“More Life” Drake


More Life Playlist Review

Cash Money/Republic Records/OVO Sound

Released March 18, 2017

Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B, Dancehall, Sad Tings Ay

Aubrey Graham’s first full-length release since early 2016, More Life sounds more like a continuation or addendum of the themes established in Views than its own living, breathing creation.  In short, Aubrey Graham teamed up with British artists Giggs, Skepta, Jorja Smith, and Sampha, and released “One Dance (Extended Version)” in the form of a tiresome 22 tracks, clocking in at 82 minutes.  The sad ting is that Views is just as long, and just as boring, yet he released More Life anyway.

OK, so I definitely just generalized the hell out of this playlist, but that’s all it is—Drake back at it again, being Drake.  This music is PERFECT for putting on in the background, even falling asleep to, but not really for listening.  The second that I try to seriously listen to “Free Smoke”, “No Long Talk”, or “Blem”, I can’t help but laugh.  There’s no question that Drake has sold out at this point, when he has to rip flows from small artists—listen to Xxxtentacion’s “Look At Me!” and then “KMT”.  He attempts to remain relevant, collaborating with artists such as Quavo, Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Kanye West, all of whom have strong followings in the world of rap, but Drake is still the Taylor-Swift-crooning Apple Music poster boy.  The one thing Drake has going for him with this playlist is variety, working the spectrum from dancehall to grime, even sampling Earth, Wind & Fire’s soulful “Devotion”.

Overall, More Life is not awful, but it doesn’t do anything special. If you like Drake, give it a listen, perhaps you will find a new reason why you don’t typically admit to liking Drake.  If you don’t like Drake, this playlist won’t offend you, but it would never come close to convincing you to like his music. To be honest, I like his music, and this is what More Life did for me.

FAV TRACKS: Free Smoke, Passionfruit, Get It Together, 4422, Fake Love

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Blem, Skepta Interlude, Nothings Into Somethings, KMT

SCORE: 5.0/10

Courtesy of Rap Up

“Sneaking'” Drake

Drake (Ft. 21 Savage

“Sneakin'” Track Review

Ovo Sounds

Released October 23, 2016

Genre: Rap

Before we jump into this review, this is the only track that Drake has released in anticipation of More Life that I even care to talk about. The other songs are awful and he’s beyond corny for going after Cudi’s mental health and Pusha T’s street credibility. “But Michael, you watch battle rap and those guys go for the low blows all the time.” That’s true, but Cudi is public about his battle with depression. It’s an awful look in battle rap to try to attack someone for something that they’re public about. From an ethical standpoint, it’s also awful to say someone’s dramatic for being public about their depression. Nothing else to say.

Drake is back with the hot and fresh struggle bars on this track. The 6 God has peppered this track with egregiously bad bars like “David Blaine last summer you had to vanish.” Aubrey has the audacity to meme like it’s 2007 on a collaboration with one of the hottest rappers in the game (21). This is proof that Drake’s entire career for the past year has been managed by Yes-Men. I’m not just jumping on a hate train;  I’ve enjoyed his music in the past. However, I do feel like between the forced dancehall appropriation (he says “Ting” in this song, too) and these ill-advised beefs, Drake hasn’t been on his game at all.

21 Savage drops another lean-soaked verse about randomly killing everyone. It’s not impressive but he actually sounds intelligible over this decent beat, which is rare for Seven Times Three. His line about being sexually gratified is humorous because it comes out of left field after the first three lines. It can’t save this track, however. Turn that 6 upside down, it’s a…

Score: (4.0 / 10)



UK electronic duo Disclosure have a new album on the way; it’s called Caracal and it’ll be released on September 25 via PMR. The brothers and frequent collaborator Sam Smith recently made a stop at BBC Radio 1 to perform their new track “Omen” along with a cover of Drake‘s “Hotline Bling”. Watch and listen below.

