Album Review: Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

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Artist: Nine Inch Nails

Album: Bad Witch

Genre: Industrial Rock/Experimental 

Rating: 6/10

 Judging from recent interviews with Trent Reznor, it’s pretty evident that the guy has become a bitter old man, but luckily for him, bitterness and anger have been “Nine Inch Nails’” Forte since day 1, so the anger and blatant nihilism of his new album Bad Witch is unsurprising. This is both a good and a bad thing. The good being that the furious delivery and negative perspective on the human condition over chaotic “Industrial” heavy production is genuine and believable, and doesn’t come off as a man trying to relive his glory days, but the bad thing is that this album is back to business as usual, and at this point “Nine Inch Nails” have become predictable. This is ironic seeing as how Reznor and now official member Atticus Ross completely scrapped the original drafts of this album for being “too predictable.” Though the addition of saxophone is unlike anything “Nine Inch Nails” have done in the past, the whole thing is obvious Blackstar David Bowie era worship, and it is not even close to being as captivating as Bowie’s album. At this point, the band is in desperate need of reinvention.

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

Date: 06/27/18

 

Mitski Releases New Song “Nobody”

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Mitski won’t drop her new album Be The Cowboy until August 17th, but she has shared another new track off the album titled “Nobody,” and it’s a moody track that speaks on loneliness and solitude, but at the same time it’s an encouragement to dance your loneliness away. You can listen to the track as well as watch the music video below:

The Ten Best Albums Of 2018 So Far

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 It feels like New Year’s was just yesterday. How are we halfway done with the year already? Well, time flew by because this has been a very consistent year for new music. With releases left and right, we had much variety to choose from to soundtrack our lives. I can list over 30 albums that were solid releases, but everyone loves a top ten. Here are the ten best albums of 2018 so far.

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10. Artist: SOPHIE

      Album: Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides 

      Genre: Electronic/Avant-Pop

 After a string of fascinating singles that offered an alternative to the redundant “Electronic” music that has become stale over the years, Scottish producer SOPHIE has finally released her debut solo album Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, and this album is filled with disorienting beats, sporadic metallic sounding noises, and at times quite disturbing soundscapes, and it’s all brilliantly produced, offering atmosphere and an otherworldly back drop for the chaotic but catchy as Hell instrumentation. The majority of this album’s vocals are handled by Montréal singer Cecile Believe, who offers both sexy and angelic fervor that grounds the chaotic nature of SOPHIE’s production. SOPHIE even provides lead vocals on the tender and delicate opening track that simply but profoundly encourages us to give in to emotion. “It’s okay to cry,” she says, but if you’re inclined to shed tears, they will most likely be tears of joy after hearing how invigorating this album is.

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9. Artist: KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Album: KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Genre: Hip Hop/Alternative Hip Hop

 Despite the inconsistency of the recent 5 album series of Kanye produced albums, this string of music did spawn a couple of gems, and the best album of them all without a doubt is the new Kanye West and Kid Cudi collaboration album KIDS SEE GHOSTS. This is the best both artists have sounded in awhile. The production is Psychedelic, it’s innovative, and it’s foray into abrasion finally perfects what Kanye was going for on albums such as Yeezus and The Life Of Pablo. Lyrically both artists speak about their struggles with mental illness, but they sound like they are in a spot now where they have prevailed over those struggles.

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8. Artist: Tropical Fuck Storm

Album: A Laughing Death In Meatspace

Genre: Pysch-Rock/Post-Punk

 Quite possibly the most bizarre Rock album of the year so far. Australian Supergroup “Tropical Fuck Storm’s” debut album A Laughing Death In Meatspace is zany, it’s dark, and a little cartoonish, and it’s so damn addictive. The Noisy instrumentation packed with buzzsaw synth bass and sinister guitars reflects the chaotic nature of the lyrics, lyrics that often tackle social and political commentary. This album is a soundtrack to the circus of a country the U.S. has become.

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7. Artist: MGMT

Album: Little Dark Age

   Genre: Synth-Pop/Psychedelic-Pop

 Following the frequent waning of acclaim for not living up to the radio hit status of their breakout singles “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” the future of “MGMT” became uncertain, but after a much needed break that rejuvenated the band, “MGMT” returned this year with the stellar Little Dark Age. This album finds the band going back in a “Pop” direction, but this time they do it in their own terms without sacrificing their Experimental desires. This album draws a lot from 80’s “Synth-Pop,” and the anachronistic nature of the music is enthralling.

