Patrick's Music Blog
Opeth-Pale Communion(Album Review)

Opeth is an progressive/heavy metal band that has been releasing albums for nearly 20 years now. Most of their work is critically acclaimed and well received by fans and this one will probably be no different. Pale Communion is the band’s eleventh studio album. This one is very much on the progressive side very melodic while still maintaining their patented musicianship.

      From the very first track I knew I was in for a very interesting project.  Eternal Rains Will Come  comes in with a very catchy rift and a decent melody but at the same time coming in with great guitar work. There’s lots of atmosphere and strings on these songs. They’re also some nice acoustic/electric guitar mixes on the LP. I really think that the interplay between the lead guitars and rhythm is just top notch on most of these tracks. A lot of these stretch themselves a little on the long side around seven or eight minutes to be exact. Cusp Of Eternity is the longest but I don’t think that track justifies it’s length it’s a tad flat.

       Pale Communion is a great LP though from front to back. I like how strong and at times dramatic the vocals are on this album it fits the music perfectly. Some of the more acoustic mid tempo tracks are just beautiful. My favorite track though is Goblin which is an instrumental that feels really improvisational by the middle toward the end of the track.Nothing on this album is particularly heavy or harsh but I think the playing more than makes up for the  tameness when it comes to this LP. It’s just a great show of technicality and just sounds really good. All in all everything is cohesive. If you’re a fan of Opeth it’s another great LP I’d recommend to any progressive rock or metal fan.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Kimbra-The Golden Echo(Album Review)

The Golden EchoKimbra is an 24 yr old pop artist out of Australia that incorporates electropop, R&B, neo soul, jazz elements. The Golden Echo is her second LP and it’s filled with those sounds. This is definitely an LP that sounds like it was a lot of fun to make.

        Clean and pristine that’s what I think when I hear the music on this album. The album is produced with a nice crystal clean feel.  The Golden Echo sounds like a mix of Michael Jackson during the Bad era and Prince with some electropop in there two. Equal parts contemporary and 80’s throwback Kimbra does every style on this album justice. There’s some great r&b tunes on this project and at the same time some excellent funk grooves. Kimbra's range on this LP is very noted at times using a more Prince esq eccentric vocal on some of the more funk laden tracks.

     The hooks on this LP are very strong and the melodies on this LP are just right. Kimbra lyrically sings about 90’s nostalgia(Teen Heart, 90’s Music), love, romance(Love in High Places, Nobody But You) ect she sings with as much confidence and any vocalist out. Still this like most pop LP’s is all about the tunes. Tracks like Goldmine, Miracle and Madhouse are just well produced pop tunes. This whole album is that.

    Kimbra really has a good ear for tunes and as far as pop releases go this year this is easily a top my list. Her ability to just fit on all these tracks is just great. Equal parts old school and new it sounds like it was a lot of fun to make this album and it comes across when I listen to it.  I’d recommend this LP to anyone it’s a great album.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

FKA Twigs-Tw-Ache

Fifi Rong-Next Pursuit(EP Review)

Next Pursuit cover artFifi Rong is a singer-songwriter from Beijing but currently producing music in the UK. Next Pursuit is her first EP. The music she makes is a nice blend  of R&B, pop and Trip hop and she does it nicely on this EP. 

    Fifi really has a nice delicate vocal that really fits over the production style on these tracks.  Some are more darker and melancholic others are lighter and have a catchier chorus. She does a good job on both styles of music. Intimacy is a favorite of mind it really has a nice melody to it. Breathless is sort of slower track with dark electronics in the background. I really like the trip hop elements on some of these tracks and a lot of the production on this project cause it’s varied throughout the project but all sounds tailor made for Fifi. Equality has a very nice mixture of  light piano keys and electronics that sound really good.

      Fifi has a nice sense of range not only vocally but mood wise. Some tracks she comes of contemplative, even a little somber other times more sultry and upbeat. Lyrically I think most of these six tracks are sharp especially Cold In You and Equality which is about knowing that heartbreak happens to everyone. So for the most part I enjoyed listening to this. I do think there’s room for improvement I definitely enjoy some tracks over others  but certainly a solid foundation.   Next pursuit has some replay value and is worth a listen so I’d check it out.

http://fifirong.bandcamp.com/

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

SZA-Z(EP Review)

SZA is an R&B artist on TDE(Top Dawg Entertainment). Z is her third EP. The EP was released early in this year in April and was met with mostly a positive response. Much like her label mate Isaiah Rashad she left to deal with question about whether the hype about her is only because she’s signed to one of the hottest rap labels out right now. I don’t think she hits it out of the park but she does have an ear for interesting production and a solid vocal.

     SZA has a pretty chill demeanor and decent range on her vocal. The production on this LP ranges from minimal R&B with some neo-soul to 80’s synth-pop. He lyrical content deals with love, romance, and nostalgia. There’s some interesting beats on these tracks some are very hip-hop influenced and others just have a slightly trippy feel like the track hi-jack. Still there’s something about the EP that feels understated and I’m guessing it’s cause she’s developing as an artist. Some of the tracks feel a tad monotonous in tone in the middle section of the EP just cause the tempo on most of these tracks stay at the same level.

