As fun as it is to complain about "music these days," and how it's all been downhill since The Chronic or something came out, it's even MORE fun to listen to — wait for it — good music. Every Tuesday, a.k.a. Music Release Day, we'll highlight five albums worth (legally) downloading or driving to the local Best Buy (lolz) for.
Today, we've got a rock god releasing his first solo album, the long-awaited sophomore album for a Brooklyn hip hop star, the one-and-only Annie Clark, and more.
It’s been too long since Santigold, who was Nicki Minaj before Nicki Minaj (and Santogold before Santigold), released her last album -- four years, in fact. But now show's back with the fantastic, energetic Master of My Make-Believe (released today in the UK, next week in the U.S.), which expands upon her 2008 debut by increasing the breadth of genres (electro-pop, reggae, hip-hop, etc.) she masters. Check out lead single "Go!" (produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O) and "Freak Like Me," and think M.I.A., if M.I.A. actually cared.
Honestly, I was a little burned out on Jack White for awhile; the last White Stripes album, Icky Thump, wasn’t as good as Get Behind Me Satan, which itself wasn’t as good as Elephant or White Blood Cells, and I could never get into the Raconteurs or the Dead Weather. But then I saw the "SNL" episode with White performing "Sixteen Saltines," which sounds as good as anything White made with his ex-wife, and I was sold on Blunderbuss. Beneath the song's crunchy classic rock riffs lies a sadness and bitterness about lost love ("And I'm solo rollin'/I'm one side off the boat"), a recurring theme whether on the frisky saloon ballad "Hypocritical Kiss" or the sinister "Freedom at 21." Guess Meg wasn't the genius behind the White Stripes, after all...
This two-song single actually came out on Saturday (Record Store Day), but it's so f*cking good that I'm including it anyway. Basically, if you don't like St. Vincent, you're wrong. She's a kickass guitarist with a menacing voice who crowd surfs at Coachella and covers Big Black songs -- all that, and she's very, very pretty. "KROKODIL," as vicious as its title implies, might be her best track yet.
So fresh, so smooth, with production by Statik Selektah and guest appearances from Ea$y Money and Action Bronson. Reks might not be the most innovative of lyricists, but it's oddly refreshing to hear someone who would fit in on a Common-heavy mix tape. If you like 1990s hip hop, you'll like this.
Scruffy guitar rock with more than a hint of psychedelia. It's punky, spiky, and fuzzy -- and a blast to listen to it.