Review

Haim | Buy ‘Days Are Gone’

Ever since Haim dropped their debut EP Forever early in 2012, their buzz has been real. Since then, the hype for the three San Fernando Valley sisters has increased exponentially. I can gladly say they exceeded all expectations with the release of their LP aptly titled Days Are Gone. The trio’s first full length album is a diverse concoction of influences. From indie, soft rock, and pop to RnB and punk, the girls manage to create their own unique sound.

The first three tracks off the album will be familiar to anyone who has gotten to know the band over the years, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Standout tracks on the album include ‘The Wire,’ a stadium ready rock song, ‘Days Are Gone’ a modern take on indie disco, the riff heavy ‘My Song 5’, and the RnB influenced ‘Let Me Go’. Overall, the sisters have really outdone themselves with this release. I was lucky enough to catch them live at Treasure Island Festival last week, and wow…they are truly something to witness live. Their energy and stage presence is something you need to be a part of first hand. Haim has nowhere to go but up, and I plan on seeing them topping festivals as a regular in the future.

TRACKLIST

1. Falling
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/Falling.mp3]
2. Forever
3. The Wire
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/The%20Wire.mp3]
4. If I Could Change Your Mind
5. Honey & I
6. Don’t Save Me
7. Days Are Gone
8. My Song 5
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/My%20Song%205.mp3]
9. Go Slow
10. Let Me Go
11. Running If You Call My Name

FULL POST

Haim | Buy ‘Days Are Gone’

Ever since Haim dropped their debut EP Forever early in 2012, their buzz has been real. Since then, the hype for the three San Fernando Valley sisters has increased exponentially. I can gladly say they exceeded all expectations with the release of their LP aptly titled Days Are Gone. The trio’s first full length album is a diverse concoction of influences. From indie, soft rock, and pop to RnB and punk, the girls manage to create their own unique sound.

The first three tracks off the album will be familiar to anyone who has gotten to know the band over the years, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Standout tracks on the album include ‘The Wire,’ a stadium ready rock song, ‘Days Are Gone’ a modern take on indie disco, the riff heavy ‘My Song 5’, and the RnB influenced ‘Let Me Go’. Overall, the sisters have really outdone themselves with this release. I was lucky enough to catch them live at Treasure Island Festival last week, and wow…they are truly something to witness live. Their energy and stage presence is something you need to be a part of first hand. Haim has nowhere to go but up, and I plan on seeing them topping festivals as a regular in the future.

TRACKLIST

1. Falling
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/Falling.mp3]
2. Forever
3. The Wire
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/The%20Wire.mp3]
4. If I Could Change Your Mind
5. Honey & I
6. Don’t Save Me
7. Days Are Gone
8. My Song 5
[audio:http://www.controlaltdelight.com/Music/Haim/My%20Song%205.mp3]
9. Go Slow
10. Let Me Go
11. Running If You Call My Name

Rusko, the man who originally spiked the dubstep fruit punch bowl with fun, is back again with his second full length album, Songs. His first album, O.M.G! was a piece of work start to finish, introducing us to classics like “Woo Boost” and “Hold On,” during a period in which dubstep was being transformed from a purely headbanging affair to something that involved the whole body. That album was honestly tough to follow up. But in a sea of insanity with every other person throwing any combination of distorted w0bs and thunder together, I trusted cap’n Rusko to remind us what is great about bass music. And he pulled through again.

He sets it off with an intro that explains a little theory on how and why music should evolve. “Original come from the heart – whatever’s in your heart. You say you want to create a different sound, you create that different sound. Who is anyone to say there’s any boundaries? … Takin’ it from that school, and building it up to a different dimension.” True words. That jumps straight into the anthem that’s already been lighting up dance floors and faces, “Somebody to Love.” That track is 24k gold. “Skanker” is the first of 5 reggae influenced songs (“Love No More,” “Be Free,” “Roll Da Beats” and “Mek More Green”) that bring the sound back to its dub roots and simultaneously brings the album to the next level IMO. It just works too perfectly together. There’s a couple headbangers (“Opium,” “M357”), and a couple high energy tracks (“Pressure,” “Whistle Crew”) to round it out. If you had the attention span, I would go into detail on every track. But it’s time to just listen. Thrown together, it’s a complete, awesome album. This is meant to be enjoyed by some body of water, sippin’ on a beer with a slice of citrus and shmokin’ on a ground up gram of the finest.

Purchase

Catch him in SD @ 4th & B on 5/31 (Tickets), and LA @ The Palladium 6/1 (Tickets).

