Country music is one genre that rarely rears its head here on MTT.com. The only time I really like listening to it is when I’m cruising along backwoods in an old truck, doing drive us on the locals while playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That’s not totally true, but once in a while I listen to it.
All too often, it seems like the Southern drawl is grossly overdone, and I’ve gotta shut it off. However, Little Big Town’s Tornado is one of the exceptions to the overdone, cliche country tune.
LBT’s quartet has one of the best harmonies in the country scene. They put a modern twist on country, though they still can make an awesomely infectious diddy out of a Pontoon. Song after song, they put out huge harmonious tracks.
Night Owl is an absolutely brilliant track. With a natural penchant for male/female harmonies, LBT strips their sound down to little more than a “nightie,” and bares their beautifully supple vocals. As I laid back listening to this track, it relaxed me to the point that I almost fell asleep. Props for pure relaxation.
I’m no country boy by any stretch of the imagination, though I can shoot and ride like a champion, but LBT’s Tornado is a damn good album… Even if it does have more twang than I like in my music.
Have you ever popped in a freshly pressed CD, and soon wanted to throw around massive amounts of weight, then put your fist in the back of someone’s puny ass skull? While listening to Burial Mound’s With Honor in my car, I had a huge urge to hardcore dance at 80 miles an hour, but decided that in the best interest of the world around me, and the future of Excelsior, I’d wait till I got home.
If you’re going to name your album With Homor, you’d better damn well better honor whatever you’re trying to honor. If Burial Mound is setting out to honor the metal gods, living and decaying, their offering is pretty solid.
With Honor had to grow on me a bit. Honestly, I was drawn in by the tight, methodical instrumentals. Machine gun drumming, cohesively brutal bass/guitars… Then the thin, un-dynamic vocals dropped in. Ouch. I realize that he was taking some vocal chances with range, but it was too “all over the place” for the music. Still, I listened on, hoping for a moment of musical clarity.
One song later (Sacrilege), Burial Mound brought the fucking noise. With flashes of Atreyu, BM (a tough acronym, but one nonetheless) pushed the shit out, and destroyed it. The instrumentals are very consistent throughout, and the vocals seemed to widen and attain more balance with the rest of the band.
Nothing Is Sacred features a solid guest spot by Paul Goddard from Diecast. The harmonious singing that Goddard brings is welcome change in the album, and frankly, one that could be something more utilized in the future.
Go grab yourself Burial Mound’s With Honor, strap on some steel toe boots, drop kick the next person that gets out of line, and honor your fallen ancestors as well as Team Excelsior.
- The Train
Is this Wale’s newest album, or is this one of Kanye’s early albums? Yes, it’s reminiscent of Ye’s early greatness. Fun, not over-the-top self indulgent, and one hell of a great delivery.
Wale’s still got his feet on the ground, but lyrically reaching for the stars. He’s an all-star lyricist, with beats for weeks. The first half of the album reaffirmed my belief in his skills. Second half wasn’t as strong as the first, as the energy and track quality faltered quite a bit.
Is Wale the top of Maybach Music? If so, Ambition helps his cause in the quest for the top.
It’s difficult to listen a Fiona Apple album (period) and not think to yourself, ‘This bitch is crazy’; and not in a quirky way; in a I wouldn’t trust to leave her alone in the house with sharp objects kinda way. She’s got some pipes, though.
Still holding onto on that angst and solidarity that distinguished her from those 90’s Lilith Fair female vocalists, her obnoxiously long-titled album is at once sultry, enraged, jazzy, contentious, and sullen. It is lonely people music. Despite being thematically well executed and well sung, I couldn’t stop listening to it fast enough.
(BTW, the album’s full title is: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do)
After a long stint as MIA’s “fly girl,” Rye Rye has finally released a solo album. A serious ball of energy, Rye Rye’s Go! Pop! Bang! recalls memories of MIA’s Kala and Arular. The Baltimore native gives a strong nod to the Baltimore bass club scene.
The 808 is in full effect throughout the album as she brings speaker shredding bass and great beats throughout. Her vocal delivery is very familiar to fans of MIA (like myself). Unlike MIA, Rye Rye can sing choruses in tune. Sorry MIA, we love ya, but your rhymes are MUCH better than your singing.
G! P! B! is chock full of guest appearances… Akon, Robyn, and yes.. MIA graces the album too. This is one of the more fun new albums that I’ve heard in a while. Perfect summer windows-open, car cruising club bangers from start to finish… Well, almost to finish. Robyn guests on the last track which brings the album to an abrupt halt. She shows some range by incorporating a slow track in her repertoire, but it seems to be very out of place on the album. IMO, the album would had total cohesion without the last track.