“Omen” begins at 2:15

Disclosure has also released a new song entitled “Jaded” which features the brothers singing as opposed to the star-studded features of their last efforts. Listen below


“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” Drake


If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late Album Review

Cash Money Records

Released February 13, 2015

Genre: Hip-Hop, Trap, R&B

*Our apologies for getting this review done late. Blame and bash on Alec Shea in the comment section for his inability to finish it*

If anything was holding back Drake on his last effort Nothing Was The Same, it was his unpredictable vacillating attitudes. Sometimes moody; sometimes cocky, Drake delivered themes of love, lust, and success with moody and uneven confidence. His latest effort, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late finds the artist rapping over some of the most minimal yet effective beats he’s come to create, sounding more confident than he has ever before.

The album opens with some of the catchiest tracks Drake has ever put out. From the seductive crooning of “Legend” to the absolute banger of “Energy”, and the party-starting “Know Yourself” Drake parades around this LP with a bragadocious but confident demeanor. That’s not to excuse his attitude for it comes off as arrogant, but for an artist like Drake it’s nice to hear him sound like he knows what he’s doing, exercising more control over his music.

Despite some average crooning from PARTYNEXTDOOR, and some tracks that feel like leftovers from Nothing Was The Same, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late is a good release from Drake, showing that the artist has grown from his So Far Gone days and is thriving on the success, riches, and reality that he’s been so brutally honest about in his music. Again, not bad Aubrey. Not bad at all.

FAV TRACKS: Legend, Energy, 10 Bands, Know Yourself, 6 God, Used To (feat. Lil Wayne)

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Preach (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR), Now & Forever

Score: (7.0/10)

Basic CMYK


Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place Zilker Park in Austin, Texas from October 3-5 and 10-12. The festival’s lineup has been announced.

Artists such as Foo Fighters, Drake, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, The Weeknd, Disclosure, Deadmau5, Bassnectar, Alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Modest Mouse, Tame Impala, Sturgill Simpson, A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper, Walk The Moon, Twenty One Pilots, Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, Leon Bridges, and Echosmith will be performing.

This year – once again – the festival will feature artists ONLY performing on weekend two this year, as opposed to all artists performing on both weekends. Visit their site to purchase tickets and more info on who is performing on which weekend. Have a look at the lineup (full one for both weekends on their website) below:


drake-too-late GB2014_Admat_ByDay_Web_8002


Governors Ball takes place from June 5 to 7 on Randall’s Island in New York City. Today, the Festival has revealed its full 2015 lineup. Drake, The Black Keys, Deadmmau5, Florence + The Machine among others will co-headline the festival.

Here’s the lineup:

Other bands/artists expected to appear are Lana Del Rey, the festival will also feature Björk, My Morning Jacket, Chromeo, Tame Impala, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Decemberists, The War on Drugs, St. Vincent, Hot Chip, Death From Above 1979, SBTRKT, Charli XCX, Flying Lotus, Conor Oberst, Little Dragon, A-TRAK, Future Islands, Sharon Van Etten, Twin Shadow, MØ, DIIV, Rustie, White Lung, Echosmith, and others.


Get tickets and more info on their website.

But what do you think? Does this top Coachella?? Will ACL, SXSW, and Bonnaroo come out superior? Only time will tell!


Urgent Letter from Co-Founders; Plus, Top Songs We’re Listening To

Dear viewers/ fans/ lovers of music,
As most of you may or may not know, Michael and I, along with some of our staff, are going through our senior year of high school. While this accomplishment is incredibly rewarding, it does come with its hangups.
We do love reviewing music and putting out the best content and news we can possibly give. However, school, college applications, and a plethora of other things have hindered us from doing so. Therefore, until next year (2015) , Pretty Neat Grooves’ album/track reviews and news flow will be less frequent than it has been.
We will try the best we can to review important releases, but as of now, our priorities regarding school, college, Boy Scouts, and scholarships have our utmost attention.
Stay Based and Stay Golden,
The Staff and Masterminds of Pretty Neat Grooves

For now, here are some Pretty Neat tracks that deserve your utmost attention. Please, listen

-In no particular order-

“Sea Of Voices” Porter Robinson (Astralwerks)

“Fiona Coyne” Saint Pepsi (Carpark Records)

“Go (feat. Blood Diamonds)” Grimes (4AD)

“Repine” Pianos Become The Teeth (Epitaph)

“Rather Be (feat. Jess Glyne) Clean Bandit (Warner Music UK)

“Back To The Shack” Weezer (Republic)

“Lines” Whirr (Graveface)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/164065008″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“Every Other Freckle” Alt-J (Infectious Music)

