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Reycism: The Year in Reyview

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Top Tracks: I’m In Love, Ninja

Major Weaknesses: Not enough tracks with deep meaning

Major Strengths: Songwriting that rivals any major pop act’s

 

Noonie Bao is the stage name of Swedish singer and songwriter Jonnali Mikaela Parmenius, who started her career as a solo artist back in 2010, writing for fellow Swedish artist Tove Styrke’s debut album. Her first studio album, I Am….Noonie Bao was released in 2012. Noonia is her first studio EP and first release since her studio album in 2012.

 

Noonie surprise released the first single from this EP out of nowhere. That song really did make me excited for what was to come, because it’s truly just a simple and perfect pop song of a breed that becomes ever more rare by the year. To get another one from her after gems like Big Boys Do Cry, Bodywork Lover and The Game just further proves how skilled she is at writing songs for herself, though she’s been cutting her teeth working with big stars.

 

Despite this, Noonia does suffer from being slightly too short to cram in all I’d like out of a Noonie Bao release. There’s really only one track that I feel is quite contemplative, whereas her first album was just laden with punchy and adroitly-written ballad fare. There are snatches here and there of her real talent for deep feelings, such as in the verses and prechorus of third single Criminal Love, which speak to an interesting situation involving a couple who’ve committed a crime and are wondering if they should confess, though that would require each individual to throw the other under the bus. Overall though, I would’ve liked at least one more ballad just to give this EP a better balance of fun pop tracks to smart ones.

 

One thing that you definitely can’t question after listening to this EP is Noonie’s ability to write a damn good pop song. Every single track is given the sort of groove you’d normally only expect from a seasoned producer like Max Martin. None of them ever feels overproduced or too grand; Noonie’s light and bright vocals give each piece a quiet serenity, though there are still pop mainstays like earworm choruses and reverb heavy backing vocals. All in all, this EP serves as proof to me that Noonie has managed to keep her individuality intact after three years in the trenches of writing with people like Charli XCX and Avicii. I’m eagerly awaiting whatever Noonie has to put out in the coming year.

 

The best tracks of the EP to me are quite varied. On Ninja, Noonie coos softly over a light sitar with orchestral elements about the perils of anxiety when you’ve got a crush. It’s the only proper ballad of the piece and is just as gorgeous as it deserves to be, fulfilling that illustrious position. The next track I think is worthy of being called out is the first single, I’m In Love. The song is marked by vaguely Lean On-esque breakdown backing vocals during the chorus and a major earworm melody. In the months since its release, it has definitely taken a place among my favorite singles released this year.

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Top Tracks: Street Fight, American Love, 9 to 5, Karaoke, Lovetap!

Major Weaknesses: Sean Scanlon’s voice can be annoying

Major Strengths: Melodies that you can’t help but enjoy

 

Smallpools is an American indie pop band comprised of four members: Sean Scanlon (lead singer), Michael Kamerman, Joseph Intile and Beau Kuther. They formed in 2013 and released their self-titled EP that same year through RCA Records. LOVETAP! is their first full-length album released since formation. Their music is best described as pure indie pop.

 

The story here is pretty typical. I hadn’t heard of Smallpools until LOVETAP! was already out and grabbed the whole thing on a whim and gave it a listen. This album starts pretty bombastically and the energy doesn’t die quickly. The first song that I don’t think is single-worthy is a full six tracks in. Even after that cutoff, there are a few highlights left, so I can’t even call this album frontloaded or simply a product of good marketing. Definitely hoping for some good stuff to come from them in the future.

 

My main critique is that their lead singer Sean Scanlon sometimes uses his upper range in a way that’s really unattractive to listen to. It sounds like shouting and it’s kind of nasalized, as if he’s got a cold that won’t quit and he’s trying to blow a bunch of mucus out of his nose by shaking his nasal passages with high notes. There’s a pretty good example of this in the prechorus of American Love. I’ve sorta gotten past it with repeated listens, but if you’re trying to get into this album, it’s pretty distracting, to say the least. Fair warning to all who attempt to do so.

 

It’s possible that Sean Scanlon only needs a tissue because this album is infectious as hell, though. Seriously, this is the kinda music that I want to be the background of a propaganda film shot at Coachella. I’m probably not even making sense anymore, because wow, this album has been such a fuck-up for my own songwriting. Some of the lyrics on here are ridiculous, yet they’re cloaked in such great melodies that I don’t even care how dumb they sound. This album will have you singing along raucously to the lines “Go on and use me, I’ll be your Bruce Lee” and “I want admission to your party”, as if either of those isn’t a weird-as-fuck thing to put in a song.