     Still there’s a lot to like about this project SZA shows potential to create music and a lot of the tracks on here are pretty good. The features from Chance The Rapper  and Kendrick Lamar are also pretty good as well so give this project a good listen if you haven’t already.

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Dilated Peoples-Good As Gone  (Produced by Premo)
Their album Directors of Photography is out now!

Brokehead-Six Minutes Of Music(EP Review)

Six Minutes Of Music cover artBrokenhead are a post hardcore band out of Westchester PA. Six Minutes of Music is their first EP. The two track EP is nice post-hardcore that shows nice lyricism not to mention decent musicianship. 

     The bands sound is comprised of slower to mid tempo track that have a sense of melody but are noisy and distorted in nature. The lead guitars bring out the just the right melancholic tones for these very emotive tracks. The vocals on the album are shouted with pure pan and mental unrest. The two tracks essentially play as one as they sort of meld together for one six minute epic. Lyrically they seem to be about feeling a lone and like no really understands you. Even though the protagonist here is expressing himself to others they’re never able to decipher his truest thoughts and emotions. This of course leads to frustration. 

    Depth of lyricism like this can only help you and help listeners feel and connect to the music. It’s definitely something that separates an okay band to one that’s great sonically but can also move listeners lyrically. I can say this EP is not a waste of six minutes it was certainly worth the listen.  

Listen here———->http://brokeheadpa.bandcamp.com/releases

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Joey Bada$$-Big Dusty! I’ve been listening to this track all day..can’t wait for the album!

The Underachievers-Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium(Album Review)

  Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium   The Underachievers are a rap duo(AK and Issa Gold) out of Flatbush,Brooklyn NY. The Underachievers have been on the indie scene have dropped a couple mix-tapes that were enjoyable. I personally did enjoy they’re first one Indigoism even though it wasn’t a something that got a ton of play on my IPod. Cellar Door : Terminus Ut Exordium is their first full length album and a solid showing for them.

     There style is  a mix of classic NY hip-hop and psychedelic hip-hop. AK and Issa Gold are known for their rapid fire double time flows and they seem even that much more sharper on this debut. Starting with the first few tracks on the LP The Underachievers spit at a blistering pace and it’ll definitely take a few listens to get a gist of the content of some of these tracks. Once you dig in though you’ll here a lot of bars about positivity, being conscious, socially aware and using psychedelics to get you to a higher plane of consciousness. It is none too different than what had been on the past too tapes.

    Production wise I thought the beats they rhymed over where nice. At times hazy reminiscent of the ASAP Mob and at times a little more trippy. Some of the beats have a bit of grimy NY feel. The Underachievers fit snuggly between Pro Era and ASAP Mob with some Flatbush Zombies thrown in. If your into any of those rap groups or collectives than The Underachievers should be right up your ally. There’s dope beats and rhymes here but they’ve always brought that. The tag teaming is seamless and their chemistry is very apparent.

      I think this album can enjoy just from the beats and flows and if you’re really into that you can take what you want from the lyrics. Nothing is exactly mind blowing but it’s quality hip-hop and dexterous. A very solid debut.

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Kidaudra-Ache(EP Review)

Ache cover artAudra Kizina AKA Kidaudra is an electronic artist out of New York and Ache is her second EP. This is coming off her debut EP Unknown which I thought was great. Her music had a very ethereal, atmospheric vibe that has definitely been improved upon.

      The production on the Ache EP sounds clearer and more detailed. KIdaudra’s vocals also sound better on this EP. On Help Me there’s a tad bit of reverb as her vocals come in over a very nice groove. The track is about feeling like your trapped in emotional distress and basically needing help from those around you. The title track (My personal favorite) Ache is very beautiful track essentially about not taking things for granted  specifically as it pertains to romance  because of the inevitability of death. That track has a strong hook, strong vocals and good production. The backing vocal harmonies nicely done as well.  I think the thing I enjoy most about this EP is that the lyrics actually move me and come from a real honest place.

      Flowers is a nice  interlude like track that is centered around vocals that were in Ache and pulsating percussion. Coral Daze is an interesting track that has light vocals and an ocean breeze flowing in the background. Know Them All is a jam with a deep bass groove  and Audra crooning smoothly about knowing there’s loads to discover but also recognizing uncovering it all is impossible. The beat slighly gives off an 80’s synth pop vibe.

     Kidaudra really sounds more confident on this EP both vocally and lyrically. The tracks here are well written and that makes it easier for me to connect to Ache. The production these tracks are better as well I felt the beats were a more infectious. So it’s safe to say this project is something I’ll be returning too. 

Give it a listen here————>https://kidaudra.bandcamp.com/album/ache

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II