‘Hall Of Fame’
If you’re looking for an album to spice up the never-ending days of early September, Big Sean’s latest album ‘Hall of Fame’ is absolutely not what anyone needs to hear.
His sophomore album was released on Aug. 27.
Average and at time pedantic ‘Hall of Fame’ is, as redditor McLankyLegs comments, “The best average album I’ve heard.” Perhaps a little too ambitious for his skill set, Big Sean’s album is successfully mediocre
With lyrics such as, “I woke up working like a Mexican” the highly anticipated album left listeners feeling disappointed and a little violated [listen: Freaky].
Most tracks included very similar stylistic choices and features. This redundancy obviously made it difficult to sit through an entire track without reaching for the skip button. The literal rapping is nothing to nod your head to either– nothing deep.
Because of the inescapable redundancy an album with 18 tracks includes, it is difficult to find a standout when they all, for the most part, blend together.
With a great pair of headphones ‘MILF’ ft. Nicki Minaj, although not really manifesting a great message, is exceptionally euphonious. At this point in the album it is easy to tell that, finally, Big Sean decided to do what he does best. ‘MILF’ absolutely showcases the best of B.S.
Of course, what would a hip-hop album be without a lewd and disturbing song about most literally, as the track name indicates, getting “freaky” I felt like I needed to take a shower and go to church after the initial intro of dialogue.
With his carelessness and childlike energy, Big Sean’s credibility plummets; especially, after producing songs like ‘10 2 10’ and ‘Sierra Leone.’
Conceivably, one of the most insulting tracks hip-hop has produced thus far, [Sierra Leone] is a descendent of ‘Hall of Fame.’
Sierra Leone is especially incensing because it is hardly a tribute to the atrocities her denizen have faced. Big Sean compares a sexual relationship, where he feels exploited, to the adversity that envelops Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is well known for being a literal diamond mine. This abundance of gems lead to a disturbing amount of violence, including mass genocides, particularly of children, and a civil war.
Big Sean’s remiss and tasteless exposition in Sierra Leone is embarrassing for the music industry and the American people… there is a better way to brag about how many women you’ve been with.
‘The Electric Lady’
Janelle Monae is an R&B and soul singer and composer best known for her performance in Fun.’s song “We are Young”. She has a style that is reminiscent of Beyoncé with a twist of Lady Gaga. Monae’s new album, “The Electric Lady”, released on Sep. 10, is a variety of upbeat dance tracks, smooth R&B songs and a couple original compositions that are mostly instrumental.
Many of the tracks have a vintage feel from the funky 1970’s to the smooth 1990’s. She collaborates with several other artists in the album including pop legend Prince. The track titled “Givin Em What They Love” ft. Prince, has a smooth, funky vibe.
“Prime Time” ft. Miguel is a smooth, sensual R&B track that may remind a listener of a 1990’s girl group.
Monae’s talent as a composer is displayed in “Suite IV: Electric Overture” and “Suite V: Electric Overture”. These tracks focus mainly on the instruments and give a modern twist to classic influences.
“The Electric Lady” features the single titled “Dance Apocalyptic” as the only track available to iTunes users before the album release date. “Dance Apocalyptic”, as the name would suggest, is a fun and upbeat dance song that fans of Beyoncé would enjoy.
There are several “Interlude” tracks to this album that may be somewhat confusing to a listener. The interludes feature a 70’s era radio announcer that introduces the next track on the album, making listeners feel like they are listening to the fictitious, groovy radio show 105.5 WDRD with DJ Crash Crash.
Overall, the album was fun, easy and enjoyable. Monae followed the trend of vintage-style songs and it really worked for her. This album is sure to be a popular one for 2013.
‘Kiss Land’, The Weeknd’s first non-mixtape release, drops Sep. 10. If you’re into slow, mellow R&B tracks, this album is for you.
Abel Tesfaye seems to spend a great deal of time talking about women and drugs. Specifically, the destruction they bring into his life.
All twelve tracks feature slow tempos. This surprised me, especially in ‘Live For’, in which Tesfaye called on fellow Toronto native, Drake, for a verse. The song is basically about the struggle to stay sober while living the lifestyle fame brings. Drake & Tesfaye are not in sync at all, and the hook is way to repetitive.
The tracks range from three minutes, all the way up to nearly eight minutes in length. Although long, instrumental-filled tracks are a signature of The Weeknd’s, they didn’t live up to past hits such as ‘Next’, ‘Birds’, and ‘In the Morning’.
I cringed while listening to ‘Professional’, ‘The Town’, ‘Pretty’, and ‘Tears in the Rain’ because I wanted to hit the skip button so badly. Coincidently, these are the album’s longest tracks.
‘Professional’ is the first track off of Kiss Land. In it, Tesfaye drones on about a woman who becomes a “professional” in the act of selling her body. Tesfaye’s voice seems to be extremely distorted, and the creepy back noise is a huge distraction.
I noticed this in many other tracks, as well. ‘Adaptation’, ‘Love in the Sky’, and ‘Belong to the World’ are all average songs. The each feature mildly catchy hooks. They’re also filled with more emotion than the bland tracks I previously mentioned.
Now for the tracks worthy of recognition, ‘Wanderlust’, featuring Pharrell, is one of my favorites off the album. Although mellow, it features a catchy hook. It also has The Weeknd’s classic voice, instead of the weird, alienated tone found in the album’s earlier tracks.
I anticipate ‘Kiss Land’ to be a huge hit. It’s the dirtiest and most explicit track of the album, but what more would you expect from The Weeknd. Although very upbeat, the long instrumental breaks are kind of a zone-out.
The album concludes with ‘Odd Look’, featuring new artist, Kavinsky. This track definitely surprised me. The Weeknd sounds nearly identical to Michael Jackson, and the track features that same vibe MJ had in the 80’s. I thought this was the perfect song to conclude the album with.
Overall, I thought ‘Kiss Land’ didn’t do justice to The Weeknd’s past mix tapes. Every song seems to be about the same thing, just in different wording. There are still a few good tracks that seem to be the diamonds in the rough of this album. Tesfaye has a mysterious, unexpected personality, so it’ll be interesting to see what he produces next.