 

My favorite tracks on this beautiful mess are all over the map. Street Fight is probably my favorite at the moment, just because it’s so gloriously ridiculous and embraces it unapologetically, to a degree that no other track does. Other favorites include 9 to 5, a guitar and harp (yeah, really) track about being stuck in a dead end job and how tough it is to pay the bills on time, and American Love, a quick-paced track about wooing a foreigner and bringing the world into the American Dream. There’s also the title track, which I’ll be fucked before I understand a damn word of, but god, it’s catchy. Lastly (and perhaps near most importantly) there’s Karaoke, your standard “come hither, friends, let’s make fools of ourselves” song, wrapped up in a package that wouldn’t feel out of place at an actual karaoke night.

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Top Tracks: Third Eye, Queen of Peace, St. Jude, Hiding

Major Weaknesses: Least cohesive album from the group

Major Strengths: Straightforward songwriting that manages to still be expressive

 

Florence + The Machine is a British art-rock and chamber pop group, comprised of lead singer Florence Welch, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Isabella Summers and touring members Robert Ackroyd, Christopher Lloyd Hayden, Tom Monger, Mark Saunders and Rusty Bradshaw. The group initially formed in 2007 and released their first album, Lungs, in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. Their sophomore album, Ceremonials, was released 2011 and followed up by significant promotion for the next two years. Following this period, the band took a break to get inspired and write for the album that would become How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

 

I’ve anticipated this album so much since Ceremonials. I was watching BMI, ASCAP, HFA and SESAC like a hawk just to see if even a scrap was put up early. Several titles did make it on there early, including Hiding, Caught, As Far As I Could Get and Pure Feeling to name just a few. Every little thing was exciting and seemed like a big event. The pictures from the cenotes just made me feel like Florence hadn’t lost the beat in the slightest, because that’s exactly the sort of imagery I associate her music with. There’s a mysticism to everything she does that just makes my spine tingle with anticipation of something new. Though the wait for this album was long, it more than fulfilled my expectations from a quality standpoint. There’s also the fact that no Florence + The Machine album is ever short, when adding in all the bonus tracks and extra exclusives.

 

On first listen, this album showed as sort of the least consistent work that Florence + The Machine have put out thus far. Lungs relied on the harp creating a Shakespearean vibe to tie everything together and Ceremonials had that dark orchestral deal going to create a watery Venetian church theme. The unifying theme for How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful seems to be acoustic guitar to create a somewhat muddier theme involving positivity and idealism. The threads of this record don’t tie up quite so neatly as Ceremonials or even Lungs, because the execution of the ideas is not consistent through the record, largely as a result of the variety of producers who worked on the project. While Markus Dravs, Isabella Summers, Dan Wilson, Charlie Hugall and Kid Harpoon are all great producers, they’ve all got significant enough differences in their approach that this album gets a bit mixed up.

 

One welcome change that How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful brings to Florence + The Machine’s discography is a songwriting perspective shift. Gone are the songs couched in layers of obscure metaphor and water symbolism, having given way to a style with clarity of meaning that minces fewer words on sweet nothings. Tracks like Delilah and What Kind of Man would’ve been utterly swimming in literary references, had they been written earlier in Florence’s career, but now focus more on emotional vocals, largely conveying the anger of a woman scorned. The emotions are more nuanced and less hollow than they had previously been, contributing to my opinions on the general growth of artistry this album demonstrates. Hopefully the wait for album #4 won’t be so long as the four year gap between Ceremonials and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, so I won’t be left in the dark about whether this album truly was a major example of growth or just a fluke.

 

There are a lot of truly incredible songs that made this album as good as it is. Firstly, I’d like to call out Third Eye as the clearest classic to come from the record. It’s a Shake It Out level life-affirming song that just makes you wanna live life a thousand years, no matter how hard it gets. The other track that truly stands out as above and beyond the rest is Queen of Peace, a frenetically paced symphonic horn composition with some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve heard this year. Beyond that, the slow burning St. Jude nabs a spot near the top, with its lovely pipe organ and reverberant backing vocals. Last but not least, the somewhat more upbeat Hiding recalls the days of Lungs with its synth patterns and strummy guitar.