+jangbar

FULL POST

Rusko, the man who originally spiked the dubstep fruit punch bowl with fun, is back again with his second full length album, Songs. His first album, O.M.G! was a piece of work start to finish, introducing us to classics like “Woo Boost” and “Hold On,” during a period in which dubstep was being transformed from a purely headbanging affair to something that involved the whole body. That album was honestly tough to follow up. But in a sea of insanity with every other person throwing any combination of distorted w0bs and thunder together, I trusted cap’n Rusko to remind us what is great about bass music. And he pulled through again.

He sets it off with an intro that explains a little theory on how and why music should evolve. “Original come from the heart – whatever’s in your heart. You say you want to create a different sound, you create that different sound. Who is anyone to say there’s any boundaries? … Takin’ it from that school, and building it up to a different dimension.” True words. That jumps straight into the anthem that’s already been lighting up dance floors and faces, “Somebody to Love.” That track is 24k gold. “Skanker” is the first of 5 reggae influenced songs (“Love No More,” “Be Free,” “Roll Da Beats” and “Mek More Green”) that bring the sound back to its dub roots and simultaneously brings the album to the next level IMO. It just works too perfectly together. There’s a couple headbangers (“Opium,” “M357”), and a couple high energy tracks (“Pressure,” “Whistle Crew”) to round it out. If you had the attention span, I would go into detail on every track. But it’s time to just listen. Thrown together, it’s a complete, awesome album. This is meant to be enjoyed by some body of water, sippin’ on a beer with a slice of citrus and shmokin’ on a ground up gram of the finest.

Purchase

Catch him in SD @ 4th & B on 5/31 (Tickets), and LA @ The Palladium 6/1 (Tickets).

+jangbar

Childish Gambino remains one of the more unique acts in hip-hop — simultaneously supporting an acting career that most would be content with. The intertwining of the two forms of art in his music is very interesting to witness as his writing ability really fully shines on his debut full-length album, CAMP. While his raw talent in wordplay was evident before, he’s really taken it to the next level with this release, displaying a talent in creating metaphors that I think is only rivaled by the Lil’ Wayne we knew and loved. In addition to refining his writing skills, he displays a more conscious ability to make better, more complete tracks. Firefly shows him going in on an uplifting beat reminiscent of early Drake. He addresses the hate with no caution, acknowledging that he’s hard to define but still standing on stage willing to challenge anyone.

|The only white dude who’s allowed to say the n word/Fuck the cool kids, not Chuck Inglish but anyone who hates to feel distinguished |

(more…)

FULL POST

Childish Gambino remains one of the more unique acts in hip-hop — simultaneously supporting an acting career that most would be content with. The intertwining of the two forms of art in his music is very interesting to witness as his writing ability really fully shines on his debut full-length album, CAMP. While his raw talent in wordplay was evident before, he’s really taken it to the next level with this release, displaying a talent in creating metaphors that I think is only rivaled by the Lil’ Wayne we knew and loved. In addition to refining his writing skills, he displays a more conscious ability to make better, more complete tracks. Firefly shows him going in on an uplifting beat reminiscent of early Drake. He addresses the hate with no caution, acknowledging that he’s hard to define but still standing on stage willing to challenge anyone.

|The only white dude who’s allowed to say the n word/Fuck the cool kids, not Chuck Inglish but anyone who hates to feel distinguished |

(more…)

On November 8th, Mac Miller released his debut to the world outside of the 1m+ twitter followers and countless youtube viewers he’s racked up. He shortly thereafter became the first independent artist to hit #1 on the Billboard charts since 1995, a testament to the strength of his fanbase. The buzz he built without a major label is more impressive than label-mate Wiz Khalifa’s because the foundation was a series of very well received mixtapes and gradual ascent rather than a hit that found its way to the airwaves. And also because he has, you know, talent. Blue Slide Park is a deeper look into the mind of Malcolm McCormick, a young artist who has made his way into the limelight and the struggle to prove that he’s stayed true to his roots. The message is clear throughout the album–

| They thought the money shoulda changed it/Slide still blue why the world keep trying to paint it?/ When life around you changes/Try to keep your sameness/Try to keep your brain, maintaining through the lameness. |

(more…)

