Anyone hoping 2012 would mean an end to Kanye West’s maximalist bent got a rejoinder this week in the form of the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation’s lead single “Mercy.” Produced by Lifted of the Phoenix-based New F-O’s, the track couples trunk rattling 808s with chopped and screwed vocals, reggae toasts nicked from Super Beagle’s legendary “Dust a Sound Boy,” and a nightmarish italo-disco breakdown reportedly supplied by electro maverick Hudson Mowhawke. Big Sean uses the instrumental to disperse the usual array of ass and dick jokes, and Kanye drops a staccato verse about a party descending into druggy mayhem. Meanwhile, Pusha T and 2 Chainz provide this bit of Dirty South fetishism with a double dose of actual Southern rap. God only knows what other kitchen sink post-regional madness this G.O.O.D. Music album has in store.
- Craig Jenkins
Kanye West – “Mercy” (ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz)
Dirty Projectors’ last album, 2009′s Bitte Orca, was an album packed with fiercely original sounds and songs that split listeners fairly cleanly between love and hate – but the vast majority was with the former. The wait for a true follow up has been a long one for those fans, but one that they’re happy to endure if it means that they’ll get another album of the same quality. The beginning of the end of that wait started with the release of first single from Swing Lo Magellan, “Gun Has No Trigger,” which sees the group trying new things while sticking to some basic principles. It’s hard to say whether this has sated fans or just made them even more desperate for new material, but the fact is that there’s certainly been a large demand to hear it.
- Rob Hakimian
“That’s What’s Up” is the second cut to be heard from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ next album, Home. The first song, “Man On Fire,” held a lot of qualities, but was a little less, well, homely than the sounds we’ve come to expect in the Magnetic Zeros’ sound, especially in the singles. “That’s What’s Up” reverts to type by being a love song of the purest kind with joint lead vocals from Alex Ebert and Jane Castrinos – resulting in a song that is bound to please all fans and get multiple plays as the summer months approach.
If you take two artists that are in the early stages of blog buzz like Teen Daze and Jesse Ruins, then multiply that buzz together by having one remix the other, you’re going to have a hit, as proven by this remix of “The Future.” The best part though, is that the buzz is in the right place, as both the original song, and the Ruins remix which is starkly different, are quality listens.
- Rob Hakimian
[Aftermath / Interscope]
Dre and Kendrick bring the Californian heat with their new collaboration, built something like Kendrick’s own “Guilty Conscience,” with the good Doctor providing verses for the sake of K.Dot’s hype, prior to the release of his mainstream debut Good Kid in a Mad City. Unlike “Guilty,” of course, the track is as laid back as we’ve seen Kendrick, who rides the lazily flourishing sample with ease, and despite the fact that’s it almost certain he didn’t write them, Dre’s verses are notable in their own right.
- Chase McMullen
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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