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Top Tracks: Terrence Loves You, Salvatore, God Knows I Tried, Religion

Major Weaknesses: Complicated and slightly pretentious narrative

Major Strengths: Beautiful string arrangements and exploration of new sounds

 

Lana Del Rey is the stage name of New York born singer-songwriter Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, AKA Lizzy Grant. Grant began her musical experimentation early in life, but first began recording music in her late teens. Grant was signed for a record deal with a small label called Five Points Records at the age of eighteen and released her first album, Lana Del Ray, under their auspices in 2010, before pulling the record from iTunes shortly thereafter, when she signed with Interscope Records. Honeymoon is her third major label album and fourth album overall.

 

When Lana announced the title of Honeymoon in January 2015, I was pretty surprised. A lot of the promotional material surrounding the album discussed the relatively short span of time between her previous album, Ultraviolence and the release of Honeymoon. Early hype had me excited, because it was kind of non-traditional. Lana released the lyrics to the title track in a lyric booklet made available at the merchandise booths during the Endless Summer Tour. Towards the end of the tour, she sang part of the title track itself and shortly after, dropped the full studio version on her Youtube channel, with bits of an official video included. It was at this point when I feel she sort of lost the beat. The whole High By The Beach mess caused a lot of consternation for the era and most fans. It was kinda nice to be able to sit back and not even know the quality of the song, having stopped listening from between the release of the Honeymoon video to the album release, but at the same time, annoying, as apparently things weren’t going well.

 

Honeymoon’s issues come from the fact that it’s like an album written by a hedonistic sociopath. Never once on this album does Lana claim to feel romantic love for her anonymous partners. It includes phrases like “I adore you” and “I need your love”, while addressing them as “my little love”, but never once does she flatly say she loves anyone at any time during the course of this record. It’s like she’s play-acting as someone who’s kind of numb, but living it up in a Gatsby world, trying to eke out some sort of existence. This kind of put-upon pretense is a little overdramatic, even coming from someone as ridiculously dramatic as Lana Del Rey, especially considering how this feels like a narrative missing its third act. There’s no resolution at the end of the 14 tracks, except a track that basically tells you to listen again to understand. I have listened again; many times. This narrative doesn’t get better, less pretentious or less confusing, with repeated listen. Reading this back now, I feel like this is certainly the main reason Honeymoon isn’t her best record.

 

I can appreciate other things about this record, on a more superficial level. There are so many stunning string arrangements on Honeymoon, which create this surrealistic soundscape which I can’t in good conscience say is anything less than exquisite. Her vocals also take on a strange stilted staccato quality, furthering the surrealist notions I mentioned earlier. This style does indicate a lot of artistic growth, since like it or not, she’s never done this style of music on a release before. It’s certainly quite pleasing to the ear as background music, though maybe not under heavy scrutiny. In all honesty, I’d be fine if Honeymoon was the only album of this style that we get from Lana, but I also wouldn’t complain if we got a couple more tracks in that vein, perhaps from soundtracks or other side projects in the next year or so. 

 

The best track on the record is one of the few tracks not laden with sentiments evocative of someone with borderline personality disorder: Terrence Loves You. In the context of the record, it seems like a snatch of a different reality, perhaps in which Lana isn’t creating some long narrative and is seemingly actually feeling something, though it’s not really overt, as it seems to indicate that addiction is the answer for getting through personal difficulties. Continuing this thread of the story is another highlight, God Knows I Tried, which possibly demonstrates the start of these sociopathic tendencies through the rest of the record. Another highlight comes in the form of Religion, a track in which Lana seemingly tries to reconcile her lack of feeling by becoming an object of affection for someone else, craving their love. Its slow, plodding guitar helps drive the point home. Finally, we come to Salvatore, a track that seems to be based on pure hedonistic fantasy. Lana escapes to the Italian countryside and finds comfort in being flirtatious and living in sin, while the titular man’s lust for her grows.

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On 23 December 2015 at 9:30 AM, Hunty Bear said:

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(^ picture in full-resolution, believe me you want to see it xo)
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#HuntySUGGESTS: Clearest Blue, Leave A Trace, Make Them Gold, High Enough to Carry You Over, Down Side of Me

#HuntySKIPS: Playing Dead, Empty Threat, Follow You

#HuntyREVIEWS

Prior to the album's release, I’ll admit that I was a bit scared to see where CHVRCHES was gonna go with their sophomore LP, Every Open Eye. All of the pre-release singles they dropped just radiated with boring and saccharine fluff, and I was nervous that the album was going to end up bland and faceless unlike their excellent debut "The Bones Of What You Believe". And yeah, ig it is a lot more fluffy and glossy than "The Bones Of What You Believe", but I don't feel like they compromised much of their experimenting finesse in the end. 

