Gucci Mane // Lil Uzi Vert // Strawberry Sounds// Young Thug

Artist: Gucci Mane

Album: Everybody Looking

Listen to: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!, 8, 12, 13, 15

Gucci has come a long way from the kitchen. Upon his prison release and massive weight loss last summer, rumors and memes spread like wildfire about a government conspiracy that replaced Gucci with a look-alike clone.

Clone or not, this sounds real Gucci (fake gucci example). The laid-back trap god is oozing sauce from track one (“No Sleep”).

There is a Drake feature on the third track explaining why “Drake” means “dragon” in Magic: the Gathering.

this is an image

The flute on this is lowkey flame enough to play Song of Time.

In “Waybach” Gucci flaunts that effortless swag we’ve been missing (shouts out Zaytoven for producing the majority of the beats here).

“P**** Print” features Kanye West. Gucci floats this so well, I started to get worried for Kanye. Things went from looking dark, to stupid good. Kanye needs that “in sauna, in the bathroom, at cha mama’s…” and other places as well.

If you aren’t feeling this album by now, keep bumpin that Salem, that good good from 2010 ‘naw mean?

“First Day out the Feds” has a lit beat, but Gucci’s delivery on the track is still not doing it for me.

In “All My Children”, Gucci claims every rapper nowadays is his child, like he really is part of the trinity. Plus, he is endearing about it instead of calling them posers or lames.

this is an image

Genre: Trap

—–

Artist: Lil Uzi Vert

Album: The Perfect LUV

Another solid tape by XXL class of 2016, Lil Uzi Vert. New flows and stunning production. Mediocre lyrics, no “Money Longer” (though he references it more than once). Sample used in “Erase Your Social,” one of the better songs on the tape, was toned down from where I last heard it (“BLACKROS3S” by Cold Hart ft. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, from “GOTHICK” album). Could of done without Future on “Seven Million,” the closing track to the album.

All in all, this is really one of his best tapes yet. He sounds comfortable with himself, and he doesn’t resort to graphic sexual imagery as much as in his previous “LUV” releases. To put it in perspective for those who haven’t heard of him, this album is like what “Graduation” is for Kanye, or “Slime Season 3” is for Thugger. It feels like a completion of a trilogy. Though another LUV tape may come out, we will see.

Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8!

Genre: Hip Hop

—–

Artist: Strawberry Sounds

Song: Sad Spells (Demo)

This is the first song from my buddy JP’s band, Strawberry Sounds. I believe he started this rather spontaneously over Facebook with some of his local Floridians.

Anyway, he put this up on bandcamp for free not long ago with lyrics which I appreciate. If you’re a fan of Coheed and Cambria, Tigers Jaw, CHON, Hawthorne Heights, or anything that exists in the ballpark of those bands, this should be worth your while.

The sound is vocal harmonies, lofi charm, noodling guitar riffs, and bass and drum bumps. Then distorted chugs come in followed by a warm synth that serves as a nice buffer between the damaged emotions in the screamed lyrics. A contrasting vocalist foils the screamer until they trade holographics.

Genre: Emotional Hardcore

—–

Artist: Young Thug

Album: No, My Name Is Jeffery

The fleekiest compilation of music in today’s existence.

Listen to: all, but especially 1, 2, 5!, 6, 7, 8!, and 9

All songs are named after his biggest influences. (R.I.P. Harambe)

Starts off with a offbeat guitar lick that is an ode to Haitian artist Wyclef Jean. Gunna and Thugger doing adlibs makes a perfect combo in “Floyd Mayweather.” Gucci has a short, but good verse and Travis Scott has a long weak one. Thankfully, Gunna and Thugger come back in and save the song.

“Swizz Beats” is a love song dedicated to his favorite producer. “Future Swag” is definitely a shout out to Atlanta rapper Future, you can tell as soon as you hear the flow. These two tracks are similar in that they employ Young Thug’s favorite lyrics.

“RiRi” is of course a song inspired by Rihanna. The beat turns up ever so simply and Thugger scoots into the classic reiteration.

