World of KJ

2023: Music In Review
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Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Wed Feb 01, 2023 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  2023: Music In Review

Yep its a new year and a new thread!

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Wed Feb 01, 2023 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

1. Lies They Tell Our Children by Anti-Flag - 7.8
2. Asking For A Ride by White Reaper - 6.8
3. Gigi's Recovery by The Murder Capital* - 7

-Veteran punk rockers Anti-Flag deliver a solid album, probably their best in awhile. Lots of guest stars, including the singer of Pinkshift, introducing me to that band and giving me another solid album to listen to. Victory or Death is pretty typical but also so much fun that it was my favorite.

-I saw White Reaper open for The Killers a few years and they have definitely improved. Their sound has an edge to it now which is nice.

-The Murder Capital are the hot new alternative band, #1 rated album on anydecentmusic right now, playing Coachella, etc... It was solid. They kinda sound like Parquet Courts. Only Good Things was my favorite song.

Author:  Shack [ Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

Thoughts on Maneskin? They don't seem great, but I hope they break out cause rock music needs some more bands that are fun and low self awareness like that.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sun Feb 12, 2023 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

Shack wrote:
Thoughts on Maneskin? They don't seem great, but I hope they break out cause rock music needs some more bands that are fun and low self awareness like that.
I liked the first song I heard from them "Zitti E Buoni" but their cover of "Beggin" got old quick. I think there's a good chance they'll end up being like a Nickelback / Imagine Dragons / Limp Bizkit type where they are simultaneously the most popular and most hated band in the world.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sun Feb 12, 2023 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review


4. This Is Why by Paramore - 8.2

-This might be Haley's best work as both a singer and lyricist. It might be a little bit too chill and relaxed though, so falls below their best like Riot and the self-titled. I guess that's part of the point though - finding peace in a world that is deisgned to make us mad at each other. They cast the blame far and wide on songs like The News, but accept it as well on Running Out Of Time. Cest Comme Ca, it is what it is, probably should have been the title of the album lol. The first five songs are all great. The second half is still growing on me, so while 8.4 is already a solid grade, it could end up higher with more listens (I'm on my third go around while writing this.)

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu Feb 23, 2023 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

5. Desire Pathway by Screaming Females - 8
6. One Day by Fucked Up - 7.5

Two of my favorite punks trying new things on their new albums. Screaming Females continue their path to a bigger sound that ought to be played in big arenas, even though they usually only tour in smaller venues. There's a lot to like on the album though, and I really appreciate how no two albums of theirs sound the same.

Fucked Up meanwhile used the South Park method, where the album title One Day is more than just thematical. They claim to have written and recorded the entire thing in one day. Quite the opposite to their usual epic rock opera approach. The entire thing does kind of sound like one continuous song though, so I guess the spirit is still alive.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

7. Optical Delusion by Orbital* - 7
8. Bubblegum by Biigpiig* - 6.5
9. Cave World by Viagra Boys - 7.2

Orbital provided a nice change of pace after several weeks (maybe even months) of listening to mostly rock music (festival lineup reveal season always puts me in this mood.) I guess you'd call it house music, but honestly I've never been that great at telling the different edm subgenres apart. Except for dubstep which has its signature wobble wobble noise, which is absent on this Orbital album. It's there if you want some decent techno to bob your head too though.

Biigpiig is more poppy, but still very much on the electronic side. Can't say it was anything too special, but at only 18 minutes it was totally fine.

Viagra Boys put a little more edge onto their alt-indie-rock style and I appreciate it. Their best work to date and they have enough good songs to no longer just be known as a band with a funny name. Milk Farm was my fav song from the album.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Mon Mar 06, 2023 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

10. Cracker Island by Gorillaz - 9

This is their best album since 2010s Plastic Beach (which is also their best overall imo.) Just a great eclectic mix of sounds with alt/indie-rock, electro and hip-hop. Old friends like Del the Funky Homosapien (Clint Eastwood) and De La Soul (Feel Good Inc) return for another ride along with new friends like Bad Bunny and Thundercat. I heard they're planning a big arena tour and I very much hope to get in on that.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sun Mar 12, 2023 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

