Beck – Morning Phase

One of my flatmates (Rick) was listening to an album on his laptop in the kitchen the other day and it sounded ok, so I got what it was from him: Beck’s Morning Phase album. (sidenote, my flatmate’s really interesting, he’s doing this marketing degree with me, but also helps his dad run a Roof Repair company, is starting up his own online business while studying and getting involved in the Student Union. Don’t know where he finds time!). Anyway, Beck isn’t normally my kind of thing, but again, I’ve made a decision not to judge and try to expand my tastes! He’s very folk-rock nowadays, basically stuff you’d hear in a Wes Anderson movie.

The title morning phase works for this album, it’s all VEEEERY slow, almost like a slow sunrise, taking forever, almost not even moving until you glance away and look back again. It’s very mellow, fairly dark and bittersweet, a bit stoner-ish, almost like the morning after a long night (figuratively and literally). Some reviewers have said it’s because of the time he spent recovering from a spinal injury, which gave him a lot of time to get dark, insular and self-examining. This is now the “Morning Phase” because he’s woken up to having a normal life again. Either way, you won’t hear this in the club! Continue reading “Beck – Morning Phase”

The Weeknd – Trilogy

I heard “Can’t Feel My Face” in the uni bar the other day and I decided checking The Weeknd out might be a good idea even though he’s a bit too pop for my tastes. I did decide I’d listen to new stuff though so I decided not to judge until I’d heard some of his other stuff. I checked out what reviewers think is his best album and everyone seems to say this one.

So firstly I’ve gotta say, this album is really cool, nothing like the pop that Can’t Feel my Face sounds like. It’s really adult and all about drugs and sex. It’s very dark, gritty and sounds like something out of the 80’s. You can tell he’s talking from his own experiences in life and what he’s gone through. It makes the whole album real and unlike anything I’ve heard before, it’s almost a bit like if Nine Inch Nails went into hip hop instead. Continue reading “The Weeknd – Trilogy”

J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

So after listening to To Pimp A Butterfly, I asked my friend Caleb (the one that introduced me to Kendrick Lamar) what else there is like it out there and without a beat he mentioned J Cole’s latest album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. So I checked that out and loved it!

Again it’s an album that talks a lot about the black psyche, experience and problems that face black people in the US. This album was released just before the black lives matter movement, so it’s also a victim of bad timing because he makes no reference to it, even though it becomes one of the most important things in black culture from late 2015. He tells a great story, though you can tell he doesn’t have as good technique as some other rappers like Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading “J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive”

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

I think I’ll start this blog with the best album I’ve heard in a REALLY long time! One of the guys in my Photoshop class was listening to one of the songs – think it was How Much a Dollar cost on his headphones and I could hear it, asked him what he was listening to and he recommended the album.

Firstly WOW. He captures so much of the feeling in America right now of racism and all the institutional problems, and the reason why the #blacklivesmatter movement has become so big. He goes back to the roots of black culture both with the music that he’s using (Funk, Jazz and the Blues), the lyrics that he’s rapping/singing and the imagery used in the songs and videos.

Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly

Every song addresses something to do with the life of black youth, discrimination, the trap of growing up in an urban ghetto, and so many other problems I’m lucky enough that I’m too privileged to ever feel. He’s really turned his eye against America and the problems everyone knows are there but the people in power fail to address over and over again. Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly”