Noise 101: CD reviews for Jan. 17
It took a long time for Mumps, Etc. to make that final jump from post-production to the public. The album, the fourth from alternative hip hop band WHY?, was held off for nearly a year, with songs leaked and EPs dropped to hype up the album. After their previous album, Eskimo Snow, was seen as a step back from their first two albums, Mumps really seems to have brought back a lot of the elements that made WHY? so successful to begin with. Back again are frontman Yoni Wolf’s ugly raps which made him such a distinct hit. The content, ranging again from death to sex, also focus on Wolf’s battles with mumps, giving the name of the album. However, unlike crossing the line into being a bit of downer, the main flaw with Eskimo Snow, the result is another fine piece of work which listeners will find the material both relatable and awkwardly personal enough to not want to blast in public. Instead, this album is best consumed by yourself, with a nice glass of alcohol so you can pretend to rap along and feel okay about life’s problems.
— Nathan Ross
Tame Impala’s second album Lonerism descends into the deep and dark maze of a troubled man’s thoughts. It starts out hopeful, loses that hope, becomes depressed, has a slight paradigm shift, and then ends with realizing it’s all out of his hands. It’s an album that will sober you up and possibly bring you down. Not in the breaking down and crying in the shower way, but more in the head rested on fist staring into the abyss type of manner. The band’s approach to music is guaranteed to sound as familiar as it does unique. It sounds vintage and futuristic. This combining of opposites creates a feel of eternity and eventuality that, when mixed with the lyrics, is ironically a slap in the face of reality, for the sound taken on the surface is pretty wacky. Tame Impala is empirically a mix of psychedelic (think LSD dosed Beatles), classic rock like Led Zeppelin, and alt rock like the White Stripes. When the album is listened to as a whole, though, it reveals a message that we all know but are afraid to admit: sometimes life is out of your hands.
— Logan Pollon
Cisco Adler’s CD Aloha seeks to combine the previously successful sounds of Jason Mraz and Bob Marley in order to create their own unique brand of surf pop. Of course, they fail brilliantly, as songs like “Boom Boom Boom” featuring Don Carlos and G Eazy sound like songs quickly whipped together by high school students before their sophomore year talent show, or a sound track to an teen movie that would be called something like Holly and Molly go to the Beach. Even a song like “California Girls” by Katy Perry comes closer to such surf pop categories than this album does, as nothing about it feels like it should be taken remotely seriously, nor does it evoke any feelings of inspiration, joy or thought, which is what a musician might typically seek to do. The pop beats and light-hearted melodies feel thrown together and hasty, with no apparent originality.
— Holly Triebwasser