Album Roundup

Before delving into this week’s albums, let’s take a second to discuss the latest work by Kevin Gates and G-Eazy, which are too brief to consider full albums but are still worth a mention:

Instead of just relying on the usual formula of releasing standalone singles, both rappers surrounded their respective releases with a duo of other tracks; think of them as B-sides in the streaming age.

Unfortunately, these dual trinities would’ve been just as well-served remaining solo enterprises:


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Chained to the City — Kevin Gates

Gates’ signature sound is autotuned aggressiveness. His latest is all autotune and no aggressiveness, which makes Steven — a hater of conventional autotune  a sad boy. Weirdly, the best song here isn’t even the title attraction.


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The Vault— G-Eazy

Arguably the best beat of 2018…followed by two totally forgettable ones.


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ye — Kanye

If Pusha T’s DAYTONA was Kanye’s “Forget About Ye” return to form, then Ye — his aptly-titled solo venture — is a reminder that in addition to still being a master of popular music, he’s also still capable of legitimately-intriguing experimental artistry. Which of the two albums you prefer will be based on which of these two Kanyes you prefer. In my excessively verbose review of DAYTONA, I ragged on Kanye’s rapping. But here, he showcases how he can utilize the particularities of his voice to create a wholly distinct sonic landscape. And now, allow me to conclude by dabbling in a little “I told you so”: In last week’s aforementioned piece, I discussed how Kanye’s multiplicity of identity pervades his work and his personal life, at least the personal life that he shares with the world (which doesn’t mean it’s a real reflection of his truth, because is there such a thing as a real true self?). These ideas run throughout Ye, beginning with the sentiment right on the front of the album’s cover.


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This One’s For You Too — Luke Combs

The most prototypical of country rock.  And yet, Combs’ harmless accessibility makes me think he’d be a perfect choice to realize my dream of a COUNTRY ROCK BROADWAY MUSICAL!!! One of the main reasons I so enjoyed the otherwise tepid Bright Star was because of Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin; he doubles as a musician in his old(er) age) and Edie Brickell’s score, which shook up Broadway’s typical musical flavors with some bluegrass spice. Country rock and traditionally old-fashioned show tunes share a lot of fundamental parts, many of which Combs excels at; namely, he has a knack for succinctly finding the melodious heart of the universal, crafting fittingly general characters, stories, ideas, and emotional sentiments whose superficially doesn’t so much cheapen them as allow them to play to the rafters without much nuanced emphasis. Even though these structural similarities wouldn’t necessarily progress the form as much as infusions from other genres, the Great White Way still stands to gain from any expansion of its sound profile.


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The Marina — Curren$y & Harry Fraud

Yawn. At least the album provides us with a rare appearance of old-school Whiz.


2018 Albums, Ranked

  1. Black Panther — Kendrick Lamar
  2. Dirty Computer — Janelle Monáe
  3. DAYTONA — Pusha T
  4. The Color of You — Alina Baraz
  5. Light of Mine — KYLE
  6. Man of the Woods — Justin Timberlake
  7. beerbongs & bentleys — Post Malone
  8. Shawn Mendes — Shawn Mendes
  9. DAY69 — 6ix9ine
  10. SR3MM — Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee & Slim Jxmmi
  11. Ye — Kanye
  12. My Dear Melancholy, — The Weeknd
  13. Testing — A$AP Rocky
  14. ? — XXXTENTACION
  15. Culture 2 — Migos
  16. Bobby Tarantino II — Logic
  17. Vacation in Hell — Flatbush Zombies
  18. GANGIN — SOB X RBE
  19. Sex & Cigarettes — Toni Braxton
  20. Isolation — Kali Uchs
  21. D6: Reloaded — Lil Wayne
  22. KOD — J. Cole
  23. Little Dark Age — MGMT
  24. Blue Madonna — BØRNS
  25. 44/876 — Sting & Shaggy
  26. Common Ground — Above & Beyond
  27. Amen — Rich Brian
  28. Five Five — Pouya
  29. For My Fans — Fetty Wap
  30. It’s Complicated — Wale
  31. California — Diplo
  32. Punken — Maxo Kream
  33. When We (Remix) — Tank
  34. 2.23 — Blac Youngsta
  35. Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B
  36. Trapholizay — Zaytoven
  37. Cosmic — Bazzi
  38. As She Pleases — Madison Beer
  39. Life of a Dark Rose — Lil Skies
  40. Ready — Ella Mai
  41. BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI — Ski Mask the Slump God
  42. Love Yourself Tear — BTS
  43. Activated — Tee Grizzley
  44. Vibras — J Balvin
  45. By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile
  46. The Big Pescado — Berner
  47. P2 — Dave East
  48. Camila — Camila Cabello
  49. I Like It Loud — Tiesto
  50. M A N I A — Fall Out Boy
  51. Victory Lap — Nipsey Hussle
  52. MEMORIES DON’T DIE — Tory Lanez
  53. Bless Yo Trap — Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz
  54. Reckless — NAV
  55. The Longshot — The Longshot
  56. Fate — Tammy Rivera
  57. The World is Yours — Rich the Kid
  58. Kolorblind — DJ ESCO
  59. Edgewood — Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It
  60. Hurtin’ Me — Stefflon Don
  61. F.A.M.E. — Maluma
  62. Voicenotes — Charlie Puth
  63. Rearview Town — Jason Aldean
  64. This One’s For You Too — Luke Combs
  65. Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Lena Hall
  66. November — SiR
  67. The Chocolate Box — Jeremih
  68. Goodbye & Good Riddance — Juice WRLD
  69. The Vault — G-Eazy
  70. Heart Break Kodak — Kodak Black
  71. Die Lit — Playboi Carti
  72. Lil Boat 2 — Lil Yachty
  73. Glock Bond — Key Glock
  74. Drip Season 3 — Gunna
  75. Spiritual Conversations — Mozzy
  76. The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It — 2 Chainz
  77. Humble Beast (Deluxe) — G Herbo
  78. Rich As In Spirit — Rich Homie Quan
  79. Pain and Pleasure — Tink
  80. Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves
  81. Dex Meets Dexter — Famous Dex
  82. Ray Ray from Summerhill — YFN Lucci
  83. Fredas Son — YFN Lucci 
  84. We Beefin? — at Wendys
  85. Harder Than Ever — Lil Baby
  86. Just Cause Y’all Waited — Lil Durk
  87. The Marina — Curren$y & Harry Fraud
  88. Sick Boy…Everybody Hates Me — The Chainsmokers 
  89. Hear No Evil — Young Thug
  90. Chained to the City — Kevin Gates
  91. Until Death Call My Name — YoungBoy Never Broke Again
  92. 2 Heartless — Moneybagg Yo
  93. Grow God — Money Man
  94. Don Talk — Don Q
  95. N****S Get Shot — Young Dolph
  96. Rich Hood — HoodRich Pablo Juan
  97. The Leek 4 — Chief Keef

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