FULL POST

On November 8th, Mac Miller released his debut to the world outside of the 1m+ twitter followers and countless youtube viewers he’s racked up. He shortly thereafter became the first independent artist to hit #1 on the Billboard charts since 1995, a testament to the strength of his fanbase. The buzz he built without a major label is more impressive than label-mate Wiz Khalifa’s because the foundation was a series of very well received mixtapes and gradual ascent rather than a hit that found its way to the airwaves. And also because he has, you know, talent. Blue Slide Park is a deeper look into the mind of Malcolm McCormick, a young artist who has made his way into the limelight and the struggle to prove that he’s stayed true to his roots. The message is clear throughout the album–

| They thought the money shoulda changed it/Slide still blue why the world keep trying to paint it?/ When life around you changes/Try to keep your sameness/Try to keep your brain, maintaining through the lameness. |

(more…)

Last Tuesday, the world jumped after months of delay and anticipation for the release J. Cole’s big debut; meanwhile, fellow Carolina native Phonte released what’s quickly become one of my favorite albums this year. Charity Starts At Home is the first solo album from Phonte after the split of Little Brother, and succeeds in proving that he’s one of the more underrated lyricists out there. He’s always had a knack for providing the unique perspective of an extremely talented artist that lacks certain rapper qualities (swag/female admiration/whatever) that guarantee commercial success. Most hip-hop artists today have an infatuation with going on about their rags-to-riches aspirations. Not to say I don’t enjoy hearing this style of rap that can motivate the laziest, but it’s refreshing to hear a point of view that’s realistic without reflecting any bitterness or hate. This goes further on other topics like critics (He said ‘Te I worry about you and the rap game/I said mofucka get a real problem;This rap shit is not the life I live/It’s a tool that I use that’s it). The only complaints from me are the love joints (“To Be Yours” & “Ball and Chain”) that slow the pace in the middle of the album but he’s just showcasing his expression I s’pose. Luckily, the rest is filled with raw bars and an effortless flow; Phonte should no longer be overlooked — this album is worth every cent of the $10. Cop it here.

$5 gas and poverty rates
Are rising much higher than your hourly rates
So if you thinking about quitting you should probably wait
Cause everybody gotta do a fuckin job that they hate
Go on live out your dreams that’s what they tellin’
Fam in my ear and they yellin’
Keep it real ‘Te and don’t ever sell out
Well how the fuck you sell out when ain’t nobody sellin
Tired of playin’ with yall
I wanna fight the good fight but it ain’t payin me dog

Check the lyrics here.

Tracklist

01. Dance in the Reign +++
02. The Good Fight
03. Everything Is Falling Down
04. Not Here Anymore
05. Eternally
06. Sendin My Love
07. Ball and Chain
08. To Be Yours
09. Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
10. We Go Off
11. The Life of Kings +++
12. Who Loves You More

stay up
+jangbar

FULL POST

Last Tuesday, the world jumped after months of delay and anticipation for the release J. Cole’s big debut; meanwhile, fellow Carolina native Phonte released what’s quickly become one of my favorite albums this year. Charity Starts At Home is the first solo album from Phonte after the split of Little Brother, and succeeds in proving that he’s one of the more underrated lyricists out there. He’s always had a knack for providing the unique perspective of an extremely talented artist that lacks certain rapper qualities (swag/female admiration/whatever) that guarantee commercial success. Most hip-hop artists today have an infatuation with going on about their rags-to-riches aspirations. Not to say I don’t enjoy hearing this style of rap that can motivate the laziest, but it’s refreshing to hear a point of view that’s realistic without reflecting any bitterness or hate. This goes further on other topics like critics (He said ‘Te I worry about you and the rap game/I said mofucka get a real problem;This rap shit is not the life I live/It’s a tool that I use that’s it). The only complaints from me are the love joints (“To Be Yours” & “Ball and Chain”) that slow the pace in the middle of the album but he’s just showcasing his expression I s’pose. Luckily, the rest is filled with raw bars and an effortless flow; Phonte should no longer be overlooked — this album is worth every cent of the $10. Cop it here.

$5 gas and poverty rates
Are rising much higher than your hourly rates
So if you thinking about quitting you should probably wait
Cause everybody gotta do a fuckin job that they hate
Go on live out your dreams that’s what they tellin’
Fam in my ear and they yellin’
Keep it real ‘Te and don’t ever sell out
Well how the fuck you sell out when ain’t nobody sellin
Tired of playin’ with yall
I wanna fight the good fight but it ain’t payin me dog

Check the lyrics here.

