Published: 09/26/2013 | 0 Comments Posted
Here comes Drake, straining every sinew to prove Nothing Was the Same (Young Money/Universal), except that it is. Clearly I’m outside of the critical consensus; Caramanica somehow found 1,600 words to write about how this album signals change. But it’s the same expressionless singing, soft-serve hedonism and even softer self-criticism, except now Drizzy casts himself as a world-beater. Blame the consensus of people declaring this a three-peat on the fact that they were bored enough to care the first two times.
When Junior Boys started swirling svelte tech-pop with the seductive pathos of mainstream R&B, they sparked a quiet revolution. It was only a matter of time before an aspiring electro-soul diva would enlist Jeremy Greenspan’s production talents for herself, as Jessy Lanza does on her effortlessly elegant, house-damaged Hyperdub debut. Pull My Hair Back plays, predictably and thrillingly, like a female-fronted JBs record, clinching that impeccable icy romanticism, although Lanza makes it an especially discreet, coyly intimate affair.
—K. Ross Hoffman
DFA Records’ September releases offer contrasting visions of the label’s post-punk/disco aesthetic: Where Holy Ghost’s synth-house is lush and uplifting, Factory Floor’s long-awaited self-titled debut is anything but. The London trio has made some impressive friends lately — members of Throbbing Gristle, Joy Division and The Fall. It’s not hard to hear why within these seven nightmarish extended workouts: sparse, deathly funky lockgrooves of loose-cannon percussion and acid-washed industrial squelch, spiked with Nik Void’s demented mutterings. Your body may be powerless to resist — just try not to surrender your soul.
—K. Ross Hoffman
The means of expression in Kiss Land (Republic) are deep bass, progressive R&B via low synth wash and a falsetto in perpetual agony. The source of said agony? You ought to know by now — “I’ve been flying around the world/ I’ve been killing these shows/ But I’m always getting high/ Cause my confidence low/ And I’m always in a rush/ Ain’t no time to fuck slow/ And even if I try/ It’s not something I would know/ But I’m sure I’ll make you cum/ Do it three times in a row.” These are The Weeknd’s revelations from the road? Sounds like crocodile tears in the rain to me.
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