“Guwop” in case anyone did not know, is a pseudonym of Gucci Mane. It also means money. This song is like a cross of “Wyclef Jean” and “Floyd Mayweather” in that it employs a guitar line as the main melody, but this time it’s more post-rock in that its just swells and progresses on with features. Quavo’s verse is this song is the best thing I’ve ever heard from him, I’m done hating.

The emotions unravel from here. “Harambe” is about family and violence. Young Thug sounds on the border of tears the whole track. He goes all out, and really gets his message across.

“Webbie” features Duke, and if you’ve been listening to Young Thug for awhile now, you know that when Young Thug and Duke are in the same room, magic happens. Almost every variety of vocal inflection is used here before Duke even appears. Duke really gives his appreciation to Thugger for bringing him with him on the ride to fame.

“Pop Man/Kanye West” is the most beautiful song I’ve heard this year. It has so much soul, it could be on “Lion King 3.” I am convinced. From this day forward I will never use the words young, thug or thugger to refer to Jeffery Lamar Williams.

Genre: Jeffery

Rooney “Washed Away”, Icarus Line “All Things Under Heaven”, We Are Scientists “TV en Francias”, Iggy Pop “Post Pop Depression” REVIEWS

Rooney – Washed Away
Rec. 2,4,7
Res. none

As one of a couple of Weezer-influenced California power pop bands with a Schwartzman as a founding member, Rooney has upped their sunshine game in this latest release.  If the consistent nods to the Beach Boys throughout the record don’t convince you it’s time for fun in the sun, just stare at the board shorts pattern cover for a while.  There’s also some 80s meets modern pop stuff (think Walk the Moon), some Cardigans-style vocals, and some pub rock antics that conjure the Fratellis mixed into the formula this time around.  Despite strong moments up front, the pool party companion record begins to trail off and ultimately just makes you nostalgic for their hyper-catchy 2003 debut (and “All the Beautiful People” just might make you wish you were listening to Marilyn Manson).

 

Icarus Line – All Things Under Heaven
Rec. none
Res. 1,5
A soundtrack to the worst acid trip ever, they’re almost daring college radio DJs ‘please try to play any of these songs on the radio.’ They sound like an evil bizarro version of the Pixies over a backdrop of industrial mechanistic grind, existing in a world where melody and song structure are secondary to chaos and general awfulness.  “All Things Under Heaven” is a deeply unsettling sermon about the virtue of slaughtering your fellow man that would border on irresponsible to put on the radio.  The Talking Headsy groove of “Incinerator Blue” might be worth a radio spin if not for the 4.5-minute intro with sinister distorted vocals over ambient noise, making their most musical song a bit of a fuck you.  “Millennial Prayer” is a fuck you to anyone born after 1980. “Solar Plexus” seems like it’s meant as a cruel practical joke with quiet Violent Femmes-style vocals that compel the listener to raise the volume before being punished with a violent assault of sonic chaos that increases the volume by a factor of 20—a veritable fuck you to anyone with ears.  It’s actually worth a private listen just to see if they can get their evil inside of you.

 

We Are Scientists – TV en Francais
Rec. 2,8
Res. none
A fun, quirky dance punk band from a decade ago has become a middling alt-rock band.  Oddly, they remind me of the Rembrandts, a band best known for the Friends theme song “I’ll be there for you.”  The Rembrandts were pretty mediocre but once in a while they stumbled onto a killer pop hook.  Relegated to that role, We Are Scientists occasionally hits the mark, but overall they make you question why they still exist as a band.  Unfortunately, they’re not saying anything and they’re not doing anything special.

 

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

Rec. 1-5
Res. 8,9

In the year that David Bowie left us, Iggy Pop’s latest is a fitting tribute to the Bowie-in-Berlin era that gave us Iggy’s Lust for Life.  With Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age adding background vox, it feels almost like Bowie’s specter is perched right behind the architect of Motown proto-punk as he contemplates his own mortality. While his lyrics conjure the dying of the light, his well-preserved voice nestles well into Homme’s signature desert rock sound.  Last year’s Stooges album felt pretty juvenile for a geezer with a legacy like Iggy, so this is a breath of fresh from one of the most distinct voices in the history of rocknroll.  Bottom line: it’s totally sweet.

