Album Reviews

Album Reviews

The Morning After… The Weeknd
Album Reviews/The Morning Show
1 Comment

The Morning After… The Weeknd

the-weeknd-starboy-arrows

This week was certainly a big one for DJ O$AP and Goldilocks! As many of you already know, Starboy is finally here! Quite possibly the biggest musical day of the year for the two DJ’s, since their common love for The Weeknd is the reason this radio show exists! There’s been half a week’s worth of talk and debate about this highly anticipated album and you can rest assured that they were not disappointed. Eighteen brand new songs, with the exceptions of the four premature releases, and a single seductive interlude featuring the lovely Lana Del Ray. The Weeknd kept the feature list pretty simple with Starboy, but there’s no let down when you see the names Daft Punk, Future, Kendrick Lamar and a sneaky untitled feature of Sam Smith in the song Sidewalks. If you didn’t get to see the anxiety provoking teaser trailer called M A N I A that the Weeknd released just before the album came out, there’s a link below where you can check it out! It was almost torturous to watch short clips of his new unreleased songs just a few hours before the official album release, but the high intensity of the video clips in the trailer were once again, surpassed all expectations!

It’s safe to say that the music world is in agreeance that the new album is good… but how good? Does it compare to those timeless songs we heard on the album Kissland and the mixtapes from Trilogy? Well, after admitting Goldilocks was a die-hard Hilary Duff fan, and O$AP has been in love with Ellie Goulding since early high school, it was agreed that both DJs’ music taste heightened when they found a mutual love for The Weeknd. The early productions of The Weeknd are what defined their new favourite artist; his unique sound and vibe setting him apart from any other artist on the market. It would take a lot for The Weeknd to top his original work, and after much debate Goldilocks and O$AP have decided that they need more time with the album to truly decide if it is on par… stay tuned each week to stay updated on their debates!

Angel, from Beauty Behind the Madness is arguably one of The Weeknd’s  most original, ear-catching songs ever released. The vocals and lyrics of the track provided The Weeknd with an anthem that truly resonated with his fans. The biggest question about the new Starboy album is which song, if any, is able to compete with Angel? Thus far, Die For You stolen the hearts of both DJ’s but unfortunately does not quite measure up to the Angel standard. Though the track really gets those university emotions flowing, it just doesn’t seem to hit as hard as that heartstring-plucking anthem Angel.

It’s easy for the DJ’s to give their opinions on the album… but how is the rest of the world feeling about The Weeknd? Well, it’s safe to say Starboy is destroying the music charts and held the #1 spot in 80 countries within a mere 24 hours after release! Looks like it’s a lot more than just Goldilocks and O$AP that are falling in love with these tracks. He has taken over the music charts, claiming 18 of the top 20 songs!

On a far less important, but still awesome note, O$AP got a new phone! To end this week’s show, the DJ’s had a quick discussion about the new Google Pixel and the awesome new V.R. features it holds. For those who don’t know, V.R. or “virtual reality” is an exciting new technology that’s getting noticed fast. It’s a visual and audio experience that places you in a new virtual graphic world where a V.R. headset accessory allows you to interact with the simulated environment. It even has zombie games! Um, NO! Goldilocks and O$AP won’t be tough enough to play those games for quite some time. They’ll be taking the much more relaxing, scenic route for now… enjoying the simulated butterflies and calming lakes! If you want to learn some more and check it out, take a look at some of the links and videos down below!

Thank you so much for tuning in with us this morning! Have a wicked week Laurier, good luck to everyone preparing for their final exams and working on those last minute final assignents! We’ll be back next Monday morning! (probably still fan-girling over the Weeknd)

 

This Week’s Song List:

Starboy (feat. Daft Punk) – The Weeknd

Party Monster – The Weeknd

False Alarm – The Weeknd

Reminder – The Weeknd

Rockin – The Weeknd

Secrets – The Weeknd

True Colours – The Weeknd

Stargirl Interlude (feat. Lana Del Ray) – The Weeknd

Sidewalks (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – The Weeknd

Six Feet Under – The Weeknd

Love to Lay – The Weeknd

A Lonely Night – The Weeknd

Attention –  The Weeknd

Ordinary Life – The Weeknd

Nothing Without You – The Weeknd

All I know (feat. Future) – The Weeknd

Die for You – The Weeknd

I Feel It Coming (feat. Daft Punk) – The Weeknd

The Star Potential of Starboy (?)
Album Reviews
1 Comment

The Star Potential of Starboy (?)

