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2024 Album-A-Day: Week 4

A whole month into this thing. I'd pat myself on the back if I thought I deserved it.

January 22nd: Too Far To Care by Old 97s (or is it THE Old 97s?)

My introduction to Old 97s was hearing "Timebomb" on my local college station, which I fell in love with immediately. Naturally, I decided to listen to this album, on which "Timebomb" is the first song. The rest of the album is just as enjoyable as that magical burst of energy, such as "Barrier Reef" and "Broadway". It's also not one-note, with darker songs like "Just Like California" and the bassist singing on "W. TX. Teardrops." Overall, very enjoyable country-alt-rock.

January 23rd: Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples

I'd heard a few Vince Staples songs, and I really like this album. Vince Staples' magic is in his laid back delivery, giving the effect that he's somewhat desensitized to the things he's rapping about. On top of that, the production is very experimental and unique. "Crabs in a Bucket" is a great opener, "Love Can Be...." shows Vince's lyrical skill, and "Yeah Right" is the kind of thing that I still can't get over. I mean, he gets SOPHIE to produce a beat, and then gets Kendrick Lamar on it? That alone solidifies this album as a masterwork.

January 24th: You Forgot It In People by Broken Social Scene

Rarely do I fall in love with in album so immediately, but this one had me from the beginning. Well, not necessarily from track 1, because it's an ambient instrumental interlude, but the moment "KC Accidental" hit, I was 1000% in. So many different creative voices come together to build something with a unique power to it. I love the back-and-forth on "Almost Crimes" and the instrumental tracks like "Pacific Theme" and "Late Ninties Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries" and the chorus on "Cause=Time". That's to say nothing of "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl", a song that I will now love for all time throughout all the universe. This is an album made by people who love music and love each other. If you have not heard this, I can't recommend it enough.

January 25th: After the Disco by Broken Bells

This was a long time coming. I had heard Broken Bells' debut a few months prior, and had been meaning to check out their other two albums, which I finally did. I think I like After the Disco more than the self titled. It's more a more fleshed out version of what they were doing on that first record, with James' hooks as sharp as ever and the washed-out production of Danger Mouse giving the album a different character. I really like the epic scoope of "Perfect World", The groove of "After the Disco", that guitar riff on "Lazy Saturday", and everything about "The Remains of Rock and Roll"

January 26th: Into the Blue by Broken Bells

Rounding out the trilogy, this album is also good, but I've yet to decide whether I like it more than the first two. The local college station had a phase where it played "One Night" pretty much every day, and I still love that song. I like the vocal harmonies on "Love on the Run" and... I kind of don't have anything else to say about this album. It's just... good indie rock.

January 27th: Low, "Heroes", and Lodger by David Bowie

Finally doing my service to the music world and to Earth in general by listening to David Bowie's Berlin trilogy (which wasn't actually entirely recorded in Berlin). Here's my thoughts. Low is amazing. "Heroes" is also amazing but is less mind-blowing. Lodger doesn't really do it for me. The greatness of Low is self-evident and has been talked up enough by people more intelligent than me, but I will say: I didn't expect this album to open with such upbeat songs, which makes the dark instrumentals in the second half to hit harder. "Heroes" is slightly more conventional of an album, and has that amazing title track that never gets any less impactful for me, but the instrumental second half isn't as powerful as the instrumentals on Low. I'm not sure about Lodger. I get that the Eno instrumental stuff was probably getting a bit boring after a while, but some of this album sounds like Paul Simon having a stroke. I like "Red Sails" though. Also, why aren't Low and "Heroes" categorized as new wave? They're 100% new wave.

January 28th The Infamous by Mobb Deep

My familiarity with Mobb Deep was limited to "Shook Ones Pt. II" before this week, and I'm glad to remedy that. This album kicks ass. The beats are a great combination of smooth basslines and those hard-hitting boom bap drums. Havoc and Prodigy can both flow with the best of them. Some of the greatest rappers of the era such as Q-Tip and Nas feature on this album, and they add so much to these songs. I love the guest verses on "Eye for a Eye", and the chorus on "Temperature's Rising", and I need not explain why "Shook Ones Pt. II" is a masterwork. This is east coast hip-hop at its finest. "For every rhyme I write/it's 25-to-life" is one of the single hardest bars I have ever heard. Once again: this album kicks ass.

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