Thankfully, the pre-release singles all ended up fitting in really well in context of the record, most of which are among my personal favorites now. Some of the production this album houses is a lot more gritty and industrial-sounding than most of the songs on The Bones Of What You Believe, like “Never Ending Circles” and “Bury It”, which I enjoy given that they're treading new waters. But a larger bulk of the songs on here stay within in the realm of slick, pop anthems a la break-up banger “Leave A Trace” and make-up banger “Make Them Gold”, and for the most part they’re the more refined, tightly-written, and more earwormy songs on the album. The real centerpiece of the album is obviously “Clearest Blue”, because it's the heaviest of the heavy tracks and the most emotional of the emotional tracks, and it successfully walks the line between the two sounds of the album that it showcases in its 15-song tracklist. In "Clearest Blue", they don’t utilize a tangible chorus nor do they don’t use the standard pop song song structure. In fact, the song’s almost structured like a Skrillex dubstep banger or something, because by the 2/3’s mark of the song the song just explodes, and it’s euphoric and awesome.

In the end, ig I’d be lying if I didn’t say CHVRCHES weren’t victims of the common sophomore slump (kinda like Purity Ring, same situation here). Every track on their debut shined with importance but there are a couple tracks here that are just only good enough to pass muster. But for the many other ways that this album could’ve gone wrong, it doesn’t feel like a bad body of work by any means? They haven’t forsaken their songwriting prowess and they still have the ability to pen catchy, exploding, sing-a-long choruses. Lauren is a more emotive and capable vocalist than ever, and she shines over the glacially slow and desolate ballads like “Down Side Of Me” and “Afterglow”.  And not to mention, the production is more polished and glittering than ever, and Lauren rides these productions effortlessly.  It’s a very solid and homogeneous synthpop record, and it’s for those reasons and more that Every Open Eye is my 5th favorite album of the year. 

Before I conclude this review, I’d like to thank @Andy personally for remaining steadfast in his passionate standom of this band and for stanning them by my side following the release of this record. This record really did wonders to purify his heretical heterosexual Ellie-stanning mongoose soul. <3 I’m also thankful that Martin Doherty learned how to sing because he sounded like a llama last record xo.
 

Down Side of Me was the best song of the year omfg. yas2yas2yas2mess1

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#HuntySUGGESTS: Terrence Loves You, Music To Watch Boys To, Salvatore, God Knows I Tried, Religion

#HuntySKIPS: 24, High By The Beach, Swan Song

#HuntyREVIEWS

I’ve been a fan of Lana for a very, very long time. I’ve always been captivated by her enigmatic persona that she puts on, her insanely multifaceted music, and her overall aesthetic. And she’s been fleshing out the character of Lana Del Rey for a very, very long time as well. So given that Lana aborted the entire Ultraviolence album promo campaign in favor of conceiving and embellishing this album, it was safe to say I had pretty high expectations. Lana has been always been successful when it came to reinventing her image and sound with each consecutive album release, so I was really curious to see where she'd go with it. Not to mention that I thought Ultraviolence was the fullest realization of her sound to date….

...And I can't say I was disappointed! But I appreciate it in a much different light than I do her previous full-length efforts, if that makes sense? Honeymoon is a very strange album, in terms of structure, sound, and narrative. Lana streams through violin-clad noirish ballads, to trappy slow-burning bangers, to a vaporwave minute-and-a-half long interlude. Then it just changes direction and regresses back into the trap atmosphere while capping off with the jazzy touches that she started the album off with. It’s hella weird honestly, but it also works.

