Cherry Bomb, not a Bust

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

In honor of Tyler the Creator concert on May 8th, I decided to do a review of his newest album Cherry Bomb.  Tyler and Odd Future have never been my favorite hip hop group but I decided to give his newest album a chance.  I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout of the album.  There were many similarities between Cherry Bomb and Kendrick Lamar’s newest album To Pimp a Butterfly.  Big names such as Kanye and Lil Wayne are also featured on the album but seem somewhat unnecessary diluting Tyler’s message and main focus of a major transitional period of his life.

Tyler the Creator's album cover to Cherry Bomb. (PHOTO BY Tyler the Creator)
Tyler the Creator’s album cover to Cherry Bomb. (PHOTO BY Tyler the Creator)

Modest Mouse a Band that is not Strange to Us

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

Finally, Modest Mouse releases another album which is titled Strangers to Ourselves, nearly eight years since their last one titled We Were Dead Before the Boat Sank.  Let me tell you it was worth the wait.  Modest Mouse’s album covers a range of emotions and moods displaying the band’s versatility.  Songs such as “Lampshades on fire”, “The Best Room”, and “Be Brave” sport an upbeat rock tempo that can put anyone in a good mood.  If you want to chill out, however, I suggest listening to “Coyotes”, “Ansel”, “Pups to Dust”, “Of Course We Know”, and “ Strangers to Ourselves”.

Strangers to Ourselves album cover. (PHOTO BY Modest Mouse)
Strangers to Ourselves album cover. (PHOTO BY Modest Mouse)

Modest Mouse is a group that has always relayed messages through their music and the underlying theme of their newest album seems relate to the environment.  “The Tortoise and the Tourist” give a direct message on how people are still unconsciously harming the environment.  This album is great introduction to warmer weather and I expect many of the songs to permeate through the radio throughout the summer.

All Eyes on Raz Simone

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

Raz Simone, previously mentioned for his first album Cognitive Dissonance II released early in 2015, has now released his third album titled Baby Jesus.  After releasing Macklemore Privilege & Chief on Keef Violence in early March, Raz continued to release singles until he released his newest mixtape.  The amazing thing is the quality on his lyricism, beats, content, and even music videos has not decrease.

The album cover to Baby Jesus (PHOTO BY RAZ SIMONE)
The album cover to Baby Jesus (PHOTO BY RAZ SIMONE)

After his appearance at the SXSW music festival in Houston, Texas his popularity has significantly increased.  With new music being released nearly every week, more and more attention is being redirected in the hip hop scene towards him.  Make sure you are keeping a close eye on him over the next couple months.  With the summer festival series coming up, Raz Simone is sure to explode.

 

All his music is free to download on his website: http://blog.razsimone.com/

I Like Going Outside.. Earl Sweatshirt Doesn’t

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

Earl Sweatshirt's album cover.  Dark and poetic, just like his music. (BY EARL SWEATSHIRT)
Earl Sweatshirt’s album cover. Dark and poetic, just like his music. (BY EARL SWEATSHIRT)

Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future… To be honest, I haven’t been big on him until his most recent album I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside, which dropped on March 23, 2015.  It wasn’t that he was bad artist; he just never stayed on my radar.  And the newest album wouldn’t have been on it had it not been after my friends.  I was told to play the last track “Wool” and give it a chance.  Okay, so I did that and it inspired me to listen to the rest.

“Wool” which is a great track was actually not my favorite. “AM // Radio”, “Mantra” and “DNA” definitely are highlights of the album because of their instrumentals.  The lyricism through the album was great.  But it’s probably the instrumentals on the album that are going to keep it in the playlist.  Most tracks had this harshness to them creating a dark, melancholy aura.  It was probably because the drum kits have this harsh snapping snare, it’s a very in your face sound, coupled with piano often played in the lower keys on many tracks, a unique sound is created.  I’m not going to lie though, he’s not for everyone though he often touches on universal themes in many of his songs such as spirituality and the struggle of finding a right path in life.  I encourage anyone who likes hip hop or needs something to relate to in their rocky teenage years to check it but make sure to listen closely.

Raz a Rapper and Poet

Raz Simone, seemingly a thug, but in actuality a modern day poet.  His newest album Cognitive Dissonance Part II was released in episodes week by week every Tuesday and was something for listeners to look forward too.  The songs expose the raw emotions of living in a rough neighborhood and seeing how drugs and drink impact those around him.  Raz, because of what he has seen in his environment, is neither drinks nor smokes buts that does not prevent him from hustling and running the streets.  Not introduced to rap till he was around 13, Raz took a liking to poetry. His poetic influence clearly enhances his lines.  All the songs sound original and are nothing like you have ever heard before.  He is truly a part of the conscious rap movement.  Listen to it, you will not be disapp

Album Cover to Cognitive Dissonance Part 2. (PHOTO BY Raz)
Album Cover to Cognitive Dissonance Part 2. (PHOTO BY Raz)

ointed.

Link: https://www.razsimone.com/cd2

Let It Rain Good Music

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

If Frank Ocean was a superhero, what would be the name of his sidekick?  How about Johnny Rain?  Got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Well I’m here to tell you, Johnny Rain, is a real person and his voice has a great ring.  Though Johnny is not Frank Ocean’s sidekick, he is very Frank Ocean-esq.

Album cover for 11 by Johnny Rain. (PHOTO BY Johnny Rain)
Album cover for 11 by Johnny Rain. (PHOTO BY Johnny Rain)

Both an r ’n’ b singer and a producer of his newest album 11, Rain provides both the creativity and vocals for an album that deserves a spot on the current r ’n’ b hot list.  The tracks, however, are not all r ‘n’ b Rain also rap over different tracks.  While this isn’t the greatest album, it is definitely a unique creation considering it is his first self-production.

*Band Name too Long to Create a Title with Play on Words*

BY NICHOLAS PAYIATIS

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, a mouthful for a band’s name. But the name could be considered a subconscious metaphor created to reflect their music or at least their newest album Between Bodies released on October 7th, 2014.  Being in no way an expert on the development of the band and only recently being referred to them by fellow blogger Gavin Smith, I consider this group unique because I have no emotional attachment to the group.  I don’t know if I will be able to say the same thing for future albums, however.

After listening to Space Explorations to Solve Earthly Crises, the second track on the album after the 7 minute intro I was enthralled by the poetic characteristics of this group. The spoken word verses are littered with metaphors and

Between Bodies album cover.(PHOTO BY The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die)
Between Bodies album cover.(PHOTO BY The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die)

offset the par background vocals creating a magnificently original sound.  What truly elevates this group are the awe-inspiring instrumentals that able to match the lyrics in a vastness and a greatness of subject matter.  More directly stated, the poetic subjects within the songs that discuss death, darkness, vastness of the universe, love, and self are given a depth by the instrumentals.  Guitar, bass, synthesizer, cello, trumpet, and drums create build ups when needed and create an aura which also allows a listener to reflect.  This reflection is important in such works because it takes more than a moment for the gravity of the metaphor to sink in.

This band is definitely what some may consider a “hipster” with enough beards to go around.  But they care about their music and as a listener that’s something I care about.  The sincerity and the thought within a song is something that takes time.  My favorite two songs off the album Between Bodies  would probably have to be Space Explorations To Solve Earthly Crises and Autotonsorialist.  Both songs exhibit a great combination of guitar and synth.  So definitely check The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die and their album Between Bodies out if you want to hear something new, it’s refreshing.

Check Out Between Bodies Here: http://theworldis.bandcamp.com/album/between-bodies