Friday, December 23, 2011

Album of the Year 2011



I think it's an easy choice.
Runner up:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Watch the Throne

Good CD yo.

like really really good.

I'm gonna write here about the CD, but until then I'll hold off and just link to an expose I did about certain songs.
Niggas In Paris(sorta)
Murder to Excellence

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Murder to Excellence

Courtesy of Dan
Low fi guitar loop is cool
When the drums kick in and the backing vocals change around 30 seconds is genius. Drums drop when Kanye starts his verse which really sets it apart from Jay-Z's verse. The piano after the hook that replaces the backing vocals is really well done, then when they come back, they are the hook vocals, not the verse vocals. This works really well with the simple Oooooh that comes over the top.

Then the song really changes. It's really two songs together, Murder and Excellence. Murder is low-fi, gritty, muddy in the low end. Excellence is cleaner, much less low end. Vocal hook is cool, and totally different than the murder half.

Kanye says, "What's the life expectancy of black guys? The systems working effectively, that's why." I'm interpreting this two ways, one where he is saying the way things work give black guys short lifespans. The other is that he's saying, when a black person goes to court it is expected that they get a life sentence and that means the court system is working effectively. I really like that line.

From Curtis(after Dan's was written)-

"When the hook("whole lotta money in a black bag. black strap you know what thats for") is repeated at the end of the song, the line “black strap, you know what that’s for” segues into “Murder” (part of “Murder to Excellence”), which discusses black-on-black crime." -Rap Genius 


This song perfectly exemplifies the form of the song matching the content. Murder (the first part of the song) has a gritty beat, with instrumentation and tones matching a more urban, harsh theme. The backing vocals create a driving force for each of the rappers, pushing them on, creating an aura of tension and giving the feeling of almost being hunted. This element is regarded as form, as it is the structure of the song; it frames the song and provides a skeleton that the content, or the lyrics, is laid over. The content of this section is about how black people murder each other, how black culture is self destructive, how murder is a manifestation of symptoms of a system that discriminates, oppresses and drives black people to murder each other. It's a mature approach to race relations, as it places blame on both black people ("It's time for us to stop redefine black power, 41 souls, murdered in 50 hours") and on the system (the same line Dan pointed out, "What's the life expectancy of black guys? The systems working effectively, that's why"). It challenges the community to move past violence and become more sophisticated ("If you put crabs in a barrel to insure your survival/You're gon' end up pulling down niggas that look just like you/What up, Blood? What up, cuz? It’s all black, I love us "), and as Rap Genius points out, "Jay uses the 50 Cent line “What up, Blood? What up, cuz?” to demonstrate that he is talking to all young black folks (“Blood” refers to the Bloods gang, and “cuz” is a common Crip salutation), and to remind them not to get caught up in gang violence, but rather to feel pride in their race. "

Excellence (the second half), has a cleaner, loftier rhythm. It's sounds sophisticated, and classy. The voices that made "Murder" ominous and threatening sounding shift and make it now sound high class. There are comparisons that can be made here between these vocals and gospel music. Gospel music could be considered one of the shining beacons of hope for the black community, as it has existed through hard times, through slavery and civil rights, and has remained a major part of the community through all its hard times. It has remained an unwavering force for good, and more importantly, a force for wanting to be better. There's a sense of hope in it, that they can push past this life full of hardships and misery and achieve a better one in heaven. The verses here talk about moving up in society, and how black people aren't really involved in high society (because of structurally imposed racism on black people dating all the way back to the middle passage). This song has a hope that blacks will rise up and join their equals in positions of power and influence. Hope that black people won't be stopped by police, for our society will have stopped demonizing black people to the massive extent that it does today. There's the clever line "Domino, Domino, only spot a few blacks the higher I go". If dominoes and black with white dots, the higher the number, the less black you will see. I'm not sure if this is what Jay-Z meant, but true art is something that gets us to ask questions, and whether or not the artist "meant" it does not matter as much as much as we think (for more on this, read Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author"). It's an indictment and questioning of a system that oppresses black people. The Throne here seems to know that it's possible for African Americans to join them in places of power. It's realistic and it's tangible, albeit a tough road ahead.

The participle "to", when used here, indicates a movement from one place to another. This is what the song does. It moves from one aspect to another, and not only in terms of moving from one topic of discussion to another. The song carries the overall theme of hope, and in this same vein, The Throne hopes that African Americans can move from Murder to Excellence. In this way, by uniting form (rhythm, tone, the aesthetics of vocal parts) with content (the lyrics), Kanye and Jay Z have created a masterful piece of music. This unity is commonly found in good literature (most commonly in poetry).