Honeymoon is her most apathetic and vacuous album to date. She faces the camera flashes and spotlights with … literally no emotion. In fact, she sounds borderline comatose on songs like “High By The Beach” and the title track. But, somehow, in that emptiness, there's a hell of a lot of substance and nuance that I feel demands several listens and a lot of patience to fully appreciate. “Terrence Loves You” and “God Knows I Tried” are two of the most bleak and instrumentally scarce cuts on this record, but they’re both extremely understated in their beauty; it’s that factor alone that makes those sort of songs rank high above the other songs on the record that clutter themselves with arbitrary trap beats and weird samples (“High By The Beach”, again). However, despite the bleakness of some of the songs on Honeymoon, sonically, I also think it’s also her most eclectic full-length album to date, and I really admire how well it streams from track to track. “Music To Watch Boys To” utilizes congas, bassoons, and flutes to paint a noirish, exotic atmosphere and “Salvatore” utilizes similar flutes, strings, and pianos to vividly depict a 50’s Italian paradisiacal setting. “Religion” is another cut that utilizes Spanish guitar, a strings section, and heavy-trap beats, but her vocals somehow manage to give it a Western coloring. All three of these songs have a unique electric presence to them and are all very ornamentally lush, harkening back to the grandiose productions on Born To Die and Ultraviolence.

In terms of tone, Honeymoon flies all over the map. “Freak” is a hot and heavy, bassy, and brooding languid slow-burner (I’ve used this term a lot throughout this description, and I’m not using it in vain at all orangu1), which flows into the sunny, free-forming midtempo “Art Deco”. “24” and “Swan Song” sit on the latter half of this record and they both contrast those sort of sounds, staying classy, noirish and filmic in their niche. “Honeymoon” is a grim, Bond-esque orchestral piece, while “High By The Beach” is a distorted, sunny, and uptempo bop. And yet this album remains remarkably cohesive, and I don’t really know how.

Upon first listen, I deemed Honeymoon inferior to almost all of her previous full-length records, but after letting it sit with me for a while, I’ve been able to scrape through the many layers this record has. It’s long, but it’s patient, and it’s also fucking great. It's an album that I really treat as an art piece and it's a great addition to Lana's discography.
 

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#HuntySUGGESTS: These Walls, How Much A Dollar Cost?, u, Institutionalized, Hood Politics

#HuntySKIPS: You Ain't Gotta Lie (if I had to chose one)

#HuntyREVIEWS

I'm gonna kickoff this review by declaring Kendrick is the most talented rapper of our generation, easily. And I don’t even think I need to substantiate that claim because all of his records, including this one, are testaments to his immense talents as a rapper, a storyteller, a songwriter, and a God that I pray to religiously. Fist me daddy!

I’ve been following Kendrick for about a year and a half now, and I’ve always been fascinated by his storytelling prowess, especially. good kid, m.A.A.d city was a long tale describing and vividly depicting Kendrick’s youth and the troubles that followed him. I thought it was fascinating – it was both accessible and complex. It had a commercial appeal but it has so much depth to it that a lot of the general public overlooked when seat-dancing to  “Swimming Pools” and “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”. But To Pimp A Butterfly … it’s even more layered. I can say conclusively that TPAB is perhaps the most sonically ambitious, unapologetically black-proud, mainstream hip-hop album in years, in which he not only totally managed my expectations, but exceeded them.

With TPAB, we see Kendrick Lamar at his most artistically batshit, focusing just as much on his flows and vocal harmonies as the irregular time signatures of the upbeat, jazzy production, helmed by some really amazing producers such as Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Terrace Martin. Not only are his lyrics more clever, passionate, and witty this time around, but they are a hella lot more insightful and really do provoke a lot of thought of black politics in America. “These Walls” is the most complex song of his that I’ve heard; he uses the ‘walls’ conceit to explore topics like sex, prison, black politics, the human psyche, his enemies vs. his own career, and faith. In “How Much A Dollar Cost?” Kendrick narrates an iconic biblical tale but gives it his own spin, and he does it in such a captivating fashion [not to mention it has Obama’s seal of approval] that it almost seems like his own personal anecdote. “Institutionalized” uses another really brilliant conceit that youregonnahavetolistenandsee.gif if you wanna find out about. <3 

That's not to say that the whole lyrical/social message of the album undermines the brilliance of the production - Kendrick consciously knows that if the melody or the instrumental and the melody is trash, then most likely the whole song will be. “King Kunta” and “i” are among the catchiest hip hop songs I’ve heard this year, and yet they’re clad and adorned with jazz instruments, brass and strings, and glittering samples, but still helm heavy hip hop beats that would enable them to be broadcasted over urban radio. Even the interludes are extremely ornamentally lush (though one even runs to the 5 minute mark so I don’t really know what happened there orangu1).

