Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Roots - How I Got Over

This is the first Roots album I've ever listened to, but after hearing this record I'm thinking I should have started when I was 2.

The album, to me, seems like a man's journey to find God and the struggles he goes through to do so. It is full of existential themes, but the lyrics and meaning does not overshadow the music. They seem to bring each other out if anything.

Their beats are smooth. Their voices are smooth. This album is really smooth. As a band they are flawless. Their instrumentation is great, and it's refreshing to find some hip-hop that isn't packed full of sampling and drum kits. The album is also meant to be listened to as a whole. It obviously tells a story, and the tracks flow into each other easily. That seems to be another rarity among hip-hop lately.

It talks about the streets a lot, which I totally relate to.

The last track is a different feel from the rest of the album, and sort of off-putting, but overall not bad. There is also a bonus song, "Hustla", which also follows a different course, but I like a lot. The lyrics are pretty weak, especially compared to the other gems on before it, but I suppose that's why it's a bonus track.

Hip-hop is not dead.

Highlights: Dear God 2.0, Doin It Again, The Fire

Genres: Hip-hop, gospel, jazz

The Depreciation Guild - Spirit Youth

This was written by me a while ago, but I figure I might as well post it anyways.

March 30, 2010

I didn't know what to expect going into this album. I had never heard the band before, nor of them, and have never really indulged in much experimental rock at all.

I was very surprised.

Their gives a little background on the band. Apparently it's 3 guys total. Two of them play guitar, one sings, one drums, and one programs the Nintendo Entertainment System that holds a lot of their sounds. That's right 8 bit fans, The Deprecation Guild is powered by NES.
They don't seem to overuse the machinery, either. It sounds fluid, dreamlike, unlike some people who find a keyboard or computer for the first time.

The album should be listened to in entirety, they have planted themes that don't unfold themselves fully in just one song, but require an album.

Christoph's voice is very nice. The mix of the album layers him just barely in front of the other instruments, allowing them to all blend into one nice sound. He has a really soft tone, and doesn't strain throughout the album. He floats.

This really is a nice surprise for me. I wasn't able to understand the lyrics very well throughout, and would have liked to see a sheet, but that was no problem. It was nice music to listen to. No one trying to impress anyone, no one begging for radio play, just 3 guys melding into some great music.

Song that kind of stuck out to me : Through the Snow

It could be genre-ized as : 8bit, shoegaze, reverrrrrb

Bands that kind of remind me of it : Silversun Pickups, Morrissey for some reason - I guess his voice sometimes, This Day & Age