Monday, August 20, 2012

Thursday - The Weeknd

This is the second mixtape release by The Weeknd. Now I was timid to listen to this, because I just felt like this one wouldn't be very good. I don't know why, but that's what I felt. I do like that the cover is very colorful. It is kind of friendly and welcoming. I feel very IDK on the way that this thing might be. I have listened to Lonely Star a couple times, I'm not crazy about it, and The Birds Part 1, which I like a lot. This was released in August 18th, 2011. I started this review on May 2nd, 2012.
  1. Lonely Star: This sounds like it would be a better quality version of a song that I would have heard on House of Balloons. I don't exactly how to feel about this song. I feel like this would be a song where I could listen to it if I was going to listen to the mix-tape front to back. And at the end of the song he says the days of the week. I don't think that that's a good way to start off a mix-tape.
  2. Life Of The Party: This song is just talking about, pretty much, how high he is. And is trying to convince a girl to join him. It's either that or she is high and she could be "tripping out" while they talk to her. The song actually does give you that feel of a song that would be a song where they tried to convince a girl to do drugs in some movie. The beat in this song feels "evil". Like I could picture, in a way, a part in a movie like Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite from the movie Across the Universe. I actually liked that movie and that was kind of an introduction to The Beatles for me. I'm not comparing it to that, but I'm giving an idea of what it is kind of like. The "tripping out" idea that I had kind of reminds me of Alice In Wonderland. This isn't amazing, but it's still a good song.
  3. Thursday: This has that House of Balloons vibe to it. I don't think that it is that terrible. Like this could be a rerecorded, better quality,  leftover that didn't make the cut for House of Balloons. Beside the idea of the better quality to it, it still reminds me of a song off House of Balloons. This song seems like it could grow on me if I give it a couple more listens.
  4. The Zone: This has this, I might be crazy but, reggae vibe to the beat. [:( ] Please don't kill me if I'm wrong. That's just what I got out of this song the first time through. Also the chorus/hook is "I'ma gonna touch you". So the ideas that come to mind are, is he talking advantage of her, is this "touch" mutual. I don't know, but I do like this song. It could have been on the last mix tape. I know I've made a million comparisons to House of Balloons but that is the only other mix-tape I've heard front to back. I have heard all of Echoes of Silence but in all in order. Also I guess Drake is on this song. I think that his rap is actually pretty cool. I like The Weeknd on the song Crew Love off Drake's 2011 album Take Care. I didn't like Drake's part on that song though.
  5. The Birds Part 1: This song is awesome, the beginning is kind of a build up. I don't think that it is a good build up though. It's not until the other instruments come in that it is cool sounding. This is a classic Weeknd song. I really love this song and the more I hear it is gets a little better. The instruments in the beats are sick. It feels like this song is a march and that he is singing this in with a marching band, but a cool one. I could see this being played at a big arena. I don't get the arena feel is exactly reached, but I could see this being a song that is played at an arena.  Thus far this is my favorite song on this mix-tape. There is like an outro where it is just Abel backing vocals and an acoustic guitar. I think that that's a really sweet ending.{9/10}
  6. The Birds Part 2: The song starts out with a girl making sounds. Not sex noises but like giggles. The guitar that is in the instrumentation kind of reminds me of Bang Bang by the one and only Nancy Sinatra. The song progressively builds up, adding more instruments and horns and move backing vocals. I defiantly see this being a part 2 to The Birds. There is a really high pitched voice buried in the mix for like a chorus, kind of like the Beach House samples on House of Balloons. You can hear him light up a joint in this song. This thing is actually growing a little more on me. He uses a some of the lyrics from High for This in this song.
  7. Gone: This kind of reminds me of the second part of The Party & The After Party. It also kind of reminds me of The Knowing. I feel like thoses songs are either fillers, or it's supposed to be like this is his high. The one thing I wish though was that it wasn't 8 minutes. This is the longest song to date that he has done. It's actually like of like a flip flop The Party & The After Party. The difference though about it is that it would be like The After Party & The Party. This could have been on House of Balloons.