Who ever said hip hop wasn't art?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sooo

Asking Alexandria is pretty fun.....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Best woe is me song

Desolate

Has the most tyler. And jc.
And the right amount of electronica
And the least amount of metalcore

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Downtown Battle Mountain 2

Ok soooo.

When it was announced that Jonny Craig would be coming back to DGD, I wasn't sure what to expect. Teaming back up after all that time apart? Downtown Battle Mountain was one of my favorite CDs of all time and that had been 4 years ago. They had some high expectations to live up to, especially after Self Titled and Happiness were so good. As soon as I got my hands on DBM2, I played it. I was nervous. But then the first song "Spooks" came on. And my fears were immediately laid to rest. The arpeggio guitar intro followed by Jonny's "Foo--ool your word means shit"came out of the gate and told us that they were back. They were going to take no prisoners and just go for it. If there was ever a question about whether or not they would be able to follow up DBM, it was answered within the first 5 seconds of the CD.

This CD blows my mind. Every song, amazing. Even the songs I didn't like, I love now.

Highlight of this CD is obviously Jonny Craig. He is so good. There is a part in every song where I will listen to the song just to hear Jonny. Beginning of Spooks. "Riiiise abboove!" in Pounce Bounce. "And I swear this won't end soon" in Robot with Human Hair. Beginning of Thug City. "give it up" in Need Money. All of Elder Goose. "Feel the cracks of my skin, feel the souls of my feet now go" from Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex. "I don't know what I'd do if I ever lost you" in Blue Dream. "I won't let it break my self esteem" in Privilously Poncheezied. "My words are cheap, my thoughts are deep, cutting right through your soul" in Swan Soup. Everything in Purple Reign. He has swag, soul, sadness and passion in every note he sings. He is not a technical musician, but he knows melody like no one else that I can think of.

And that's not to say he's the only good part. Matt Mingus is incredible on the kit. He's been good forever. I especially love his use of double bass. His whole style is really tight and controlled, providing the perfect backing, but also being very talented once examined. Will Swan on the guitar is amazing, providing so many varied types of riffs, perfectly executed.

It sits on this weird boundary of art that's suppose to make sense but the thing itself actually does not make a whole lot of sense. Jon Mess has said in the past that lots of his lyrics are dreams he's had, and Jonny Craig's lyrics are mostly about sleeping with girls; none of them really fit that cohesively together. However, they fit melodically. They interrupt each other enough to not let the other get boring. The two bonus tracks, while decent, are not on the same level as the cd. The reason: only one singer on each of them. So, were stuck. If they can't write a piece of music that makes sense, and have it work, what do you do? You feel the music. There's a soul in there that comes out like it does in post rock. There are no words in postrock, yet it is emotionally impacting. It doesn't matter what mess is yelling about and its almost irrelevent what jonny is singing (unless you are obsessed with girls. Then its spot on swag).

Monday, May 9, 2011

How did I forget about this?

this is awesome

Monday, April 25, 2011

Calling it Now

I'm gonna love Woe, Is Me.

Generic metalcore to the max.

But this dude can sing, and the instrumentals are decent. They highlight the singing, and I'm a sucker for good singing. Probably cause I can't sing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hollow Fucking Crown

This CD is fucking badass.
I'm not late to the party.
I've known this for a while.
Just never wrote it down.
But now I am.
And I want to affirm that.
Yes.
It is that amazing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Notes

The architects do a lot of cool things with balances. Like if you just have one earphone in, your not just missing half. Your missing like 3/4th of it...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forgot

How much I love this CD. Every song is really special and unique and amazing.

To set the record straight

I guess people are finding this blog, so I want to take some time and say this. I like Jonny Craig. His actions regarding the macbooks were unquestionably immoral and wrong. However, those actions were spurred on by drugs and drugs make you do that kinda wacked up shit. He's clean now and seems to want to be a better person and I wholly support that. I love his voice and I really like his style. He's not the nicest person in the world (cmon he is not Vic Fuentes) but I'm not either. I think he's hilarious. His twitter is so funny. And he's handling everything that's happening actually pretty well.