And the album also flows together really gorgeously. Kendrick recites an excerpt of a poem he penned at the end of almost every track on the album, tying the album together with a really awesome cohesive knot, and believe me, by the last track it will all start to unwind and make sense. In terms of production and narrative, it all gets wrapped up poetically with a literal interview with Tupac. It’s hard to understand at face-value.

Each song has a certain level of attendant value and I don’t think I can I can single out a single bad song on this album. Either the song is aesthetically pleasing, lyrically impressive, lyrically moving, or just all three (which it usually is). And despite the gravity of this album, I’ve had it on loop for months following its release and I can still sit through it in full without getting bored, because this album is just that fruitful and has that many layers to scrutinize. This album as a body of work just comes off as a real artistic statement and a really powerful one too. Kendrick conveys his message in a way that I haven’t caught any rapper do so this year. But anyways, I digress; give this album a spin of your own and let it wash over you. Also be sure to perch yourselves for his forthcoming collaborative album with J. Cole. jj1


 

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Blood is British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas's sophomore album. The album is said to take influence from her Jamaican and Greek bloodlines, inspiring the album's title and musical direction. The album also takes influence from a variety of genres, teetering on the brinks of brass, jazz, raggae, classical, acoustic, rock, tropical, and even electronic music. The album is a full-sounding, instrumentally lush, and mature collection of R&B/soul ballads/love songs, and even on the album's more minimal cuts, Lianne's ear for melody and simple, yet poignant lyricism means that there is never a dull moment on Blood

When these songs want to pull at your heartstrings, they can and they will.
"Wonderful", considered the centerpiece of the album by many and led by only a piano and glimpses of acoustic guitar is a gorgeous ballad about the love that lingers in the aftermath of a breakup.

Highlight "Good Goodbye" is especially moving with wistful lyrics that relate to aging and seeing the people you love grow old. It's nostalgic, simple and beautifully sung and orchestrated.

Opener "Unstoppable" is a soul and R&B ballad produced by Paul Epworth. This gravity-defying lead single is a cinematic and jazzy number. Lianne's voice breezes through the song with power and sincerity. The song goes on to set the tone for the rest of the album, with its thrilling vocal arrangements. Lianne sings about a love that defies all laws over a gentle bass and lively chimes.

"If the stars don't guide the way, through the dead of space, you will be my one and only."

"Green & Gold" is one of the few songs on Blood that is not about love. Backed by a soft drum beat and snaps, Lianne sings about her heritage and her experiences growing up in a mixed household. The song is reflective and sincere. It's made especially personable with honest and relatable lyrics.

"Midnight" has a thunderous chorus and the most full-sounding intrumentation on the album. It's a song that is just so liberating and whimsical that it almost feels like it was made to be part of a Disney soundtrack. Powered by celebratory trumpets and traces of funk. The song is powerful, and her vocals demand your attention.

"Oh the places I'll go when I'm alone!"

Blood is short, nostalgic, and sweet. Each song moves into the next with fluidity and ease. No song overstays its welcome and each feels like it adds its own little flair to the album. Even the album's weaker moments ("What You Don't Do", the blaring rock influenced chorus of "Never Get Enough") don't particularly detract from the album's smooth sweet tones. Any fan of R&B/soul should give this album a spin.

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Unbreakable is a love letter to Janet's past musical successes that can stan firmly on its own two feet. It's a diverse, enjoyable collection of R&B and Pop offerings that take influence from a variety of different genres, from quiet storm to nu-disco to funk.

The title track is an uplifting and uptempo slice of 00s pop that serves as a heartwarming dedication to her fans and family after a 7 year break. Album highlight "2 Be Loved" breaks into a gleeful chorus and is one of the most modern-sounding songs on the record. "Dammn Baby" is in the same camp, a Tinashe-yet-better banger about how only Janet does what she can. "Broken Hearts Heal" is a touching ode to her brother while "Night" is a house/disco anthem that gradually builds up to a euphoric hook. "No Sleeep" is a silky smooth slow burner. "Black Eagle" is a mysterious and trippy ode to the ignored and oppressed

Unbreakable feels like a mixture of everything that makes Janet great. There is no filler here. Every song builds and improves upon everything that makes classic Janet great. 

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I'll be honest I didn't write anything for this album. It's just an #aesthetically pleasing electronic album. Every sample works perfectly. Highlights include "Girl", "Obvs", "Sleep Sound", "...(Good Times)" and "SeeSaw". Merry Christmas everyone! xo

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