Tracklist

01. Dance in the Reign +++
02. The Good Fight
03. Everything Is Falling Down
04. Not Here Anymore
05. Eternally
06. Sendin My Love
07. Ball and Chain
08. To Be Yours
09. Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
10. We Go Off
11. The Life of Kings +++
12. Who Loves You More

stay up
+jangbar

It’s a big day for Carolina — new albums from Phonte and 9th Wonder. Oh, and J. Cole‘s highly anticipated debut finally hit the shelves today, and it served more than an ever as a reminder of how much the money and fame aspect that accompanies the desires of making music can affect the latter. Jermaine’s been quoted as saying he understands that he’s strategically made tracks (“Work Out”) specifically to cross the boundary towards commercial appeal to gain new fans that will eventually discover his deeper material. While it’s hard to argue with this approach to an artist that’s gained as much “underground” acclaim as he as, it’s tough as a fan and not a critic to know that he could be making better shit. But that’s the nitpickin’ — this album from front to back is solid. A mix of the old, “Lights Please” & “In the Morning,” with a handful of unreleased and leaked tracks. Showcases of his lyrical skills on ‘Sideline Story,’ ‘Nobody’s Perfect,’ and ‘Rise and Shine.’ Thematically crafted songs like ‘Never Told,’ ‘Lost Ones,’ and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever.’ In fact, there’s no tracks where you’d characterize his rhymes as weak, which is something we’ve just become accustomed to when listening to any J. Cole song. The qualms will come from the expectations for him to say more than he did with his first album and to tie it together thematically more fluidly. He’s held in a similar esteem as Kendrick Lamar when it comes to lyrical ability, so, whether fair or not, Section.80 set the bar high for Jermaine to impress. I know there’s more for him to offer, it’ll just take time and less of a yearning for the spotlight that I feel has degraded the quality of music from artists like Big Sean and Lupe Fiasco. Ultimately, he came up short in creating a masterpiece — this is more of an extremely well-produced mixtape. Which won’t draw complaints from me as a fan, but leaves me looking for more from his next projects.

Check out all the lyrics to the album here.

stay up

+jangbar

Tracklist

1. “Intro”
2. “Dollar and a Dream III”
3. “Can’t Get Enough” (featuring Trey Songz)
4. “Lights Please”
5. “Interlude”
6. “Sideline Story”
7. “Mr. Nice Watch” (featuring Jay-Z)
8. “Cole World”
9. “In the Morning” (featuring Drake)
10. “Lost Ones”
11. “Nobody’s Perfect” (featuring Missy Elliott)
12. “Never Told”
13. “Rise and Shine”
14. “God’s Gift”
15. “Breakdown”

FULL POST

It’s a big day for Carolina — new albums from Phonte and 9th Wonder. Oh, and J. Cole‘s highly anticipated debut finally hit the shelves today, and it served more than an ever as a reminder of how much the money and fame aspect that accompanies the desires of making music can affect the latter. Jermaine’s been quoted as saying he understands that he’s strategically made tracks (“Work Out”) specifically to cross the boundary towards commercial appeal to gain new fans that will eventually discover his deeper material. While it’s hard to argue with this approach to an artist that’s gained as much “underground” acclaim as he as, it’s tough as a fan and not a critic to know that he could be making better shit. But that’s the nitpickin’ — this album from front to back is solid. A mix of the old, “Lights Please” & “In the Morning,” with a handful of unreleased and leaked tracks. Showcases of his lyrical skills on ‘Sideline Story,’ ‘Nobody’s Perfect,’ and ‘Rise and Shine.’ Thematically crafted songs like ‘Never Told,’ ‘Lost Ones,’ and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever.’ In fact, there’s no tracks where you’d characterize his rhymes as weak, which is something we’ve just become accustomed to when listening to any J. Cole song. The qualms will come from the expectations for him to say more than he did with his first album and to tie it together thematically more fluidly. He’s held in a similar esteem as Kendrick Lamar when it comes to lyrical ability, so, whether fair or not, Section.80 set the bar high for Jermaine to impress. I know there’s more for him to offer, it’ll just take time and less of a yearning for the spotlight that I feel has degraded the quality of music from artists like Big Sean and Lupe Fiasco. Ultimately, he came up short in creating a masterpiece — this is more of an extremely well-produced mixtape. Which won’t draw complaints from me as a fan, but leaves me looking for more from his next projects.