The new DGD cd is incredible. Jonny kills it in every song and I can't wait for him to do more. I wish I could sing like him. And I wish I could pull off the mullet like he does.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Super Duper Confession Time

I adore this album. Good lord. I don't know why. My suspicion is Austin Carlile. I think it's the screams. His voice is good (on CD. I don't want to get into the whole "whisper screaming" debate. He may. He may not. I don't care.) and his delivery has this sense of urgency. Like, he can't say everything fast enough. The singer's voice has a shit ton of auto tune, but I think it's fine. I don't listen to much else with auto tune, so when I do listen to it (Kanye, I See Stars, AA!) I like it in heavy doses. If that makes any sense....Let's see...I've covered singer, screamer, instrumentals....oh the instrumentals really aren't that special. It's metalcore. But damn it's done so well. And the random fucking synth. I don't know. It's grown on me. It's kinda cool. It just is what it is. BMTH uses electronica too, albeit, much less dancey.

Kickin' Wing, Animal Doctor, Catfish Soup, Outro are my fav songs.

Oh outro. I love that song so much. It's just a piano. And it's moving. I can't describe it. I'm moved by it. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. The descending pattern, then the high note. I'm all about that shit. It sounds very similar to Explosions in the Sky's "Your Hand in Mine" from "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place". That song is also very good. Outro is a shorter, more to the point version of that song.

This may be one of those CDs that people don't like right away.

Or maybe it's shit and I love it anyway.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Review I Found


ahahahahaa


1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I'm going to start off by saying I wish this wasn't my #1. I wanted to put a different album here, but I honestly couldn't find one that was more deserving of this spot. Having never been a fan of Kanye West before, I went into this album with low expectations. Right off the bat I knew I was wrong. The first few times through the album I thought it was pretty damn good, and it only got better. I have now been listening to it consistently since it came out and can't deny that it is my favorite album of the year. Fuck you Kanye West.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And I Told Them I Sent the Mac Book







So I've spent the better part of yesterday and some of today simply reading about Jonny Craig's scandal. So I should at least show part of what I found.

Also, this makes him a fucked up person and all. But fuck he just kills at from 2:30 - 2:55 on "The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 2 1/2".
Also, Jon Mess is a really funny and intelligent guy. He doesn't give a fuck almost as much as Jonny. Except he's not a scumbag who scams his own fans out of money for drugs. If it was for rent or food, then maybe. Not heroin.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dude


This guy is a douche bag. I can understand just being a prick. I give people the benefit of the doubt in that case. But scamming? No sympathy. I hope he goes to jail. If it's the drug's fault, maybe he'll get clean and become a better person. I hope so. His voice is so lovely.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Matter What You Think

Say what you want about Pierce the Veil's music, the amount that they tour and love their fans is amazing.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

OH YEA!


Why can't I stop listening?!?!?!?

Awful Songs People Like

Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
Tonight - Enrique Iglesia 
Hold It Against Me - Britney Spears
DJ Got Us Fallin in Love - Usher
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Replay - Iyaz
I Just Had Sex - The Lonely Island
Bass Down Low - Dev and the Cataracts
Six Foot, Seven Foot - Lil Wayne
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Look at Me Now - Chris Brown
S&M- Rihanna
Club Can't Handle Me Right Now - Flo Rida
Bounce- MSTRKRFT
Top of the World - Dev and the Cataracts
Without You - Usher and David Guetta
Boyfriend - Justin Beiber
The Motto - Drake
Hot Right Now - DJ Fresh ft Rita Ora
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Take Over Control - Afrojack

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All Me

Also,
haters gonna hate, I'm enjoying this.

Ooo yay!

Isles & Glaciers Not Completely Melted

Thank god. It's a shame they don't have anything else coming soon. They could do a lot of cool things with their sound (vocal harmonies, rounds). I'd like to see that.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What kind of music did I listen to in 5th-12th grade?

