I have decided to stop posting until further notice. I am starting a new blog (www.playlistzone.blogspot.com) It's a collection of playlists and some other stuff. It's more lose than this blog. If I start to post here again I will announce it. Thanks!
For those have bee following my blog from the beginning you will know that Flo Rida was my first album review. So someplace in my heart I have a soft spot for him. Flo Rida has been one of the most experimental mainstream Hip-Hop artists. He shamelessly samples tons of classics and does it to a lot of downloads on iTunes.
Flo Rida is not known from his rapping as much as his catchy chorus'. This album is full of them. Some great examples are "Right Round", "Touch Me", "Sugar", "Gotta Get It (Dancer)" and "Jump". They all have some amazing chorus' which is really the genius of Flo Rida. The collaborator's on the album are Akon, Nelly Furtado, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha and Wyclef Jean.
For people who are looking for a Rap album your not going to get it here. Even when he rap's it's far from good. The best tracks on the album are all the tracks with guests. Flo Rida is not a rapper as he is a master collaborator. Sort of like Timbaland but he doesn't produce.
The album is all but salvaged by the collaborators. If not for them this would be a trashy album. But the amount of singles on the album are hard to ignore. I would say their are atleast 5 good singles. It's pretty amazing how this album comes out as a good addition to any iPod and any stereo system.
Overall: 73/100 (Best Tracks: Right Round, Sugar, Touch Me and Be On You)
I first heard this Montreal/Toronto duo on MTV Canada. Their performance was energetic and I have been following them since. The duo are a DJ (Grahm Zilla) and artist (Isis Salam). The way they make music is Grahm Zilla sends his beats to Isis and then she rap's or whatever she wants to do on the track. It's the magic of the Internet. Once I heard they were coming out with a debut I was excited. This album a dance-floor hit.
You never know what to expect from this album, it's a very mixed bag. But they seem to do all very well. "LBG (Little Booty Girl)" takes experimental side of Crystal Castles and puts some rapping on it to make it a stand out of the album. "Space Cowboy" makes R&B indie again and "Do the Right Thing" has some of the best production I have heard.
The faults of the album depends of the listener. Some may find this album not focused and all over the place. Some may find this album too experimental. Some tracks may seems like copies of The Cool Kids.
Thunderheist seem too have a good foundation for a few more albums. Their debut is something you have to hear and then decide. In my opinion this album is one the best Canadian releases in the past year.
Overall: 81/100 (Best Tracks: Jerk It, Anthem and Freddie)
Everyone probably remembers these guys from that annoying and sort of enjoyable song "Young Folks" or the whistle song. But with a new album their showing their more than that. They do that with mixed results.
Peter Bjorn and John seem like masters of production. Their simple yet amazing production is nothing short of masterful. Nothing shows this off like their single "Nothing to Worry About". The delightful children chorus is pretty uplifting and the beat is crazy good. "Stay This Way" sounds like a mild version of Panda Bear. Which is not a bad thing.
But the album does have a few faults. After a few listens the album seems to always mesh and does not seem to have any surprises on the way. Which is a complex way of saying that it's boring. "4 Out of 5" seems like a horrible mistake, its horribly boring.
This album I find strips away the fun sound they had on their previous album "Writer's Block" with more mixed results. It's a step back for a band that can be so much more than on this album.
Overall: 62/100 (Best Tracks: Nothing to Worry About and Stay This Way")
For someone to say this is a change for Karen O is an understatement. She now has rooted herself deeply into disco-experimental lane. But she hasn't lost her footing as one of the most charismatic artists out there.
It's Blitz see's the have a more well balanced path and it works like a charm. "Runaway" is one of the most assured pieces of work that they have done during their career. The lead single "Zero" is one of the most strangely uplifting tracks I have heard in quite a while. But these tracks do not take away from their edge. They still do what they want and they do it well.
One of the tracks that immediately caught my attention was "Skeletons". It has a hypnotic tone to it but it does not lose the groups personality. "Skeletons" is one of the best tracks of the year by a mile.
The only fault I could give to the album is it slows down the last 2 tracks and it does lose your attention. But after all the great tracks it may have been the right decision.
The album is one of the best of the year. It's not all out ballsy but it never sucks. Which is a big statement since the band always went a little overboard.
Overall: 87/100 (Best Tracks: Skeletons, Zero and Heads Will Roll)
I have thought forever that the Grammy's were just a marketing ploy to get your ass into the nearest record store. Which it is. But this year the Grammy's were surprisingly okay. That may not seem very enthusiastic but it hasn't been better in 5 years. I'm going to break down each section of the Grammy's.
Performances: This year didn't have any amazing performances in my opinion. Maybe Jennifer Hudson considering the circumstances. But other than that their weren't many great performances. Another okay performance was the so called "rap" pack (T.I., Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and M.I.A.). But M.I.A. just looked foolish on that stage. She was a distraction. I love M.I.A. . But she took away from the performance. The worst performances included Neil Diamond, Jonas Brothers/Stevie Wonder and Miley Cyrus/Taylor Swift. Neil Diamond just looked like a joke singing "Sweet Caroline". It's time to leave that song in the closet and never let it come out. Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers were a mess. Stevie did his best with what he was given. But the Jonas Brothers had the nerve to forget the man's lyrics. Even I knew the lyrics and I hadn't listened to that song is years. The Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift performance would have been great. If Miley Cyrus didn't decide to sing off pitch the whole time. Taylor Swift was pretty good actually. That's all I'm going to talk about the performances.
Award Recipients: This year the Grammy committee mostly chose good recipients for the awards. My highlight of the night was Adele winning 'Best New Artist' and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss winning 'Album of the Year'. Frankly, Coldplay did not deserve to win the awards they did. I know that the Grammy committee thinks Coldplay is the safest option of the night. It's true that they are. But in my opinion they are no more than a crowd pleaser. Them winning 'Rock Album of the Year' was a big joke. At least they acknowledged they aren't real rockers.
Overall Grammy Score: 6/10 (It was a better than average year. More than ever this year great artists were recognized.)
Does anyone know what Sufjan Stevens is up to these days? It's been a while hasn't it? Almost 4 years since Illinois. "Chicago" has been on my Ipod for that long. I need something new by him. So if you know about what he is doing lately please comment.