All Reviews

Sleaford Mods - Key Markets
Sleaford Mods
Key Markets (2015)

This could've been a classic. A modern British opus of Mike Skinner ilk. Instead, Williamson's philosophical real-life tales are hamstrung by music that wouldn't be out of place in a pastry commercial. Why didn't they spend more than 3 minutes writing the songs? Ah! It ruins the snapshot of British culture we've never seen so clearly.
- ben

Best song:
In Quiet Streets
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Four Tet - Morning/Evening
Four Tet
Morning/Evening (2015)

As Hebden consciously moves further away from Rounds, and a more dynamic sound, he enters a weird realm. Part Moby, part Aphex Twin, part Harold Budd, there's too much variable noise to present as a consistent project. Melody is discarded, yet chaos is not embraced enough to be a truly daunting listen. It's just an odd mix of complementary styles.
- ben

Best song:
Morning Side
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Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money
Meek Mill
Dreams Worth More Than Money (2015)

Meek sounds like he is rapping from a treadmill. Constant shouting was quite dramatic on his breakthrough Dreamchasers mixtape, but a career built on the exact same techniques and content makes for boring listening. His new found relationship status adds a romantic tinge that feels as fake as his girlfriend's assets.
- ben

Best song:
Lord Knows
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Tame Impala - Currents
Tame Impala
Currents (2015)

Parker delivers his dreamy opus on re-joining society via the heart. It is sonically where the triumphs and trials lay. Let It Happen is an example of the brilliant; a huge wall of sound punctuated by nuance and complimented by hazy vocals. Yet the album meanders through too much filler, that holds neither musical punch nor lyrical weight.
- ben

Best song:
Let It Happen
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Future - DS2
Future
DS2 (2015)

The producer maketh the album, and Future tags along for the ride. His barely intelligible ramblings about drugs and sex, and his unflinching choice of subject matter mires the album in mediocrity. Honest was best when Future rapped; proper rapping, not syrupy crooning. DS2 uncovers no truths about the man, except he likes substances and women.
- ben

Best song:
I Serve The Base
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Fennec - R.I.P. City
Fennec
R.I.P. City (2015)

Fennec retreats into more common company on R.I.P. City. Whilst the 2014 album was a masterpiece of dense electronica, this feels more sparse and slightly less atmospheric, a more straight up and down dance release. The samples are still wonderfully executed, and a funky element has been added, but ultimately it falls short of lofty heights.
- ben

Best song:
Rose Gold Night
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Miguel - Wildheart
Miguel
Wildheart (2015)

Miguel loves his women, but he's much more than just a pervert. Good songs and even better vocals prove that above all he's a unique artist who keeps on surprising. While he's the smoothest R&B singer out there, this record almost rocks thanks to its lively instrumentation. Wildheart is a filthy, remarkable record of unexpected beauty.
- jorre

Best song:
The Valley
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Lil Wayne - Free Weezy Album
Lil Wayne
Free Weezy Album (2015)

His most diverse project since Tha Carter III, Wayne unfurls his lyrical wings and adds a depth of soul not seen since 2009. He always works best within a concept, and his label issues have bestowed upon him a new hunger. Lyrically, he is a touch off S4TW2, but the highs on FWA are dizzying and easily up there with some of his best work.
- ben

Best song:
Glory
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Slaves - Are You Satisfied?
Slaves
Are You Satisfied? (2015)

The Brits have always done straight-up, hard-edged real life the best. This is a stonking listen, brimmed with dangerous guitars and a groove that feels Garage but presents as the cleanest, meanest of Punk. Don't like the "Lager Lout" accent? Get out. Now. Cheer up London, it's not that bad. This isn't a sad record. It's alive.
- ben

Best song:
Cheer Up London
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Seth Sentry - Strange New Past
Seth Sentry
Strange New Past (2015)

Aussie hip hop, right? It's normally trash, but Seth Sentry isn't. He doesn't just wear his heart on his sleeve, he plasters it all over the recording booth. Embarrasingly so, and it makes for a brilliantly visceral listen. Can he reveal that about himself? His wit will induce more than a few chuckles, and by the end, you'll feel a part of the family.
- ben

Best song:
Fake Champagne
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Kamasi Washington - The Epic
Kamasi Washington
The Epic (2015)

Every time you think jazz is going to have a full-blown revival, it stutters. Washington provides the strongest case for a re-up, and reminds us exactly why it continues to languish in tiny bars and conservatorium campuses. It's been done, and The Epic, whilst aurally pleasing, is audibly ordinary. Epic in length, sure, just not in atmosphere.
- ben

Best song:
The Rhythm Changes
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Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
Surf (2015)

Frustration. Because every time Chance The Rapper graces the mic, he blows his accomplished brethren clean out of the room. If this were his project, it could be an instant classic. As it is, guest spots from some towering artists, and modern jazz musings from Donnie and his crew provide a fresh and balmy listen. This is pure Sunday candy.
- ben

Best song:
Sunday Candy
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