Smash Mouth
-AstroLounge 4th grade, summer of 7th grade
Linkin Park
-Hybrid Theory (5th grade)
-Meteora (summer before and 8th grade)
Lostprophets
-Start Something (8th grade)
blink 182
-Enema of the State (4th grade)
-blink 182 (8th grade)
Sum 41
-All Killer No Filler (8th grade)
-Does This Look Infected? (Summer before 9th grade)
-Chuck (10th grade)
Nelly
-"Air Force Ones", "Rid Wit Me", "Shake Ya Tailfeathers (7th grade)
Eminiem
-The Eminem Show (6th grade)
Good Charlotte
-The Young and the Hopeless (8th grade)
Weird Al
-Poodle Hat (7th Grade)
Limp Bizkit
-Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (edited)(5th grade)
Papa Roach
Jimmy eat World
-"The Middle", "Sweetness" (Summer before 8th grade)
A Teens
-Teen Spirit (Summer before 6th grade)
Aaron Carter
-Aaron's Party (Come and Get It) (don't remember exactly, but I think 5th grade-6th grade probably)
-Oh Aaron (6th-beginning of 7th grade)
Green Day
-Warning (5th-6th grade)
-Dookie (7th Grade)
-Insomniac + Nimrod (9th-10th grade)
-American Idiot (9th grade)
Rise Against
- Sufferer and the Witness - (11th Grade)
- Appeal to Reason (Freshman Year of College)
Avenged Sevenfold
-Waking the Fallen (9th-10th grade)
-City of Evil (summer of 10th grade)
-Self-Titled (end of 12th grade)
Atreyu
-The Curse (10th grade)
-Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (10th-11th grade)
Underoath
-saw at Warped 2006, didn't get that into until 10th grade with Writing and the Walls. (Iris and Chey)
Relient K
-MMHMM (hume lake in 10th grade, I knew all the words. so at least since 9th grade)
-two lefts (9th-11th)
AFI
-decemberunderground (10th-11th grade)
-Sing the Sorry (8th grade)
Alesana
-Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax ( late 11th grade-12th grade)
-The Emptiness (sophomore year of college)
Between the Buried and Me
-Alaska (11th grade)
-The Silent Circus (11th grade)
-Colors (12th grade)
Saosin
-Self-Titled (summer before 12th grade)
Tech N9ne
-MLK, Everready (11th grade)
Fall Out Boy
-Take This To Your Grave, From Under the Cork Tree (summer before 10th grade)
-Infinity on High (France during 11th grade)
HORSE the Band
-Pizza (end of 12th grade)
Barenaked Ladies
-Stunt, Everything to Everyone (8th grade)
-Are Me (11th grade)
The Offspring
-Americana (5th Grade)
-Splinter (9th grade)
The Academy is...
-Almost Here (10th grade)
Dance Gavin Dance
-DBM1 (12th Grade)
A Skylit Drive
-She Watched the Sky, Wires (12th Grade)
System of a Down
-Toxicity (8th grade)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oh God

What a fantastic genre of music

Monday, January 24, 2011

Album of the year

I'll get to this....eventually......

I mean, how do I chose between BMTH, ADTR and Yeezy?




1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I had a hard time choosing this. And if it was any other year, Bring Me the Horizon would probably have won it. But damn, Yeezy is good. Really Really good.

The album's opening lines spoken by Nicki Minaj give the listener the impression they're becoming involved in something like a fairy tale. It's like your descending into some bizarre dream, like something you've never experienced before. In terms on albums with this tight of production, masterful, thoughtful, humorous lyrics and a cavalcade of guest stars, you haven't seen an album like this. The opening line he spits, "I fantasized this back in Chicago" is Kanye's indication that this CD has been on his mind for a long time.

808's and Heartbreaks is one of my favorite CDs. It's low key, its subtle, its honest and it's sounds really good on some nice headphones. Yeezy took some flak for it. America seemed to be stunned that we had liked Kanye for so long and his ordeal with Swift made him hated by almost everyone. West set out to prove that he was that good and that we were wrong. He was. All of our hating made him better.

Dark Fantasy is phenomenal way to start the CD. His lyrics in this song are up to the Kanye standard ("Sex is on fire I'm the kind of Leona Lewis", "Refresh the page and refresh the memory, respark the soul and rebuild the energy") and he still does very well by rapping himself, putting to rest the accusations that he surrounds himself with better rappers in order to succeed. He proves here he doesn't need other rappers. He can rap. He brings them in because it makes the songs better. Dark Fantasy succeeds at bringing us into the world of MBDTF and by the time the end of the song comes around, the listener isn't ready to leave and wants to see what's down the rabbit hole.

Gorgeous was not a song I immediately liked. The guitar in the beginning always left a bad taste in my mouth and Kid Cudi doesn't really add a lot to it. However, almost every time that I get past the opening, I remember that Kanye's lyrics are again in top form here ("got caught with 30 rock the cop looked the Alec Baldwin", "face it Jerome gets more time than Brandon" "I treat cash the way government treats aids, I won't stop till and my nigga's get it, get it?", "is hip-hop just a euphemism for a new religion, the soul music for the slaves that the youth is missing", "But what is a black beetle anyway? a fucking roach. I guess why that's why they got me sitting in fucking coach"). Put those together with Raekwon's good verse, the piano's and mellow beat, its good.

