What do you do when the sun sets at 4? You lock yourself in a room and dance (or head bang) the long nights away with the help of some of the fantastic albums that came out last month, including Arcade Fire’s spectacular and extremely danceable double album Reflektor and Fuzz’s downright sludgy ode to early 70’s hard rock gods.
Essential tracks – “King Push,” “Numbers on the Boards,” “Nosetalgia”
Pusha T is at the top of his game, and makes it very clear in his first commercial solo album since his Clipse days. With the help of Kanye West’s state of the art production, fantastic guest verses from gigantic names (Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and Rick Ross to name a few), and his signature stone cold flow, Pusha crafts an album representative of his both his dark past as a “dope” dealer and his current hip-hop lifestyle.
Essential tracks – “Sleigh Ride,” “Hazemaze,” “Raise”
Ty Segall’s newest project is bold, brash and hits you like a ton of bricks. While the drums sound like they’re being played by an uncaged animal, the wailing guitar tones have been hand picked straight from Tony Iommi’s demonic guitar songbook, a perfect lovechild of The Stooges, Hawkwind, and early Sabbath.
Essential tracks – “The Return,” “Wonderbread,” “Dip”
Drug dealer turned crazed split-personality rapper Danny Brown tells his life story through hip-hop for the second time around. This time he flips the order, starting with his life growing up in the drug-filled city of Detroit and transforming into his current “party” lifestyle. His use of riveting imagery in his lyrics, assaulting instrumentals, and with his split personality more at odds than ever, Old is a great follow-up to its excellent predecessor, XXX.
Essential tracks – “Reflektor,” “Here Comes the Night Time,” “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)”
This extremely long, ambitious, and confusing collection of tracks might have some filler in it (like most 70 minute double albums are bound to have), but its extreme high points make up for them. Reflektor is an album of ups and downs, danceable but demanding to be taken seriously. It’s the sound of a band confident enough to do a complete 180 with their music and explore some uncharted territory.