The Zeitgeist of Hip-Hop: Migos’ Culture
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The Zeitgeist of Hip-Hop: Migos’ Culture

Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, set social media ablaze with all things Migos on January 8th when he shouted out the Atlanta hip-hop trio and their single “Bad and Boujee” during his first Golden Globes acceptance speech. The big ups to Migos increased Spotify streams of the single by a staggering 243 percent and it didn’t stop there—Glover confirmed an upcoming collaboration with the group and proclaimed Migos “the Beatles of this generation.” Currently, “Bad and Boujee” is the number one song on the Billboard 100.

Migos, no strangers to the charts, have ruled the past few years with singles such as “Versace” with a feature by Drake, “Look at my Dab,” and “Fight Night,” but would the string of successes continue for the trap trio upon the release of their latest musical effort?

With much hype and anticipation, Migos released their sophomore full-length album, Culture, on January 27th with features from heavy-hitters like Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert and 2 Chainz. Upon listening to the album through, I could not help but notice the vocal seamlessness of Qauvo, Offset, and Takeoff—a melodic and literal representation of their growth since their 2013 mixtape, Y.R.N. (Young Rich N****s). Migos’ growth spurt did not leave their signature catchy hooks and undeniable chemistry in the dust, but played on these strengths and set the bar for the future of hip-hop.

Most of the 13 songs on the album feature a heavy bass line without sounding indistinguishable from one another as unique songs. Being said, Migos has gone from mastering the art of the single to mastering the art of the album.

The Migos, without hesitation, have launched beyond notoriety into superstar status.

 

If you’re bad and boujee, you will (probably) like these tracks from Culture:

  • “Get Right Witcha”
  • “Slippery (feat. Gucci Mane)”
  • “Deadz (feat. 2 Chainz)”
  • “Out Yo Way”
99 Cents by Santigold
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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.

Jason Collett “Song and Dance Man” Album Review
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Jason Collett “Song and Dance Man” Album Review

Jason Collett released his newest album on February 5th of this year. The album is his first since 2012 and is long overdue. Jason Collett is a singer from Toronto from the Broken Social Scene, an indie rock band formed in 1999. His music is classified as alternative but for some reason I see it more as indie -which makes sense because of the style of music he played while previously in the band. He has a really soothing voice and his album is great for when you want something with a little less noise.  You can see that he has changed since his older work but has managed to keep his signature style. The new work is a lot calmer and less eclectic than his older stuff, showing how he’s changed. His older albums have a sound very similar to a lot of other artists out there and the Song and Dance Man shows a lot more of his own style and uniqueness.

The album is very well laid out and the track order makes it into a whole story that transitions well throughout. The sound is very relaxed and mellow. All the songs on the album go together really well but are different enough to be sure to stand apart.

The album starts off with the track Provincial Blues. This track has an amazing backbeat (where the second and fourth notes are stressed in each bar) that is really unique to this kind of song. The instrumental goes really well with his lyrics and voice and isn’t too overwhelming which can happen easily to singers if they’re not careful. His voice goes really well with the music and it showcases his talents in a really great way.

Song and Dance Man appears as the second track and is probably one of the most upbeat songs on the album, along with track eight, Love you babe. Both are really great songs and fun to listen to. As most of the album consists of really mellow tracks, these two were needed to bring in a more upbeat vibe.

The last track on the album is Staring at the Sun, and is definitely my favourite. It’s really mellow but somehow upbeat at the same time. I like the track because there isn’t too much too it but there is at the same time -if that makes any sense. Its got a great style to it that makes it into the perfect ending to the album.

Overall this album is really great and definitely worth the time to sit down and listen to. I also highly recommend checking out his other albums if you like this one, as they are really great as well and have some amazing songs on them.

Listen to the album here.

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Grand Analog “Roll Dub Soul Rap” Album Review
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Grand Analog “Roll Dub Soul Rap” Album Review

Grand Analog released their newest album, Roll Dub Soul Rap (A Collection) back in October 2015. The album is a compilation of all their best tracks from previous albums, including Calligraffiti (2007), Metropolis is Burning (2009) and Modern Thunder (2013). They originated from Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the likes of The Weakerthans, and moved to Toronto which is where they are currently based.

Their music is mostly categorized within the Hip Hop genre but includes influences from reggae, R&B, rock, and jazz. Some tracks have a more retro vibe and others are more modern. The track order makes it flow perfectly, and it makes sense together, even though they were all initially from separate albums. The Album artwork keeps to the theme of their previous albums and is my personal favourite out of all of them. As someone who really values the artwork artists put on their work, I can really appreciate this one because I feel that it really represents the music they make.

Howl (Like Wolves) is the first track on the album and was originally a single released in 2013. It has a cool vibe to it and sounds really familiar in lot’s of different ways. It’s definitely the most “feel good” track on the album and I haven’t been able to turn it off lately because of how catchy it is.

Wild Animal Print is track eleven on the collection and has a really dope beat. The sound is great and overall really upbeat and makes a really great dance track. The song combines funk and afrobeat vibes and is definitly one of my favourite tracks overall.

The Great Rhyme Dropper appears on the album as track fourteen. This track shows off the skill and pure talent from Odario and Olfield and has some great rhymes. It’s got a similar vibe to their song Cassettes from the album Modern Thunder. Which is also an amazing song that you should check out if you can find it.

I was very concerned when I didn’t see People People  from Modern Thunder on the collection, as it is one of my personal favourites, however I believe they did a great job in curating the tracks on the newest album. It shows the diversity in their music and you get an idea of all the different places they gather influence from.

