Four years ago, I worked on a music blog with some of my best friends. It allowed me to work on my writing skills while I honed other techniques at college, but I couldn’t keep it updated much beyond my sophomore year. While I don’t devote nearly the same amount of time looking, harvesting and researching about new music as I used to, I still follow the general trends going on. Recently, I’ve found more free time after six months of living in Japan. Some of that time I’d like to use to write and music is one of those subjects that I might occasionally write about. I’ll try to give some short form reviews on new releases. Below is a grading scale that I’ll use for the time being.
Grading Scale: Classic-5, Multiple Listens-4, Another One-3, One and Done-2, This Shouldn’t Exist-1
Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Prominent singer and songwriter Father John Misty last left us with the bitingly sarcastic, tongue-and-cheek I Love You, Honeybear in 2015. So what could he possibly do as a follow-up? Produce the an even more somber and scathing album in Pure Comedy. Utilizing a beautiful arraignment of string instruments and acoustic guitars, FJM makes a nearly movie-length nihilistic epic. The comedy is not “pure” so much as it’s depressing and merciless against anything from political regimes to the L.A. lifestyle. This album had me chuckling like I, LYH did, but for vastly different reasons. This time, my laughter was a byproduct of realizing how insignificant our existence is. If that’s what FJM was trying to evoke, he did a damn good job of doing so.
Joey Bada$$ – AmeriKKKan Bada$$
Joey Bada$$ is still arguably one of the best young hip-hop prodigies in American rap right now, despite releasing his debut mixtape 1999 five years ago. At 22, Joey has released his most mature, and politically charged album yet. Joey rips through the current social and political plights of America while also trying to piece together how the country reached its current iteration.
Upon first listen, there were many passages on this album where I couldn’t believe how well his sung melodies flowed with his lethal rhymes. While keeping with the smooth jazz rap instrumentals that have carried him to this point, there are some bright embellishments of trap-style percussion and synth leads that are sprinkled to keep the sound fresh throughout the album. The only regret may be that this album was released too closely to the new Kendrick Lamar release that will inevitably dominate the hip-hop community for at least the next month, if not the whole year. Still, that doesn’t make this any less worth paying attention to.