Album Review: The Blinders – Electric Kool-Aid (Pt. 1)

By Jonah Cashel, Contributor Rating: 8/10 Key Tracks: “Barefoot Across Your Water”, “City We Call Love” Earlier this January, The Blinders released Part 1 of a two-part EP, aptly titled Electric Kool-Aid. The title derives its name from novelist Tom Wolfe’s psychedelic journalistic novel, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and the sounds explored in these…

Album Review: 2nd Generation Wu — The Legend of Shaolin

By Adrian Woods, Contributor[Round Table / Blurred Noise / Intellectual Ent.; 2022]Rating: 6/10 Key tracks: “There Will Be Blood”, “No Place 2 Hide”, “Decimation of Frauds” Being the sons of Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and U-God, who were part one of the most influential and groundbreaking rap groups of all time, The…

Album Review: Cordae — From a Birds Eye View

By: Ethan Hofer, Staff Writer
[Atlantic Recording Corporation; 2022]
Rating: 3/10
Key tracks: “Shiloh’s Intro”, “Today”, “Sinister”
ity and experience under his belt, something that unfortunately did not translate to talent on this album.

Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt — SICK!

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Tan Cressida; 2022]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “2010”, “Lye”, “Titanic”
Earl Sweatshirt is back with his first studio album since 2019’s Feet Of Clay. The new release has so much of what one would expect from an Earl Sweatshirt album: it’s packed with interesting, creative samples and head-turning, dark lyrics, all wrapped up within a short runtime. Even with these similarities, Earl brings a fresh sound with SICK! 

Album Review: FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS

After a tumultuous year of exposing her abusive relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, FKA twigs is back to redeem herself. She’s at her most confident, creative and eccentric on her newest mixtape, reverting to her R&B roots while also incorporating an early 2000s sound with a touch of Latin and Afrocentric influences. Sonically worlds apart from her 2019 predecessor MAGDALENE, this mixtape brings the spunk that FKA twigs is known for, along with an electronic sound and a healthy dose of psychedelic interludes and voice memos. 

ACRN’s Most Disappointing Albums of 2021

10. Mastodon – Hushed and Grim, [Reprise; 2021] ACRN Contributor Mastodon’s latest project, Hushed and Grim, brings almost nothing to slake fans’ thirst for innovation. The album isn’t terrible, but it is a 90-minute exercise in patience with close to no payoff. Keeping Mastodon’s trend of memorializing loved ones through their projects, Hushed and Grim…

Album Review: King Krule – You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down

[True Panther Sounds/Matador Records; 2021]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: “A Slide In (New Drugs) – Live”, “Stoned Again – Live”, “Easy Easy – Live”
Closing your eyes to a live album can provide a euphoria to the listener, like you are actually there, and in my mind, I am here: at one of King Krule’s concerts right before quarantine. King Krule (Archy Marshall) is an indie rock/post-punk musician hailing from London, U.K who has released projects under multiple names, including Zoo Kid and Edgar the Beatmaker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down is King Krule’s second live album release aside from Live On the Moon and overall his fifth project he has released under the King Krule moniker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down features live performances from past projects such as 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, The OOZ and Man Alive!.

Album Review: Sufjan Stevens – A Beginner’s Mind

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Asthmatic Kitty Records; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Reach Out”, “Back To Oz”, “You Give Death A Bad Name”
Stevens is one of the biggest indie folk figures of the 2000’s and 2010’s, and he has released some of the most essential pieces of indie folk music within that time. It was a bit of a shock to see him drop his second album of the year, A Beginner’s Mind, just four months after his last album Convocations.

Album Review: Honnda – Ultimate Rivals: The Court

By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director
[Orange Milk Records/ Rivals; 2021]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “Megabloom Halo ft Dai Burger & moistbreezy”, “Bounce Castle”, “The Golden Age of Content (Menu)”

Album Review: Weezer – OK Human

By: RJ Martin
[Atlantic Records; 2021]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: “All My Favorite Songs”, “Here Comes The Rain”, “La Brea Tar Pits”
What if after Green Day proudly proclaimed their most recent album had “no features, no swedish songwriters, no trap beats, just 100% pure uncut rock” it actually turned out to be pretty decent despite the overwhelming snobbery? Well, you don’t have to imagine, because after a lackluster performance on their most recent records, Weezer seems to have done just that. A few weeks ago, ahead of the release of OK Human, the band took to Instagram to explain that the album was made with a time “when humans really mattered and when the dark tech-takeover fantasy didn’t exist” in mind. The album was made all analogue with a ’60s/’70s sound in mind, which isn’t a new concept. 

Album Review: Black Country, New Road – For the first time

By Jonah Krueger, News Editor
[Ninja Tune; 2021]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: “Athens, France”, “Science Fair”, “Sunglasses”, “Opus”
Black Country, New Road accomplished something incredible—they released an album that got noticed. After forming from the ashes of a promising band ruined by the actions of a single member, the seven-piece’s trajectory seemed pretty straightforward. Gain a quick cult following off the basis of live performances, work out new material, put out a single or two, sign to a label, release a debut album—all the while remaining mysterious and developing an idiosyncratic aesthetic.

Album Review: Xiu Xiu – OH NO

By Venus Rittenberg, Contributor
[Polyvinyl; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “One Hundred Years”, “A Bottle of Rum”, “OH NO”
Xiu Xiu’s 15th album is an album of duets that sees them returning to the sounds that frequent their discography prior to 2019’s experimental Girl with Basket of Fruit. A perfect example of this return to the olden days of Xiu Xiu is the title track, which sounds like something from Xiu Xiu’s fifth album, The Air Force, but with a poppier hook.