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Sunday, March 21, 2010

MGMT - Congratulations review

“Congratulations”, psychadelic alternative rock duo, MGMT’s sophomre album, is definitely a change from their debut “Oracular Spectacular.” Like they said, there is no “Kids”or “Electric Feel”, but elements of their other songs are there. “I Found A Whistle” sounds similar to “The Youth”, but better and more developed, while “Siberian Breaks is structured similar to “Metanoia”, but that song has so much going on, it’s easier explaining what isn’t in the song. I guess the main difference is the trade of Oracular’s infectiousness, for Congratulation’s superior production. The debut was a random mixtape, more or less, of catchy songs, compared to this albums cohesiveness. The first two songs “It’s Working” and “Song For Dan Traecy” are fast paced, toe tapping, surf rock, with their usual psychedelic twists. “Song For Dan Traecy” even includes a bongos! Unfortunately, the way the album is sequenced “Brian Eno” wounds up sounding like a overly quirky mash of other two though. A lot of the quirks do pay off though. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” is ironically a dreamy sounding (when you don’t listen to the death moans in the background) instrumental, with strings, pianos and synths, while the almost undisputed best song “Siberian Breaks” just keeps developing with every new sub song, until it’s utterly dazzling finish. The leak of “Flash Delirium” now makes sense and is probably the catchiest and subtly funkiest song on the album. I guess the glaring problem from this style change is that these are good songs, but their debut was full of compelling anthems for people. People could relate to “Kids” and the idea behind “Time to Pretend”, which just added to the catchiness. These songs kind of feel soulless, other than the finale, the title song “Congratulations”. It is the only time where Andrew Vanwyngarden’s vocals take center stage and easily the most compelling song here. The album is definitely a giant leap forward musically, but just as much of a giant leap backwards in everything that made Oracular Spectacular what it was. Take that sentiment anyway you want, personally I like this.

Listen to: “Siberian Breaks”, “Flash Delirium”, and “Congratulations”
Avoid: “Brian Eno” and “Someone’s Missing”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Billionaire Boys Club "Sapce Magician" T-Shirt: I Need This

As much as I hate BBC/Ice Cream, I really think this shirt suits me. Hence the name of the blog. Well friends... can anyone spot me a quick $80 :)?

Here's a link to handsomeclothing.com for details: B.B.C. Space Magician

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Daft Punk - Discovery: classics album review

This album originally came out in 2001 and though Daft Punk, the electronica duo, isn’t as ubiquitous as say Brittany Spears or Jay-Z, whose careers are just as long, you (John Q. Public) probably know of Daft Punk’s work, on this album in particular. For those of you who don’t know this is the duo responsible for “One More Time” (we’re gonna celebrate, music’s got me feeling so free… yeah that song… yes that’s a duo… no, none of them actually are singing). And to be honest, in the past decade, “One More Time” probably has gotten more airplay and club play in such a variety of places, whether it is a Top 40 radio station to the Rap/R&B station DJ’s mixes, than anything Jay-Z, Brittany Spears or anyone else that has been around since the ‘90’s, ever since the single came out. Since the end of last year, while all of the major websites were doing their best albums of the decades, it so happened this album was at the top of most lists, so I decided to investigate. Again, for artists who may not be the most household names in the U.S., a good chunk of this album has been in the consciousness of this country for almost the whole decade. “Digital Love” is a G rated vocoder laden love song, with warm synthesizers, that was made famous in widely popular Gap commercials, at the time. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” is a song with a simple mantra and distinctive symbols that has had it’s fare share of commercial exposure, as well as being sampl… rapped over by Kanye West in “Stronger”. Not to mention other songs like the “Aerodynamic” and “Veridis Quo” have also been sampled throughout the years. The whole album has a ‘70’s/ ‘80’s disco vibe and, other than the horrifically cheesy “Something About Us”(in an album known and love for its cheesiness), it is danceable the whole way through. However, you would not be missing out on much if you just downloaded the aforementioned songs, but I suggest listening to the whole album. If the whole autotune movement going on today, which probably in a way is a result of this album, or disco and other assorted dance genres aren’t your thing, you probably will not like this album, but the effect it has on pop music today is still very evident.

Listen to: “Aerodynamic”, “Digital Love”, and “Harder, Better, Faster Stonger”
Avoid: “Something About Us”…honestly that’s it

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Favorite Song Right Now

MGMT - Flash Delirium

It takes a few listens to really soak up the song. It's got the whole psychedlic pop vibe as usual, but it isnt as poppy as "Kids". It's really an odd song. I think listening gives it more justice than typing about it. The "Here's a growing culture..." is my favorite part.

Who Wants Some Whale Sushi?

So this high end restaurant is known for serving typically unusual animals, but the problem is that the particular whale found was endangered. Not that I support eating endangered animals, but I think it was more crazy that the feds discretely went to a restaurant, snuck DNA samples to test, like it was some Law & Order SVU episode, all for some food violation. You'd of thought it was some drug-related murder case.If there is any food that should be outlawed its turducken… that’s a crime against nature and common sense.

