Sunday, February 12, 2017

Loosies Of The Week, Feb. 6-12

Welcome to yet another Loosies Of The Week, a wrap-up of this weeks singles, throwaways, leaks, and any other loose tracks I find. Who would've thought this week's loosies would be led by Yachty, Jepsen, Mike Will, and Target. 

Lil Yachty & Carly Rae Jepsen - It Takes Two

Every so often I just sit back and ponder just where the hell we're capable of going with music. Numerous times a year an inane idea or odd collaboration makes you question how freeing music has become. This week, we've gotten both of those in the fantastically hilarious 'It Takes Two.' A few years ago Converse came up with their 3 Artists, 1 Song series, creating instant-regret mash-ups that either failed horribly like Matt & Kim, Soulja Boy, and Andrew W.K.'s 'I'm A Goner,' or excelled flawlessly like James Murphy, Andre 3000, and the Gorillaz's 'DoYaThing.' This time around it's Target doing the bidding, shamelessly targeting (pun not intended) kids with Mike Will Made It, Lil Yachty, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Above all else, it's a remix of the near-untouchable 'It Takes Two' from Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock.

Honestly, I don't even care about the quality of this song. I just find it's existence hilarious. If every single thing and person involved wasn't already making this aware, 'It Takes Two' is not meant to be taken seriously. If it'll rustle some jimmies, more power to it. All that being said, it's not actually that bad. There's plenty of reasons some might instantly hate it though, namely the presence of Lil Yachty ironically touching a bonafide Hip-Hop classic considering his lack of care towards the genres past. As the original song implanted, 'It Takes Two' is supporting positive vibes, expressed through both Yachty and Jepsen. The latter does her thing, proving why she's a great presence in Pop music today. Even her sole verse is enjoyable, being personable and charismatic. As for Yachty, his flows are fairly admirable and funny, uplifting spirits if they'll allow him to. "I'm down if you're down."

Paul White - Accelerator / Lion's Den

To think that Paul White, of all artists, is one of a select few right now where anything they touch I immediately enjoy. That can not be said for the vast majority of my favorite artists, to put that into perspective. And yet, here we are. I've adored everything he's touched in the last two years, from Hella Personal Film Festival, to Atrocity Exhibition, to Everything You've Forgotten. Accelerator, a short EP under his name, is really two singles featuring Danny Brown from the Atrocity Exhibition outtakes, along with their instrumental counterparts. As expected, both are amazing. And better yet, for completely different reasons. 'Accelerator' finds White's mechanical side thumping, a la 'Ain't It Funny' and 'Golddust,' while 'Lion's Den' gently glides with a hushed vocal sample and mellow instrumentation.

The latter, oddly enough, feels most similar to White's work with Open Mike Eagle. It's serene, abstract in an intellectual way, and festive. Really the only thing that makes it relatable for Danny is a constant percussion moving back-and-forth in the low end. 'Accelerator,' on the other hand, is Atrocity Exhibition reincarnated. You'd think, and are probably right, that the presence of the instrumentals are due to it being White's own EP, but really, to me, their appearance screams more like "yeah, Danny just rapped over that." With his full throttle into experimentation, Danny's becoming more and more like MF DOOM, in his expansive territory for which he can rap on. As always, Danny's more than capable on both tracks, even if the lyrics aren't special on 'Accelerator.' Overall, two more tracks to add to the never-failing Paul White canon.

Jamiroquai - Cloud 9

'Virtual Insanity.' That's the only song I've ever heard from Jamiroquai. And while main man Jay Kay sure as hell has a legion of fans still endearing his off-brand form of Funk, Disco, and Pop, I can safely say a good deal of casual listeners have only heard that single song just like me. So no, I'm not exactly the best musical connoisseur to go to when pressed about one's thoughts over 'Cloud 9.' Yet here we are. Why? Well, I wanted some variety this week. What better way to do that than by grabbing a man still trapped in his misinterpreted form of the 90's. I'm not saying that as a negative by the way, quite the opposite. I love peculiar artists who defy trends and fly free in whatever direction they find most appealing. More than anything, I'm quite impressed that Jamiroquai has stayed around for so long, considering their style of music could've easily been seen as a fad.

'Cloud 9,' believe it or not, proves that to be wrong. Again, I only have 'Virtual Insanity' to judge off of, but it's clear, vocally, that Jay Kay hasn't lost a single step. His voice still soars, and even feels a bit more crisp, confident, and clear this time around. 'Cloud 9' is actually the second single from his upcoming LP Automaton. And while I haven't reviewed the lead single and title track, I have heard it. 'Cloud 9' brings a distinctly different vibe, being less experimental and more straight-forward. I'm not sure which one I prefer, 'Automaton' does come off a bit tacky at times, but 'Cloud 9' is relatively by-the-books. However, apart from that, there's nothing truly bad I can say about it. Kay's vocals, as mentioned, are solid. The production is as well, reminding me of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, although one has to guess he's been doing this brand of Disco Pop for much, much longer. Respect to these guys for sticking with something consistently seen, in this millennium, as corny.