 

Milk Lines “Ceramic” Review

KSUA Music Review Form

Reviewer: Will Swanson

759718528220_mainDate: 4/17/16

Artist: Milk Lines

Album: Ceramic

Rec’d Tracks: 10, 6, 3

Restricted:

Comments: Garage rock with a lot of different

influences. A little bit psychedelic/jam sounding at

times, they mostly stick to county-style

footstompers recorded in their garage, and probably

bring whiskey onstage live.

Genre: garage rock

Review of Rihanna’s “Anti”

Just a heads up.

I f*** with Rihanna.

So don’t think I’m playing around when I’m writing this up.  (KSUA has been notoriously anti-Top 40 since the 90s, so covering Rihanna whose at #1 right now turns us on our heads.)

Rihanna’s been showing off how little she cares in the press and working with semi-underground artists for her newest and well- anticipated album, “Anti”.

The standout single, “Work” is no more challenging than “808s and Heartbreaks” is today after this “Indie” sound has become undistinguishable from mainstream hip-hop and club music.

As for the rest of the album, there a vibes of neo-soul, trap bangers and old-school Rihanna ballads.

The electric guitar on “Kiss It Better” is obnoxious and sounds displaced like the one in Sosa and Ye’s “I Can’t Hold My Liquor” from 2013.  The acoustic guitar, however, allows Rihanna to really let out her emotions in the track “Never Ending”.

“Woo” is further proof that Rihanna and Travis Scott are dating for those who care.  “Desperado” is one of the least interesting songs on the record for sure.

What would we do without DJ Mustard.  The man delivers a brooding bass track with filtered vocal cuts and Rihanna morphs into the next FKA Twigs.

“Same Ol Mistakes” is a must hear.  Its produced by the frontman of Tame Impala for those who don’t know.  Ah, now your hear it… oh yeah.

“Goodnight Gotham” is the most out there song instrumentally, and “Sex With Me” for those who listen to the bonus tracks is the most out there lyrically.

Lastly, “Pose” is the closest jam to “B***** Better Have My Money”, and I am so tired of “Work”.

Work, work, work, work, work, work
Hesaimehaffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!
Heseemedomi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
Someputini
Work, work, work, work, work, work

 

 

 

 

Interview with Miles Farewell

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.02.11 PMFrom bandcamp, “The debut mixtape of Miles Farewell! 16 tracks of introspection and angst with a bit of humor sprinkled in to light the mood”.  I wish I could say it better.  Listen to this album, and you will find out that Miles is very honest and real.  Being his debut, some of the ideas sound rough around the edges, but altogether form a cohesive narrative summarized by the borders on the album’s artwork.Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.02.05 PM

Favorite Tracks:  1, 3, 5, 7!, 9,  10!, 12, 15!!, 16

A: What was the inspiration for your album, “Habitual Quitter: I Am Not An Adult”?

M: Intense self-loathing basically. I was very unhappy with where I stood as an artist and was driven to have something of mine to truly offer. This album stands testimony to that and gives off something of an “eager” vibe. At times you can really hear the determination to move ahead even though there’s no direction aside from what I’m giving myself.

A: I could hear that, especially in “Atychiphobia” and “My Calling“. Overall, I would say the album feels very complete. With the intro and outro especially. I first heard you on Mona Lisa’s “IDK IM HAIGH”. What made you decide to pursue being a vocalist as well?

M: Oh yeah I remember that song. Made the beat back in 2011 when I was using fl studio. Those were the days. Shouts out Triniti (that’s her new name) being a vocalist was something I had always wanted to do but would sometimes shy from it as a confidence issue. I started rapping with my friend Dante (who has gone by Deezerific Vitamins and Dankte) after our garage rock duo split up but I was always kind of more in the background with that. At least maybe that’s how it felt. Him and our friend Michael (rap name Michael Seuss) encouraged me to rap more and do projects of my own. Big ups to them for that.