  8. Rolling Stone: This has this Spanish guitar intro to it. There are also bongos and stuff in it. This is actually the songs that I needed after Gone. This song also has theses like beads in that backgrounds that make it sound a little like rain drops. The beads kind of remind me of something a little kid would make in kindergarten with the paper towel roll and the rubber bands and raw noodles inside it. I really like this song, but I feel like 4 minutes is a little long. There is this distortion that comes in at the last like 30 seconds and ends the song.
  9. Heaven Or Las Vegas: What I wanted was a The Knowing feeling to it. This song has this epic ending type of feel to it. It's either that or the fact that this is over. For some reason this song makes me want to relisten to this thing. Kind of like a repeat you know.
Overall I have to give this mixtape a 9/10. This album gives me this kind of theme to it. The same thing about House of Balloons. But the thing on this one was the shit went down on Thursday. On House of Balloons it could have gone down on any day of the week. I overall liked House of Balloons more than I did this one, though this has potential. The thing about Abel is that these songs are good, but they are best, at least for me, front to back, and need multiple listens.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

El Camino - The Black Keys

This is the seventh album by garage rock duo The Black Keys and I was kind of looking forward to it. It came out December 6th, 2011 (I bought the CD the day it cameout). Albums like that I have conveniently labeled "Bought on day of release". To be honest I wasn't really looking forward to doing this. I've been literally putting this off since February. I'm a lazy bastard, not really, but I'm finally doing this album.
  1. Lonely Boy: Either this or Little Black Submarine are my two favorites. The first time I heard this song I liked it. I thought that it was a had this Southern Rock/Blues feeling that you can dance to. I don't know exactly what band it reminds me of but the part where it says "oh oh oh" it kind of reminds me of The Stones in their early 60's days. You know, when they still did a lot of covers. I do though think this song is a song that it's hard not to like. The female vocals help that feeling of the song. I feel like I'm shooting myself in the foot if I say this, but I can picture like the Allman Brothers doing something like this. I don't understand why, but they just come to mind.
  2. Dead And Gone: I think that this is a decent follow up to Lonely Boy on the album. I am not huge on this song, but I still like it. I don't know what to think of the little chimes in the intro. I feel like it'd be better without them, but then again it might take away too. You know what I mean. But this is a simple song to get into and an easy on to like.
  3. Gold On The Ceiling: I like this song, but I think there is too much synth. Why can't it be more guitar driven or at least more dirty. I feel like this is trying to sound gritty, but it is more poppy than dirty. Like a cleaner version of the grit. What happened from Thickness Freak's title track to Gold On The Ceiling. Do you know what I mean. I do like the little part though where it says "I could never doubt you". I like the way the vocals sound.
  4. Little Black Submarines: This song is like their Stairway. The song starts out acoustic and then kind of builds. Then it goes into a White Stripes/Old school Keys/Zeppelin type of feeling when the song goes hard. i with that it was a though. Like there isn't enough of a solo to say it's like Stairway's solo. But the solo is probably realistically based on the solo in the classic Stairway to Heaven.
  5. Money Maker: Though I liked this song at first, it kind of didn't "wear off" on me. That actually makes no sense. What I mean to say is it didn't stay with me. I don't really like the chorus. I think that it's actually kind of lame. Not in a terrible way, just in a "they didn't even try" to make it good. This song does remind me of The Black Crows 1990 album title Shake Your Money Makers. I do like the way the Wah-Wah solo sounds. I wish it was more creative though.
  6. Run Right Back: This song has a groove to it and it think that it is pretty enjoyable. I don't think that it's AMAZING, but I do like it. I like the way the riff to the song sounds. It is a good song, but I think that it isn't as good as once I thought. I don't like as much as the first time I heard it.
  7. Sister: I really never liked this song. I don't exactly know why, but I just never did. I do think that it's a decent song, but I just don't really think this is a Keys song. This might be a stretch, but I could see people roller skating to this song if that ever came back. This has this unapealling Disco vibe to it. I don't hate disco, I really like some of Santa Esmeralda's stuff, and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack has some good tunes on it. But I much more like Grease, but not side 3 with Sha-na-na. Anyway, I think this isn't a song that they actually wrote, and if they did, shame on them.
  8. Hell Of A Season: This is another song that I don't really go crazy for. I think it's kind of like a knock-off, this is my opinion on the song (just to settle the facts), version of Lonely Boy. I don't know why, but I feel like it is just a reworked and messed around version of that song, with different lyrics. The solo is kind of Ok thought.