Desiigner - Outlet

Everyone around the world knows 'Panda,' considering it was one of music's most popular songs last year. It was also a rather great example of ad-lib heavy Trap. But, while most will fully believe Desiigner's a one-hit wonder, the rapper himself and his legion of followers are aiming to prove otherwise. Since New English and 'Tiimmy Turner,' the only other redeemable song in his catalogue (it's great), Desiigner has been somewhat quiet in regards to releasing music. A fair decision to hold, as I'm sure enduring a complete 180 in your life has some stress associated with it. 

'Outlet,' officially released this week, had been the product of numerous rumors ever since it appeared on OVO Sound Radio way back in October. If you've heard Desiigner's music thus far, 'Outlet' won't be of any surprise. Reckless, loud, and wholly in charge, Desiigner's demeanor here is aggressive and unwavering. The intro, filled to the brim with ad-libs and production revving, explodes with a magnificent beat that carries the bulk of the track. However, the extended outro, brought on by G.O.O.D Music's Mike Dean, is a bit sloppy, excessive, and darting. Unlike 'Tiimmy Turner's' excellent close, 'Outlet's' stomps around aimlessly without actually poising itself for greatness.

Dirty Projectors - Cool Your Heart

We're now four singles into the upcoming self-titled LP from Dirty Projectors and I am more confused than I was when I cautiously took on this new band, caught in the flux of serious member transitions. I'm not getting into the drama handed out behind scenes, mainly because I don't know it, but the music being reflected has clearly been influenced by a sudden shift in prominent members. 'Cool Your Heart' is yet another inexplicable single, using a Footwork-like beat and featuring R&B singer DAWN. Like the preceding singles, 'Know Your Name,' 'Little Bubble,' and 'Up In Hudson,' Dirty Projectors' fourth track once again seems purposely weird, even though the singing and lyrics are painfully stale.

Their last single, the seven-minute 'Up In Hudson,' jumped between multiple segments, some clearly better than others. When Dirty Projectors wasn't replicating Bon Iver's 22, A Million there, they were finally creating something original with the final two or so minutes. Here though, they take aim at Jamie xx's colorful Alternative R&B found on In Colour. From their original Indie Pop roots, it's clear Dirty Projectors have taken drastic movements in sounds and styles. Instead of creating their own though, they've just borrowed from others. 'Cool Your Heart' just doesn't feel natural. It finds awkward musicians trying to be cool, surrounding themselves with trendy sounds, hip artists, and flashy music videos. In some sense, 'Cool Your Heart' can be enjoyable, but it certainly doesn't sound authentic. 

Migos - Dab Of Ranch

In wake of Culture, Migos' most popular release yet, it only makes sense for certain streaming services to hope on board and hype up the Atlanta Trap trio currently dominating the Billboard charts. Now one can assume that Spotify Singles, a recurring playlist that releases sessions created within Spotify's own recording studios, is a promotional tool for both the brand and the artist themselves. Typically, one new song is released, along with a re-worked version of something previously heard. Migos is the latest to be honored, and first since D.R.A.M. to be Hip-Hop focused. However, it seems, the trio didn't exactly take matters seriously. Which, to be frank, is completely fine. A Spotify mix of 'T-Shirt,' a Culture single, tweaked to include the word "Spotify" in the chorus, and 'Dab Of Ranch,' a song that seems to be about their own brand of sour cream Rap Snacks. Needless to say, the latest Spotify Session isn't exactly necessary.

I don't pretend to hide my dislike of Migos. Culture, by and large, did nothing for me, as has the vast majority of songs I've heard from the ever-growing catalogue. However, I'm consistently drawn in because, whether it's Quavo, Takeoff, or Offset, one of the rappers blows the doors off of a featured guest spot they've honored an artist with. They've got talent, it's just a shame they waste it on trite Trap that goes nowhere in revolutionizing the genre. 'Dab Of Ranch' is more of the same. And while the content is tongue-in-cheek, it's still not intriguing enough to appreciate. Because whether it's the production, the unavoidable autotune, or the routine flows, 'Dab Of Ranch' doesn't really provide anything of value that you haven't heard before. The best thing here is their flows, which, while certainly getting stale, are still enjoyable enough. The lyrics are dull and find the trio really, really enjoying their chips. Better than your insipid Southern braggadocio? That's up for you to decide.

No comments:

Post a Comment