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 selections from Dirty Projectors, Frank Ocean, Twin Shadow, and more.
Swing Lo Magellan by Dirty Projectors
Dirty Projectors defy easy classification. There's too much going on. In just a single song of theirs, you might hear snippets of funk, country, prog, pop, and definitely R&B, all of which are swirled together magnificently on Swing Lo Magellan, their follow-up to 2009's modern-masterpiece Bitte Orca.
But even with all the commotion — between the crackling production and Dave Longstreth's wobbly vocals and the three-part female harmonies led by the fantastic Amber Coffman — Swing is remarkably calm; the songs breathe more than they did on Bitte, resulting in an album that's both easy to appreciate and easy to relate to. Top-five of the year for me.
Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
All the hype: totally deserved. Just as sophisticated and emotionally complex as we'd hoped.
Head over to the Smoking Section for more.
Confess by Twin Shadow
Confess can sound a little too glossy and inauthentic at times, but it's tough to hate on the '80s new wave-pop that Twin Shadow clearly loves (second only to writing remarkable hooks) and most of the time does so well, especially when he lets himself go and channels his inner Prince. Oh, and it's available for only $3.99 on Amazon right now.
Unsound by Mission of Burma
It's unfair to expect greatness from a band that's been together for 33 years, but Unsound, Mission of Burma's fourth album since reuniting in 2002, continues their remarkable run of making very, very good jerky post-punk albums, long after most other bands would have called it quits (for good, that is).
Luckily, Mission of Burma isn't most other bands.
Skelethon by Aesop Rock
He's back, and his flow is still rapid-fire. As accessible (relatively speaking, for Aesop at least) as it is good, which is to say: very.