Check out all the lyrics to the album here.

stay up

+jangbar

Tracklist

1. “Intro”
2. “Dollar and a Dream III”
3. “Can’t Get Enough” (featuring Trey Songz)
4. “Lights Please”
5. “Interlude”
6. “Sideline Story”
7. “Mr. Nice Watch” (featuring Jay-Z)
8. “Cole World”
9. “In the Morning” (featuring Drake)
10. “Lost Ones”
11. “Nobody’s Perfect” (featuring Missy Elliott)
12. “Never Told”
13. “Rise and Shine”
14. “God’s Gift”
15. “Breakdown”

The times they are-a-changin’. Last we really heard of Lil’ Wayne, he was fresh off the release of No Ceilings, a tape that even his naysayers couldn’t help but respect. That, Tha Carter III, and his seemingly endless features had him sittin pretty atop the rap game as a bonafide superstar. Now, after a year hiatus at Rikers Jail in NY, we see Wayne as a shell of his former self. The Martian has lost his alien qualities (for the time being) and is fighting it out with the rest of the earthling artists. Even with “How to Love,” “She Will,” and all of “Sorry 4 the Wait” being shitty (I’m pretty sure he spent 2 hrs making that tape), I still reserved judgment until the album came out. It’s time to accept that Weezy F. has lost what separated him from the pack. Going back to writing seems to have taken his old style and dumbed it down. It’s to the point his signature chuckle after punchlines just seems arrogant because they’re not clever and get repetitive. So much happened in the time he was gone in terms of artists on the rise and new releases that it’s almost like he’s now struggling to stay relevant. After this kind of vacation, one would expect he’d come back with something that matched the quality and commercial viability of Tha Carter III, but this album ends up sounding like a forgettable mixtape. And to top it off, the jab at Jay-Z makes him look foolish and bitter while Watch the Throne is on its way to Platinum. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence like Kanye post-808s, but I’m not holding my breath. Who knows, maybe the reaction to this album will get him focused and back to the state of mind that produced the heat we were accustomed to before. In the meantime, I’m gonna go listen to Da Drought 3.

Tracklist

1. “Intro”
2. “Blunt Blowin’”
3. “MegaMan”
4. “6 Foot 7 Foot” feat. Cory Gunz
5. “Nightmares of the Bottom”
6. “She Will” feat. Drake
7. “How to Hate” feat. T-Pain
8. “Interlude” feat. Tech N9ne
9. “John” feat. Rick Ross
10. “Abortion”
11. “So Special” feat. John Legend
12. “How to Love”
13. “President Carter”
14. “It’s Good” feat. Drake and Jadakiss
15. “Outro” feat. Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes

FULL POST

The times they are-a-changin’. Last we really heard of Lil’ Wayne, he was fresh off the release of No Ceilings, a tape that even his naysayers couldn’t help but respect. That, Tha Carter III, and his seemingly endless features had him sittin pretty atop the rap game as a bonafide superstar. Now, after a year hiatus at Rikers Jail in NY, we see Wayne as a shell of his former self. The Martian has lost his alien qualities (for the time being) and is fighting it out with the rest of the earthling artists. Even with “How to Love,” “She Will,” and all of “Sorry 4 the Wait” being shitty (I’m pretty sure he spent 2 hrs making that tape), I still reserved judgment until the album came out. It’s time to accept that Weezy F. has lost what separated him from the pack. Going back to writing seems to have taken his old style and dumbed it down. It’s to the point his signature chuckle after punchlines just seems arrogant because they’re not clever and get repetitive. So much happened in the time he was gone in terms of artists on the rise and new releases that it’s almost like he’s now struggling to stay relevant. After this kind of vacation, one would expect he’d come back with something that matched the quality and commercial viability of Tha Carter III, but this album ends up sounding like a forgettable mixtape. And to top it off, the jab at Jay-Z makes him look foolish and bitter while Watch the Throne is on its way to Platinum. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence like Kanye post-808s, but I’m not holding my breath. Who knows, maybe the reaction to this album will get him focused and back to the state of mind that produced the heat we were accustomed to before. In the meantime, I’m gonna go listen to Da Drought 3.

Tracklist

1. “Intro”
2. “Blunt Blowin’”
3. “MegaMan”
4. “6 Foot 7 Foot” feat. Cory Gunz
5. “Nightmares of the Bottom”
6. “She Will” feat. Drake
7. “How to Hate” feat. T-Pain
8. “Interlude” feat. Tech N9ne
9. “John” feat. Rick Ross
10. “Abortion”
11. “So Special” feat. John Legend
12. “How to Love”
13. “President Carter”
14. “It’s Good” feat. Drake and Jadakiss
15. “Outro” feat. Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes