3 Album Reviews: Kaytranada, James Blake, & Radiohead
May 10, 2016
Last week was a big one for music. Aside from the insane amount of guerrilla album dropping by the big names of current musical royalty. Quite a few of our favorites over at Prism gently placed some of the best music we’ve heard all year into our ears, mostly artists whose new music we’d been (im)patiently awaiting for some time. We know your airwaves are now flooded with comprehensive reviews from all the wordy publications, so we’re taking the short-lane and breaking down the albums through some of the biggest music fans amongst our crew. Check out our take on Kaytranada, James Blake, and Radiohead below:
Kaytranada‘s 99.9% by Sofia De La O
Stevie Wonder meets J Dilla; Kaytranada is moving in a solid direction with his debut album 99.9%. Whether you’re going for a drive or heading out with friends, this one will have you coasting. From the start, Kaytranada has delivered a sound he has made all his own. My favorite song? That’s tough because every song is so different. There are groovy tracks and hard beats. “Got It Good” for sure has the best intro, the beginning is reminiscent of Schoolboy Q, with an amazing beat. “Drive Me Crazy” featuring Vic Mensa is a head bobber, so bouncy. He shows his diversity especially through the different artists he features on the album like AlunaGeorge, Goldlink, and even Anderson .Paak. His beats are so fresh he brought Craig David back to life. Give the album a listen and take your time, check out his trippy album cover while you’re at it.
James Blake‘s The Colour in Anything by Pola Bunster
James Blake is both the immense summer storm and the clear skies that follow it. He is simultaneously turbulent and serene, both profound in the present and atmospherically detached. If there is any artist that knows how to capture a dark mood bred from passion it’s James Blake. Where his former releases served as a spotlight for his brooding persona and beautiful vocal range, The Colour in Anything has seen Blake evolve into a new era of production, one heavy on mathematical foundations and the use of electronic drum kits. His talent is instantly evident with “Radio Silence” as an opener, a track that encapsulates everything James Blake has built as both a singer and a producer, while still ushering in this new wave of creative style. “I Need a Forest Fire” features Bon Iver and showcases a beautiful pairing of artistic minds, “Noise Above Our Heads” is catchy, and, let’s be honest, every other song is deliciously textured in its own right. Favorite thing about the album? The album artwork by one of the greatest illustrators of all time: Sir Quentin Blake, known for the Roald Dahl books.
Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool by Talia Ladki
It’s been 5 years since their last album, and the new one lies comfortably in the band’s consistent traditions, making dark yet clear statements. The music of A Moon Shaped Pool creates an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a world filled with distrust and paranoia, and a yearning for a life of classic grandeur. While A Moon Shaped Pool is clearly a Radiohead album, it’s unlike any other Radiohead album heard before. Once you’ve put your headphones on, you’ll notice the most obvious change: a move away from digitalism and back towards a pure, organic sound. This album draws from the likes of 60s and 70s rock and folk, which battled and resisted an often terribly changing world. With the richness of subdued pianos backed by a string orchestra, and the grim whispering sounds, each track feels not only textured but tangible. Favorites: “Daydreaming,” “Identikit,” and “Present Tense”.