Here’s the clip on abc news

paste the url for the cnn article: since no one wants their links on blogger :)

sushi pic via http://partners.visitrenotahoe.com
turducken pic via:http://www.pinedale-transformers.org

Ludacris - Battle of The Sexes album review

So when I first heard the concept of the album, I thought it was Luda running out of the creative ideas seen on the preceding albums (Release Therapy and Theatre Of The Mind) and the “men vs women concept” was his way to make generic relationship songs, while still trying to be seen as “pushing the envelope”. On the contrary, rather than pushing any boundaries, the album sees Ludacris regressing more than anything. Though Luda still is capable of making urban and pop hits (“How Low” on this album is doing very well on the charts along with his collaboration with teen sensation Justin Beiber) and he still shows he has solid lyrics throughout, there is nothing on this album that I can see being played in a year from it’s single release. The album is nothing memorable, to be blunt. The first half of the album sounds like early 2000’s Luda, with typical strip club style southern beats that he hasn’t really seemed to have needed since “Chicken N Beer”. The only difference is Chicken N Beer sounds like an album around 6 years ago, because that album WAS 6 YEARS AGO. Other than “How Low” being a catchy radio song, the only thing on the album that stands out up to the 7th song is Nicki Minaj’s verse on the second single “My Chick Bad”, which is typical Nicki Minaj; ok lyrics, the same flow, and random voice switching. At least it’s memorable though. Honestly, the 8th song, “Hey Ho” really only stands out, because it’s a change in production style, with an organ loop, and Lil Kim sounding like Nicki Minaj. Or maybe it is the other way around. Honestly, Nicki Minaj is a Lil Kim knock off anyway, so I guess they should sound the same. The album really doesn’t even mention the whole “Battle of the Sexes” concept too much either. There’s strip club songs, songs about how his “chick is bad”, and of course the usual supposedly seductive songs, but there really are only 2 or 3 songs that actually deal with relationships “maturely”. The real battle of the sexes on the album is former DTP artist Shawnna getting shut up, not on the mic, but on paper, by appearing on a lot of the tracks, but not being credited, since her move to T-pain’s label. Take that feminism. Really the album was a giant leap back for Ludacris, but even consistency has to give in eventually.

Listen To: “My Chick Bad”, “Can’t Live With You”, and “Hey Ho”
Avoid: “How Low” (though it is pretty hard to now), “Party No Mo”, and “Everybody Drunk”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

DJ Khaled - Victory album review

So DJ Khaled is on his 4th album, “Victory”. Honestly, I don’t see why people didn’t think he would be successful, he gets popular rappers, puts them all together on posse cuts, with catchy hooks. He has shown through the years he has a consistent record of making hits, by staying to this formula. Unfortunately for Victory, its strength is it’s downfall. Not only does this album sound like every other Khaled album, structure wise, not execution wise (more on that later), but the songs sound pretty much the same on the album. Khaled albums are a whose who of Southern Hip Hop artists, but we know of his especially close connections with Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Plies and T-Pain. That in mind, it’s no surprise they are all back (Rick Ross and Young Jeezy with multiple appearances). Honestly, I am surprised that there is no Fat Joe or Lil Wayne, because they’re usually around too. What is still around are those drowning synths present on every Khaled and Ross album, that usually sound triumphant, but more often on here sound overdone. However when they do have that triumphant feel, it definitely works. The lead single “Fed Up” features (of course) Rick Ross and Young Jeezy, but now Usher is thrown in the mix, along with everyone’s new “Last name Ever, First name Greatest” rapper, Drake. The beat works, Ross and Jeezy sound at their best, while Usher’s hook really is catchy, and like him or not, Lil Wayne Vanilla is pretty infectious. I am disappointed though, because what Khaled usually is good at is picking good combinations, which he still is, but they are not used as effectively as in the past. “Rockin’ All My Chains On” features Bun B, Birdman, and Soulja Boy, however Bun B is the one doing the hook, and all three have a verse. I would think Soulja Boy would have made the same hook twice as catchy, while Bun B could have taken either of the other verses. Also, “Ball” Features Schife (…me neither) on hook duty, while Jim Jones gets 3 verses on the same type of production. First, why does Jim Jones have 3 verses, he rarely does a whole 3 on his own best songs, and Khaled could have gave one of the few non-southern artists a non-southern sounding beat. These songs aren’t even the low points of the album, that’s just the trend. The bright spots though are when the sounds vary, like the when the pace is slowed down on the title track that features Nas and John Legend and a solo by Rum, over a dark, menacing production complaining about wanting real rap back. In all, Victory is more of the same, but watered down than the last 3 cds.

Listen To: “Fed Up”, “Victory”, and “Bringing Real Rap Back”
Avoid: “Ball”, “Bring The Money Out” and “Killing Me”