11. Past // Present // Future by Meet Me At The Altar - 8.4

-I got the rare pleasure of getting to hear most of these songs live in concert a few days before the album came out. While I still prefer their old songs, this is a great breakthrough into the more mainstream style of pop-punk (lets call it the Travis Barker style.) Very impessed with what the girls did here. With the exception Avril's Love Sux, I think this is the top new pop-punk album since the genre was revived a few year ago. A Few Tomorrows, Say It To My Face and TMI were my favorites.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Mon Mar 20, 2023 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

12. Grade 2 by Grade 2 - 8
13. Food For Worms by Shame - 5.9

-Another solid record from the English boys who describe themselves as 'traditional punk.' Grade 2 popped up on my radar last year, somehow someway, and it seems like many others are coming around to them the same way I did. Very relatable lyrics that can either provoke outrage or comfort depending on what type of mood you're in.

Shame showed alot of promise on their debut a few years ago. An alt-punk sound that was pretty unique for the moment. This time around ... well it was fine .. but nothing really stood out and I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot about them entirely in between now and the next album.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

14. Desire, I Want to Turn Into You by Caroline Polachek - 7.2
15. Ugly by Slowthai* - 6.4

I like Caroline's band, Chairlift, better than her solo work. But it's good to see her finally getting noticed as evidence by the crazy good reviews this album has received. If the grammys were like they used to be she'd have a chance to do some damage. However, I highly doubt she will end up as one of the ten most popular people who released albums in the 12 month span, so she'll have to hope for the one nomination in Alternative. Bunny Is A Rider was my favorite song.

Slowthai reminds me of a British Post Malone, though his voice is far less annoying (though be fair, everyone's voice is far less annoying than PM.) These beats feel like they would be more at home on a Gorillaz album or someone else like that. It's not bad though. Selfish was the best song.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sun Mar 26, 2023 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

16. So Much (for) Stardust by Fall Out Boy - 8.9

-Well this was a pleasant surprise. I haven't given a Fall Out Boy album higher than a 7 since 2007's Infinity On High (which gets a 10/10 from me.) This one reminded me Infinity, and its well-intentioned but not quite as good follow-up Folie A Deux. Yet it also sounds new. Like, for the first time since their hiatus, Fall Out Boy are just out to make good songs. They aren't pandering for the new generation or evoking nostalgia for their glory days. Top songs from first two listens would be Fake Out, Heartbreak Feels So Good, Kinstugi Kid and So Good Right Now. But all the songs (except the interludes) are quite good.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Tue Mar 28, 2023 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

17. The Other One by BABYMETAL - 7.5

-The Other One and Bring Me The Horizon's 'Survival Horror' album from 2020 would have to do the Spider-Man pointing meme if they ever met. Though it's not a bad thing that these two bands are influencing each other. Their combined forces made the song Kingslayer which was my #2 song from the covid year. Yet this album also lacks the charm that made Babymetal such a unique act. I won't complain too much since every song is good, just needed to point out why it is a bit below their 2019 album Metal Galaxy.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Mon Apr 03, 2023 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

18. Heavener by Invent Animate - 9.5
19. More Power, More Pain by Gideon - 7.8

A pair of pretty badass albums here. Invent Animate have been pushed as the new (ish, they've had four albums) big thing in metal for this year, and I'm happy to say they lived up to the hype with their best record to date. It has a perfect mix of face-shredders, soul-smoothing melody and harmony and the traditional metalcore screaming verses/clean vocals type. Immolation Of Night has to be the best heavy song in quite some time (at least since Spiritbox's album in 2021.) Without A Whisper, False Meridian, Shade Astray and Labyrthine complete a hell of a stretch in the early/middle part of the album. Can't recommend this one enough to any fan of the genre.

I do wish I had listened to Gideon's album before-hand, cause it lacks in comparison to IA, but is still very good on its own. I learnt about them through the Danny Weimer festival circuit where they are playing most of the shows (opening for Slipknot on Inkcarceration Sunday!) The title track and Off The Rails were my favorites on the first two listens.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Tue Apr 11, 2023 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

20. The Record by Boygenius - 5
21. Expendables by Fake Names - 5.9

A pair of supergroups here. Boygenius, even though it has more than one gal on it, might as well be any other Phoebe Bridgers album though. It's well written, and well performed, but most of the songs are just so boring.