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-9-15-03-am

Yesterday, The Weeknd released his highly anticipated album, Starboy. It is presently sitting at #1 in 80 countries. I have listened to the album cover-to-cover, and all I could think to myself was, “Where is the angst?” I only really saw a trace of this in the song “Party Monster.” I can’t deny that it is well-produced and that his vocal ability is admirable, but it is undoubtedly an album that is meant to appeal to the masses. The biggest problem for me as a long-time listener, I personally feel left behind. Before you think I’m just going to bash The Weeknd as an artist, I encourage you to keep reading.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-9-24-18-am

Why do I feel left behind? 

It is inevitable that people grow and change, but this change is a hard pill to swallow. The Weeknd made dark, seemingly drug-induced tracks that dealt heavily with young love, growing up, and teen angst. Sure, this is a sign that he is growing up, but even his last album The Beauty Behind the Madness still possesses some of those sentiments while possessing the ability to penetrate the mainstream music market. I have no issue with Abel’s mainstream success, but I do have an issue with what seems to be a lack of care to carry his Day 1 fans forward with him. The compilation album of all of his mixtape, titled Trilogy, really takes you on a journey into his mind. It features a plethora of slow, reflective tracks, detailing experiences with different people and different places. The realities of drug use and love are things that people of our generation can certainly relate to on some level. Even if you have just been asked to partake in drug use and you said no, this is still an album that you can relate to.

The albums Kiss Land and King of the Fall fell a bit under the radar, but they did well in a live setting. I had the pleasure of attending the King of the Fall tour in September 2014, which also Jhene Aiko and scHoolboy Q. It was especially a treat because The Weeknd performed everything noteworthy from the very beginning, and Oxymoron by scHoolboy Q was one of the hypest Hip-Hop albums that was out at the time. In listening to Starboy, I wonder how it will it will translate in a tour setting, when it is already so easy listening to begin with.

Overall though, I am very happy about the amount of worldwide success and recognition that The Weeknd has. It is an incredible achievement for him, and for Canada as a whole.

Suggested articles:

“The Great Gambino” 

 

Album Reviews/Concert Reviews/News/Shows/Gutteral Radio
0 Comments

The Pit – Back after a Short Reprieve

Heyo, Zack here, and Welcome to the Pit!

Things got a little hectic the past couple weeks, but I am back once more, ready to deliver quality programming to you!

Last weeks episode featured a song by a band, Aepoch, good friends if mine, playing some of the best technical death metal I’ve heard in a long time. You can listen to their entire EP on youtube, just follow this link:

https://www.youtube.com/user/AepochMetal

I spoke about James Hetfield saying some very, very dumb things, you can read those statements in full here:

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallica-james-hetfield-i-dont-know-why-we-waited-so-long-to-make-a-new-album/

http://www.metalsucks.net/2016/11/08/what-would-cliff-burton-have-thought-about-the-music-metallica-made-without-him-james-hetfield-weighs-in/

 

