Recent and Retro Reviews: Don’t miss these!
Another installment of Recent and Retro Reviews finds us in a slightly more retro mood, as the recent review comes from three years ago and the retro is verily embedded in the ’70s. Keeping with the retro vibes, the albums are great examples of trip hop and ska. Always worth a listen.
Newville / Formless
Release Date: December
Genre: Trip hop/Drum
Sounds Like: DJ Shadow
Best Song: “To Calm the
A long car ride essential:
“Let These Sounds Caress
Set your next fight to:
“Evil Ninja Guys”
Alright, alright, I promised myself that these reviews would be relatively recent, but three years may be pushing it. Still, it’s not that old, it’s one of the more interesting things I found in the radio station’s library, and I want to talk about it, so there.
It's a shame that any remotely trip hop album has to be immediately compared to the stellar DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, and unfortunately, this album remains shrouded by DJ Shadow’s shadow.
By no means is it bad, but I would not expect this to convert people over with either its drum and bass or trip hop tracks. It suffers from the usual trip hop elephant of large amounts of repetition within a track, but hey, that’s what trip hop is about: down tempo and chill, repetitive hip hop beats.
That being said, “To Calm the Angry Monster” is a great song, mixing an ambient opening andinterludes with a great drum and bass track.
“Unforeseen Supernatural War” mixes drum and bass with an interesting eight-bit synth.
While I generally like this album, it did not win any awards from the Academy and it won’t from me either.
That said, those of you who pride yourselves on mixing and mash ups could probably do some really interesting things with it. Check it out.
Artist/Album: The Specials /
Release Date: October
Genre: Two-Tone Ska
Sounds Like: The Beat
Best Song: “Monkey Man”/
“Message to You Rudy”
Lay around in your under
wear with: “Too Hot”/ “It’s
Up to You”
Hits too close to home
Colby?: “Little Bitch”
Two-Tone Belt and Orange County heritage make ska dear to my heart, but as much as I enjoy the high energy sarcasm of Aaron Barrett and Reel Big Fish, I keep coming back to The Specials as a true favorite and a example of great ska.
Simply put, this is a wonderful album. A seminal ska album, The Specials beautifully mixes the fun of ska with politically and socially charged lyrics, while managing to switch masterfully between fast and slow tempo songs without feeling disjointed.
My only complaint is that “Too Much Too Young” goes on a little long, but the more I listen, even that song grows on me. Though I personally prefer Big D’s cover of “Little Bitch” solely for its high energy, it's a great song.
Along with “Nite Klub,” the lyrics of “Little Bitch” resonate pretty well with the general crowd I see at Colby.
Bottom line, while it’s not something I’d recommend for what Colby considers a “real party,” throw this one on when you are sitting around with a good drink, some good friends, and need some good times.