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Hibria- Hibria
Album Reviews/Laurier Loud
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Hibria- Hibria

I remember the first time I ever heard Hibria. I was discussing power metal with a friend, who then turned to me and asked if I had ever heard of this Brazilian band Hibria. While I knew the name I had never actually heard the music. He then went on to describe this concert he had been to in at some rundown bar in Kitchener where there had been about 10 people in attendance, but the band played as it there were 10,000.  About ten seconds into “Tiger Punch” I knew that this was a band that I was going to be in love with. All these years later Hibria is still a band that I have a lot of respect for, and make a point of following which is why I was very excited when I heard about the release of this newest album. I will admit that while I had no reason to be skeptical, I often worry when a band releases a self-titled album later in their career. I find that this can sometimes signify a lack of creativity as a disguise for going back to their roots (Dream Theaters latest effort comes to mind). However after starting this album it became immediately clear that I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

The album blasts off with “Pain” a wonderful fusion of Hibria’s signature speed and riffs with the style of Swing music. It was during this track that I realized that this album would be a reflection of where Hibria has come from, but also where they were going from here. The song has the traits of their usual style but it comes off as fresh and new, making it a truly interesting experience. From here the album becomes a much heavier affair than usual. The album is a little more stripped down so that each instrument can play its part. The riffs on this album take the front stage, excellently written and sure to make this the heaviest album of the year. They really come through on tracks like “Abyss”,“Ghosts” or “Fame”. These tracks really show Hibria’s clear roots in Hard rock, and how it integrates with their current sound. This doesn’t mean that the band isn’t afraid to slow things down a bit, the ballad “Life” brings some emotion to the album and proves that they can have a diverse sound while still being a very powerful band. All the tracks on this album really show Hibria telling the listener where they had come from and what they are about while at the same time pushing forward and reinventing themselves on their own terms. This really comes through on the last track “Words” which tells you everything you need to know about the band, and gives you know choice but to accept it. While I was a little disappointed that the album doesn’t quite have the highs of some of their earlier albums, that really isn’t what this is about and the overall quality of this makes it a way above average effort.

I said earlier that I was a little worried about the album being self-titled, but when it came to a close I couldn’t think of a better way to represent the Hibria name. It gave me everything I wanted from the soaring vocals to the amazing technicality, it does justice to Hibria’s past while at the same time pushing forward. It shows where they have come from, but also what to expect from them from this point onward, and after this I couldn’t be more excited.

-Danny Guts, Laurier Loud, Radio Laurier.

HibriaTwitter: @YoDannyGuts @LaurierLoud

Zac Brown Band “JEKYLL + HYDE” Album Review
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Zac Brown Band “JEKYLL + HYDE” Album Review

Three-time Grammy winners the Zac Brown Band are at it again with their 8th album JEKYLL + HYDE released on April, 28th 2015. This 16 track album is, in my opinion, one of the best albums they’ve released featuring songs with artists such as Sara Bareilles and Chris Cornell, rhythm guitarist for Soundgarden.

 

Their JEKYLL + HYDE tour starts on Friday June 12th and has a two night stop over in Toronto at my favourite venue the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on September 3rd and 4th! Oh and fun fact, if you buy tickets to any of their shows online you get a free digital copy of the album!

 

Just before I start, can I just say that I love this album cover! Coming from a person who, one summer spend three days, I repeat three full days, making sure that every song in my iTunes library had a piece of album artwork attached to it, I’ve seen a lot of album covers and I truly love this one.
ZacBrownBand

 

Loving You Easy just has such a light, fun loving, summer sound to it! In all honestly this has become one of my favourite songs to sing (yell) in the car with the windows down.

 

Homegrown is another favourite of mine. It starts out with a Bon Jovi-sounding intro then goes straight into that oh so familiar Zac Brown Band sound! Between the great music behind the whole band singing and the lyrics that make you think of family and friends hanging out at the cottage or at home over the summer, it is for sure going to be a ZBB staple song! “I’ve got everything that I need, nothing that I don’t” Can you say the same?

 

Beautiful Drug starts out very slow, kind of dark and a little mysterious but very quickly the pace of the song picks up, the bass comes in and the song turns into an anthem! This is my summer song for 2015!

 

Mango Tree featuring Sara Bareilles is a change to ZBB’s normal sound, it’s got an old time jazz sound to it. I love it none the less, for a band who’s staple sound is country, they some how pulled this off!

 

Heavy Is the Head featuring Chris Cornell is another song found off this album that changes up their sound. This song has more of a heavy metal/rock sound to it. Featuring the rhythm guitarists form Soundgarden, it’s naturally, electric guitar heavy but again they pull it off!

 

Tomorrow Never Comes is a special track to this album because there are two versions that have been released. The first is the original which has an electric sound to it but it makes you want to move! It’s got their similar instrumental sound but it’s been changed and edited.

 

The other is their acoustic version which is actually my favourite track on the album. You know those songs at concerts that every single person sings along with the band? The one that gives you chills to heard a crowd join in and not miss a work? That is what this song reminds me of, the acoustic version however. This is the song and version that makes me want to see them live, to experience that moment while in the crowd.

 

Some of my other favourites from JEKYLL + HYDE include, Bittersweet, Young and Wild and I’ll Be Your Man (Song For a Daughter) but if you listen to them you’ll understand why.

 

What I love about this album is that the band has their signature sound on so many songs but does a lot of experimenting with different techniques and genres as well! This is one of those albums that truly has something for most people! The band has found a way to reach out to different audiences without loosing or abandoning their original sound, like so many other bands have done in the past!

 

If you want to find out more about this album watch their mini-series that they did on YouTube “Behind the Album JEKYLL + HYDE”, it’s awesome.