Holy Sh*t, indeed. The track ‘True Affection” attempts to vary the variety of styles on the album, but its electronic approach sticks out like a sore thumb rather then stand out on its own.

Tillman then closes off I Love You, Honeybear by going back to the beginning: when he first met his wife in a parking lot. Tillman nostalgically recounts everything about that day, as if he’s telling his children. Tillman says “For love to find us of all people/ I never thought it’d be so simple,” and we can tell that Tillman is in love. With life, with his wife, and with everything. Despite the ups and downs that this record holds, “I Went To The Store One Day” is a moving testament, that makes the whole ordeal worth it.

I Love You, Honeybear is a beautiful piece of work, artfully blending Tillman’s life with his alter ego, the enigmatic Father John Misty. Everything in the album is beautifully developed; from the lyrics, the structures, the concept, and the instrumentation – Tillman’s full life is on display and for the whole world to see. The album’s idiosyncrasies are well thought out, giving us a compelling and interesting personality to listen to. Tillman preaches and preaches: Love people. Be open. Get out there. Live life. Without it, Tillman wouldn’t have delivered the following line, a line that made this whole album possible: “Seen you around. What’s your name?” – which were the first words he spoke to his wife. When looking at where they are now, taking the risk and jumping in with two feet doesn’t sound too stupid to begin with. The Word has already been delivered. I Love You, Honeybear is Father John Misty’s sermon, and the mic has been dropped. Go forth, and spread the good news.

 

 PRETTY NEAT MUSIC

FAV TRACKS: I Love You Honeybear, Chateau Lobby #4 (in C For Two Virgins), The Nigh Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt., When You’re Smiling And Astride Me, Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow, Strange Encounter, The Ideal Husband, Bored In The U.S.A, Holy Shit, I Went To The Store One Day

LEAST FAV TRACK: True Affection

Score: (9.5/10)

20141217041653!Smoke_and_Mirrors_album_cover

“Smoke + Mirrors” Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons

Smoke + Mirrors Album Review

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope

Released February 17, 2015

Genre: Alternative Rock, Synth Rock, Every Trend in Pop besides Trap

Courtesy of Complex

Courtesy of Complex

FAV TRACKS: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

LEAST FAV TRACKS: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Score: (Rubs His Hands/10)

(But seriously: this is melting pot of “too-edgy” choruses and overbearing bass noises. Also, the singer sounds like he’s trying to channel a coffeehouse singer-songwriter mixed with Christina Aguilera vibe…it’s not working too well. Oh well, their target audience won’t even get the above jokes. Then again, I suck at jokes and meme placement.)

TL;DR: Smoke & Mirrors is an amalgamation of tasteless trends and experiments catered to pleasing the public, all while sacrificing artistic integrity. No grit, no ambition, and no pride – Imagine Dragons are as bland as white bread.

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IF, THE BAND STREAMS DEBUT EP

After numerous tracks being released, Dallas alternative rock outfit  if, the band have released their EP, available to freely stream on Soundcloud. The EP features post rock structures tastefully mixed with many different styles ranging from acoustic coffee house ballads (“Telegram”) to ambient soundscapes (Untitled #1).

Although the EP lacks a solid, cohesive feel, the band flex their muscles by showcasing their strengths and weaknesses.

Support the band and listen below.
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Here’s the album art:

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“Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper” Panda Bear

Panda Bear

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper Album Review

Domino Recordings

Released January 9, 2015

Genre: Psychedelic Pop, Experimental Pop, Electronica

This album review is pretty late, so I will take the time to briefly state my opinion on the album and what it means for music in general. First and foremost, this album signals a progression in Panda Bear’s music. It is even more electronic than his previous albums. It is both sample and synth heavy. Instead of using electronic instruments to create an ambient atmosphere that feels like a surreal version of nature like he did in Person Pitch. Here, he embraces the electronic nature of his instruments in a more straightforward way while still making extensive use of sampling. But this is not without its faults.

While most of the album provides satisfying music, transitions and weak tracks hold it back. For instance, the album does not always feel like one continuous and coherent piece of music as some transitions between songs are abrupt and do not fit into the context of the entire album. Second, some tracks are very short and do not have any vocals. While instrumental tracks can fit into an album, these do not provide any additional meaning. They feel tacked on and do not add to the overall movement of the album. Thus, while I enjoy Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, I cannot give it a perfect score.

