Just past the halfway mark for 2012 and there have been so many great releases already! Here’s a quick list in no particular order:
Albums and Tapes Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions Tree – Sunday School Ka – Grief Pedigree Ab-Soul – Control System Hodgy Beats – Untitled EP Frank Ocean – Channel Orange Jim Jones – Vampire Life 2 DJ Sicksentz (mixtape) - Check Yo Ponytail 2 Crowns – Slow Gospel EP Ron Radge (mixtape) – Trap Waves Volume 1 Clams Casino - Instrumental Mixtape 2 Dean Blunt – The Narcissist II
Songs Jai Paul – Jasmine Sandro Perri/Jokers of the Scene – Futureactive Kind Part 1 Sean Blackthorn – The Spirits Progress - Rock Shit Murr Feat. Rosina – My Best Dress Mykki Blanco – Wavy Mykki Blanco – Betty Rubble Notes to Self -All of the Above Theo3 Feat. Progress - Deadly Medley Dub Yo Gotti - I Got That Sack Brendan Philip - You Got It Girl Doug Shorts – Love’s Gone Wrong Lost Twin – Nothing Pusha T – Exodus 23:1 Joey Bada$$ Feat. CJ Fly – Hardknock Nas – Nas The Don A$AP Rocky - Goldie Don Trip - Help is On the Way
You can tell my taste (superb) – what did I miss that will kick my ass?
"If it brings me to my knees/ It's a bad religion/ It's a bad religion/ To be in love with someone/ Whom could never love you"
So. Channel Orange.
I’ve had more conversations about separating the art from the artist that it’s a fascinating topic turned pedestrian at this point. And usually, it’s about the artist being a total prick but their music being undeniably good. Your ears and gut say one thing while your moral compass says another – an eternal struggle.
I have not been a fan of Frank Ocean’s music to this point. In fact, I have described it as boring and middle-of-the-road adult contemporary.
And as my previous posts show, I have great admiration and respect for his public letter about his love and pain, but I didn’t expect that it would change how I heard his music. And then again, maybe it hasn’t and I would have still liked it the way I do…hard to say now. I can’t un-know what I do.
I don’t love Channel Orange from beginning to end. I am skipping through almost half of it, but I can’t deny the context - not only the story, but his sincerity and the bravery, too – gives greater meaning and depth to the songs I do like. His voice sounds that much better and true for it. I don’t know that much about contemporary r&b, and from what I’ve been told, Ocean is not breaking any new ground. Pulling from what I do know, though, I hear a lot of Stevie. Which is a very good thing.
And with this summer heat, dreamy falsetto heart-break songs hit the spot just so.
Favourite tracks: Thinkin About You, Pyramids, Bad Religion, Pink Matter, Forrest Gump