As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic 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 albums from Nas, JEFF the Brotherhood, Baroness, and more.
Life Is Good by Nas
FINALLY. It feels like we’ve been talking about this album, Nas’s 10th, for weeks now. Because we have. Every track that’s been released — from the organ- and Rick Ross-heavy “Accident Murderers,” to the glossy duet with Amy Winehouse “Cherry Wine” — made me that much more excited for the finished product, which to the surprise of no one, is excellent. It’s a throwback effort from a man who’s gone through a lot of sh*t since his last album came out four years ago (divorce from wife Kelis, sued by the IRS for unpaid taxes, etc.), and Nas sounds honest, fierce, and, most importantly, refreshed. No reason to dwell on the bad things that have happened to you. After all, life is good.
Hypnotic Nights by JEFF the Brotherhood
A less self-loathing Blue Album-era Weezer, for the beer-pounding crowd.
Reservation EP by Angel Haze
I can’t stop listening to “New York.” The clapping has invaded my brain, and it’s not going anywhere. The rest of the tracks on the 21-year-old’s latest EP, too, show an aggressive, refreshing rapper who doesn’t have a shtick, other than she has no shtick. Once she refines her lyrics, making them just slightly tighter, Angel Haze has the potential to be one of the best rappers out there.
Yellow & Green by Baroness
If you like often bloated, occasionally transcendental melodic sludge-metal, with a few turns into straightforward arena-rock, then this album is for you. I just wish Yellow & Green had been pared down into single-disc, rather than two albums with 18 tracks over 75 minutes; it could have been something special, rather than sometimes very good.
The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
Read a track-by-track review over on Film Drunk, but the album can be summed up in one word: BRRRROOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM. (Note, I didn’t just spell “broom.”)