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Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Austin's Listening to this week 2/5/2012 - 2/11/2012

"I'm going to take this importunity to review the whole Black Keys collection. One a week.

-Austin Lovelace"

1. Yelawolf - Trunk Muzik 0-60
The main reson I listened to this was because of the new album, "Radioactive". Their was nothing offensive about "Radioactive" but I do consider it to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2011. It was just a step down on everything he's acompleshed from the soft beats, guest singers, to the flow and lyrics. I could tolerate the album up to "Throw it Up" were Yelawolf was able to pull "The Real Slim Shady" back out of Eminem but everything after that was just bull shit R&B tracks. The only song before that track that I just couldn't deal with was "Lets Roll ft. Kid Rock" and the reason why is in the fucking title. I don't want to pull the sell out card but I felt that he went way to main stream with this album; not saying mainstream is bad but it doesn't fit his style.  The only way that anyone could really understand his style is to go back to his previous work like "Trunk Muzik". He really sounds like what Eminem used to do but that's mainly because he has this high pitched flow that resembles Em's first two albums. I actually think he does that flow harder better and faster than Em or any other "copycat" could. Yelawolf has one of the best flows in Hip-Hop right now, in my opinion, even though he, really, only has one flow. His mastery over that flow makes up for it because the ability to take one flow and change it's speed and rhythm on command, the way he can, is just as impressive as any other rapper. On Trunk Muzik he pulls out these tracks that bring swag raps and "bitch" raps to a level were you can't take him seriously.  He puts a southern spin on "hard core Hip-Hop" with clever lyrics that will either be disturbing to you or make you laugh. I love this album but he's scaring the shit out of me with "Radioactive" which I see as his "Relapse". I'll give up on him if I hear a "Recovery" and that is no threat.

Yellawolf - "Daddy's Lambo"

2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
If you guys have a beef with the fact that I picked the original, "controversial", album art instead of the U.S. cover release your really missing the point. The real point is that this album is an essential "Blues Rock", "Guitar Rock", "Classic Rock", "Psychedelic Rock", "Jazz Rock"... or whatever else you want to call it. Though this album does have the staple guitar playing from Hendrix that is remembered so fondly; it would be stupid to say that Noel Redding's bass playing, and Mitch Mitchel's drumming are'nt nearly as impressive. The fact is that the whole band is a cast of some of the best song writers of the 60s. This album starts with a weird vocal interlude and some jazz tracks until some hard blues rock tracks start showing of the classic Hendrix flavor. Everything just builds to the point were the instrumentation all mashes together and smashes you in face with one of their most famous tracks, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", were you get the funk flavor during the first riff before the bass kicks in and shows you the songs rock side. A lot of these tracks feel less like well put together tracks and more like instrumental jams capable of stringing out to 13min. like on, the original, "Voodoo Chile". This is one of the best 60s albums to ever come out and if it's not perfect it's as close as any guitar album will ever get to pure classic rock majesty.

The Jimi Hendrix - "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"

3. The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
I decided to take a break from the Keys albums I'm a little iffy on and listen to not only my favorite Keys album, but the first one I ever owned. I'll admit I don't buy every album I talk about but I don't pirate them either. I just think that if I want to support an artist I will eventually buy the work they put out and I bought the shit out of this album the first time I heard it. This is the most fantastic peace of modern blues rock to come out of the blues rock "craze" of the early 2000s. Don't get me wrong, I love "The Kills" and pretty much all of the Jack White projects but this album is the biggest and baddest of them all. It is truly the culmination of guitar work and distortion that made this style so sought after in the early 2000s. I won't say that Dan Auerbach is even close to the technical level that Jack White is on the guitar but his ability to carry a groove on this album is so powerful that I don't think any guitarist can come close to matching him in this style. Songs like "Girl is On My Mind" and "All Hands Against His Own", which I'm sure I've listed on this blog before, have some of the heaviest and moving guitar grooves that I've ever heard. As much as I love to talk about the guitar work on this album I can't say that Dan doesn't clearly owe a lot of credit to his better half. Patrick Carney is the perfect backup for this band. He leads you through the songs with such simple rhythms and drum solos, usually behind the guitar, that just complement the songs so beautifully. If you want to hear Carney's real ability as a drummer all you need to do is listen the the first track on this album, "When the Lights Go Out". You put these two men together and you will get songs that are written so well that you just can't help but sing along. I won't say that they're greatest lyricists, but they know how to make a song that is easy to sing along to as long as the the production moves your head to the beat. Dan is a great producer and the laid back and distorted production just complements the style of music so well. The only song I can't get into on this album is "The Lengths", and that can be chalked up to me being completely unable to get into a Keys ballad except for "Little Black Submarines", which does'n stay that way for long anyway. This album is the reason I'm completely hooked on this style of music.

The Black Keys - "All Hands Against His Own"

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4. Daniel Mustard - Daniel Mustard EP (Self Titled) (EP)
The buzz around this guy is one of the coolest things I've ever seen happen on the internet.The majority of people finding this guys music are all coming from a viral video on youtube called "Homeless Mustard Sings "Creep" GREATEST Cover EVER", which I think lives up to it's title. If you have't allready figured it out, it's a homeless man covering Radiohead's "Creep" (see full story). This one video has started a wave of covers, from this guy, including his cover of the classic Cure song "Boys Don't Cry" and even a Britney Spears song somewhere on Youtube. This man has been passed around on the internet like a meme to the point were he has scored a record deal and his cool rusty voice tells why people care. I wont pretend that a lot of this buzz hasn't come about because of the debate over weather he is really homeless or how our country has "completely discarded talent like this in favor of people like Justin Bieber". I'm just as skeptical about this, "to good to be true", story as anyone else is, but I'm more than happy to believe a true "fairy-tale" story like this until I'm proven wrong. It's not like this is the first time an artists has become more well known because of an internet video. Justin Bieber was a Youtube prodigy way before he got his record deal, OFWGKTA's mainstream popularity can be blamed on Tyler, the Creator's "Yonkers" video, and the most recent example is Lana Del Rey with her viral single "Video Games" + her, "flopped", SNL performance being passed around  the blogs. Wheather you think think their music is good or not you can't deny that artists can be popular based on a freak accident or you could just say that viral marketing works. You could even say these artists are victims of the corporate music scene. The truth is that I could care less about why he's getting noticed because I like the music he makes. The music he makes is nothing but simple folk rock with some pop and radio rock influence. I think this guy can song write with the best of them; the first track, "Impulse to My Addiction", jumps into a chorus were he sings "when your the conflict of my conviction, stranger that all the fiction, another contradiction that I love you, you're the content of my condition, you take the strangest kind of position, your the impulse to my addiction but I love you", which is really well written. It may sound like a corny love song but even some of the classic folk artists like Bob Dylan are praised for lines like this. I can't say there's anything new about his sound but when he can have fun with it and use it to his advantage. The last track on this album, "Evacuating to Mars", he sings about escaping his life in the silliest ways possible. His music is really whats keeping me sucked into his past-life because he makes me believe in it so he's a great story teller if he's making all this up. The only thing that removes the emotion that this album carry's is that his voice is so well produced that I think some of the power his ruff voice had on the covers was lost (still loving it though). If you refuse to listen to this because of his story than your not paying attention to the music. I may even like this album because I'm sucked into the hype but in the end it only matters that I like it so I'm going to keep listening to it under my own approval.

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