Review: Remo Drive Deliver On the Boldly Titled Greatest Hits

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

It’s funny. A year ago, Remo Drive was little more than a local act, and now, following the surge in success they saw after the release of their debut album, the band is signed to Epitaph Records. For those who may be out of the loop, Remo Drive is an Emo trio hailing from Minnesota, and at the start of 2017, the band began prepping the release of Greatest Hits, which would be the group’s formal debut following a string of EPs and split releases. While they may have gone in expecting the usual fanfare, something changed when they released “Yer Killin’ Me,” the album’s lead single–the internet took notice. Continue reading

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Review: Death by Pirates Struggle to Find Their Footing On Their Debut

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

Back in 2013, Death By Pirates broke on the Alternative scene with their debut, self-released EP, which was subsequently followed by a second, self-titled EP a little over a year later. At this point in time, I was in love with the band’s sound and was eager for them to release their first full-length. Unfortunately, in 2015, the band announced they were closing up shop, so it appeared these two (demo) projects were all we were getting. While the group never revealed the details of the break-up, they eventually changed their minds and re-grouped to finish recording what we now know as their debut, We Only Have What We Remember. Continue reading

Review: Idles’ Brutalism Is a Cathartic Burst of Rage and Tension

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

As political tension continues to swell on a global scale, it can sometimes feel like everyone is slowly losing their minds, as if empathy and understanding are human emotions no longer felt by society at large. Above all, this feeling of helplessness can transform those most passionate into seething anarchists willing to do just about anything for change. This is where Idles comes in. This restlessness, this resentment, this frustration. These are the feelings and emotions the band thrives on. This is what oils the machine and drives the unit forward, and after all is said and done, this rage is what helped form the band’s debut, Brutalism. Continue reading

Review: I Decided. Is a Bright Flame That Burns Out Fast

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

After being in the industry for over a decade, Big Sean certainly needs no introduction. Despite having the odds stacked against him as far as public opinion goes, since his debut album Finally Famous was released in 2011, Big Sean has still managed to amass widespread fandom in the Hip Hop community, thanks in part to his connection with Kanye West and the GOOD Music label. However, I’ve always found it difficult to connect with his material in any significant way, so when he released his fourth album I Decided. last February, I wanted to make sure I took my time with the project to see what I may have been missing. Continue reading

Review: Process Displays Both Beauty and Chaos in Sampha’s Pain

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

If you were to talk to me about Sampha a year ago, my response most likely would have been, “Who?” I’m not intimately familiar with the Young Turks roster, so although Sampha has worked with some high-profile artists in the past–including guys like Kanye West and Drake–he wasn’t an artist I was aware of. But earlier this year, Sampha broke with his debut record Process, and it seemed as if he was making the rounds everywhere. I couldn’t go more than a few scrolls down my timeline without seeing mention of his name, so naturally, I was compelled to listen to the album. Continue reading

Review: J. Cole Realizes His True Potential on 4 Your Eyez Only

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Note: My music reviews will always be “late.” It is my belief that albums should be listened to in different moods, settings, and after extended breaks, all while conditioning yourself to accept what you were given as opposed to what you wanted. Only then can you give a legitimate and honest critique of the material.

Before I get into this, let me clear the air about something: I have never liked J. Cole. He’s had a few decent singles here and there, but overall, the massive image of him being Hip Hop’s “savior,” which was thrust upon him by his fanbase, never really fit the bill, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Cole has a lot of strong pro-Black beliefs that stem from his upbringing, I think he’s a smart individual, and I think he plays an important role among his contemporaries. However, his musical efforts have always felt a little shallow to me, a little half-baked… Until now. Continue reading

Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming Is An Effortless Success

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since Spider-Man made his first appearance on the big screen, even harder to believe it’s been almost a decade since Jon Favreau kicked off the MCU with 2008’s Iron Man, and yet here we are. Since Tobey Maguire first donned the suit in 2002, the ol’ Web-Head has had a rocky relationship with audiences. If you ask 100 people their opinion on the original trilogy, you’d get 100 different answers, and the same can be said for Marc Webb’s duology. So as Spider-Man: Homecoming was teased, announced, and promoted, a common response was, “Again?” No, not “again”: finally. Continue reading