Marissa Paternoster turns the knobs to 11 on her usual Siouxsie and the Banshees‘ howl on a b-side from Rose Mountain, all genitals to the wall on a punk brawl-room screamer about writhing in one’s pain, in a bone and sinew twirl of Bleach-era Cobain and iron-hot guitar solos. Whatever the source of the protagonist’s pain is, the band hold nothing back in chase of the catharsis dragon; [LISTEN].
The absolute catastrophe that is today’s geo-political climate, particularly our drone addiction, gets filtered through a sound that is appealingly confrontational and comes with some ear-catching bells and whistles. Yet is also has the nuance and restraint you’d expect for older indie audiences. Marching snare rolls and general soundtrack orchestration spell out the doom; [LISTEN].
Lidell wants to “walk back” to his past feeling of all-encompassing “love,” fresh newness, and possibly naivete. The janky, skittering drum beat right from the starting line will either draw you in or turn you off. It’s a perfect example of how he seems to be recreating Jamiroquai vibes well, but only for the higher-brow funk listener, lacking some mainstream appeal; [LISTEN].
“Gangnam Style” had a predecessor, and any ’90s kid can tell you that it’s the original viral hit. We’ll never know if it would’ve generated 2.6 billion views if it were released in today’s age of video sharing, but we do know that its cheesy, synchronized dance managed to get just as many Americans off their butts as Pokemon Go. Plus, the hook is sung by two adorably awkward old men; [LISTEN].
Eclipsing their previous LP drop joke, the cat-emblazoned Star Wars, w/ a 10th effort called Schmilco, brilliant Spaniard absurdist cartoon art included. Though like many a Wilco joint, Tweedy’s ruminations turn a dark page despite the sunlight of this unplugged classic verse-chorus-verse, coming in like a bittersweet front of Sky Blue Sky summer sadness about a disconnection w/ one’s inner-child.
Why he would end the album on a revolutionary note is a mystery. The whole album is based on opulence, so to punctuate it with messages of revolt is odd. It’s a transparent move, and a cheap way to remain relevant. The beat is just as tired and only adds more pageantry to the phoniness going on. It’s an insulting gesture and out of his league, a tasteless way to end the album.
After all the posturing and braggadocio, Snoop has the nerve to come forward with a song about doubt. Normally it would expand the scope in which we view a superstar of Snoop’s caliber, but in this context it comes off as disjointed and out of place. The beat is a throwback, but it doesn’t conjure up any fond emotions. Instead what we get are a series of lame, half-hearted regrets.
Swizz Beatz is milking his opportunity dry, rendering each song lifeless with a style that has no depth. Snoop does his best to pick things up, but ends up faltering under all the dead weight that has accumulated. The beat goes nowhere, with drums that are weaker than the lyrics. Everything about it is lukewarm and once again Snoop checks out, treating it as if it were a cheap throwaway.
Not even a slammin’ Timbaland beat can save Snoop from mediocrity. He’s rapping about everything and nothing at the same time, moving in what is essentially one big circle. There are so many vague references going on that it’s hard to get on board with any one idea. He’s rapping about nonsense, which has him sounding like a follower instead of a leader. A poor showing from a living legend.
Snoop has one quick verse and then he dips, fleeing the scene to let his guests do all the handy work. His stamina is waning and it’s offensive how generic it all is. The beat is flavorless and the hook is weak, leaving nothing but empty feelings and bored looks. He’s searching for a hit to take the album to the next level, but it’s not materializing. Far too many cliches to get off the ground.
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