Monday, October 10, 2016

Mini Reviews Epic Gauntlet Part II: M.I.A, Nick Cave & Clipping.

Picking up where I left off, I'll be continuing the epic back log of albums I missed commenting on. Make sure to check out part one of this series, and stay tuned for the remaining parts.

Face shot of M.I.A. in the centre on an orange background, with the words MIA and AIM in the bottom left and top right corners.
M.I.A.- A.I.M.
I think I enjoyed this record a little bit more than a lot of other people. Yes, a lot of the lyrics on here were a little bit on the dumb side, but the instrumentals were all pretty good to me (except "Bird Song": those kazoos were annoying, not even the Diplo remix could save that). Also, 'Ali r u ok?' is my jam. I've always liked how M.I.A. flirts with a lot of world instrumentation, and while I can say this probably isn't her best, I just hope the rumors that this is her last album aren't true. I feel like M.I.A. has a lot more left to say.

An image of a black background. In the bottom-left centre, monospace-style green text reads "Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds" in uppercase and "Skeleton Tree" in normal-case. Underneath is a static text cursor.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Skeleton Tree
This album is unbelievably sad. And surprisingly, this was recorded before Cave's son's tragic death, though I feel like people will undoubtedly link this album with the event. This album has a very dreary and depressing tone to it, though all the songs are beautiful, and really immerses you in the mood. This kind of builds on Push The Sky Away, but gives that sound a little more focus. I find it a little hard to describe this album, and I really feel like this album is one of the must listens of this year, so I think the album explains itself much better than I ever could.

Clipping. - Splendor & Misery.jpg
Clipping.- Splendor & Misery
I have been pretty hard on Clipping in the past, but only because I knew they were capable of so much more. Wriggle was pretty bad to me, but I think that was just expelling all the trash content out of the group's system so they could deliver, in my opinion, their best record yet. This album is a fully formed concept about an escaped slave in space and his burgeoning relationship with his ship's computer, as well as his descent into madness due to isolation. I appreciate the ambition of the concept, Daveed Diggs' rapping is more on point than ever, and the record's production is wildly inventive, emulating sounds of a spaceship and computers to fit with the Amistad in space concept. I really hope this is the direction Clipping heads in in the future, because this was a great album, and a huge surprise in the best way.

For part three of the gauntlet, I'll be looking at Bon Iver's 22, A Million, the new effort by Regina Spektor, and Danny Brown's new album, Atrocity Exhibition.

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