Album Reviews

Anderson .Paak – Malibu

                                                                              Parking Lot

Later with Jools Holland brought me to Anderson .Paak (& the Free Nationals, his accompanying live band) who I saw play on the show and they were tremendous, the mix of R n’ B, funk, neo-soul with a splash of hip hop caught my ear and more so as they are genres I have not listed to too much it exited me. My interest was piqued I naturally went and checked out his music on the interwebs.

Malibu was the album he was touring and the 4th of his career.  Checking it out was certainly the correct thing to do as it would have been a real shame if it had passed me by. Curiosity in this case didn’t kill the cat.

The album is smooth throughout from the opening The Bird which is more in the jazzy soul camp to the more R n’ B one like Carry Me the flow on the split song The Season/Carry Me is really interesting with .Paak showing one of the many aspects to his voice. The Season has one of the most memorable lyrics fro me in it ‘And fuck fame, that killed all my favourite entertainers’.  

Parking Lot is addictive the chorus is so darn catchy helped by the clapping that hooks you, oh and the pronounced bass on it is great also (rivalled a number of times admittedly by The Waters featuring BJ the Chicago Kid and Come Down man what a funky tune that is). I have linked it below the picture for a reason after all.

It gets all seductive on Room in Here which features The Game and Sonyae Elise (two of many great features from artists and musicians on Malibu) with  a simple backing beat and piano there isn’t much going on but it is still class and the playfulness side .Paak shows is more than enough to push the track forward. Playfulness also rears its head on track six Am I Wrong  a lyric to show this is ‘A I wrong to assume, If she can’t dance, then she can’t oow’ plus those horns.  

Make sure that you don’t let this quality collection of tracks go by without you listening to it, I promise that there is something for everyone. Be it if you are into soul, R n’ B and hip hop or not. It is does have its flaws though as some songs could have been cut to make the overall package more concentrated and tighter.

The cover of Malibu really does say a lot about this album in the fact that there is a lot of things going on, however at the focus is Anderson .Paak. Who is beyond brilliant merging all that busyness into a cohesive and explorative sound.      

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Album Reviews

WHITE- One Night Stand Forever (Album)

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                                                                                       WHITE One Night Stand Forever

Reinvigorating music again.

WHITE’s (Lewis Andrew, Leo Condie, Hamish Fingland, Kirstin Lynn and Chris Potter) first album is a much welcomed revival of arty, slightly twisted merging of electro with groovy dirty rock and a bit of the dramatic.

Fittingly the opener is Living Fiction (the bands first ever single) is a great opener and introduction to the band as it is upbeat and hip with many elements one will certainly grab hold of you and make you move.

This Is Not A Love Song? is not a song to get you jigging but it still fits in with all the other tracks, having a darker tone thanks to the ‘Duh-du-duuuu’s (it’s better on the record), a slower tempo pushed forward by an acoustic guitar whilst a noticeable electronic (of some kind) plays in the left speaker/head/earphone that really is a nice addition to the track. Directly following this is the super energetic Be The Unknown which has poppy ‘oooo’s to bop to plus a heavily distorted guitar solo to boot reinforcing the bands talents plus their willingness to merge genres to great effect.

The string of songs from One Night Stand Forever to Sweat (a thumping monstrous full on electro track that I didn’t see coming) and How Can You Get Love So Wrong? (a modern 1980s-esc ballad) together can tell a story of a quick one night fling gone in a direction that is a bit more than a one night stand. But that would be oversimplifying the meanings behind them. Especially How Can You Get Love So Wrong? as it was written back in 2014,

‘I wrote this in 2014 when Scotland was under a constant barrage of ‘lovebombs’ from the British government, in that peculiarly sado-masochistic manner so beloved, apparently, of the Conservatives. Tough love, I guess. I was fascinated by their ineptness so this is, in part, for them. With all my love.’

Leo Conti explained in a track by track interview with The List’s Kirstyn Smith.

Sound wise these three tracks could be the perfect ones to show the diversity that rings trough this record. It is more diverse than most other bands have in three or four outings. Though I do feel a little wrong in singling out these songs as they are all outstanding, everyone is distinct, stylish, hitting you right in the dance initiation drive that may have been dormant for a while or last night. Quick bit about Hit,Hit, Hit is so good I appreciate the aggression in this one.

One Night Stan Forever is the most creative album to come around in a long, long time. If you don’t at least check it out then believe me that is a hell of a mistake. Don’t let this pass you by a band like this don’t come around to often.

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Album Reviews

Battle Tapes: Polygon Album Review

Battle Tapes’ first album Polygon is one that needs to be added to your music collection.

The electro rockers (Josh Boardman (vocals/guitar/synth), Riley Mackin (keyboardist/vocals), Stephen Bannister (bass guitar) and Beak Wing (drums/percussion) from the City of Angels are best known for the song Feel the Same, which appeared on a radio station in GTA V. The song made it onto the album which is obviously what you do when it is the most popular song that you have put out. But you should go and check out their EPs Sleepwalker (2011) and Sweatshop Boys EP (2012). They show just how talented these men are.

One of my personal picks off the album is the song Solid Gold which features Party Nails. It is an infectious number that really gets you bobbing along to it. A simple guitar lick repeats through the majority of the 4:13 run time. Party Nails lead and Boardman’s backing vocals hook you in with the upbeat phrasing and music. It is the electro rock song of the year, the new blueprint to how to make an outstanding song. Where the rock elements really come through are in the tune named Graveyard Shift. Lead by the driving drums and a guitar that for some reason reminds me of the Wild West (there’s even a guitar solo). Another one of the shining moments of Polygon is a contrasting song that leads directly after Graveyard Shift the instrumental,Dreamboat.

Dreamboat embraces the electronic side to beautiful affect. It is one of those songs that you can loose yourself in, close your eyes and sail away. With a simple drum part layered with electronic synths that build upon one another and a keyboard line that just works perfectly. Just go listen to it and you will see what I’m getting at.

Battle Tapes are a breath of fresh air that mixes to fantastic genres together to create their own sound.Polygon is one of the albums of 2015. Go listen, buy their music and support this up and coming band.

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