Right in time for the weekend, Vulfpeck dropped a joyous record The Joy of Music, the Joy of Real Estate. As fans have come to expect from the band, their new jams are full of goofy excitement and playful bass riffs. The album unfortunately ends on a slow note, underplaying their innovation and ear-friendly tunes throughout the record. The album’s most exciting tracks include “3 on E,” “Lax,” and “Something.”
If this is only season one, I can’t wait to hear the next several seasons. The album contains elite features across genres that spur the project, including Elton John (on the same song as 6LACK!!), ScHoolboy Q, Beck, slowthai, EARTHGANG, GoldLink, JPEGMAFIA, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Skepta. With such memorable features, one would expect them to be the shining stars of the album, but Gorillaz elevate their game to match the energy and skill of each accompanying artist, making for an entertaining album with an eclectic mix of emotions and instrumental combinations. It’s a bit intimidating from a length perspective, sitting at 17 tracks and 65 minutes, but fresh ideas and scintillating lyrics make this album far from a snooze.
If You Feel further cements Omär as one of the best in contemporary R&B. With a smooth blend of slow jamz and higher-tempo love tracks, Xavier Omär puts on a drama throughout this project, making it one to remember. Altogether, Omär displays the range of his talents, as well as his inspirations, with this project, with ironclad production, timeless samples, elite features, and powerful display of career progression. Highlights include “All Our Time” and “SURF,” but If You Feel is exemplary all the way through.
Kaelin Ellis is out with his second beat tape of the year, which, alongside significant production with Lupe Fiasco and Big Sean, has contributed to Ellis’ major impression on 2020’s music landscape. Altogether, this 12-song, 13-minute tape is nothing short of solid, and with a strong array of sounds and frequent switchups, this project provides pretty much any fan with an enjoyable listening journey. Whether bumped to full volume and thought on deeply or played minimally with pure background intentions, the short but sweeeeet After Thoughts will certainly fit.
It’s cuffing season, folks. Tune in to The Amanda Tape for a more romantic The Weeknd album, without the aggressive ego inflation. Which is to say that THEY. put together a really pleasant album without any uncomfortable moments, save for Juicy J’s “million dollar nuts all up in her guts” line. The Amanda Tape is smooth, sexy, and fully prepared for more and more desperate attempts at love as the days grow colder.
Building on his momentum with the hit track “What’s Poppin,” Jack Harlow is back, and repping for his fellow fly white boys. Tyler Herro set the NBA ablaze these playoffs with finesse, and Harlow is looking to do the same for the rap game. “Tyler Herro” features a beat perfect for a championship run, with a dramatic flute riff and snapping bass. The track’s lyrics are classic Harlow with cheeky punchlines and smooth flows.
“Don’t Like Me” is the latest in a flurry of new singles from Rico — it feels like we’re talking about her every week, and we’re happy about it. This song has a wobbly, bass-bumping instrumental with an impressive verse from Gucci Mane. Although some of his solo efforts over the years have been played-out and boring, this verse sees him skate all over the beat, supported by a wavy hook sung by the always-entertaining Don Toliver. Rico’s presence on this track takes a bit of a backseat to the two features, which is a bit disappointing, as a brief first verse is all she offers. Still, this points to a new album from Rico soon, which should shake the industry up.
This revival of the Jahari Massamba Unit, made up of Madlib and Karriem Riggins, is a beautiful thing. It’ll rival Dinner Party as one of the best jazz-crossover albums of the year, when they drop Pardon My French, which should be out next month. Jazz enthusiasts and fans of good music alike will be excited about this one.
This new effort from Craft celebrates the fall, where he isn’t “here to look cute.” The track is a head-nodder and one that’ll get you thinking — it’s full of social commentary about the inequity of the United States. Marlon used this release to announce his upcoming album, which will be his sophomore effort.