But how does this album reflect the music industry as a whole? PBVSGR reflects a very modern change in music. While electronic instruments have been widely used since the mid 20th century, the way people utilize them has evolved. When they first came out, people toyed with the foreign, electronic sounds, but as time progressed, people began using these instruments to compliment existing instruments by using more natural sounds. Music became more ambient and broke free from genre constraints. But music must change as the times change, and this decade is no different. PBVSGR reflects the music industries return to pure electronic sounds. It is unapologetically electronic. Although this movement is not completely new, it is beginning to reach its height. One can even observe it in today’s pop music. It is fascinating, new, promising, and amazing.

 PRETTY NEAT MUSIC

FAV TRACKS: Sequential Circuits, Mr. Noah, Crosswords, Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker, Boys Latin, Come To Your Senses, Lonely Wanderer, Principe Real, Selfish Gene, Acid Wash

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Davy Jones’ Locker, Tropic of Cancer, Shadow of the Colossus

Score:( 8/10)

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM: <em> Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress </em>

Canadian post-rock titans Godspeed You! Black Emperor have announced Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, their sixth LP and first since 2012’s Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!. That’s the cover above.It’ll be out March 31 via Constellation.

They’ve also shared a nearly eight-minute-long excerpt from opener “Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!”, which you can check out below.
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Here’s the track listing:

01 Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’
02 Lambs’ Breath
03 Asunder, Sweet
04 Piss Crowns Are Trebled

 

Also some tour dates!

04-07 Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle
04-08 Essen, Germany – Weststadthalle
04-09 Munich, Germany – Freiheiz
04-10 Milan, Italy – Live Club
04-11 Bologna, Italy – Estragon
04-12 Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks
04-15 Lyon, France – Le Transbordeur
04-16 Lille, France – L’Aeronef
04-17 Manchester, England – Albert Hall
04-18 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
04-19 Glasgow, Scotland – O2 ABC Glasgow
04-20 London, England – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
04-22 Paris, France – Le Bataclan
04-24 Dijon, France – La Vapeur
04-25 Winterthur, Switzerland – Salzhaus
04-26 Krems, Austria – Donaufestival
04-28 Strasbourg, France – La Laiterie
04-29 Brussels, Belgium – Cirque Royal
04-30 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
05-01 The Hague, Netherlands – Rewire Festival
07-04 Reykjavík, Iceland – ATP Iceland

 

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THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH RELEASES &quot;SAGRES&quot;; ANNOUNCES TOUR

Following the announcement of a new album, Dark Bird Is HomeThe Tallest Man on Earth, aka Kristian Matsson, will release his new album . Now, Matsson has shared the first taste of the album.  Listen to “Sagres” below. Also that’s the cover art below.
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He also just announced an extensive tour—find the dates below. This is Matsson’s first time touring with a full band.

The Tallest Man on Earth:

05-13 Northampton, MA – Calvin Theatre
05-14 Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
05-16 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
05-18 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
05-21 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
05-26 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
05-27 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
05-28 Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
05-29 Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
05-31 Washington, DC – Lincoln Theater
06-03 New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
06-19-21 Hilvareenbeek, Netherlands – Best Kept Secret Festival
06-19-21 Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
06-19-21 Munich, Germany – Southside Festival
06-23 London, England – Koko
06-24 Antwerp, Belgium – Openlucht Theater
06-25 Paris, France – Divan Du Monde
06-28-29 Stockholm, Sweden – Göta Lejon
06-30 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
06-27-07-04 Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
07-02 Gothenburg, Sweden – Pustervik
07-17-19 Eau Claire, WI – Eaux Claires Festival
07-17-19 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
10-12 Cologne, Germany – E-Werk
10-13 Berline, Germany – Huxley’s
10-14 Vienna, Austria – Arena
10-15 Milan, Italy – Alcatraz
10-19 London, England – Roundhouse
10-20 Glasgow, Scotland – O2 ABC
10-21 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
10-23 Manchester, England – Albert Hall
10-24 Bexhill, England – De La Warr

Watch the album trailer below:

BEST COAST SHARE MORE <EM> CALIFORNIA NIGHTS </EM> ALBUM DETAILS

Late last week, Best Coast  announced plans to release a new album, California Nights, the follow-up to 2013’s Fade Away EP and 2012’s The Only Place—is out May 5 on Harvest. Today, they’ve shared more details about the album including a California-landscape-based video for their first single “California Nights”.