POWER may be the best song on the CD. It's not the longest, most diverse or have the stellar guest performances, but it encapsulates everything that was bothering Kanye before this CD dropped. It has one of the most arrogant lines on the CD ("I guess every superhero needs his theme music") and it fits wonderfully. His versus are just full of anger and bravado (to borrow a word he used earlier). He is simultaneously proclaiming himself the greatest of all time and that he shouldn't be so amazing. It's that mindset of, "man I'm fucking cool. but its all so stupid" that I love about West. and it's got that line "I don't need yo pussy, bitch I'm on my own dick. I ain’t gotta power trip, who you going home with?".

All of the Lights has the most guest appearances on the CD. La Roux even called it big and bold and complimented West for doing what he wanted to do on his CD. He isn't afraid to share the limelight with anyone. He shares it with 11 other people. And yet, it doesn't sound cluttered, or forced at all. Kanye said that he wanted a unique texture for the song, even if you can barely here it. It is almost to hear the other vocal backgrounds, even when you are listening for them. But I think that actually bodes well for the song. It doesn’t sound like a bunch of people talking. It’s just Kanye being different. It's a song about wanting to show someone the wonderfulness of the world. The lights serve as a metaphor for splendor and glory. And he wants to show them to this person he is addressing. He wants what is best for them and seems willing to do whatever it takes to give them that. It's a touching song. It shows Kanye's softer side. And the power of the instrumentation adds to this sentiment. The emotion is materialized through the music.

Monster is one of my personal favorites. The driving beat behind is amazing. The keyboards sound like something off of 808s but it works for the song. It comes off as more vicious when coupled the rest of the beats. The production here is amazing as well. Samples cut in and out based around the current flow of the rapper. But the highlight of this song is the verses themselves. Kanye raps with ferocity and amazing intensity. What always impressed me was Kanye’s ability to keep the “theme” of the song in his verses. He doesn’t wander a lot and finds very clever ways to continue to talk about the overall message of the song. Lines like “The best living or dead hands down, huh?”, “bought the chain that always gave me back pain”

It took me a while to actually start liking So Appalled. I realized that even though a lot isn't happening in the beat, its still an emotionally charged song. It's flow still works really well and Kanye's spit is just spot on. Jay-Z appears for the second time in two tracks, but his presence isn't unwelcome. He does well and has one of my favorite lines of, "The fuck am I saying, the fuck am I saying, not only am I fly, I'm fucking not playing". Then the other two rappers on the track do really well as well. Especially the line "If God had an iPod, I'd be on his playlist". I also really like the word play in the lines "I met this girl on Valentine's Day, fucked her in MayShe found out about April so she chose to march". 

Devil in a Red Dress- This song sounds like a dream. Like a nightmare. I can't quite decide between the two. The tone of the music is haunting, just like how this girl seems to haunt Kanye. It's strange and eerie, but I think it adds a lot to the CD. Especially how it leads amazingly into Runaway with those few piano keystrokes.

Runaway - Amazing. Enough said. I don't know how I can really describe how good this song is. Hip Hop is art and if anyone disputes that point, show them this. The introspective nature of lyrics clash with the tone of the music. The piano and the drum beat come together for a happy feeling, driving hook. Then the lyrics are sad and self deprecating. The layers to the vocals are astounding. He speaks the words under his own sang vocals.  The auto tune voice box solo at the end is a stroke of genius. Who thinks to use auto tune as an instrument? a crazy person named Kanye West. Even the solo has layers!

Hell of a Life - Full of auto tune again. However, the chorus is really catchy, with its hypnotic ryhmes of "mind", "line" then "me" and "need". The lyrics in the song are also very good. Kanye in this song is trying to become a better person. He is reforming and this happy song is him building and moving on. 

Blame Game - Slow song. Very Emotional. The Chris Rock spoken word at the end borders on vulgar, but I don't hate it. Which is weird. Usually something with that much profanity just appalls me and somehow the piano and the way Chris Rock says it, it makes it sound sincere. It makes it sound like he cares. Like it means something. Not just someone saying a bunch of crude things. I understand this song. I've been in this situation. You want to blame them. It's what it is. Props to Kanye for nailing the emotional side of relationships.....again.

It's really hard for me to not say that Lost in the World is my favorite track on the CD. But it isn't. All of the Lights just encapsulates the attitude of the album so well. But this is a close second. But it's very difficult to even have a favorite. Every song is unique and has its own tone and atmosphere. Each one does something different in terms of a direction for the theme of the album. Lost in the World is a beautiful song in this regard. It's resignation. It's sad, but it's still hopeful. Bon Iver's perfectly auto tuned vocals combine with Kanye's own lyrics and they mix right into the first verse. It's glorious. 


DGD/Architects

Good

Single is good.