Fake Names are a combination of Refused, Bad Religion and others. It has punk style lyrics and vocals with more of a mid 2000s alt-rock vibe in the background. It was fine I guess. I doubt I'll listen to this record much more but I'll probably check out the next one.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Wed Apr 19, 2023 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

22. 72 Seasons by Metallica - 8.6

-Similiar to the type of album they've put out since the new millenium began. It's almost like a tribute to their old thrash metal sound. Yet each new record brings with it a bunch of great new songs. If Darkness Had A Friend is the clear standout on 72 Seasons, comparing James Hetfield's addiction to a massive fantastical concept in a way that only the best metal can. And lets be honest, everyone is gonna be doing that TEMPTATION chant when it comes time during the live shows. I also look forward to seeing Screaming Suicide (not their first song about suicide, but it sounds quite original for them), Shadows Follow, Sleepwalk My Life Away and the first single, Lux Aeterna, will make a hell of an opener. And for the rest, even Midtallica is still way better than most songs I've heard in my life. So I am always grateful anytime we get new Metallica. And it always just further cements them as one of the all time greatest artists in music history.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu Apr 20, 2023 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

23. Mental Trillness by Juicy J - 7.5
24. Everything To Everyone by Renee Rapp - 7

-Juicy J is a member of Three Six Mafia, who still tour as a group (minus Gangsta Boo who tragically died earlier this year) but mostly just record as solo performers. Most people on here will probably remember him best from the song "Dark Horse" with Katy Perry though. As the album title would suggest, Juicy J is mostly interested in exploring his (and other rappers) own minds and why they still all fucked up even as they acquire more money and acknowledgment than they could ever imagine. I'm not gonna full sympathize with rich people, but it must be quite the conundrum to have achieved your dreams and still be unhappy. And then you start to understand why famous people do stupid things like OD on fentanyl and hang themselves. Sound-wise, this album has similiar trap beats to what we see from most of the modern hip-hop, but just putting a real/talented rapper on them instead of just some autotuned hack makes such a big difference.

So I checked out Renee Rapp's album mostly cause I was browsing the new music in the Pop section and thought she looked cute on the album cover. Had no idea that this was Leighton from Sex Lives of College Girls until just now (I guess she also plays Regina George in the broadway version of Mean Girls ... which totally makes sense.) Anyways, this album started very slow with two ballads at the top. Not the best way to gain momentum, Leighton. However, things pick up with song #3 "Colorado" which is a legit bop and maybe even the best pop song released since October's Apopalypse. "Bruises" and "What Can I Do" follow it up with more boppiness and the album turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Much more like College Girls season 1, which was hilarious, than College Girls season 2, which was meh.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu Apr 27, 2023 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

25. A Kiss For The Whole World by Enter Shikari - 7.8
26. Blondshell by Blondshell* - 7.5

Enter Shikari is a post-hardcore / electrocore / nintendocore band that I really liked back when they first came out (like 2007ish?) but never listened to any of their follow-up albums. I guess my taste just shifted away from that type of music, and has now shifted all the way back to it. Anyway, this album was supposedly made in some remote location using only solar power. While thats kind of odd, solar-powered is somehow a perfect way to describe their music. It works for metalheads, it works for electroheads. And while their philosophies and political themes aren't anything too original, I respect them for putting their money where there mouth is with this experiment.

Blondshell is Sabrina Teitelbaum's, aka BAUM, new band. I don't know who that is but maybe someone else does? What piqued my interest was the first song on the album being called Veronica Mars. The line "Veronica mars, two thousand aughts, logan's a dick, I'm finding that's hot" made me laugh. I'm due for a rewatch on that show. So since we had similar taste in 2000s tv, I figured this would be a winner and I was right. "Salad" is the overall best track on the album. Now make some songs about Lost and 30 Rock!

