Album Reviews 7.21.16: Deerhoof, ScHoolboy Q + more
Ben Chatwin — Heat and Entropy
Thoughts, let’s speak of those. It’s a time in need of thought, Ben Chatwin knows this and he’s given you a beautiful soundtrack to your thoughts, or breakfast preparation, etc. Heat and Entropy sounds heavy, it’s a full experience. “Standing Waves” is like standing at the beach, the ocean is as beautiful as it is dangerous for what lies beneath those waters. There is a song called “The Kraken,” and for anyone who knows of a Kraken, how would that aurally be done? Chatwin magnifies the qualities of build and tension, not to tease, but to really add depth; it’s not just the sight, it’s the realization, the forms, the songs’ approach and pass through, they have presence. “Corpseways” is the sadness, the woe, the terror of the afterlife, it creaks and bellows while it dirges on. All in all, I really like this album.
ScHoolboy Q — Blank Face
Gangsta rap as a real thing, not a selling point, is a beautiful thing. One thing all appreciate is the idea of honesty, speaking from the heart. How do you that? You put out a song called “That Part” where “that part” is actually the chorus. Then, you get the king of restraint, Kanye West, to rap on it, saying, “Beggars can’t be choosers bitch, this ain’t Chipotle!” This album is at once horrifying (“Blank Face,” “Ride Out“) and sad (“Kno Ya Wrong,” “Neva Change,” “Black Thoughts“) and then a party (“Big Body,” “Str8 Ballin,” “Dope Dealer“). It’s the type of album that earns another favorite depending on where you are when you hear it. Schoolboy Q is presenting the full person, rarely shown, and it moves you and it will move you to dance.
Margaret Glaspy — Emotions and Math
It’s a tricky thing being human, and then you involve other people and then there also you again, adding and subtracting pieces of yourself based on multiplies emotions to one or more people, emotions and math. It’s a pop album, but a guitar album, and like Malkmus-y (“Situation“) or soul-ish (“Pins and Needles“). “Somebody to Anybody” is just pure gold. It’s a great lyrical album: “It hurts to be running around the telephone wondering if she’s at home doing the same thing;” or “I don’t wanna watch my mouth, I don’t wanna act like I can’t figure it out;” or the immaculate “Black is Blue.” People will say things about this album and, if they are complimentary, then they are true.
Deerhoof — The Magic
Overall, music is better because of bands like Deerhoof; it is the artisan food thing, everyone appreciates time and effort and passion over money (well, no one actually does), but like in the passing judgement frame of things… I digress. The Magic is the time before the realities of whatever set in, not a reliving or imagining just a reflection, because style does not always override things. “Kafe Mania” is like Holdypaws Deerhoof doing disco, “Life Is Suffering” is like G-funk T Rex. “Model Behavior” is literally James Brown and with a little psychedelic Lewis and Jam. “Criminals of the Dream” is awe and inspiring, separately, hence conjunction. This album is magic, magical, and representative of a feeling more than a filling. Do not let the world, the news writers or pundits of destroy your soul: “Dream you can dream you can, I know you can dream.”
Faun Fables — Born of the Sun
Faun Fables’ Born in the Sun feels like the music of another time, whether that time be a century or 5:51 pm on a Tuesday. Family and settlement are ideas when thinking of this creation of this great land, the move towards a new environment, new possibility, with hopes of a place of security and safety and in that there is adventure. “Ydun” could be about the discovery of a place, or a feeling; “Country House Waits” could be about settling in this place, family and hopes in tow. Fables voice is the beacon to the sun, it carries history in its tone, it narrates the voyage colored with all of its mystery and adventure. Nils Frykdhal, her partner, brings a sort of madness (“Wild Kids Rant”) as his voice tempers Fables with manic energy or a warrior’s calm, prepared for battle or journey, and their family is also along for the ride. It is all very wonderful and magical and weirdly funky in places (“Outing in the Country”). Pack a bag, sans the map, where we stop for the night will be our home, we will continue in the morning. Hurry along, children.