You know, ever since making (Hy)Lights, as limited as the reviews are in this venture, I want to explore more into more movies, TV and music and to some extent, I did but not as much as I did with Anime Discovery (and considering I even put two anime titles on HyLights before with Deadman Wonderland and Fractale) but this time, I’m getting back into another medium I don’t cover much: music.
Music, to me, is mostly the hardest subject to cover or at least, to do it in a full review although I did before with Childish Gambino ROYALTY mixtape and Kanye West’s Yeezus but then again, those are hip hop albums which are mostly my primary preference in music although I will stress that I have listened to more genres of music (hence my review of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories last year, which some of you should listen because it’s fuckin’ excellent) and sometimes I’ll have little to say, which is why this time around, I’m going to review 3 albums but these are going to be shorter than the usual review, depending on how I feel about the album overall.
First up, the new album from Pharrell Willams, G I R L.
Now, Pharrell has been giving a lot of attention for the past year and a half although he has got a successful career as a producer (via The Neptunes or himself) prior to this album but that is all thanks to the successful animated movie called Despicable Me and it’s even more successful sequel Despicable Me 2 and the song from the second movie’s soundtrack Happy, which is easily one of the catchier songs of the album and that you can’t escape from it, even if you try to remove the music from it, it still look actually happy.
Although if you add something else in it, it could be very different than what you already heard.
(Special thanks to Jordan Cobb from Starman Cinema: starmancinema.wordpress.com)
But as the album as a whole? Yeah, it’s quite good. I like the fact that most of the selections is very soulful and very energetic than most pop R&B albums or songs try to be. Does it get a little tiring? Sure, it doesn’t leave you tired of it as Pharrell’s signature style of producing makes you want more of it. It never felt as phoned in or lacking any flair or thought during the making of the album. Personally, the tracks I like from the album are, “Marilyn Monroe”, “Hunter”, “Gust of Wind (with Daft Punk on the track as well)”, and maybe “Gush” and yes, I do happen to like the song, “Happy”, although I’ll say it did suffer from overplay on the radio and/or internet. I would compare to his previous solo album, In My Mind, but I think some people forgot about that album, not because it was good or bad……..well, it’s been 8 years ago. The whole album is worth a listen while some tracks are definitely better in some repeats, as long as you don’t overplay it.
My next album to review is Foster the People’s Supermodel.
Hey, everybody remember that song, “Pumped Up Kicks”, way back in 2011…..although I think I heard it later in 2012? Yeah, to me, Foster the People is that band that many recognize for that one song of theirs (and then unfortunately might be forgotten by the masses), which was quite the popular song at the time and I consider it one of my favorite songs from their first album Torches and now 3 years later, comes their second studio album Supermodel and how well does it fare?
Well, it does manage to hold my attention to some of the songs but a little less than what Torches did. I don’t really listen to a lot of indie pop/rock music but it did felt like something I expect from it but I don’t find myself to hate it but it is mostly what’s expected in some songs or just very uninteresting songs to listen (something you would skip to get to the next song), mainly the first single of the album, “Coming of Age” and “Goats in Tree” although “Best Friend” does pick it up and “Pseudologia Fantastica” definitely delivers on being a good track and the rest of the songs on the album are just as good if not better with my favorites being “Are You What You Wanna Be?” and “Nevermind”.
The album as a whole is possibly something I only go for half of the songs but if indie pop is your thing, you’ll get a kick out of it.
And last but definitely not least, it’s Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Piñata
“B-Bl-BLOOD GUSHING!! I THINK I HEAR SIRENS!!”
Not gonna lie, I’ve actually being looking forward to this album for some time prior to the release. I only heard of Freddie Gibbs for a short time and through some tracks and he’s actually a good rapper. He has this classic gangsta feel to most of his music but it doesn’t feel like a throwback. Madlib, on the other hand, I’m more of a fan considering I have enjoyed most of his work in the past and him collaborating with other rappers such as Madvillain (with MF DOOM) and Jaylib (with the late J Dilla) and I have heard of MadGibbs’ EPs Thuggin, Shame, & Deeper (which those songs are included in the album) before listening to the whole album and I’m glad to say that Piñata does the job well.
The album is really a Blaxploitation film on wax and Freddie’s lyrics mixed in with Madlib’s eccentric production definitely brings their A-Game, which made the project worthwhile the wait. The album’s production is quite reminiscent to the early 90s hip-hop albums with this type of production but as I said before, it doesn’t feel like it’s dependent on that; it manages to have stellar production and hard-hitting lyrics. The best example of that is “Real”, a diss song aimed at Young Jeezy about how he fucked over Gibbs when he used to be signed at Jeezy’s record company and him putting up a front about it. I could list out what tracks I like from there but the majority of them I already love, especially “Broken” featuring Scarface (oddly enough, there’s a track called “Scarface” on there….kinda weird), “Lakers”, “Robes” and yes, even the skit “Watts”, which I still put on repeat because I really dug that track.
My final say on this album is that it is a must-hear for some hip-hop fans. Personally, I love this album and at a time, it does feel like the second coming of “Madvillainy”, but I wouldn’t go that far….well, maybe, but still I really dug the hell out of this album.
Pharrell Williams – G I R L – 8/10: Solid B
Foster The People – Supermodel – 6.5/10: OK
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Piñata – 9/10: First Class
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
G I R L – courtesy of I Am Other / Columbia Records
Supermodel – courtesy of Columbia Records
Piñata – courtesy of Madlib Invazion