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sat Apr 29, 2023 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

27. Memento Mori by Depeche Mode - 8

This legendary electro group lost one of its founding members last year when their keyboard player Andy Fletcher died. Very sad stuff. I was a bit worried this whole album was gonna be a huge downer and put it off for a bit because of that. However, it turned out to be the bands best work since Playing The Angel in the mid aughts. It feels more like a celebration of life than a sad funeral in the rain. There's alot of old Depeche Mode in here, but there's also a little more. A bit of Random Access Memories. I love when that happens, a band is influenced by another band who is then influenced by the work that was influenced by them. The classic Revolver -> Pet Sounds -> Sgt Peppers rotation. The lead single Ghosts Again and My Favorite Stranger were my favorite songs.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Wed May 10, 2023 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

28. Higher Than Heaven by Ellie Goulding - 7.5
29. Slouch by Kicksie* - 8

Well damn, I'm very far behind now thanks to my 70s music binge. Luckily my return to the present has yielded positive results thus far.

Ellie's album is her usual dance pop that we all know and love. I didn't hear a big hit on there like "Lights" or "Something In The Way You Move" but all the songs were fun.

Kicksie might be the first person I've heard that was directly inspired by Beach Bunny and I'm thrilled for both of them. You're On and Sinking In are money.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu May 11, 2023 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

30. The Death We Seek by Currents - 9.5

-One of my favorite up-and-coming metal acts delivers their best album to date. And I'll be honest, while it was one of the year's most anticipated, I was a little bit worried. Most metal acts nowadays follow the Bring Me The Horizon path where the first few albums are hard as fuck, but as you get noticed and recognized they become more radio friendly (and by radio friendly I mean Siruis radio friendly, not Kiss FM.) But they have managed to balance the heavy screaming parts with the melodic clean singing hooks and still have another unique riffs and breakdowns to stand out from the pack (like the band who is opening for them on tour - Invent Animate and also the band they just opened for - Killswitch Engage.)

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Mon May 15, 2023 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

31. Forgive The City by Country Westerns* - 6.8
32. Watering Dead Flowers by Voiid* - 7.3
33. The Sun by Joseph* - 7.1

Three albums that Apple Music recommended to me that I wanted to knock out before Riotfest lineup comes out tomorrow and pushes everything back yet again. :hahaha:

Good news: I can give all of them the same review - These are songs that I liked that sound like other songs that I liked.


Also bumped Currents to 9.5. Such a good metal album and all the songs sounded even better live.

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Sat May 20, 2023 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

34. Dogma by Crown The Empire - 7

-This one took a long time to come out. The lead single, In Another Life, was on the Flava'd Fifty all the way back in 2021. They survived numerous new waves of covid and a #metoo scandal since then to finally put out the new album. And it's ... fine. I really like the heavy songs Black Sheep and Dancing With The Dead. Hopefully they play both of them at Inkcarceration festival. Someone Else is is a solid song too. I didn't really care for the more experimental songs like Dogma and especially not the pop-rappy attempted crossover Superstar. I get it, you gotta eat, but I'll pass on that. Weird though, cause on the last album from 2019, the slower and more experimental song Blurry was my (and most people's) favorite.

Author:  Shack [ Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

Only listened to four

Macklemore: Ben - 8.3/10
Kesha: Gag Order - 7.7/10
Lana Del Rey: Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard - 6.7/10
Ed Sheeran: Subtract - 6.6/10

Author:  Flava'd vs The World [ Thu Jun 01, 2023 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2023: Music In Review

Four is better than zero! I have Sheeran and Kesha in my library, waiting to be played, but I've just been hooked on fest music lately (Sonic Temple was last weekend and its been alot of Tool, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Pretty Reckless, etc... in my rotation.) And speaking of;

35. Take Me Back To Eden by Sleep Token* - 8
36. The Art of Forgetting by Caroline Rose - 7

-Two Riotfest acts here, but since that fest is very diverse, these two couldn't be more different. Sure, if you wanted, you could classify both as alternative acts. ST being alt-metal, though I'd consider more as progressive metal. There's definitely a vibe of Tool here with heavy yet melodic guitar riffs up and down the record, but also a little bit of ... jazz piano? So this could be offputting to both people who like heavy rock music and people who don't. I dug it though. The heavier songs were my favorites though; The Summoning, Vore and the title track Take Me Back To Eden.

-I really liked the first Rose album I listened to, the boppy and wavey Loner from 2018. On this one she trades the boppiness and waviness in for some acoustic guitars and kind-of-like Sia-esque operatic pop singing. I didn't like it as much as her old stuff, but there's no doubt it's still some solid (alternative) pop music.

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