Haim. Tyler, The Creator. Vince Staples. Portugal. The Man.
Something to Tell You
After a couple listens I’m still struggling to figure out what Haim is trying to tell me. Trying to tell anyone, really. This record feels too sterile, too polished, too devoid of the glimpse of character heard in their debut. I think I’m more disappointed because the original live recorded version of “Right Now” was wonderful, emotionally performed, and full of energy. The studio version found on this record is the opposite—sterile and not great.
Perhaps it will take a couple more listens to grab me but I’m not super excited about this record. I read an article that compared Haim with Wilson Phillips and I can’t forget that. Haim is kinda like the Wilson Phillips of our time. That kinda makes me cringe. However, cringe-worthy warts and all, there is something interesting about Haim. I’m hoping their next record showcases a bit more personality and substance.
Album highlights: Want You Back, Nothing's Wrong, You Never Knew, Found it in Silence
Tyler, The Creator
Having all but dismissed Tyler as an artist I care to hear more from I almost didn’t bother listening to this record. That would have been a shame. The production, tone, and lyricism shown here represent a maturity and creativity that I’ve been waiting for in Tyler. I’m impressed and thankful Tyler has matured.
Album highlights: Foreword, Where This Flower Blooms, Who Dat Boy, Garden Shed, I Ain't Got Time
Big Fish Theory
Vince returns with a different energy behind this record but still delivers a very familiar inflection and unmistakable flow. Some feel his subdued flow doesn’t work over these more club-oriented produced tracks. After a couple of listens, I’m pretty happy with what I’m hearing. It’s not a major shift for Vince but it’s a welcomed deviation from his last couple of projects.
Album highlights: Crabs in a Bucket, Big Fish, Love Can Be..., Yeah Right
Portugal. The Man
Having missed the first two singles that preceded this record’s release, the third single featured Son Little and “Number One” grabbed me. While the single didn’t thrill me I was optimistic for the rest of the record. So far I’m not thrilled with the result. It’s a polished party of a record with explosive aesthetics and lacking in any real substance. I was hoping for an evolution of the sound found on 2010’s American Ghetto or even 2011’s In the Mountain In the Cloud, but we’re left with something else. Something less interesting to me. But maybe with a few more listens something will click.
Album highlights: Number One, Easy Tiger, Noise Pollution