Frontier Psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘ASAP Rocky


(All week we’re counting down the top albums of 2011.  For previous entries on the list, click here.  We hope you enjoy the music.)

30. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact

There is no greater confounder to the proper evaluation of a record than one’s experience of the previous record.  Gang Gang Dance’s 2008 LP Saint Dymphna stood as the most eclectic release yet from an eclectic band, a multicultural mix of musical styles that had few precedents in indie rock.  By contrast, Eye Contact is singular in its focus, and as such I found it disappointing on initial listen.  But, as the year has gone on, I’ve found myself returning the record again and again, more willing each time to be washed over with its shower of sumptuous synths.  A daring record from one of our most daring bands.  -LVL 

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(All week we’re counting down the top songs of 2011.  For previous entries on the list, click here.  We hope you enjoy the music.)

20. Shabazz Palaces feat. THEESatisfaction – “Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)”

A lot of adjectives could be used to describe our #1 hip-hop album of the year, Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up.   “Accessible” is not one of them.  If there is one song on the album that is likely to appeal to all hip-hop fans, it is album closer “Swerve…”  Combining an aggressive beat with a sweet, accordion-like melody, and providing for more lyrical diversity than the rest of the record, “Swerve…” gives Descartes the middle finger, treating mind and body as if they were one.  -LVL

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Chris Brown, Kanye, Drake

Of all the lists that this website produces over the course of the next few weeks, I expect to receive the most angry and confused comments about this one.  As I see it, 2011 is the year that mainstream hip-hop let us down.  High profile releases from the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, The Game, and Pusha T (to name only a few) left me wishing I still bought CDs so I could use them as coasters.  Meanwhile, as month after month of flaccid rhymes and bombastic beats hit record store shelves, a new hip-hop underground began to emerge through a series of independent releases and free mixtapes.  These are the records that had me coming back over and over when I needed a jolt this year, and the list below (compiled with the help of super-staffer Peter Lillis) reflects this predilection.  As such, there are some notable and, I will admit, potentially egregious omissions.  Allow me to list the most glaring of these up front:

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It is no secret that, like sports, fashion, and fruit, the arts are seasonal.  The music release schedule in particular tends to follow such a pattern, with major releases appearing in spring (just in time for wallets to recover from the holiday season), disappearing in summer (when money is more likely to be spent on concerts), and reappearing in autumn (with just enough time to gain buzz before people start buying gifts).  As a result, September and October tend to overflow with great new records, and this year was no exception.  We at FP spent the month reviewing everything from folk to synth-pop to progressive metal, but of course there were numerous great albums about we did not have opportunity to write word one.  As always, we try to make good with our bi-monthly Albums We Missed column.  We hope that you find something you enjoy.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Listening To:

Sons of Dionysus

A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.