A: Ah I see their names now in the thanks section on your bandcamp. You are Dior Sentai?

M: Yeah that’s our crew. we are a team of like-minded who enjoy making music and grew up watching anime and all that good stuff<3

A: I love anime. Manga as well. Is Yung Salad a part of that? Also, whose girl was sending you ‘such mean things’ in “#UHurtinMeGurl“?

M: Yung salad is not a member but he is a close affiliate. he hit me up and someone who enjoys our music and was interested in collaboration. We’ve been friends and working closely ever since. He’s inactive at the moment but that could change at anytime… as for the girl of #UHurtinMeGirl, she is thankfully just a mixture of unpleasant experiences I’ve had with both exes and girls I never made anything official with. I try not to make songs about one specific person on the off chance that they listen to it and get embarrassed. Hah.

A: Haha good thinking. I will stay tuned for some tunes from Yung Salad. Last question, is is you playing guitar on “dec 23rd, 2015”?

M: The guitar is the work of Lautlos, another member of Dior Sentai. We dropped a rare track from him as a part of our weekly premiere series, #SENTAISUNDAYS

Sorry readers for wasting a perfectly good opportunity to ask him if I could join Dior Sentai.  It turns out my final question was already answered here ->Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 7.30.36 PM

Review of Yung Lean’s “Warlord”

Opener is good.  Its a little sesh or schemaposse by way of guitar melancholia.

Mike Dean and Karman are some new producers.  Gud and Sherman are collabbing.

Sherm and Gud dish out an impressive beat on “Fantasy” which has a new guy named Lil Flash.

“Afghanistan” is about Afghan kush.  We get to hear Whitearmor on the beat with Yung Gud.

“Hoover” is different than anything Yung Lean has done before, unlike the rest of this album.

“Fire” is the most floating.

“Eye Contact” feels slopped on.  Its one of Lean’s slowest in delivery, but the s/o to his enemies was real nice of him.

“More Stacks” reminds me of the transition from ‘Unknown Death’ to ‘Unknown Memory’, where Lean is trying to be a better singer, and production is branching out with new techniques.

The build into the last chorus of “AF1s” is pretty good.  Unfortunately Ecco2k’s verse wasn’t very impressive.  It was on par with Bladee’s in “Highway Patrol”, but both have done better in their solo material.

“Hocus Pocus” has distorted vocals and the most energy since “Hoover”, but less brooding, more uplift.  Bladee is very classic and sincere.  I actually love his voice in this one.

“Shawty U Know What It Do” is  super saiyan.

Yung Leandoer goes really hard on “Miami Ultras”.  This is no chill.  The distortion make the lyrics blurry, as well as the delay.

I don’t give a mutherfack, watchin Star Wars smokin pot!

Beat Happening – “Look Around” Review

Lyricly driven lofi sound.  Both male & female vocalists switch off.  Vocals are a bit droning, but tell good stories with a variety of musical styles.

Zoe recommends: Indian Summer (8), Hot Chocolate Boy (17), Godsend (20)

 

My Bloody Reviews

Keezy & Sk8 God – “Departure To…”

Keezy of the Sky Division is a rapper based out of Anchorage, who like most Alaskan hip-hop artists, has had to go out of state to seek out a demographic that supports their music.  For Keezy this was Seattle, and we learn that in the first track, “Arrival”, which is an audio recording of his landing in the Sea-Tac airport.  “City on my Back” (feat. Peydey).

Peydey isn’t in the documentary video, but his verse has plenty of lyrical skill and speed worth mentioning.  Like the praised “Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City”, which told a story about Kendrick Lamaar’s childhood, “Departure To…” tells a story of the very time it is taking place in, with its snippets of conversation and new experiences.  “The Good Life” touches on warm temperatures and gives a shout out to his friends back home, doing work on the slope.