That’s the album artwork above and the tracklist below.

01 “Feeling O.K.”
02 “Fine Without You”
03 “Heaven Sent”
04 “In My Eyes”
05 “So Unaware”
06 “When Will I Change”
07 “Jealousy”
08 “California Nights”
09 “Fading Fast”
10 “Run Through My Head”
11 “Sleep Won’t Ever Come”
12 “Wasted Time”

They’ve also announced a big tour. Find the dates below.

02-24 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
03-14 Phoenix, AZ – Downtown Phoenix
04-10 San Antonio, TX – La Villita Historic Arts Village
05-08 Atlanta, GA – Atlantic Station
05-10 Atlanta, GA – Central Park
06-03 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Imperial
06-04 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
06-05 Portland, OR – Alhambra Theatre
06-08 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
06-10 St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room
06-12-21 Toronto, Ontario – Yonge-Dundas Square (NXNE)
06-12 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
06-14 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
06-16 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
06-18 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
06-19 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
06-24 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
06-26 San Diego, CA – The North Park Theatre
06-27 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

 

Watch the album teaser trailer again:

 

 

"American Beauty / American Psycho" Album Art

"American Beauty / American Psycho" Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

American Beauty / American Psycho Review

Island Records

Released January 16, 2015

Genre: Pop Punk

Viewer Discretion Advised: To anyone who didn’t begin listening to Fall Out Boy until the release of Save Rock And Roll, this review isn’t for you.  This review is for those who appreciate the pre-breakup, un-bastardized Fall Out Boy. After this, there’s no turning back…

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.  Oh, I’m sorry Drake, Fall Out Boy isn’t a rap group?  Well, then I would like for someone to explain to me why they are co-headling with Wiz Khalifa on the “Boys of Zummer” Tour (which is the most flaccid AND cringe-worthiest name ever).  The duo plan on defiling 41 venues in three-month-long cross-country tour.  If you would like to buy tickets so you can stand outside and protest, click here.

Back to the main point, Fall Out Boy isn’t a rap group or a single rapper (I guess the name could be misleading). The quartet, currently consisting of Patrick Stump (lead vocalist/pianist/guitarist), Pete Wentz (bassist), Joe Trohman (guitarist), and Andy Hurley (drummer), hails from Wilmette, Illinois, where the original members were influenced by the hardcore punk scene in the late 90s and the sudden rise of emo/pop punk in the early 2000s.  

The band released four studio LPs—Take This to Your Grave (2003), From Under the Cork Tree (2005), Infinity on High (2007), and Folie à Deux (2009)—before taking a three year hiatus, during which a few of the members worked on other musical projects.  Perhaps, it would have been best to have stayed that way, but instead the four joined forces again in late 2012, releasing their fifth LP Save Rock and Roll in early 2013.

I must admit it wasn’t a complete bust…there were a few good tracks on that album.  Following this, the band released PAX AM Days (2013), a hardcore punk EP recorded in a few days at the PAX AM Studios in Los Angeles, a noisy tribute to their past selves that was seemingly made merely to contradict their new pop punk identity and misleadingly hint at a more roots-centric direction. With these two contrasting styles now at their disposal, I was hoping severely that their next LP would be a tasteful mixture of both pop punk and hardcore, like Panic! At The Disco’s Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013), but that wasn’t going to cut it for Fall Out Boy.

Thus, enter American Beauty / American Psycho, and let’s just say, this record is a little more “Psycho” than “Beauty”.

The album opens with “Irresistible” a.k.a. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us”, featuring a predominant horn melody gladly disguising the sadistic plea, “I love the way you hurt me baby, it’s irresistible,” as something a little less infernal.  If the words were different, the hook of that song actually wouldn’t be that bad, considering the way Stump tenderly pours the words out of himself and they linger on the air for a second.  Unfortunately, there’s this, which completely obliterates any chance of me liking this song.  The second song is the title track of the album, “American Beauty / American Psycho”.  I don’t know if their intention was to make a nursery rhyme, but the rhythm of the verses closely resembles that of “The Hokey Pokey”, a rather hokey feat if you ask me:

Here’s a quick quiz. It’s called, Guess the Artist. I’ll say two lines, and you have to guess which one is by Fall Out Boy!