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6. Artist: U.S. Girls

 Album: In A Poem Unlimited 

Genre: Art Pop/ Art Rock

 Canada based musician Meghan Remy knew exactly what she was doing when she adopted the “U.S. Girls” moniker ten years ago. Though she currently resides in Canada, Remy is from the U.S. and she knows firsthand what women have to deal with in this country. Her new album In A Poem Unlimited vividly paints dark pictures of misogyny and domestic abuse, and it is a necessary raising of awareness. The “Art Pop” and “Art Rock” heavy instrumentation adds catchy and at times psychedelic contrast to the album’s darker themes, and the result is a compelling Pop album that isn’t afraid to be brutally honest.

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5. Artist: Parquet Courts 

    Album: Wide Awake!

Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Punk

 Wide Awake! is a necessary title for “Parquet Courts’” new album, seeing as how it tackles very relevant issues such as the desensitization that has developed in this country when it comes to tragic issues such as gun violence and racism, but instead of giving into nihilism like most of their contemporaries, the band encourages optimism and they realize that unity is the key tool to defeat these dire times, and with “Post-Punk” heavy instrumentation that also flirts with genres such as “Dub” and “Indie Rock,” they definitely get their point across.

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4. Artist: The Voidz

 Album: Virtue

Genre: Experimental/Art Rock/Art Pop

 It’s official. Julian Casablancas cares a Hell of a lot more about his newer band “The Voidz” than he does “The Strokes,” and you know what? That’s okay. His desire to experiment is being fulfilled. The new album from “The Voidz” titled Virtue is a chaotic but infectious odyssey that incorporates elements from various genres. You never know what sound is coming after the preceding track, and though this album is incohesive at times, it’s damn intriguing with it’s bizarre melding of genres and existentialist lyrics.

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3. Artist: Father John Misty

Album: God’s Favorite Customer

    Genre: Indie Folk/Indie Rock

 What happens when “Indie Folk’s” sharpest songwriter forces himself to live in solitude at a hotel for a month? Well, we get a compelling album of course. Joshua Tillman A.K.A. Father John Misty followed up last year’s masterpiece Pure Comedy with a deeply personal and unsparing album titled God’s Favorite Customer  this year, and it is an album filled with melancholy ballads that unlike Pure Comedy, looks inward most of the time. It’s revealing of the singer/songwriter’s personal thoughts, but at the same time maintain’s his signature wit.

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2. Artist: JPEGMAFIA

Album: Veteran

Genre: Hip Hop/Experimental Hip Hop

 Hip Hop for the most part has been underwhelming this year, but Baltimore rapper and producer JPEGMAFIA isn’t going to let Hip Hop completely fall into the hands of the countless mumble or druggy “Trap” rappers. His latest album Veteran is far from escapist “Rap.” He projects the flaws and ignorance of this country on this album and calls out racists and misogynists with utter contempt. He pushes for equality but he encourages us to fight back instead of turning the other cheek, and with unique production highly experimental in nature, this is the most innovative Hip Hop album of the year so far.

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1. Artist: Janelle Monáe

Album: Dirty Computer

Genre: Pop/R&B/Hip Hop

 So far this year there hasn’t been a better crafted or more intoxicating album than Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer. This album hits all the right notes. It’s catchy, it’s artistic, and it features meaningful lyrical content. It’s an album that encourages self-acceptance, and at the same time it’s not afraid to be vulnerable. Monáe’s confident delivery shape shifts from singing to rapping throughout the album, and her sexy and confident delivery uplifts those who have had to face hardships in their lives. Though it’s main theme is female empowerment, this album invites everyone of all genders, sexual orientations, and all races to her celebration of self-acceptance.

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

Date: 06/24/18

Gorillaz Team Up With Snoop Dogg and Jamie Principle on New Track “Hollywood”

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Gorillaz will release their new album The Now Now next week, and the animated band have dropped quite a bit of singles promoting the album. Now they have released yet another track off the upcoming album, and this one features Snoop Dogg and “House” producer Jamie Principle. You can watch the video for the new track “Hollywood” below:

 

Code Orange Release New E.P. “The Hurt Will Go On”

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Metalcore band “Code Orange” without a doubt released one of the most forward thinking Metal albums last year titled Forever, which gained them critical acclaim and even a Grammy nomination for the album’s title track. Now the band have released a new 3 track E.P. titled The Hurt Will Go On, which also features “Slipknot’s” Corey Taylor on the track “The Hunt.” The E.P. is available on all streaming platforms.

BROCKHAMPTON Make Late Night TV Debut and Announce New Album

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Following Ameer Vann’s departure from the group due to recent allegations of sexual misconduct, the future was unclear for “BROCKHAMPTON,” but now it is clear that the boys are back and ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives. The group debuted a new track titled “Tonya” live on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and it will appear on their upcoming album The Best Years of Our Lives. No release date yet, but it’s most likely just around the corner. You can watch the live performance below: