What a Time To Be Alive by Drake & Future
Future is on a roll. Drake is on a roll. This album is just coasting but it doesn’t feel halfassed. It doesn’t sound like Drake and Future collaborated on themes but the beats are good to great across the board and “Big Rings” is fire. Drake is referring to this and If You’re Reading This Its Too Late as mixtapes and not official albums, citing (paraphrasing)”a lack of cohesion and quality” that his regular albums supposedly display. I think they’re about equal, and neither of these recordings have nearly as much filler as Take Care.
Every Open Eye by Chvrches
Better than their first one. Still can’t figure out why they let that guy sing at all. His tracks always sound like a favor and a chore. Unless this guy has shit on you, keep him off the mic! A little too workmanlike at times but these guys are solid.
Rodeo by Travi$ Scott
Too long and flames. Sometimes you are bored but then it heats up and you’re chanting “Travis! Travis!” and you have to find a car to flip. Two stars but also five stars.
Rub by Peaches
I liked I Feel Cream way more. This has a consistent throbbing sound throughout but not enough variation in the beats. Great lyrics though about chicks with dicks.
Music Complete by New Order
Brandon Flowers tries to ruin things but he can’t totally undermine this operation and while most of the songs need an editor, it’s more of a too much of a good thing problem. New Order doesn’t owe us anything so every album is a gift.
Fetty Wap by Fetty Wap
Long album. Every song sounds the same, which is good for business but not for me. I wish him well.
Caracal by Disclosure
I thought Settle was a chore to get through, so Caracal wins just by being more benign. Disclosure have no sense of adventure so there are no surprises, just rehashes of sounds and melodies done better by others. The footwork track “Holding On” might be the laziest song of the year. Also all of the vocal guests are rendered featureless, so money wasted there. Disclosure makes music that sounds like they couldn’t wait to get it done and do anything else.
Zipper Down by Eagles of Death Metal
Love these guys forever, but considering the seven year gap between albums, I was expecting more. Fun but noticeably slight, with 11 tracks consisting of one cover, one interlude, and the lead single a re-recording of a song from the Jesse Hughes solo album. However it does rock, which is a rarity these days. Better than the last Queens album.
Dumblonde by dumblonde
Is Danity Kane the worst thing to ever result in great things? Dawn Richard solo albums, Diddy/Dirty Money, and now dumblonde? Wow, thank you Danity Kane. Adventurous dance-pop production, the vocals often reduced to sound effects or other production trickery, I expect this kind of thing from a J-Pop artist, but not the American Pop Music Industrial Complex. They’re touring tiny clubs right now but they should be ruling the world. “Tender Green Life” one of the best songs of the year.
Photograph by Dirty Vegas
I thought Dirty Vegas would go after that Calvin Harris money after 2011’s surprising Electric Love but they seem to be after the indie set instead. Simple sounds for small rooms. I prefer the big dance moments, which Photograph is lacking.
Black Dollar by Rick Ross
Best thing he’s done since Rich Forever. Still sounds out of breath, but that’s just my personal issue. If you love Ross he is ready to love you back.
HITNRUN Phase One by Prince
This album stinks. Bad songs, bad production, like someone’s dad wearing skinny jeans to a Lady Gaga concert.
Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd
Come for “Can’t Feel My Face” and then quickly leave. Everything else is a wet slog.
Compton by Dr. Dre
There is already a backlast but it sounds great and it fucking knocks. Much of this is the textbook definition of “fire”. We waited a long time and this delivers, and in such big quantities.
Permanence by No Devotion
Much of this sounds like The Guest Soundtrack with more riffs. Pretty great, tell your friends.