“Infinite Deaps” RL Grime and Baauer (Trap City)

“Say You Love Me” Jessie Ware (Island)

“The Lord’s Favorite” Iceage (Matador)

“Wonderful Everyday: Arthur” Chance The Rapper (Self-Released)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160999195″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“No Black Person Is Ugly” Lil’ B (BasedWorld)

“Blockbuster Night Pt. 1″ Run The Jewels (Mass Appeal)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/164041505″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“From The Kettle Onto The Coil” Deafheaven (Williams Street)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/164201039″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“0 To 100/The Catch Up” Drake (Cash Money Records)

“Spooners” Diarrhea Planet (Infinity Cat)
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158803793″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]



The Best of 2013


Of the 55 album/EP reviews we did, these are the highest scoring ten. Of course they’re all…”Pretty Neat”.

10) “Settle” Disclosure

91C4ByfzfUL._SL1500_A smart, hook driven record that can move a dance floor in any era; a timeless achievement that accomplishes consistency, memorability and audacity. Take it for what it is: one hell of a debut.”

9) “Jake Bugg” Jake Bugg

jake bugg BIG“Bugg’s raw, natural talent and skill flow like a Johnny Cash record in 2013: nostalgic, heartfelt, bold and magnificent. At this point, that’s exactly what it is”

8) “Yeezus” Kanye West

yeezus-new-cover” No one is making music like this anywhere, where else can you find an artist mashing together Nina Simone and TNGHT?!”

7) “Modern Vampires of the City” Vampire Weekend

vampire-weekend-modern-vampires-of-the-city “Any doubts about adulthood are brushed away and replaced with hope and promise on this coming of age album”

6) “Psychic” Darkside

DARKSIDE-PSYCHIC “Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington destroy the line between rock music and electronic music as they change the shapes, textures and sounds into imaginative landscapes.”

5) “Reflektor” Arcade Fire

130909-arcade-fire-reflektor-album-cover-art-cropped-hi-res “A masterful transcending of genre, Arcade Fire have cultivated a danceable yet introspective record; a magnum opus for a new age of music.”

4) “Sunbather” Deafheaven

deafheaven-sunbather-cover“A landmark feat in music that few metal bands accomplish: to turn music expected to be angry into something beautiful and leaving a lasting, sonic legacy in the process. This is what music should ALWAYS strive to do”

3) “…Like Clockwork” Queens of the Stone Age

like-clockwork-hd-2-626x626“A rock album that never hesitates to blow your brain up to astronomical heights”

2) “Get Wet” Krewella

Krewella-Get-Wet-album-artwork“The party shouldn’t stop and “Get Wet” is that polemic argument that keeps it going and going and going.”

1) “Is Survived By” Touché Amoré

Is_Survived_By“Introspective yet abrasive; challenging yet melodic, this is a band that took it to the next level through all the challenges. Well done.”


*Yes we are aware that the list is under par. There were much better tracks released this year. But of the ten we reviewed, here are the top 5.

5) “Rap God” Eminem

Eminem_Rap_God“Eminem’s speed and wit still maintains it’s fresh and appealing enigma after all these years.”

4) “I Can Hardly Make You Mine” Cults

cults-i-can-hardly-make-you-mine-new-song“Cults’ trademark sound gets stabbed at by semi-rough chords and it still stays dreamy enough to be called a Cults single.”

3) “Mankind” Doomriders

dooomriders-grandblood” A sludgy, dark single that progress and succeeds in finding the light at the end of the nightmare it has lingered in”

2) “Reflektor” Arcade Fire

Reflektorsingle ” A post-disco epic that climaxes into a tunnel of dance; a crowning achievement in their discography.”

1) “Hold On, We’re Going Home” Drake

Hold-On-Were-Going-Home“A single that transcends Drake’s musical range and yet he manages it to seduce it into his control.”

To Everyone,

Thank you for your support over these past four months. Honestly we never envisioned us making it this far. With over 28,000 page views and numerous followers, likes and relationships with record companies and bloggers all over the world, we’re still shocked at the success of Pretty Neat Grooves. What started as a simple idea from Michael and Jon, turned into something greater and as long as we have your support, we couldn’t ask for anything else.