It is this moment, and opportunity, I would like to speak about the DAPL pipeline once more. I have been following the movement since it started, carefully watching, and what I see is more than just a native rights issue, I see a deeply infected, rotting democracy. Police, armed with military grade gear, clashing with unarmed, peacefully protesting Native Americans. The police accuse the protesters of being aggressive and violent, actions, and attitudes, I have yet to see emerge. I have seen many a cop, covered in body armor, carrying assault weapons loaded with rubber bullets, and  as aggressive as the eradication of Native American culture. I have seen the armored trucks, the wounded protesters, and the destruction of Native American heritage sites. These things I have seen are not common knowledge, in fact it appears to me that the government and media, intent on its “forward” march have done all they can to divert attention away from it. Fires have been purposefully set, and we are to believe, ludicrously so, that those who only tried to defend the land, and their livelihood based upon it, set those fires. The disgusting North Dakota police, cowards all, would have us believe the destroyers, the aggressors, are the Native American protesters. What I implore, what I beg, is for awareness of this issue, true awareness. This is exactly what democracy was created to fight, to fight inequality, to give voices to the majority, and the minority. Not all can make pilgrimage to the states to protest, to show physical support, but we can at least talk of it, and all the issues this pivotal, historic happening. Everything wrong with our society is being put up on display, for us, and the world, to see. If you can, please donate to the gofundme page, winter is coming, and with it, the greatest challenge the protesters face. This about the environment, protecting the drinking water of millions of people, and trying to make amends for the historic wrongs of heedless expansion our society has yielded. One day it may come, where it is all of us, standing as one against the creeping vines of oppression, seeking to corrode the foundations of society, and drag us to the earth once more. Until that time, we must find the way to unity, we must support each other in brotherhood, and we all must fight against the wrongs we inflict upon each other.

Thanks for listening, please keep watching, and never stop opposing those who would seek to take all you, all we, hold dear. Heres the link for the gofundme, send what you can, if you can, every bit I am sure, is appreciated.

www.gofundme.com/amodernghost

The Great Gambino
Album Reviews
2 Comments

The Great Gambino

Where does one begin when it comes to discussions of Donald Glover? He is an incredibly talented screenwriter, comedian, actor, and musical artist, amongst his dealings in other noteworthy areas. The majority of people would identify him as the actor that played Troy on Community, but he also co-wrote a number of seasons of the television show 30 Rock with Tina Fey. In 2018, he will star as Landon in the next Star Wars film. There is nothing that he can’t do.

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-3-35-29-pm

The Music

The first mixtapes: I Am Just A Rapper, Cul de Sac, EP

Although they are all very different, these three mixtapes are what put Donald Glover on the map as Childish Gambino. These mixtapes features not one, but two Adele samples, and as well as a full re-work of All of the Lights by Kanye West and Real Estate by Wiz Khalifa. Collectively, these tapes provide listeners with Gambino’s origin story, and how his career as a writer prepared him for a career as a rapper. He affirms the message that being an intellectual should not take away from his ability to succeed in hip-hop. Obviously, he was right.

Studio album #2: Camp

This is the album that brought us the hit single Heartbeat and Bonfire. This is inarguably the most beloved work of Childish Gambino fans, not only as his first studio release, but as something that they could easily listen cover-to-cover. It offers a little bit of everything, including all of the wit expected from a comedian, writer, and actor. Additionally, it encompasses a larger discussion about life, love, and pursuing the Arts.

Mixtape #4: Royalty

One word: bangers. If you’re looking for an unreal mixtape to play at the gym, this is the one for you. It features artists such as Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and Danny Brown, but he also goes in on a track with his younger brother, Steve G. Lover. See what he did there? I do.

img_3190

Photo Credit: Khadijah Plummer (the deep web tour: toronto; March 30, 2014)

Studio album #2 (and screenplay): Because the Internet

This second album was released in November 2014, and featured his first international tour called the deep web tour. I had the privilege of seeing his first of the two Toronto shows in March of 2015. Gambino experienced mainstream success with singles such as Pink Toes featuring Jhene Aiko as well as the ever-so-catchy 3005. Because the Internet is very complex album and arguably his least accessible. I only say this because the understanding of the overall message is partially embedded in the 70+ page accompanying screenplay (which is very hard to find these days). Luckily, I read it back in 2014. The “rich kid a**hole” that Gambino personifies both in the album and on stage is used to illustrate the collective struggle and problem of the Millennial generation. Due to the creation and perpetual evolution of the Internet, information is easily accessible, but our communication is suffering. Mistakes are forever, and feelings are fake. It is so easy to create a persona through the various social media platforms; we can be whomever we choose to be online. The consequence? Losing your true self in the process.

