Patrick's Music Blog
Anberlin-Stranger Ways(Track Review)

     Anberlin are a alternative rock band out of Winter Haven. Stranger Ways is the first single off their seventh and final LP Lowborn. The album is already out now and has received critical acclaim. The single is very classic Anberlin.

Stranger Ways has a great melody and chorus they feels hummable but the overall track feels tonally dark in atmosphere. The single really gives me an 80’s vibe with the vocals provided by Stephen Christian and the dream pop feel coming in near the middle to end of the track. The lyrics on the track are pretty ubiquitous though they seem to be about drawing closer to something that’s always been there but has been a mystery.

   Stranger Ways is pretty enjoyable and is a good introduction to the rest of the album. It’s definitely something recommendable to long time fans and new comers as well.

Rating: 8.0/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Don’t talk about hip-hop is bad now if you sleep on guys like Torae and Skyzoo. The track is ill the album is iller give it a listen.

Skyzoo and Torae-Blue Yankee Fitted

Skyzoo & Torae-Barrel Brothers(Album Review)

Skyzoo & Torae are two NY MC’s who’ve been consistently putting out mix-tapes, EP’s and albums in the indie rap scene for years. The two NY spitters came together on Barrel Brothers and did what they do best.

     I’d suggest if you’re not into listening to a flurry of great rhymes, flows and tight metaphors and punchlines set to various great beats not to give this a listen. If you are though this maybe one of the better rap projects you hear this year. Set to production from the likes of Illmind, DJ Premier and Blackmilk, Skyzoo and Torae balance each other out perfectly. Both are highly skilled and fluid on the mic and both have metaphors and similes for days. Most of the tracks on Barrel Brothers aren’t very topical, just raw battle rhymes back and forth. The chemistry between the two is excellent especially on tracks like The Hand Off and 4 Bar Friday which is one of my favorites on the album.. Both bring the attitude you want to see on an album like this. Two rappers going at each both trying out do each other. This brings the best out of the tracks.

     Production wise all the beats are of high quality and are decently varied. Some are more musical with horns a; little jazz rap influenced. Others are more smooth and soulful sounding. Make you a Believer is one of my favorites and it has sort of a hypnotic feel to it with Tunnel Vision having the same feel as well. DJ Premier also has a great beat in “Aura” at the end of the album. I like really like they didn’t decide to go with your typical run of the mill boom bap beats. These beats still feel east coast but what it should sound like now which to my ears is refreshing.

     Skyzoo and Torae really gave their fan bases what they wanted out of this project. Great over some great beats which is a combination that’s never failed in hip-hop. The features were strong as well. Blu had a great verse on Rediscover and Sean Price and Guilty Simpson were great on All In Together as well. Everyone brought a high quality performance to the album and it came out a quality project.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

The Color Morale-Suicide, Stigma(Track Review)

  The Color Morale stream new single, “Suicide;Stigma” (ft. We Came As Romans’ Dave Stephens)   The Color Morale is a Metalcore/hardcore punk band that’s been releasing solid music since 09’.  They’ve really been a little higher on everyone’s radar since the album they released last year Know Hope. Now they’re planning to follow that up with an album to be released in September called Pain Ends. The second single  off that LP Suicide, Stigma is out now and has an appropriately fitting positive message to go a long with good musicianship.

     Lyrically the track tackles how life can be hard and bring you unfortunately tough situations but it doesn’t solve the problem to just end your life there. The lyrics point out just how fortunate we are to be alive in the first place and that going through issues can make us tougher and better people. All of this is of course cliche but it doesn’t make it any less poignant as the song is actually very well written. Musically the band as usual sports both clean and throat vocals all of which are sung passionately. The song structure  has a sort of soft and loud dynamic going for it to help bring out the emotion in the song. The guitar playing is tight as well, very intense chugging rhythm guitars and buzzing leads really help this become a track that’s not only interesting lyrically but something to get pumped to as well.

     The Color Morale are a band that’s easy to get behind they make really good music. They’re also not afraid to use their music to say something that can have a positive effect on there listeners. When it comes to a track like this one it’s not only important for the lyrics to be strong but for the performance to help those lyrics come alive and make impression on those listening and that’s exactly what The Color Morale does.

Rating: 8.0/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

5 Seconds Of Summer- She Looks So Perfect

5 Seconds Of Summer-5 Seconds Of Summer(Album Review)

5 Seconds Of Summer are a pop punk/pop rock band out of Australia. Okay so 5 Seconds Of Summer are pretty much 80 % pop and 20% punk. Sure there are guitars and drums but the emphasis isn’t really on them as much as they are on the hooks and harmonies with are here in abundance of the four pieces self titled debut.

     I have to say the title of the album is fitting these bright and sugary song are great summer jams. The bands youthful exuberance in their vocals and knack for writing hooks is easily the bands strong suit. Essentially One Direction with a slight punk edge there’s really only so much I can take all at once but most of these songs are catchy enough to listen to when the mood hits.

    Still most of this bands fan base is likely a good 8 to 10 years younger than me and this would probably be awesome to me then. 12 catchy songs songs about teen love, romance and your typical mellow drama. The band doesn’t lack any energy or passion in the music either.The guitars and drums don’t always pack a punch but the vocals are pretty strong throughout.

    The album though it’s solid I start to tune out half way through just cause it’s all desert no real subsistence.  So if you’re looking for something effervescent fun and not really meant to be taken all too seriously than give this a listen.

Rating: 7.0/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Common-Nobody’s Smiling(Album Review)

Nobody’s Smiling is Common’s tenth album to date. The Chicago MC has been an essential rapper since the early 90’s and impressively manages to be one of a few conscious rappers to still remain popular in the mainstream. His last album The Dreamer/The Believer was a great album but this one’s probably a tad better and is likely to get more play from me.

     The overall theme of the album is based on the violence and mentality those in the inner city of Common's hometown of Chicago. The ten track LP is a both a an ode to his city and a conscious and intelligent look at what's going there as well. Some tracks tells an allegory or tale of about someone whose ingratiated in the environment that seems to breed an endless cycle of people having the negative mentality. Other tracks are more personal like Rewind, a track about Common and his relationships with No I.D and Jay Dilla a fitting and touching end to the album. There’s also tracks where Common is just sort of spitting over some nice No I.D production on tracks like Speak My Peace and Real.

     No I.D handles all the production on this album and does a great job. You can tell the chemistry between Common and No I.D is top notch. Each track seems tailor made for Common’s style of rapping. Whether it was soulful, boom bap, or aggressive  these tracks were great and flowed well together. The instrumentals themselves would probably make for a great album.

    Nobody’s Smiling is another great album for Common who continues to push himself creatively and conceptually. He’s always been a good rapper and hasn’t slowed a bit. This album has a lot of replay value  No I.D is still delivering and its not at all over bloated. I definitely recommend giving this LP a good listen.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Check out Kindom ft Vince Staples off Common’s new LP Nobody’s smiling.

Pennywise- Violence Never Ending