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 great underground hip hop album, a reissue of a 2000 classic, a band that’s still making good music after 13 albums, and more.
Together, Apollo Brown — a Detroit-based producer, and rapper OC, who hails from Brooklyn — have made one of the more impressive underground hip-hop albums of the year so far. Apollo’s cinematic beats are tight and OC’s flow is flawless; it sounds like two veterans who know how to bring out the best in one another. Trophies is 16 tracks long, yet doesn’t overstay its welcome, a feat that deserves some sort of material recognition. Maybe a plaque? Anyway, check the record out.
Aufheben is the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 13th album, and while its folky psychedelia sound doesn’t break any new ground, it’s consistently solid. Pretty much like every Brian Jonestown Massacre album.
Fevers and Mirrors by Bright Eyes (Reissue)
As much as I enjoy 2002’s Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, one of two albums released by Bright Eyes in 2005, it’s tough separating those records from when they were released, when Conor Oberst transformed from an Omaha folk singer to the Voice of an Anti-George Bush Generation. (The other 2005 album, Digital Ash in an Digital Urn, was awful then and even worse now.) On 2000’s Fever and Mirrors, which Saddle Creek re-released today, Oberst (then 19 years old) sounds intense, unstable, and, most importantly, honest, like he’s singing for himself, not for the aforementioned Generation. It’d be easy to make of the record’s occasional self-loathing, if it wasn’t so good.
Because it’s not B.o.B.? Plus, Chino XL’s rhymes are downright vicious.
You’d have to be insane to leave a band as big as Fleet Foxes, right? Not quite. Just a little disinterested. Josh Tillman, who has also been recording solo albums since 2003, departed the Sub Pop giants last year because “I was kind of bored playing drums in a band,” according to an interview he did with the A.V. Club. Today, he releases Fear Fun, his first album under the moniker Father John Misty, and it’s good enough (think Harry Nilsson, but with a darker sound and more absurdist lyrics) that his decision doesn’t seem COMPLETELY crazy. (And hey, April from Parks and Rec in the music video!)