“Good Thing” is Leon Bridges’ second full length record. He brings the sound of soul from the 60’s to a modern era. From the first song, you know what you’re getting into. I think his mix of old soul and r&b with modern production mix really well, surprisingly. It could come off as being too try hard, or cheesy, but he makes it work. The organic instrumentation in “Georgia to Texas” gives me goosebumps. The tone of the drums, the saxophone…everything works beautifully on that song. It’s perfect. This was the first record of his that I had heard, actually, and I’m happy I found him. This will make my top ten albums of the year, for sure. Check this album out if you think 60’s soul with modern production might be something you’re into. Some of my favorite tracks: “Georgia to Texas”, “Shy”, “Mrs.”, “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand”
“California” is blink-182’s first release with Matt Skiba(of Alkaline Trio) in place of Tom Delonge and John Feldmann as producer. I’ve had two years since the release of this album to really listen and form a solid opinion. My opinion is that it’s just alright. It’s not great, but it’s also just different. I think mostly it just makes me miss Tom being in the band. Originally I was just excited for new music from blink, but listening to this record just makes me want to listen to their other stuff. As you guys may know by now, I’m big on production. If an album doesn’t sound good to me, that’s a big turn off. Whether the production isn’t clean/dirty enough, or in this case, if it’s too clean. The one saving grace here would be the drums, in my opinion. And even those sound ALMOST too clean for me. But the layers and layers of squeaky clean vocals and the guitars with no life to them just make this record too over produced for me. One thing in the song writing that I think is way overused is the use of those three note guitar riffs(The opening of Bored to Death, for example). There’s literally one in almost every song on the record. I hope that changes in their upcoming releases. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good songs on here like: “Cynical”, “Bored to Death”, “Left Alone” and “San Diego”, but a majority of this isn’t my favorite stuff from the band. And as far as the artwork goes, I also think it’s just alright, also not my favorite. Over time I’ve found myself enjoying this album less and less, but I don’t hate it, it’s just…different. What are your thoughts on “California”?
Run the Jewels is a hip hop duo consisting of Killer Mike and EL-P. Close Your Eyes (And Count to F**k) [feat. Zack de la Rocha] was the first song I had ever heard by Run the Jewels. I then discovered that Travis Barker was also featured on a song. I was pretty much hooked after that. Before Run the Jewels I hadn’t really found what I liked when it came to hip hop. I didn’t really know where to look, I guess. RTJ currently has three full length records and RTJ 2 happens to be my favorite. El-P’s production is a big standout here and on all their records, to be honest. The way that he approaches writing and the way he uses synthesizers to build his songs is something I haven’t really heard. That’s one thing that really drew me to this album. The songs hit hard, but without using typical trap drums and instrumentals. The lyrics are another thing that really make this record as great as it is. Mike and Jaime just work so well together, they contrast each other in the best way. A lot of El-P’s lyrics are witty and Killer Mike’s seem to come from a more political/personal place. Their chemistry is perfect. Some of my favorite tracks from RTJ 2: “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”, “All Due Respect”, “Lie, Cheat, Steal”