E.P. Review: Kari Faux – Cry 4 Help

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Artist: Kari Faux

EP: Cry 4 Help

Genre: R&B/Hip Hop

Label: Change Minds

Rating: 8/10

Kari Faux is quickly becoming an essential name in music. Following one full-length album, an EP, and various singles, Faux has released a new EP filled with her most enthralling work yet. Cry 4 Help is the title, and it is a necessary title, because the songs on this EP are deeply personal and honest. Unapologetically wearing her heart on her sleeve, the five tracks on this album carry a consistent sense of melancholy. Ranging from topics such as toxic relationships, depression, self-medication, and self-doubt, these songs are gut-wrenching confessions from someone who is using music to improve herself. It’s evident that this is therapy for her, but her knack for crafting catchy R&B-laden tunes with lush production and crisp beats that can have a Trap flavor on one song and a Boom Bap flavor on the next compliment the sentimental tone perfectly. “I don’t wanna be medicated. I don’t wanna be sedated. Rather have you call me crazy,” sings Faux on the smooth opener “Medicated,” and though this is an introduction to a deeply vulnerable experience, she assures us that she’d rather face the hurt with a clear mind than fall down the rabbit hole of substance dominant escapism. The following track “Leave Me Alone” is a lush and subtle anthem for those who have gained the courage to rid themselves of toxic relationships that are based solely on convenience, and Faux has an impressive way of creating an uplifting experience with simplistic lyrical content. “In The Air” is a bit of a celebration of weed with Curren$y adding a smooth verse, but after this fun track the final two tracks get even more personal. “Night Time” speaks on how relationships based solely on sex can be damaging when there’s no real connection, but it’s the closing track “Latch Key” that really ends the EP on a gut-wrenching but inspiring note. This track unsparingly details some painful experiences Faux has had to endure such as having a miscarriage when she was a teen and not having much of a relationship with her parents, using TV and her imagination to cope, but with the final words “Felt overlooked but now i’m getting booked for shows in different states where people dance and sing my hooks,” the EP ends in a positive and optimistic tone. I don’t think anyone saw a personal musical memoir of Faux coming, but here we are, we have a short but effective release that showcases her songwriting versatility. Kari Faux knows how to utilize the healing power of music.

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

Date: 03/09/19

The Black Keys Release New Song “Lo/Hi”

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That’s right, they’re back. “The Black Keys” returned today with their first new music since their 2014 album Turn Blue. “Lo/Hi” feels like a return to form for the band, with raw “Blues Rock” that can win your Dad over. No word on whether or not this will appear on a new album. You can listen to the track below:

 

Black Mountain Announce New Album “Destroyer”

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Canadian “Psychedelic Rock” band “Black Mountain” are back sooner than expected. The band’s last album IV was released three years ago, and considering how big of a gap there was between that album’s predecessor and how busy the members are with other projects, it’s a surprise “Black Mountain” are back so soon, but it’s a pleasant surprise of course. The band will release a new album titled Destroyer on May 24th through “Jagjaguwar,” and today they’ve shared the album’s first single “Future Shade.” About the track, frontman Stephen McBean says “It has a riff that traveled around the world then hit the bong with a chorus a year and a half later. A last attempt at double frosting produced a chorus on chorus death match. Anxiety is the new Heavy Metal.” You can listen to the track below:

 

Amyl and the Sniffers Share New Song “Monsoon Rock”

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Australian “Punk Rock” band “Amyl and the Sniffers” are most definitely a band to watch. Their fierce, fun-loving, and noisy style will resonate with anyone who loves the aggressive spirit of “Punk Rock.” Today the band released a brand new single titled “Monsoon Rock,” which will appear on their upcoming debut album set to be released on May 24th. No other details about the album have been unveiled at this time. You can watch the music video for “Monsoon Rock” below:

 

Clinic Announce New Album “Wheeltappers and Shunters”

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It’s been awhile since “Clinic” have blessed us with their oddball Psychedelia. Following their 2012 album Free Reign, the band will finally return with a new album titled Wheeltappers and Shunters on May 10th. The band have also released a new single titled “Rubber Bullets,” and it’s “Clinic” 101. You can watch the music video below:

Wheeltappers and Shunters Pre-order:

https://www.dominomusic.com/releases/clinic/wheeltappers-and-shunters/deluxe-mart-lp

Album Review: Solange – When I Get Home

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Artist: Solange

Album: When I Get Home

Genre: R&B/Alternative R&B/Hip Hop

Label: Columbia Records 

Rating: 6/10

Back in 2016 Solange Knowles released a powerful album named A Seat At The Table. An album that was just as much a statement as it was an adventurous exploration in the realm of “R&B” and it’s many sub-genres. With a smooth and sexy sleekness, the album touched on topics such as race, anger, and escapism through our many vices, and as important as this subject matter is, the album was never obnoxiously overbearing. Instead, Solange lured us in with her soothing vocals that displayed the importance of subtlety. As groundbreaking and acclaimed as this album was, you can imagine how much hype a follow-up would get, so naturally her new album When I Get Home is definitely receiving that hype. Unfortunately, the album does not live up to the hype. Following a highly successful album isn’t easy. The bar has been set, and most will want you to create something that is on par with the predecessor. We all know Solange has the talent to do so, but instead, most of the tracks on When I Get Home fall incredibly flat. This leads to a frustrating listen. Like A Seat At The TableWhen I Get Home is filled with interludes, but the ironic thing is that all of the full-length tracks on this album sound like interludes. Each track has imaginative and quite innovative production at times thanks to a laundry list of collaborators such as Pharrell, Tyler, The Creator, Panda Bear, Dev Hynes, Steve Lacy, and Metro Boomin, but each track is anticlimactic with it’s repetition. Solange most definitely wanted to experiment more and offer a Psychedelic experience, but her ambition to explore as much as possible was a detriment to this album, making the whole thing sound completely scatterbrained. Songs like Way To The Show” and “Stay Flo” feel like they should be a lot more impactful, but like the rest of the album, the tracks sound like unfinished rough drafts with lackluster lyrics and underwhelming vocals that get cringeworthy at times. Yes this album does feature thought-provoking subject matter, but that subject matter is translated through lackluster songwriting. Important subject matter doesn’t suffice when it comes to constructing a full album where every other element has to be up to par. Solange can do much better. Hopefully her next release will be an improvement.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Date: 03/05/19