  9. Stop Stop: This song starts out with this distortion that kind of reminds me of an attempt at a Jimi Hendrix sounding tone. But not a good one. This song is a song that is not the band. Damn you Brian Burton. Why'd you ruin this song and other songs on this album too.
  10. Nova Baby: This is like a songs that I could see being on a sound track to some popular album. This is more of a novelty song then a blues song. I think it's decent, better than the last couple tracks.
  11. Mind Eraser: The riff in the beginning of this song isn't as cool as it was the first time I heard it. I do like the solo at the end, not a ton, but I still think that it's ok. I wish there was more for me to enjoy on this album.
Overall I have to give this a 6/10. When I first heard it it would have probably gotten like a 9/10. I used to like this a ton, until I heard some songs off Thickness Freak & The Big Come Up. Back before they teamed up with Danger Mouse. In fact, my least favorite Keys songs that I've heard to date were the ones I heard off 2008's Attack & Release, the first to have Danger Mouse on production. I do remember being told, from a bigger Keys fan then myself, that they feel like they kind of sold out with this record. I don't know, if I listen to this, unless it's front to back thing, I'll probably listen to tracks Lonely Boy, Little Black Submarine. Actually, I almost forgot about Mind Eraser. One of my favorite song by this band is on Brothers called Tighten Up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane

This is the sophmore album by psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane. I love this album cover. I think it's cooler in person seeing it on vinyl. Obviously the beautiful Grace Slicks is on the cover. I think that this is a good. And from what I've already heard, this is a good album. I haven't heard the whole thing, but what I have, I think is pretty solid.
  1. She Has Funny Cars: I am kind of wondering if this song title was conceived from a "trip". This is a slow song. Not like slow slow, more like a trippy song. It actually reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel 1966 album Sound of Silence. The fact seems more trying with just about everything going on in the song. Minus the psych vibe.
  2. Somebody to Love: This is probably, most likely, their best known song. I really like this song and think that it's pretty catchy. I like the way it sounds on vinyl than on that damn Forrest Gump soundtrack. I don't know how old this is, there isn't a bar code on the cover, but it's probably at least 30 years old. It sounds damn good. I think that the solo sounds really sick and a lot better with the vinyl crackles.
  3. My Best Friend: This seems like any old 60's "summer of love" love song. I don't think this is that special. Like Herman and The Hermits or Simon & Garfunkel. I do like like Simon & Garfunkel though. I don't get anything special from this song.
  4. Today: The beginning of this song reminds me of the beginning of the 1971 song Bargin off the classic Who's Next album by one of my favorites The Who. But the it goes into more of a harmony voice. One of the vocalist really sounds like Paul Simon. Idk. It's got a mellow folky feeling to it.
  5. Comin' Back To Me: This is the longest song on the album and has an intro that could be somewhat compared to Stairway. The fact that there is an acoustic guitar arpeggios and a recorder. That the beginning of that sing. The one thing is that It also reminds me of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album. This is a mellow song that I think you have to be in the mood for.
  6. 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds: This is what I needed to keep my interest. The album was kind of putting me to sleep before this. This has more of an up beat feeling that the last sing in side 1. This is a good way to start side 2. It has a psychedelic feeling I've been dying to hear from this bitch. I think if you like psychedelic music you'll like this song.
  7. D.C.B.A. - 25: The bass in the beginning brought my hopes up, but then the song came in. I don't know why but I don't care for this that much.
  8. How Do You Feel: This beginning reminded me if The Stones for some reason. It only lasted so long. But now that's over and I can't pay much attention.
  9. Embryonic Journey: This could be a Simon & Garfunkel cover almost. I do like that it's instrumental. A good break from everyone's voice. I only like Grace's voice.
  10. White Rabbit: The last song was a good interlude to this song. I like how it's kind of a break and then it comes back to this song. I love this song. This is a good song. I like how there are Alice in Wonderland references. I really think this sounds cool and so does the singer.
