Album Reviews in 30 Seconds or Less
I Am Not A Human Being
Sounds Like: Astounding set from one of the hottest in the game whose incarceration isn’t stopping him or guests like Drake and Nicki Minaj from getting on the mike.
Free Association: Can’t tell which is better, the “YM Banger” or the “YM Salute.”
For Fans Of: Jay-Z, N.W.A., Master P, Young Money, Cash Money, money.
Sounds Like: Simultaneously throwback and modern R&B from the old-souled L.A. resident who’s taking a break from emceeing to slow it down and turn back time.
Free Association: That “Femme Fatale” cover is the shit! Why hasn’t it been done before?
For Fans Of: Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, Bilal, Georgia Anne Muldrow.
The Floacist Presents Floetic Soul
Sounds Like: One half of Floetry, Natalie Stewart goes rogue with her brand of neo-soul that’s simplified—almost maddeningly so—with a batch of sleepy slow jamz.
Free Association: I’m sorry Ms. Tribal Tattoos and face piercings, you ain’t no Jill Scott.
For Fans Of: Musiq Soulchild, Angie Stone, India.Arie, black spelled with a Q.
Sounds Like: The 56-year-old father lets T Bone Burnett steer him in Nashville and L.A., and the result is a countrified mixed bag of stompers, weepers and tall tales.
Free Association: The best thing about this LP is that he’s got a solid backing band.
For Fans Of: Burt Bacharach x Randy Newman, Billy Bragg x Pete Yorn.
Sounds Like: A horrific set of covers, alarmingly produced by himself, including “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Blackbird,” “Hallelujah” and “Desperado.”
Free Association: For chrissakes, he changed the gender on “Midnight Train”!
For Fans Of: Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones.
Big Time Rush
Sounds Like: A soundtrack to the Nickelodeon show by the same name, where four besties go to L.A., get a big contract, and become ambiguously gay pop stars.
Free Association: This is shockingly decent and well-produced sugar-coated crap.
For Fans Of: Katy Perry, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Hanson.
The High Dials
Anthems For Doomed Youth
(Rainbow Quartz International)
Sounds Like: The fourth from Montreal’s ’60s-inspired psychedelic/poppy/alt rock band is sunny and joyous, just don’t listen too closely to the lyrics
Free Association: Imagine the Stones singing about a Facebook breakup. Seriously try.
For Fans Of: Apples in Stereo, Sloan, Stone Roses, the Who.
PW's Music Issue 2014