Album Review: Vince Staples – FM!

By Tarein Phillips, Contributor [Def Jam; 2018] Rating: 8.5/10 Key Tracks: “Feels Like Summer”, “Outside!”, “New earlsweatshirt – Interlude” On the same night where Swizz Beatz, Metro Boomin and Takeoff were set to release their newest albums, the prince of Long Beach and America’s most beloved former-Crip, Vince Staples, shined the brightest releasing FM!. This…

Album Review: Mick Jenkins – Pieces of a Man

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [Free Nation / Cinematic; 2018] Rating: 8/10 Key Tracks: “Ghost”, “U Turn”, “Smoking Song” Mick Jenkins is back on the scene with his second studio album, Pieces of a Man. This project is permeated by Jenkins’ usual conscious rap, and like always, he engages in lyrical gymnastics and manages to stick…

Album Review: Joji – BALLADS 1

By Dylan Benedict, Contributor [88rising; 2018] Rating: 6.5/10 Key Tracks: “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK”, “CAN’T GET OVER YOU”, “NO FUN” For many people, when they hear or see Joji, they automatically associate the rapper with his days on YouTube as Filthy Frank or Pink Guy, but his new album, BALLADS 1, helps to separate…

Album Review: IAN SWEET– Crush Crusher

By Abby Jeffers, Contributor [Hardly Art; 2018] Rating: 7/10 Key Tracks: “Hiding”, “Holographic Jesus”, “Bug Museum” In a discordant follow-up to 2016’s Shapeshifter, indie rock musician IAN SWEET has dropped her sophomore album, Crush Crusher – an album all about “self-image, self-respect/worth, and the responsibility [frontwoman Jillian Medford] has felt to others,” according to the band’s…

Album Review: William Shatner – Shatner Claus

By Maria Lubanovic, Copy Editor [Cleopatra; 2018] Rating: 3/10 Key Tracks: “Little Drummer Boy”, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, “Silent Night” Sometimes as writers, we are cursed with the task of writing about Christmas music way before the season officially starts. But sometimes, William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk from Star Trek, releases a Christmas album…

Album Review: Robyn – Honey

By Andrew Breazeale, Contributor [Konichiwa; 2018] Rating: 6.5/10 Key Tracks: “Missing U”, “Send to Robin Immediately”, “Honey” Swedish dance-pop icon Robyn has returned to the club scene with her eighth studio album, Honey. Beginning in 1995, her music career paved the way for modern pop and its use of electronic dance music, transforming the very…

Album Review: Cloud Nothings – Last Building Burning

By Dewy D’Amore, Contributor [Carpark; 2018] Rating: 7.5/10 Key Tracks: “On An Edge” “Leave Him Now” “Dissolution” Cleveland’s most well-known garage pop-punk band, Cloud Nothings, took an unexpected turn with their latest release, Last Building Burning. As seen in their previous releases, the band was starting to develop a more clean, catchy tone, but Last…

Album Review: Geotic – Traversa

By Maria Lubanovic, Copy Editor [Ghostly International, 2018] Rating: 7.5/10 Key Tracks: “Swiss Bicycle”, “Town Square”, “Terraformer” Let your mind wander to a new place – literally. Electronic musician Geotic’s album, Traversa, invites the listener to take a journey through tracks named after places and different forms of traveling. From a simple “Knapsack” to a “Maglev”,…

Album Review: Open Mike Eagle – What Happens When I Try to Relax

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [Auto Reverse; 2018] Rating: 7/10 Key Tracks: “Microfiche”, “Single Ghosts”, “Southside Eagle” Self-proclaimed art-rapper Open Mike Eagle is back on the scene with his newest EP, What Happens When I Try to Relax, which offers his audience six new tracks, each doused with his signature mix of campiness and musical savvy. Mike…

Album Review: Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics

By Justin Cudahy, Columns Editor [Smalltown Supersound; 2018] Rating: 6/10 Key Tracks: “Fallen Leaves”, “Faster Than the Truth”, “Natural Skin Deep” For many, when they hear the words “Buffalo Stance” uttered, they are immediately transported to a time back when MTV was at its height and dance-pop was still on the rise. These terms were…

Album Review: Khalid – Suncity

By Andrew Breazeale, Contributor [RCA; 2018] Rating: 7/10 Key Tracks: “Vertigo”, “Better” Over a year after his debut album, American Teen, was released, Khalid has graced us with a seven-track EP, Suncity. After being featured on numerous albums and singles in the past year, the El Paso-raised singer finally released his own music, and boy…

Album Review: Machine Girl – The Ugly Art

By Kiah Easton, Contributor [Kitty On Fire; 2018] Rating: 8/10 Key Tracks: “Status”, “NWOFKA Skullboy”, “Full Metal Dipshit” With little to no warning, Pittsburgh-based cyber-punk duo Machine Girl have released their latest project, fittingly entitled The Ugly Art. Leaving Orange Milk and debuting on Kitty On Fire, the band continue to deliver a variety of…