Album Roundup: November 9-15

THE MOTHERFUCKING D!!!


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Post-Apocalypto — Tenacious D

An allegorical Odyssey of songs and skits from, for, about, and through the end of the world (I love how the songs are differentiated by their capitalized titles, with the skits lower-cased, and how “marCH”, the Nazi KKK tune, is a mix of the two, because white supremacy doesn’t deserve a designation of its own identity). The thematic narrative of an abstract concept album: how can the D, and we, keep rocking and rollicking, together, despite the fraught fragility of an epoch so conflicted it feels apocalyptically-climactic? When in the Beelzeboss will the duo write a Broadway musical; just listen to this ballaDDD!


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A Love Letter To You 3 — Trippie Redd

Trippy is as Trippie does. If Stoney’s today’s foremost hip-pop crooner, is Trippie the lead emo-rap crooner? The latter’s a leader not just in terms of quality; whereas so many other rappers pack their albums with a rotating cast of basically the same established guests, Trippie invites up-and-comers in this flourishing genre to share his newfound platform — a true leader! (Some of these features are admittedly more awash in R&B, but the two genres are both steeped in emotion, just belonging to different musical registers). And yet, none can match the in-your-and-my-feelings distinctiveness of his voice’s drawl, like a non-autotuned, and bearable, Kodak Black. Speaking of Drake, Trippie’s voice can also sound like Drizzy himself. Two more stray thoughts:

1. Juice WRLD is kind of another Trippie wannabe, no? Albeit, one of the better ones.

2. Even YoungBoy is tolerable, and maybe even — gulp — enjoyable, in Trippie’s meticulously-constructed musical landscape.


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Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 — Lil Peep

As Trippie leans more into the second half of the genre moniker emo-rap — with a pop-R&B flare — Lil Peep’s plan for his career trajectory seems to have been to delve headlong into the former. That is, if it’s fair to assume this posthumous album totally reflects his intentions; how could he have put his final stamp on these songs if he wasn’t the one overseeing their release? Should we allow posthumous work to alter an artist’s legacy? I’ve been pondering this question ever since seeing The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles’ just-completed final film…33 years after his death (it’s a long story, clearly, but there’s a lucid Netflix documentary all about it ready for your viewing consumption). It’s a less pertinent query for Welles; nothing will dethrone him as one of the greats. But given the scarcity of Lil Peep’s output, another album — only his second — really changes the shape of his oeuvre, perhaps in ways he wouldn’t have wanted. These tracks undeniably, and unavoidably, adopt far more haunting dimensions knowing we’re hearing a voice from beyond the grave, enhanced by every element of his musical concoctions: his evocatively-lyric’d, lyrical, guttural, almost spiritual wailing; the droning guitars as a backdrop; the laidback hip-hop beats and hooky, melodic choruses from the early naughts. He was in the process of mastering grunge rap, which most emo-rappers abandon after their endearingly-amateur starts. For example, peers such as Trippie and Juice WRLD recently sold out to the polished glitz and glam of the mainstream; the former retains a signature on his latest, while Future’s brand music Futures out Juice on their collab-album from earlier this year. Here, Lil Peep tries expanding his sound, but not into the mainstream, instead retaining its humble origins. If only we could find out where he was taking it next…


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I Used to Know Her: Part 2 — H.E.R.

H.E.R. is musically mercurial. Sometimes, she blows the casing off the thermometer, a standout newbie in the R&B renaissance. Other times, such as on The Prelude to this package, she kind of leaves me in the derivative cold. Here, she blazes with the novel heat of a genre meld: acoustic guitar and piano-based alternative, minimalist R&B. Oh, and she can rap, too, albeit the spoken word variety.


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Still My Moment — Tee Grizzley

So the title of Tee Grizzley’s first album is My Moment. This, his newest, is named Still My Moment…at least he’s aware it’s just more of the same!


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3 — YFN Lucci

Blac Youngsta > YBN; it’s never good when a guest’s feature shows up your whole album (even when only three songs).

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