The Needle Drop

audio review

Youth Lagoon- The Year of Hibernation

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New audio album review! Yes! Just like the Big Troubles review, I'm accompanied by my good friend Derek Ljongquist. First off, I want to APOLOGIZE for the terrible quality of this audio recording. I had technical difficulties recording this Skype conversation, and I find it funny that I review records despite the fact that I can't get a simple Skype convo recorded correctly. Ah, mistakes! Well, I'm determined to make this shiz happen, so let's continue:

This review, my friend and I are talking about the new Youth Lagoon album the Year of Hibernation. It's out now via Fat Possum records and should be on the to-listen list of any fan of dream pop production and post-rock builds. Stream or download the review below:

MP3

Video: Youth Lagoon- "Montana"

M83- "Midnight City"

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From the forthcoming M83 album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, the track "Midnight City" is a super-sized pop song with synthetic mountains majesty. It's structured simply, but that doesn't stop the sounds and energy on this thing from becoming overwhelming. So overwhelming, that dancing must occur. Dance. Please.

What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? Will this album be a new direction for M83? Are you ready to listen to a double album from this project?

Review: M83- "Midnight City"

Stream: M83- "Midnight City"

Kanye West and Jay-Z- "Otis"

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On the second track to drop from this collaboration between Kanye West and Jay-Z, we get an Otis Redding sample, an answer as to who invented swag, and a whole lotta hot air. Sure, Kanye West and Jay-Z are notorious for their bragging skills. But when they're together, those muscles get flexed harder and harder with every verse about luxury vacations and cars.

If painting themselves into this corner is going to be the only thing this collaboration offers, I'm not sure I'm going to be into the entire album, honestly. Will Watch the Throne be a little more dimensional?

What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? Are you looking forward to Watch the Throne? What do you think the other tracks will have to offer?

Review: Kanye West & Jay-Z- "Otis"

Stream: Kanye West & Jay-Z- "Otis"

JEFF the Brotherhood- We Are the Champions

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For a duo, JEFF the Brotherhood has an incredibly full and distorted sound. There's a lot of kinetic energy flying between these two Nashville musicians on this new recording, We Are the Champions.

And if these guys are champions as anything, it's bringing back the vocals and melodic power pop that powered Weezer's self-titled debut. Oh, yeah, Pinkerton, too.

There are harder, faster moments on here that show's the duo's muscle, but that still doesn't take away from the fact there's some serious influence worshiping going on here. I guess it all depends on whether or not you're in the market for it.

What did you think of this album? Love it? Hate it? Why? What should I review next, eh?

Review: JEFF the Brotherhood- We Are the Champions

Video: JEFF the Brotherhood- "Hey Friend"

Sleeping Bag- "Ben"

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Idiana's Sleeping Bag is gearing up to drop its first LP in August. In the meantime, the band has dropped two tracks, and "Ben" is one of them. Here, the band shoots for a tight and close sound that gets in the listener's face, but still executes the music at a gentle volume. It's a bit of a mess, but the melodies and heart fueling this tune are sincere. It's not a mind-blower, but definitely as pleasing as a hug; and only a fool would turn one of those down.

What do you think of this track? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Why? If you were in a band, would you record your songs in a closet? Would you use a ton of reverb? Write lyrics dealing with religion?

Review: Sleeping Bag- "Ben"

Stream: Sleeping Bag- "Ben"

Curren$y- "You See It"

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In a song that seems to be filled with hot girls and fast cars, Louisiana's Curren$y creates a fantasy world that I'm sure every red-blooded male would love to bask in. However, hearing about how awesome it is second-hand isn't really something that interests me--especially over a beat this uninteresting. What do you think of this track? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Why? Do you smoke weed on a daily basis? Weekly basis? If you do, do you think that makes this music appeal more to you? Less?

Review: Curren$y- "You See It"

Stream: Curren$y- "You See It"

Big Sean- "Don't Tell Me You Love Me"

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On "Don't Tell Me You Love Me," the characters Big Sean paints in this cheap love story are pretty tacky, flat, and annoying. They're about as senseless as characters in a daytime soap opera, but manage to be even more annoying. What do you think of this track? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Why? Was I too hard on it? Is breaking up with your significant other easier if he or she is ugly?

Review: Big Sean- "Don't Tell Me You Love Me"

Stream: Big Sean- "Don't Tell Me You Love Me"

Valentin Stip- "Esquis(e)"

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Sonically, Valentin Stip has a lot in common with Nicolas Jaar's latest album, Space Is Only Noise. But I'm not connecting or comparing these two for the sake of calling one a ripoff. I'd actually like to argue these two--and many other artists as well--are defining a style of electronic music that incorporates both acoustic and electronic sounds executed in a bleak or even ambient style. What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? What should I review next, too? Thanks for listening, and thanks for being awesome.

Review: Valentin Stip- "Esquis(e)"

Stream: Valentin Stip- "Esquis(e)"