“Fill in the Blank” features retired Alaskan rapper Josh Boots, who became a realtor, father and husband after traveling to New York to record with producer RAWBEATZZ.  The arctic flow is there, with lyrics about economic reality, being white and whiskey.  When rapping about cooking, it vibes stronger with Action Bronson than Lil B.

“Harvest” has a sweet r&b vocal sample with classic boom-bap beat production.  How Keezy doesn’t know what would happen were he to fail in his pursuit of a rap career, but that he won’t lose faith simply because others are quitting.  How he has unfulfilled promises to his mother, and won’t stop working until he does.

Genre: AK hip-hop

ZAYN- “Pillowtalk” [single]

Zayn Malik, who disbanded from One Direction, is now taking on college radio with his new single “Pillowtalk”.  Its something like Justin Timberlake doing his own thing after N’SYNC.  A little dirtier and somewhat one-dimensional.  Best of luck to him and Shahid Kahn (Naughty Boy) in working this sound into something worth listening to (not recommended).

Genre: Slow Pop

『Drip Drop』 – “メカMECHA DREAMS   “

“◎◙◎ N.E.R.V. after hours ◎◙◎” is total bliss.  Chrono Trigger piano, Vocals sung in Japanese,  streaming water samples takes off with a live drum take and elevates until its dripping by the end.

“◌⚔◌ Gurren lagann ◌⚔◌ ” opens with anime dialogue and heavy bass drops in before being squeezed into a lofi filter and erupting its way out in key change.

“RX-78 ” stands out from the other songs on this EP, with its doo wop melodies that get industrialized with metallic chimes.  The tone is somewhere between Gundam Wing and Cowboy Bebop, but with a touch of Nujabes.

“❤☒☒ No Life ❤☒☒” is exactly what the song title implies.

 

Genre: Future Beats

Iggy Pop – “Gardenia” [single]

Iggy Pop is coming back with another album tiled “Post Pop Depression”.  He has recruited Josh Homme (of Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age [QOTSA], Eagles of Death Metal, and more) to play guitar, bassist of QOTSA (Dean Fertita), and Arctic Monkey’s drummer.

The album started from a series of text messages between Homme and Pop with notes about the techniques David Bowie and Pop had used in the past.  The second track of the album, “Gardenia”, sounds like his late 70s work recorded with newer equipment (or restored) and musicians.  Spring reverb tanks and natural amp tremolo make the sound sweetly vintage.  A watery keyboard sits in the back, likely a Fender Rhodes.  At age 69, one cannot help but relate him to his deceased comrades, Bowie and Lou Reed, but in my mind he is still a street racin’ cheetah with a heart full of napalm.

Genre: Art Rock

Hungry Clocks – “One Day You’re Gonna Wake Up And I’m Not”

This whole album makes me feel warm.  Bernia Bousa sets his heart free in this momentary release.  It is compassionate, confessional, yearning and hopeful.  If you are unfamiliar with Bousa’s talent, find him at the Marlin Wednesday nights at ten hosting open mic.  He also plays in Barcelona Boys Choir, we he went from standing drummer to cruising bassist.  “One Day You’re Gonna Wake Up And I’m Not” is Bousa’s eighth bandcamp release, second this year, and first to feature percussion and electric guitar.  His effected melodies lay a watery layer for his signature acoustic to glide over.  The vocals seem to walk on this aural water, as he maneuvers through the branches of kicks and snares.

The entirety of Hungry Clocks was recorded on an iPhone.  I would have never known were it not for hearing it from Bousa directly.  The first song flies by in with its skittering rhythms and easy going tone.   At the same time it is brutally honest, and somewhat self-loathing. Listen to “A” as he sings about how he would love to be one who really cares, but struggles to be ever present for the one who this song about.  “Find My Way” has a beautiful chorus thats easy to sing along to, where Bousa shifts registers and climbs his way up in scale. “Her” has a gloomy essence about it.  I was reminded of The Cure at first, but I should know better than to reference a definitive goth band when reviewing Hungry Clocks.  The darkness of the track brings me back to “Crocodile Street” from Bousa’s 2014 summer release, “Bernie Yonderly”.