We will return on January 13, 2014 with more reviews and interviews, more praise and criticism to fuel your eclectic musical desires. 2013 was a great year for music and we were glad to share our experiences with it with you. Be prepared for 2014, big things are gonna happen. Also thanks for putting up with our grammar mistakes. We promise we’ll be more careful next year. :)

We send our thanks to our friends and family, as well as Will Butler, Fevers, Gatherer, Deathwish Inc., Topshelf Records, Derek from Sub Pop, Got Wrong Records, 7stbaby, Hunter Hauk, Weebly, Stephanie Marlow, Throatruiner Records, Cruel Hand, Slingshot Dakota, Sleigh Bells, A Silent Film, We Are Twin, Noise Trade, Ray Ricky Rivera of Amoeba Music, CSR FM, TEAM and everyone else that gave us a chance. Stay gold.

Keep listening to music, keep searching for new music and keep expanding your musical horizons. But always #KeepItNeat

Take Care and Happy Holidays,

The Pretty Neat Grooves Team 2013

Jon Birondo
Michael White
Jimmy Merkel

Senior Editors

Jon Birondo
Michael White
EDM Correspondent
Drew Curran
Staff Writers
Jon Birondo
Drew Curran
Michael White
Associate Staff Writer
John Jackson
Chris Ayres
Jimmy Merkel
Michael White
Chris Ayres
Will Butler
Nick Eastep
Madeline Flores
Martin Flores
Noah Frey
John Jackson


“Nothing Was The Same” Drake

Nothing Was The Same Album Review
Cash Money Records/Republic Records
Released September 23, 2013
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B

Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, comes back with his third studio release, Nothing Was The Same. It’s true, because with a well-intentioned appreciation for rap classics, as well as an obvious but almost adeptly executed attempt at reinventing his image, Drake makes his best album of his career.This project opens up with the extremely flashy song, “Tuscan Leather,” which upon first hearing it sounds like it will turn out to be another overly boastful track over some high-pitch-altered vocals. However, Drake throws a curve ball at the listener; lyrically, he delves into his popularity, acknowledging his status, but not in a cocky fashion. Instead he acknowledges what is really going on in his career. He tackles everything from where he wants to go, to even acknowledging the idiotic usages of YOLO, informing the listener that those people misunderstood the message completely. This portrays a more accessible, realistic Drake, and consequently a more interesting Drake.

Even on the love-involved song “From Time” he does not alienate the listener with warbling saturated with sappiness and desperation, but paints a more realistic picture of love. He does not talk about ex-girlfriends finding the right guy, but the harsh realities of loving someone while being obscenely wealthy. His experiences parallel the trials and tribulations that relationships of commoners go through, making the song very heartfelt. His flow is very fast and passionate, and very good. Also, Jhene Aiko delivers a gorgeous vocal melody that compliments the simple and touching piano-heavy beat.

There are other love songs on the album that share the same good qualities of “From Time,” or at least have other good qualities that make up for the corniness. For example, the hit single “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” retains that signature Drake sappiness from past projects, but sports a fantastic disco-and-New-Wave-inspired beat, not to mention Drake’s much improved singing voice.

Drake shows that he can be a very respectable musician; however, there are tracks on this project that prevent the album from being fantastic. Other than Drake’s still-persistent reliance on unrealistic love affairs (for the regular people, at least) in songs like “305 To My City,” he still has songs about brag gin. Not as much, but he still does it. On “Paris Morton Music,” he talks about cars and the usual profligate imagery, and the nail in the coffin isn’t even Drake…it’s Jay-Z. Nobody wants to hear about how rich Jay-Z is anymore, nor do they care about how he says he’s wealthy. This plagues his music still, and I’m done with that.

The Pros outweigh the Cons on this project though, and it just goes to show that Drake can do it. He can be diverse, have good flow, and be interesting. He did on this project…but does he want to do it? I think he does, and he dabbles in the water of reality and honesty on this one. Not bad, Aubrey, not bad at all.



FAV TRACKS: Tuscan Leather, Wu Tang Forever, From Time, Too Much, Hold On, We’re Going Home
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Worst Behavior, The Language, 305 To My City, Paris Morton Music
Score: (7.5/10)