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.
Pennywise is a veteran hardcore punk band whose been releasing music since 1991. Over the past 22 years Pennywise has sung angst ridden songs and slowly perfected their melodic hardcore sound they’ve become known for. Though being a good listen the bands previous release All or Nothing did leave some fans disappointed as lead singer Jim Lindberg wasn’t lead vocalist of that project. That said he’s back for this album and with good results on the aptly titled Yesterdays.
The songs for this album, though recorded over the past year they were all originally written in 1989 and 1993 aside from a couple songs. This album is really a return to the bands roots. These tracks move at typical breakneck speed with thrashing skate punk guitar rifts and solo’s that are melodic and well done. This album is pretty much a treat for fans looking for that classic Pennywise sound. It’d be interesting to see how these tracks would’ve turned out had they’d been recorded back when they were originally written but the band has only tightened up they’re playing since then so they’re able to bring the most out of these tracks.
Lyrically the band’s tracks are about social issues like overaggressive authority, chronic violence and taking a stand against those issues. It’s all sang the passion and energy it deserves. Pennywise ends up sounding like a young hungry band which is probably most impressive about this album. Not to many punk bands two decades in are delivering music that doesn’t sound stale.
So overall this is a nice album one I’d recommend to any punk fan let alone someone trying to get into Pennywise.
Sia is a very accomplished singer songwriter particularly in the genres of pop alt-rock and dance music. She’s written hits for tons of artist and now she’s on her sixth studio LP 1000 Forms Of Fear.
Upon listening to this you realize Sia as an artist has a nice feel for melody and she has a very nice voice. Sia has just the right amount of character and flare and that’s what really stands out over the course of this album. The music she sings over is a mix of electro pop tunes like Chandelier, Elastic Heart and more instrumental based pop ballads like Fair game. In either case she just sounds as confident as you’re supposed to being the veteran she is when performing.The more uptempo tracks are my favorite though the beat on Free The Animal is just great and Sia vocally really brings a lot of attitude and range on the track.
This album probably the easiest listen front to back she’s ever done but the quality is not chocked out because of it. The productions solid and Sia just knows how to sing and write a good songs. There are some tracks that really don’t do much for me and there are times the productions just not interesting but for the most part this is a nice collection of indie pop songs and ballads.
It’s safe to say Black Metal band Wolves In The Throne Room has taken shift in their sound since their previous album Celestial Lineage which was a blistering loud affair with subtle atmospheric tones throughout. This album Celestite takes out the brutality completely, no drums, no loud guitars and leaves in the ambient tones droning guitars to good affect.
This album musically has a lot of the same qualities the album cover does. It’s spacy, dream like and at times a bit striking. There really isn’t not much that’s metal about this album so if you can’t enjoy ambient soundscapes that sound epic and vast than this probably won’t peak your interest. At the same time this is an impressive album very nicely recorded. . There’s a good bit of dynamic between the tracks. Some are more quite, some are more brooding as far as the droning. Other tracks on this album sound almost whimsical and enchanting with light fluttering electronics trickling in the background of a wave of synths. The album does for the most part plays as one long epic with each track sort of swelling into the next and if you don’t have the patience it maybe monotonous at first. .
The most important thing I’ve always looked for when I think about ambient music is how good is the quality of sound to begin with and how much progression is in the tracks. Although these tracks can feel as though they’re progressing at a snails pace they do slowly shift tonally and in sonic texture into something that feels broad and at times cinematic. This is pure chill headphone music which will automatically make it non accessible to some however this is the exact type of album I see myself throwing on when I want to wind down. Not all of WITHR's core fan base my not be appeased by this LP but it does show great range on their part.
Volume is a five piece progressive metal band whose self titled debut already proven that they can make entertaining metal music. Erased is the first single off the bands upcoming LP No Sleep. The track really shows the bands dynamics..The verses are pretty softly song and are even a tad melancholic and at the same time the chorus are song with intensely throaty vocals at the singles peak the guitars and drums are loud and pummeling.
Lyrically the tracks about losing or pushing a girl away and apparently expecting her to hate you but she actually wants you back. In spite of the mellow drama this is a pretty lively song that’s sure to get you hype and hand banging upon listening to it.
The Good Wives are indie rock band out of Seattle and Everything I Know is the bands debut EP. The EP is five tracks of pretty much some decently written indie pop songs.
The songs here are decently played, there’s definitely some good solo’s and even though these aren’t the most energetic of tracks they’re not completely stale. Lead vocalist Jacob has a decent voice and croons nicely over the instrumentation. Still I think the lead guitars(Nicholous) and rhythm guitars(Shane) are what really impresses me most. Lyrically the songs deal with your typical romantic relationship dilemmas. The lyrics to me aren’t really standout they seem like your average tropes I’ve heard thousands of times over not that they’re bad or anything.
The Good Wives have a decent sound and and musicianship on this album if you’re in to indie rock and pop than I’d give this a listen..I see a lot of potential in this band. Despite that this particular project just doesn’t grab me and say this has to be listen to, a good start though.
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Death Grips, Four Tet
Green day ect (A bunch more but thats just a taste of my taste) Enjoy! Other blogs: http://patricksgamingcenter.tumblr.com/