Album Ratings & Short Reviews

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Hive Riot — Hive Riot

Dancy, catchy electro-pop.

Contains one really great song, Undercover, which was so good it inspired me to create a playlist on Spotify to see if Spotify could recommend anything else like it. (It failed, like it always does.) Also has Fish Out of Water and Kiss My Lips You Fool, both of which are very good. Unfortunately, the rest is forgettable. 6

Yoann Turpin — Chip Ship

RnB chiptune fusion.

Contains Adventure Time, which is astounding. I get excited every time I hear that bassy beat kick in to mark the second half. One of the best chiptune songs I've ever heard. The rest is consistent and good. Turpin's piano playing abilities are second to none. Black Knight Island / One for Bula is good. 7

Fearofdark — Motorway

Jazz, funk & chiptune fusion.

The best chiptune album I've ever heard. The run of songs from 2 to 5 is spectacular. The composition is highly nuanced, intricate and thoughtful. Motorway, the closer, is the highlight here, a beautiful 7 minute song. If only it was mixed a little better... 8

Fearofdark — The Coffee Zone

Jazz, funk & chiptune fusion.

Another great album by Fearofdark. This one is possibly even more dense than Motorway, but it lacks the cohesion of that album. (The Coffee Zone is a compilation.) Still, this has Hopeless Romantic, which could contest the title of greatest chiptune song of all time. 7.5

Maxo — Chordslayer

I don't know what this genre is.

Maxo's name on soundcloud is "maxoisnuts", and I'm inclined to agree. This ep is insane. If you want your music to push the bounds of music, start here. Reach You, Honeybell and Sunset BB are all truly excellent songs. But the rest of the songs make me wonder why they were even included. 7.5

Lukas Eriksson — A Point In A Moment

Chiptune, Jazz, Lukaserikssoncore (I honestly don't know what else to call it)

Lukas Eriksson is one of my favorite chiptune composers, and this is a good introduction to his style. Intricate and thoughtful composition that requires a lot of attention to understand. This album is a delight to untangle. 6.5

Coda — Minimap

Chiptune, Funk

Coda is an incredibly consistent songwriter. I find myself liking almost every track on here. Two standouts, though: My Cheesed Life, which has a profoundly weird and fascinating chord progression, and Scrumb. Ah, Scrumb. 7

Kero Kero Bonito — Bonito Generation

Pop, Dance, Electro

I was kind of disappointed about this one. Initially a great listen, but successive listens wore it pretty thin. Picture This and Trampoline are excellent, but the real standout is Lipslap, a bizarre song that sounds like nothing else on the album, with an amelodic hook that still manages to be catchy. Also, keep an eye out for the incredible psychedelic/shoegaze bridge in Fish Bowl, the best 20 seconds of the entire album. Why didn't they write a psychedelic rock album instead? 5

Carly Rae Jepsen — E MO TION

Pop, Electro

In the final bridge of Let's Get Lost, there's this crazy high sax note which leaves you wondering for a second: is this song about to have a saxophone solo in it? Your questions are answered immediately as, rather than continue on with a solo, the note simply pitchbends up, as if it were a riser in any traditional EDM song, and the song launches into the final chorus. I love this moment, because, who would think to make a riser out of a saxophone note? It's this perverse fusion of jazz and EDM, two genres that couldn't be further apart. And it's a microcosm of the album as a whole - for a second considering to be experimental before bringing it back to conventional ideas, but yet somehow it makes it better anyways.

This album is amazing. One of the best pop releases in years. If I were to list my favorite tracks, it would just be a reproduction of the first 10 tracks. My only complaint is that it feels like the album is sorted from best to worst - there's no flow to the album. Still. Special shout outs to Emotion and Let's Get Lost. 9

Carly Rae Jepsen — E MO TION - B Sides

Pop, Electro

The B-side are just as good as the A-sides, and the ordering is better than just best to worst this time. Every song on this EP is excellent (except Store - let's not talk about that one). I love Roses! 9

Lin Manuel Miranda — Hamilton

Showtunes, Funk, Jazz, Soul, Hip Hop

One of the greatest albums of all time. 10


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