Saturday, June 6, 2015

Music Collective: vol. 33 {Musical Mid-Year Review 2015}

Music has been explosive in 2015, which is a statement that is certainly becoming redundant on this here blog of mine. It's honestly been like Christmas-new albums dropping every week it seems-since January that it's been nearly impossible for me to do full reviews at an equivalent rate.  I could fill up my editorial calendar for the next couple of months with album reviews if I wanted to. Briefly, I thought about putting out "late" reviews to give myself enough time to write a decent one, but I'm hesitant for a few reasons. However, I may still decide to do that. For now, I'll just share mini-reviews of the records that I've been listening to non-stop lately. I think it's safe to call this a musical mid-year in review.

Albums iLove: 

  • I'll Be Gorgeous When I Die - Carlitta Durand : Jazz vocalist, Carlitta Durand, has such an amazing, soulful sound that is so captivating. When I found out she had a new album out, I was overjoyed. She has been working very closely with some of my faves for a while, including The Foreign Exchange and 9th Wonder, but this was my first time hearing a full length solo project from her. It has such a cohesive artistic flow and I love the explanation behind the title, which I won't ruin, in the case that someone decides to listen. Love is such an understatement, but I love it. 
  • Urban Flora - Alina Baraz : Last year, Alina Baraz and Galimatias were on heavy rotation if you can recall from 2014 Musical Year in Review. From the looks of it, Ms. Alina will make the cut yet again for best albums of 2015. She has a very mellow sound that I can just drown in. 
  • At.Long.Last.A$AP - A$AP Rocky : As a hip-hop lover, I can always appreciate artist like A$AP, who have that raw, gritty element to their music that seems to be prominent in rappers from New York. This record sounds like vintage hip-hop, so in that regard, this was a pretty solid record.  Not all the collaborations were my favorite, because they didn't necessarily fit with the overall presentation, but I still liked the album as a whole.
  • Surf - Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment : This is such a feel good album with a very positive and vibrant fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop. Everything from the instrumentation to the lyrics from start to finish is incredible with a lot of great features. There were a few disagreeing reviews floating around and I kind of wish they did more with the horns and live drums in production, but I could definitely recognize the potential/effort. Also, it was a free release iTunes, so perhaps they knew about the shortcomings of this project.
  • Boy - BOSCO : Brittney Bosco! I can't explain my excitement for this EP. Because I've been following her career for such a long time, it just makes me extremely proud of her progression as an independent artist. To see someone grow from a local Atlanta performer and make their way to mainstream airwaves is pretty amazing, much like Janelle Monae. Back in 2009, I even communicated with her via Facebook in hopes to write lyrics for her, which unfortunately went nowhere.  Nonetheless, I knew it was only a matter of time before the world finally caught on. 
  • Bush - Snoop Dogg : As someone who has never been a huge fan of Snoop Dogg, although I listened to his music, I was surprisingly impressed with this album. It was something beyond my expectations. Stevie Wonder on the first track immediately won me over and honestly, I probably wouldn't have continued listening if it weren't for such an incredible way to introduce the album. As much as I enjoy this album, there isn't much to say about it other than it's awesome, solely because it has a really positive and upbeat dance effect. 

  • Still loving: 

    • Cherry Bomb - Tyler, the Creator : I actually meant to do a full review of this album. The creativity and composition of this record is highly impressive and exposed Tyler's talent on so many different levels, as he did write and produce entirely.  Essentially, he reminds me of a young Pharrell, as the variety of gifts he has as an artist pave a way for him musically. Anyone who wasn't a fan prior to Cherry Bomb probably wouldn't too much care for this album. There's so much sarcasm, satire, and hilarious cynicism-all of which I find to be amusing-that the average listener wouldn't immediately catch on to. 
    • B4.Da.$$ - Joey Bada$$ : {Yet another album I intended to write a full review on as I mentioned passively H E R E.} For this to be a debut record, Joey Bada$$ made really stamped his territory as a notable young MC in modern hip-hop with this one.  Prior to the release of this particular album, he was always extremely consistent, topically versatile, and forthcoming with his talent on previous mix tapes, as well as on collaborations with other hip-hop figures.  Even though the production team of this album definitely made a difference in sound quality and although his rap style is heavily influenced by old school hip-hop, he was absolutely the stand-out element; nothing outshines him on this album, which is how it should be, in my opinion.  This album was pretty epic and I believe there is still so much room for growth on the coming projects.

    Full Reviews:

    • Tetsuo & Youth - Lupe Fiasco
    • To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar


    What music have you been loving so far this year? No such thing as too much music! I love it when you guys introduce me to songs and artist I've never heard of before, so please leave all your recommendations in the comment section. 


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