Go! Pop! Bang! is an album where you know the “backup singer” has it in them and just needs a moment to shine in their own light, and Rye Rye has shone. I expect this album to be on very heavy rotation on my iPod throughout the summer, and you should rock it too.
Thumbs up, Rye. Excelsior approved.
- Moe Train
As I listened to this “album” in my car, it felt as though there was rotten sewage flowing out of my speakers. Hot, stench-emanating bowel movement, rancid heat-baked century old fish, and boiling hot urine.
Yes, the new “album” by WZRD IS THAT FUCKING BAD. Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius’ feeble attempt at making an “American pop rock” album made me want to pull over and vomit all over myself. This “album” seemed so half-assed that it’s insulting to their fans.
Cudi’s always been highly regarded in our books and has put out some genius shit. I won’t take that away from him. I don’t know what the hell was going through their mind when recording this atrocity. The songs are so poorly produced at Hakeem from 5th street could lay out a better attempt than this.
This is the worst album that I’ve listened to yet in 2012.
That’s all. I’ve wasted enough time of my life on this garbage. Go ahead. Listen. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
- Moe Train
If you want a good chuckle, read some of the reviews that rave about Siinai’s first full-length release Olympic Games. The lengths that today’s musical journalists will go to conjure mystical metaphors and parallels to completely unrelated purposes and other musical products are fucking brilliant! All misguided efforts to expose this supposed transcendental inspiration of Siinai’s offering. And if I wanted to be liked by every band on the planet, I’d fish for a reason to like it too.
Here’s some real-talk parallels for you: The first track sounds like Mr. Holland’s actual Opus. The second track is a doppelganger for that humming white-noise that an orchestra makes as it warms up. The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in between.
Spin.com lists this release as an “Essential”. King B lists it as “Essentially Bungus.”
The epic tone that Siinai strives for is apparent. They envision the album as an escalator ride to Mt. Olympus. Yet the crescendos don’t elevate. Actively listening is (metaphor alert!) like climbing up the escalator steps on the downward side.
David Guetta is a beast. Hes got the gift of turning anyone or anything into danceable hits. This album is more of the same, but also keeps the beats going with a bunch of quality tracks.
Guetta enlists the help of Akon, Ur-sher aka Usher, Nicki Minaj, among others, and makes em all into viable radio-friendly club bangers. His production quality is top notch, and still hasnt stopped me from busting a groove to his albums.
Key Tracks: I Just Wanna Fuck, Without You, Crank It Up, Sweat
- Moe Train
After blasting onto the scene to mass critical acclaim, the Zac Brown Band unleashes another top-notch release. Truth be told, I’ve been known to truly abhor country music, but… (insert my poor attempt at a southern accent) “I’ll tell you whhhut… This is a goodun!”
Certain artists in the genre tend to exacerbate the stereotypical topics of country music. Zac Brown brings a tangible warmness and sincerity to his recordings, rather than being stuck within the confines of what has been established before him.
The recording is crisp as a pressed white shirt, but down south dirty as a pig rolling in the Tennessee dust. The band’s range can bring a couple together, and also get the feet moving in a party. I do wish that there were more up tempo songs as they are sparse within the confines of this album.
Yes, I still embrace my rock roots, but Zac Brown Band’s latest has got me reaching for my cowboy hat and boots… Well, I would if I actually owned them.
Knee Deep (Featuring Jimmy Buffett)
I Play The Road
This album is absolute fucking GARBAGE. Wiz’s debut on Atlantic Records is without a shadow of a doubt, the worst album that I’ve heard yet in 2011.
He literally starts out in the first track saying “and they say all I rap about is bitches and champagne…” No shit, Khalifa. It IS all you rap about. Let’s take for example his breakout hit, “Black and Yellow.” He always refers to how ballin’ he is, and mentions about sippin on a bottle of Clicquot. Well, if you wanna ball like Wiz, hit up to local liquor store and spend about $40 bucks on a bottle of Clicquot. You’re a baller, dude.
Let’s get to his lyrical skills, or lack there of. Oh man. I don’t know where to start. Besides the constant references to drinking and feeding women copious amounts of ganj and ecstasy, his writing skills are negligible. I clung to every line he spit on the album. No… I cringed at every line, and cringed even more at the singing he did on the album. Auto-tune is extremely overused in the genre, but Wiz should have used it on this one. He hit the notes a few times, but overall.. I’d rather listen to Biz Markie than hear Wiz’s poor ass vocals.
Has the public been so desensitized to cliche hip-hop that people just accept new music as the next big hit? Is a gangsta image all that’s necessary to push the rapper to stardom? If so, it’s a sad state of affairs.