ACRN’s Top 25 Albums of 2018

2018, a compelling year for rising artists from a web of musical trajectories. 1. Noname – Room 25, [Self-released; 2018] By Kwase Lane, Staff Writer Everything that someone could love about Noname’s music is taken to the next level in Room 25. One of the great things about Noname is that she doesn’t wear out…

ACRN’s Top 10 Disappointing Albums of 2018

1. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, [Domino; 2018] By Maria Lubanovic, Copy Editor From the minute that lead singer Alex Turner sings the first line, we can immediately tell that Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is an Arctic Monkeys album. Unfortunately, all other uncanny stylistic choices have gone by the wayside. Sometimes, choices…

ACRN’s Favorite Tracks of 2018

Jon Fuchs, Music Director: Dean Blunt – “Chancer (feat. A$AP Rocky)” It’s crazy that the best hype track of 2018 is a minimal masterpiece with no actual beat at all. Acting as the opening track on his latest EP, Soul On Fire, Dean Blunt’s “Chancer” is based solely on a constantly looping strings sample, Blunt’s…

ACRN’s Top 10 Movies of 2018

1. BlacKkKlansman, [Focus Features; 2018] By Jessica Jones, Staff Writer Set in the 1970s during the middle of the civil rights movement, black police officer Ron Stallworth infiltrates a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan by posing as a white man. Based on a true story, this film depicts the real-life events of what occurred in…

Between The Bars: “November” by Tyler, The Creator

By Kwase Lane, Staff Writer Hello, and welcome back to Between the Bars. It’s been a little while, but let’s jump right in. This week we’ll be taking a look at the first verse of “November” by Tyler the Creator. This song embodies the more introspective tones Tyler adopted on his latest album: Flower Boy….

Album Review: Anderson .Paak – Oxnard

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [Aftermath; 2018] Rating: 7/10 Key tracks: “6 Summers”, “Cheers”, “Sweet Chick” In his third studio album and final “beach trilogy” entry, Anderson Paak showers the auditory canvas with musical ideas of different tints and tones. Oxnard shows how far Anderson has come from Venice, even if it isn’t as critically acclaimed…

Album Review: Charles Bradley – Black Velvet

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [Dunham; 2018] Rating: 8/10 Key tracks: “Slip Away”, “(I Hope You Find) The Good Life”, “Fly Little Girl” Serving as a sort of final gift from the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Black Velvet is a lovingly curated collection of covers and original compositions by Charles Bradley. After being taken from the…

Battle of the Bands 2018 Q&A: Uncle Attica

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [Photo by Harley Wince] Q&A with Uncle Attica. What’s the story behind your band name?  Uncle Attica: In ancient Greek history, Attica [was] the region encompassing Athens, especially during its Golden Age. So for us, “Uncle Attica” is a musical collective surrounding Athens, Ohio just as Attica [surrounded] Athens, Greece. What…

Album Review: Poppy – Am I a Girl?

By Kwase Lane, Contributor [I’m Poppy; 2018] Rating: 6.5/10 Key tracks: “Girls in Bikinis”, “Play Destroy”, “X” Everyone’s favorite robot(?) girl(?) has returned, showering listeners with more sugary beats in her second studio album, Am I a Girl?. Moriah Pereira, more widely known by her stage name Poppy, has had a near meteoric rise from…

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: 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…