(Biased and Preemptive) Top 10 Rap Albums of 2015

Real Riff

We live in a world where Riff Raff can make this claim. Does it matter whether he follows through on his Panther Album Series? I personally would download any Riff Raff album or mixtape immediately post-drop, regardless of panther-color and regardless of when it happens. This is what truly matters in hip-hop nowadays: Internet buzz.

[Read more…]

11 Minimally Cheesy Love Songs For Your Valentine’s Day

Originally this was going to be titled “12 Non-Cheesy Love Songs” but as I have come to realize, there is no such thing as a completely non-cheesy love song. Here are my picks for the best love songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day.

1. The Moldy Peaches – “Anyone Else But You”

Anyone who is a fan of Juno probably added this to their playlists the second the film ended (I know I did).

2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”

A lot people may be familiar with Tim McGraw’s recording of this song, but the original Ryan Adams version is a lot more stripped down and romantic.

3. Coldplay – “Yellow”

This may be one of the more cheesy songs on the list, but there’s no denying that it’s beautifully written.

4. Vance Joy – “Georgia”

Not as upbeat as his hit “Riptide,” but definitely more sincere.

5. The Lumineers – “Dead Sea”

Almost any Lumineers song could easily fit on this list, but “Dead Sea” is by far my favorite from their album.

[Read more…]

Understanding the Decemberists in 13 Songs

The Decemberists are nothing less than the band that got me into indie rock, albeit in a very non-indie way: back in January of 2009, I was watching a rerun of one of my favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother, “Ted Mosby, Architect”. During the episode’s denouement, as Ted Mosby walks the streets of New York and muses on his relationship woes, the seminal Decemberists’ track “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect” plays. I’d seen the episode before, but something inside me told me to look up the song this time — and just a month later I had purchased all five of the Decemberists’ LPs (including the newly released The Hazards of Love) and was at the beginning of a relationship that I still find myself in. They’ve provided the soundtrack of my past 6 years, good and bad, and with their new album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World there’s no better time to fall in love with them again — or for the very first time.

[Read more…]

Music that Sounds Like 2015

The farther you are from past events, the more they blend together. Time periods – years, decades, centuries – make for easy, automatic categorization of those events. “Take on Me”, “Just Like Heaven”, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” are distinctively “eighties” music in the public consciousness; today anything that sounds like synth-pop, from 1989 to “Seasons (Waiting On You)”, is an ‘80s throwback. Decades are efficient, well-defined genre descriptors, to the point where decades like the ’80s and ’90s feel so musically distinct that phrases like “1985-1994 in music” sound meaningless to someone who wasn’t around back then.


2015 Kanye moves away from the industrial anti-pop star seen on Yeezus (2013) for a sentimental team-up with Paul McCartney.

[Read more…]