“Substance Coordination” is the most personal song I have heard yet.   I tried so hard to believe that I was immortal, and not filled with sorrow.  He admits to the pain he has caused to himself by upping his tolerance, since it hides his true feelings.  The lyrics tell it best.

A suffering meditation infected me so I’m different, I lost my resilience.

Affordable medication helped myself to be outgoing, to hide what I’m showing.

But like my tolerance, I’m too high, sometimes, I run out of love.

 

 

Babes/Granddad/Grimes/Kittawake/PhilipGlowa/PureBathingCulture/YoungThug

KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: alan Date: 11/17/15
Artist: Babes
Album: Untitled
Rec’d Tracks: 5, 6
Restricted: none
Comments: chill happy fun soft voices bout loving people and feeling good
Genre: surf pop
KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: Alan Date: 11/14/15
Artist: Grimes
Album: Art Angels
Rec’d Tracks: 3, 4!, 6!, 9, 10, 11, 12
Restricted:
Comments: This is Grimes’ fourth album to date. After Visions there was a lot of anticipation as to how Claire Boucher would follow up her breakthrough album. Art Angels reaches to a larger demographic intentionally, whereas Visions had unexpectedly. The album currently experiences international success, and has yet to chart on College Music Journal (CMJ).

From the first track, Boucher shows off her piano skills, falsetto, orchestral implementation and gives us a few discernible lyrics, “when the leaves begin to fall, I try to catch em all.”

“SCREAM”, features a Taiwanese female rapper named Aristophanes. She goes hard on this guitar one liner and Grimes screams with a ton of reverb.

“Flesh without Blood” speaks for itself, its the track you should be listening to before reading this.

<Spotify link below>

Also “California” an upbeat track I forgot to mention. Sounds rather personal, like Boucher is going through some Beverly Hills crisis.

The new “Realiti” is awesome, it has better production value than the original demo Grimes released to hardcore fans as a thank you. A bit longer, and louder.

“Kill V. Maim” is all the rage because its got a great prechorus, spelling out behave, and borderline Ke$ha.

“Venus Fly” has Janelle Monae, a Neo-soul artist, who gives the song a trap, hip-hop, vibe.

Genre: art pop

KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: alan Date: 11/20/15
Artist: Granddad
Album: Home
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 3
Restricted: none
Comments: First track is a nice ambient track that I imagine is Kellen Baker walking along the coast of his hometown, Nome. Afterward, we get to hear what Granddad sounds like acoustic. “Always every time” has a very calming intensity, and catchy chorus line. In “The Coast”, Baker increases the snarl in his voice, and considers on what it means to return to home after college. There is a pleasant melodica in the background too.
Genre: honest
KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: af Date: 11
Artist: Kittawake
Album: Estival EP
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 5
Restricted: none
Comments: Lailo O’ Sullivan, singer-songwriter, pianist and clarinet player in Fairbanks psych-folk band Harm, has released a new album under the name Kittawake. First track has a flowing piano sound but “Wait in the Fire” has powerful vocals and a waltz chord progression.  Overall enjoyable listen.
Genre: nature

PHILIP GLOWA

IMPROV SKETCHES I

LISTEN TO ALL 3

NONE ARE EXPLICIT

In Happy Cream’s third album, Philip Glowa churns out slow, melodic, and evokative piano chords.  The song titles are thoughtful, and vibe with the momentary feel of the release.

KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: alan Date: 11
Artist: Pure Bathing Culture
Album: Pray for Rain
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 6, 3, 4
Restricted: none its clean
Comments: equally good as Moon Tides
Genre: (indie) dream funk

 

KSUA Music Review Form
Reviewer: af Date: 11
Artist: Young Thug
Album: Slime Season 2
Rec’d Tracks: 1!, 2, 3, 8, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22
Restricted: all
Comments: I got sum big racks right on me

LONDON ON THE TRACK (3, 4, 14, 19)

Rich Homie Quan on track 18 “Never Made Love”.

20 thru 22 are bonus tracks bun pretty fun.

Genre: trill

 

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