Gamble has some interesting ideas on Koch, yet too often they get lost in empty space. It takes the industrial, hard edged electronic route, yet doesn't really back it up with any substance. This isn't a record you can get lost in, or that could soundtrack any particular moments in your life. It feels hollow, as if it were half complete.
Best song:Motor System
He may be the most annoying and frankly criminal person Beardfood has reviewed, but this man has a gift for melody that is unmatched in R&B right now. X is everything a top shelf record should be. Brown fits the futuristic production like a glove, his soulful and intimate voice making any depraved phrase sound sultry smooth. Shoot me, I love it.
Best song:Autumn Leaves
Scott Walker & Sunn O)))
It's these types of collaborations that absolutely terrify some people aurally. Metamorphosing into a creature of gargantuan drone and whatever you desire to label Scott Walker's mutterings, Soused is the underground's very own Lou Reed & Metallica's Lulu, a nearly unlistenable album that should gain its own cult status moments after its release.
Simian Mobile Disco
Whorl is an odd beast. It never pretends to be a punch-the-sky electronic explosion, yet it pokes its head out of the murk long enough to bask in some reflected rays. Nice ideas never go unexplored; each riff ridden till death. It's Sunday afternoon dance meets hip German 3am club. Not quite a floor filler, but it fills the empty space.
Best song:Sun Dogs
...And Star Power (2014)
It's no huge surprise the free spirits of Foxygen return with an all-over-the-place 24-track double album. This crazy beast of a record smashes together all imaginable sounds from the 70s. Through all the appropriations, it's hard to recognize the Foxygen signature. Way too long and diverse to digest at once, it's an impressive effort that doesn't touch you.
Best song:Cosmic Vibrations
Point of No Return (2014)
Pretend Beyonce was 60% less talented than she currently is, and you have Keyshia Cole. She's tasted dizzying platinum heights, and her latest remains true to the R&B doctrine of heartbreak, high end producers, high end guest stars. It's a release that smacks of safety, of middle road endurance, which is its gift and curse. It's solid, but no more.
The Flaming Lips
With A Little Help From My Fwends (2014)
The Lips cross paths with their collaborative style and tribute soul, covering Sgt. Pepper's in its entirety. The collaborators sometimes surprise and morph the Beatles' famous tunes into psychedelic mindfucks. The Lips themselves don't stand out on this, but their vision for a different Lonely Hearts Club Band is enticing. A passable excursion.
Best song:She's Leaving Home (feat. Phantogram and Julianna Barwick)
The Way (2014)
Her voice has taken on a gravelly Lou Reed quality. At times it's almost spoken word, which complements the funk-clash horns and 70s production. Gray staggers around the album like a well-heeled drunk, touching each part with her charm and uninhibited honesty. The result is the unearthing of more than a few hard truths and insightful ideas.
Best song:I Miss The Sex
Bestial Burden (2014)
Bestial Burden is unyielding, brutal, and somehow beautiful, although you'd have to bypass all the noise, screaming, and jarring structure to see. Her debut album is crushing, an album that bears resemblance to her 2013 EP, but here, Bestial Burden proves her hype, showcasing her personal struggles and fears into frighteningly great forays.
Best song:Body Betrays Itself
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Atomos doesn't force itself upon you. Each movement feels spontaneous yet pre-meditated, focused. The muted fanfare gradually gives way to full blown moments, whereby the listener is suddenly immersed entirely in the experience, emotional baggage and all. It's ambient music that never sits idly by; it seeks you out, it wants to impose.
Best song:Atomos X
Pavor Nocturnus EP (2014)
Throughout his dark folk EP, Age Decay subverts sounds from Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth Rundle into his varied yet focused debut. "Paro" dwells in the crusty mist of 80's era Swans, "Wasteland" builds and releases into a sinister cyclone, and "Strange Blood" clicks with dramatic, almost-bomb like urgency. Keep your eye on this frightening figure.
The Beauty of Independence (2014)
50 Cent's not-so-young-anymore charges take full advantage of their mentor's name and label, going in with their hardest individual verses in many years. Yayo especially sounds more impressive than ever before. 50 is content to play puppet master, but his sparse offerings are hammer blows. If there's a solo album in the works, fast-track it.
Best song:Dead a Pussy Nigga