Last time I did one of these, I forgot to write an intro. But I don’t like delving right into the music without telling you what’s good and what’s going on. So, this week some weird and good releases are being sent out in the wild for young consumers and music writers galore. Death Grips return with Jenny Death— Andreas reviewed it fully here, and I did a really long and really emotional review of the new Death Cab For Cutie album here. But the real showstopper this week is that Zayn Malik– after breaking the hearts of several million teenagers (myself included)– released solo work– and it’s life-changing.
Lost Boy ? – Canned
In the past, Davey Jones released stuff under the name Lost Boy ? all by his lonesome. It was recorded and sent into the world without the help of any friends or other members, but now, Canned allows Jones to join forces with the likes of RJ Gordon, Ryan Foster, and Matt Gaffney. The Lost Boy ? project has now become a full-blown band, and their tightly-wound indie rock sound is changing things up. The new full-length release still carries some of that DIY sound, but seems a little more cleaned up with the added new members. Canned is the soundtrack to an adventurous summer, to backyard parties and chugging beers and campfires running from cops and all that teenage bullshit– only better.
iLoveMakonnen – Drink More Water 5
Good thing iLoveMakonnen dropped his new mixtape. After his rise to fame with “Tuesday,” I’ve been curious to see what the artist will come out with next. Predictably, this release was called Drink More Water 5, the fifth in the “Drink More Water” title series. Having only heard the “Drink More Water 5 Freestyle” prior to hearing the whole album, I wasn’t that impressed. The new mixtape features Gucci Mane and Migos, among others, and the featured artists add a good amount of change and variety within the tracks. Makonnen’s style and sound has improved over time– there’s a definite change in style since he released the I Love Makonnen EP. The beats on the album are simple, but allow the listener to focus more on lyrics. “Super Clean” and “Slow It Down” are fire drops, though, and same with “Cash Cash,” which is mostly a Gucci Mane song. Perhaps Makonnen’s flow isn’t as spectacular as the other rappers out there– in fact, sometimes he sounds somewhat off– but he’s working on it, and he’s getting there, and I’m sure by the time his next mixtape rolls around, he’ll have developed his sound a lot more.
Hollywood Undead – Day Of The Dead
I used to listen to Hollywood Undead back in the day when I used to hate myself only a little bit more. The rap rock, mask-wearing group of horror is funny, almost, in the way they take themselves so seriously– but that’s also respectable. This fourth attempt really offers no change from the previous three albums. Still, I really liked Swan Songs, the group’s debut, when it first came out, and I even gave the next albums a chance. I respect them for continuing to try and create songs– they’ve obviously found a formula that works for them, and they keep using it. Because of this, Day Of The Dead is a good album for those who are already fans of the group, and even some casual rap and rock fans. Infusing elements of both, the band never produces any sounds that are just average, and work well together as a band– always giving each other shout outs in their songs and dropping interesting rhymes: ” Oh no, yeah, there goes Charlie/ Mad dogging, shirtless on the back of a Harley.” Well, if Swan Songs taught us anything, it’s that Charlie Scene has no problem getting nude in front of strangers.