#ROSCOESWETSUIT

Mixtape #5: STN MTN/KAUAI

This fun-loving mixtape came out of nowhere in 2015, to bridge the gap of silence that followed after Because the Internet and its accompany deep web tour. Childish released the mixtape for free, because he wanted it to be accessible for everyone; no purchase necessary. STN MTN/KAUAI is a two-part mixtape consisting of 18 tracks. There are a great deal of ad-lib tracks, and noteworthy features and re-works. The track that had the most impact on my listening experience is Gambino’s cover of U Don’t Have to Call by Usher. This cover was further re-worked by Mura Masa and Elhae. It features soulful vocals in the beginning, and then segues into a spoken word by Gambino (and no, I don’t mean rap).

What’s next: Awaken, My Love! 

So far this month, two singles from his upcoming studio album Awaken, My Love! have been released. The album artwork (see feature image) is very eye-catching The tracks are both very soulful, showcasing more of Gambino’s vocal talent that initially emerged through Because the Internet. The tracks are very experimental, which in itself is a Gambino trademark. I find Me and Your Mama to be Pink Floyd-esque in nature, playing out similarly to the track Wish You Were Here on the purely formal level. The second single, Redbone, has a vibe that is reminiscent of Lauryn Hill, primarily in terms of the vocals. The album is set to release on December 2nd of this year. I look forward to listening to and reviewing this album, as it is shaping up to be another breath of fresh air.

A44 “all in the wrist”
Album Reviews
0 Comments

A44 “all in the wrist”

a44

With the rise of auto tune in the music industry, the hip hop genre has been a pioneer in the use of auto tune. However, it seems as though mainstream hip hop relies too heavily on it at times. Furthermore when everyone jumps on the train it seems less individualistic and more “basic”. So when a rapper receives a compliment for their auto tune, it means a whole lot more than in most other genres. All of this is to say, when I say “all in the wrist” had excellent auto tuning I don’t mean it lightly. The auto tune consisted of a combination of a high pitched and low pitched rendition of A44’s voice creating a sound that always kept me on my toes. A common theme for “auto-tune rappers” is to put in more work on how the track sounds rather than focus on the lyrical side of their music. A44 isn’t much different in that he seems to put more work into the overall sound and the production than his actual lyrics. However it’s not to say he doesn’t have anything that’s “catchy”. In terms of word play he seems to have mastered how to say words for lack of better terms; in a cool way. Overall the production was very mainstream, reminiscent of Toronto’s Tory Lanez it’s filled with claps and snares. The drums were perhaps the strongest part of the production which makes sense as A44 music is all hip hop. Overall I would recommend A44 to anyone I know. His talent is undeniable and his lyrics are the stuck in your head kind. The only real criticism is the lack of individuality or uniqueness which is needed to make it one of the most competitive industries in the world. With time and effort no doubt that will come.

99 Cents by Santigold
Album Reviews
0 Comments

99 Cents by Santigold

Santigold was an artist I had never heard of before this last week. As I sat back expecting to hear another mediocre artist, with mediocre music. I remember thinking how sick I was of all the terrible electronic music that seemed to flood the electronic music industry recently. Instead of playing the first track like I usually do I started the album, 99 Cents by listening to the 4th track, chasing shadows. The track started to play and the sound immediately captured my attention, as if pulled on by a puppet master I reared up in excitement because I knew I had stumbled onto something special. The album continued and my addiction to the unique sound of Santigold thickened. Then all of a sudden on track of number 6 I heard the familiar voice of ILOVEMACKONNEN who is best known for his track with Toronto’s Drake Tuesday. His melodic voice started the 6th track with a slowed down beat and he goes on to throw in a solid verse. The wave like beat then is joined with captivating voice of Santigold. Santigold also does a verse which sounds more Caribbean and reminiscent of Rihanna. However with that said it’s important to note that they seem to be completely different artists with different styles. Another track that’s definitely worth mentioning is track number 8. The song starts with what seems to be African tribal drumming in the background and the deep sexy concoction between the drums and the piano seems ever so fitting for Santigolds voice. As the album continued the brilliance continued and I started calling up some of my friends telling them about this new artist I had found. Some might call me a pessimist but I almost never tell my friends when I find someone new because I usually doubt they will last very long. However for the first time in a very long time I feel as though Santigold could be the next big thing if her album 99 Cents is anything to go on.