RIFF’D: Aesop Rock’s ‘The Impossible Kid’

Aesop Rock is as animated as they come, almost on the verge of being verbose. His latest album The Impossible Kid represents an important shift in perspective; it’s the most straightforward and transparent he’s ever been, analyzing everything […]

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RIFF’D: J Dilla’s ‘The Diary’

J-Dilla‘s posthumous album The Diary is not what you think; it’s not a long lost beat tape and it’s not a traditional full length. It’s a collection of songs that he had intended to release […]

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RIFF’D: Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals’ ‘Call it What it Is’

Ben Harper is the diner food of pop music; offers a little bit of everything, but isn’t particular good at any one thing. For his 13th studio album Call It What It Is he takes his […]

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RIFF’D: Charles Bradley’s ‘Changes’

Charles Bradley is an old soul trying to navigate his way through a new unforgiving landscape. Ten years ago he might have been shunned, but thanks to Daptone and its work with Sharon Jones and Lee Fields […]

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RIFF’D: Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’

Kanye West‘s seventh studio album The Life of Pablo is exactly what the world was expecting, an overblown spectacle that is at best substandard. All the events leading up to the release reflected that his […]

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RIFF’d: Bloc Party’s ‘Hymns’

Both Hymns and Bloc Party’s last previous album Four came after four particularly long years of waiting. Realistically, every track that has grown to represent them as a band and really cut through to fans came […]

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RIFF’d: Savages’ ‘Adore Life’

The title of Savages’ Adore Life is almost a disclaimer, or a preemptive self-explanation. Lyricist Jehnny Beth is fascinated, if not obsessed, with the power and drawbacks of love, and she’s in love with life […]

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RIFF’d: David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’

David Bowie‘s 69th birthday marked his 26th solo studio album. Little did some of us know that ‘★’ (more commonly called Blackstar) would be his mortal swan song. It’s an album full of metaphors from old plays, references […]

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RIFF’d: Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams’

Coldplay continue to slowly U2 on A Head Full of Dreams. However, they also continue to predictably dabble in light plagiarism and all the latest Top 40 fads, so they are able to retain more relevance […]

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RIFF’d: Freddie Gibbs’ ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

Only one year removed from one of the best rap albums of the decade and Freddie Gibbs casually walks up to the plate and belts one clear over the left-field bleachers; two back-to-back homeruns without breaking […]

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