A) You put your right hand in, you put right hand out, you put your right hand in, and you shake it all about.

B) You take the full, full truth, then you pour some out, you take the full, full truth, then you pour some out.

If you guessed A, you were wrong surprisingly.  Either way, this song just screams, “I’m an American idiot.”  Next comes everyone’s favorite dick ride, “Centuries”, which to me doesn’t present anything unique or original.  I won’t say anything more about this one other than that it contains the sacreligious line: “Heavy metal broke my heart”, which is quite contradictory since they owe much of their roots to heavy metal.  “The Kids Aren’t Alright” begins with a burnt-out whistle tune, followed by a rather boring verse, but then salvaged by a decent chorus (that I can’t help but think I’ve heard before…which is the case for most of everything on this album.  It’s very commercially oriented).  The Offspring trumps Fall Out Boy in songs titled “The Kids Aren’t Alright”.

“Uma Thurman” is a cool tribute to the beautiful actress, alluding to such great film moments as the dance scene in the 1994 Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. The song also samples the theme song of The Munsters.  This is the first song on the album to actually bear a hint of the Fall Out Boy sound, but only because it sounds like a rehashing of something off of Save Rock and Roll.

Despite that debilitating stigma of the album, “Jet Pack Blues” actually contains that genuine Fall Out Boy composition, with the subtle use of literary devices and Stump’s melodic choruses casually laid over gang vocals. This breath of fresh of air is immediately smothered by the fumes of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, or at least a discount version, called “Novocaine”, featuring an awfully repetitive melody and annoyingly noisy production…to be avoided.

So I’ve already talked about seven of the tracks on the album, and most of them are just commercially devolved tracks from Save Rock and Roll.  The next two are actually great steps forward in what Fall Out Boy should be aiming to sound like, although they could use more natural sound (this entire album could have just been Patrick Stump and a Macbook). “Fourth of July” showcases their experimentation with ambient synth pop (it’s very The 1975-esque) and utilization of their classic hook/verse/pre-chorus/hit architecture.  Equally refreshing, “Favorite Record” emphasizes guitar-driven, synth rock (similar to The Killers), a pleasant response to their song “Dead On Arrival” from Take This to Your Grave (2003): “Spin for you like your favorite records used to,” alluding to, “This is side one, flip me over, I know I’m not your favorite record.”

Unfortunately, this invigorating shift in the style of the album is ruined again, the last two tracks eradicating the likability of any part of this album.  Originally a single for the soundtrack of the animated motion picture Big Hero 6 (why couldn’t it have stayed that way?), “Immortals” is three minutes of Patrick Stump doing vocal exercises over some discount Indian recorder-solo and the instrumental version of “Centuries”. The final track of the album, “Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel In NYC)”, closes with a bang.  And I mean the kind of bang that derails the train that is American Beauty / American Psycho.  In this finale, Fall Out Boy makes sure to reprise every part of this album at least once with double the effects.  Needless to say, the song leaves a lasting impression of all of the worst parts of the album.

I once considered tweeting at Fall Out Boy, “I’m glad I’ve finished reviewing @FallOutBoy’s new album so now I can delete it.”  I might still.  I must say, American Beauty / American Psycho had potential at some points, but overall, fell miles short of reaching that mark, despite its cohesive sound across the album.  It has no particularly unique melodies or catchy hooks, and definitely should not have been credited as a Fall Out Boy album (at most, a two-part with Patrick Stump and Andy Hurley).  I just hope that, like Coldplay’s Ghost Stories (2014), this album was purely experimental, and that Fall Out Boy will return to making better music in the future.  Hope for the best, but expect the worst. If this album shows anything, it’s that Fall Out Boy has no solid plan for the future. And for a band, that’s psycho in its own right.

 

After listening to the album, I made an artistic reinterpretation of the album art.

After listening to the album, I made an artistic reinterpretation of the album art.

FAV TRACKS: Jet Pack Blues, Fourth of July, Favorite Record

LEAST FAV TRACKS: American Beauty / American Psycho, Centuries, Novocaine, Immortals, Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel In NYC)

Score: (3.5/10)