  11. Plastic Fantastic Lover: this song is ok but. Here is the thing. Damn, Grace please sing lead. Please... PLEASE!
Overall I have to give this a 6.4/10. It's got it's moments, some more quiet than others. I did not expect this much quietness to it. I think that it was ok, but wished for more moments like Somebody to Love or White Rabbit. If I was younger and more close minded musically then I'd be in love with these songs. I'm not even that old. But thats how I feel now. Even the beautiful Grace couldn't make me love this album.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Human Abstract - 2bit

Isaac Toews, also know as his producer/rapper name 2bit, is  . He has 12 releases in his discography, available on his Bandcamp page. This includes Remix albums, Eps, Albums and Singles. This is his latest release and it came out last April. It says, on his FaceBook page, that he's been doing this since 1993, and his first release, at least on Bandcamp, She, Him, Me, Them was released May of 2008. A quick mention, that is an awesome album. He doesn't rap on that album, but there is a woman singing over the beats. It kind of reminds me of Zoey Deschanel singing, either that or the voices in the beginning of The Resident's 1988 concept album God In Three Persons, I also suggest that to listen to also. It's probably the creepiest, for me, album I've heard thus far in my life. Back to 2bit, this is an EP and I will begin to review it.
  1. Stars: This has a beat that kind of reminds me of Aesop Rock's new 2012 Skelethon. That wasn't my favorite Aesop album, but I still enjoyed it. The beat wasn't thought as "agressive" as Aesop on that album. It was more of a mellow beat. This is a good intro to the Ep. This is a sweet song, it has this type of feeling that makes me want to fall asleep, but it is also kind of eerie. This is really good and I enjoy this song. It is also pretty deep. There is a voice in the background that is distorted and it's pretty cool sounding.
  2. Holes: Thus far in the Ep I have been able to kind of picture him as a type of Aesop Rock. This is really good. The beat on this reminds me of The Weeknd, but this guys voice is clean and not hear to hear, so to say. Like it is clear and not in the mix. This is a good songs too. I think that it is short, but it leaves its mark, for me at least.
  3. Monkey: I love the line, "Your attention deficit has to be paid soon, it's well over due." The way he has a poetry slam in the song, so to say, it reminds me a little of Jim Morrison of the legendary 60's band The Doors. I love The Doors thought some of their stuff I'm not as huge on as other. This is defiantly my favorite song. I don't know exactly why, but this song is really sick. It has a beat on it that almost, beside maybe the distorted guitar part, of Daft Punk. But maybe then again the might do something like that... what ever. The point it that he kills the song, and he uses a beat that very much reminds me of Daft Punk. After re-listening a few I thought that it reminded me of the set up of The Doors 1978 album An American Prayer. The song it most reminds me of is The Ghost Song, which has Jim's voice reading poems and the rest of the band wrote music to go along with it. I think that is a sexy song that I would make love to.
  4. The City: This song really reminds me a bunch of 2003's Welcome to the Western Carpet World by the Avant-garde Metal band from California Ballistico. I know I talk a lot about them, but I do like them. They were the only other band who released an album on Bucktan Records. The other one was Pinkly Smooth, one of my all time fav's. I think that he sampled Lana Del Rey on this song, because it sounds like her voice at the ending, right before the very quick fade. I said the last song was my favorite, this is a close second. The beat on this has a fat feeling for some reason.
  5. Little Bird: This song also kind of reminds me of Ballistico's singer Ben Stub who has released an album under his name on iTunes titled Whirlpool of Sadness in 2009. There is a squeaky voice singing the "hook" of the song. It kind of reminds me of The Weeknd exempt this is more clear and easier to hear the songs. That voice also kind of reminds me of, in the best way possible, Lil B's mix tape God's Father but the soft, and pretty songs. I like this guy more than Lil B and think he is a better musician/rapper, but I don't want to rip on Isaac. Just want to get that straight.
Overall I really enjoyed this 9/10. I was hoping that I could do this in one listen. That didn't work that way. Though it took me one listen to enjoy it, I had to re listen to some Aesop Rock albums to get a better hold of my thoughts on this. I honestly think that he reminded me of Aesop Rock, the white guy, not A$ap Rocky. And it's not just because he is also white, it's because of his intelligent words. I did download this free, thought it's pay what you want, as soon as I get the money, I WILL PAY MONEY for this Ep, and some of this others to. I suggest that you do the same. Wow I am stupid, he did remix the whole album She & Him 2010 debut Volume One. Hence the name. One last thing, thank you to who ever asked me to review this, I really enjoyed this. :)