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Old 05-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musicbanter Does....

The idea of this thread is to have a different genre every couple of weeks where we review one of our favourite albums from that particular genre.

Even if you don't think you are great at reviewing just say what you feel about the album or if it reminds you of a specific time etc. It doesn't have to be pages long but a couple of paragraphs at least would be ideal.

It's not a thread based upon the best ever albums, just your own particular choice whether it's mainstream, a forgotten classic or a cult gem. Just go for it.

“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.”
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The first genre:

Hip Hop.

“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.”
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

Favorite Songs: Ex-Factor, Doo Wop (That Thing), Nothing Even Matters, To Zion, Superstar, Everything is Everything

Even though this is a well-known album, and some might argue that it’s not hip-hop, but more soul/R&B, it was the first album that came to mind when I saw this thread. And since it has a definite hip-hop sound and I love it, well…here goes!

Lauryn Hill, besides being drop dead gorgeous, has this incredible, beautiful voice. It can be gritty and tough in one moment, and silky and flowing the next, and I have to say I simply adore this album for it, much more than any of The Fugees albums to be honest (though one might say you shouldn’t really compare them). She can rap, she can sing, she can write and she showcases it all excellently here. She wrote most of the album while she was pregnant with her first child, so a lot of the songs have to deal with her feelings on that (particularly “To Zion”) as well as spirituality, and regret, the last being a popular subject in music nowdays . Except that on this album, the lyrics aren’t overly depressing or negative. The album just has a real up beat vibe and it makes me happy. Plus, it’s a good collaboration of different genres: hip-hop, soul, gospel, and even a little reggae flavor thrown in.

But besides all that, this album always takes me back to a time when my teens were just ending, when my nights (and some of my days too) were filled with driving around aimlessly (or to a concert, or the movies, but mostly aimlessly) with a car full of people, the windows on my $200 Chevy Corsica rolled down (man, I miss that car), moving and shaking to the music and talking to the people in the cars next to us at the stop lights. I miss those days. But even though I don’t have that freedom now (strange how we actually LOSE some freedom as we age), it’s still a gem for those times at work when I’m annoyed, or upset, and need a pick me up, something that’ll make me move in my chair, or when things at home get overwhelming and I need to get away for a drive. Just turn up “Doo Wop” and let my body bounce to the beat, singing along (badly), while people in the cars next to me smile (or point and laugh). Maybe someday I’ll get up the nerve I had when I was 18 to roll down my car window and strike up a conversation with one of them.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard this album and it's not my thing at all. It is far too smooth for me but I love the fact that is represents a certain time in your life and still holds relevance today.

It's an album that is still highly regarded which only adds to the flavour.

Nice review

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Old 05-27-2010, 08:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This album came to me at a time where I was a narrow minded indie kid who thought all Rap was ****, Of course i'm no longer like this, I like to think I am very open minded and that I enjoy all genres. I was a member of an indie forum before I came here, There was a thread where you could list your favourite indie bands. I used to go through it and Youtube every band mentioned which also got me into bands like Modest Mouse and The Unicorns. One day someone mentioned Busdriver I searched on Youtube as always and found the song Me-Time(With The Pulmonary Palimpsest) I soon realised it wasn't indie music. This was the first Rap song I heard that wasn't generic 50-Cent type ****. I went out and bought this album and soon fell in love. Songs like Kill Your Employer, Sun Shower and Secret Skin were the songs that made me like rap and I soon got more Busdriver albums which were better musically, But this remains my favourite as it was my first.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey hey, I like this idea

Might be able to contribute something of my own here sometime next week too. I've never reviewed hip-hop before, so this could be interesting...
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't have a lot of experience with rap and I have only just begun to explore it more (in the past couple of weeks, in fact)...but I did have a time years ago when I listened to a couple albums my friends liked. One of those was:

I still think this album holds up. Listening to it takes me back to my sophomore year of high school, so I'm glad to have looked in this thread. It gave me a good excuse for a nostalgia trip. I won't go into too much detail since I'm trying to waste time at work and I should get back to it soon, but if you have never heard this album I think you should check it out. Though I don't know many people who wouldn't have heard at least a couple songs off was a pretty big hit. "Still D.R.E.", "The Next Episode", and "Forgot About Dre" are all classics in my book.

I let this album go for a long long time and only listened to it to write in this thread, but I am so glad I did. It has pushed me even more into my interest in discovering more hip hop.
Confusion will be my epitaph...
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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One of the great empires to come from the underground rap scene has been the union of MF Doom/Prince Paul and everyone that comes with it; Dan the Automater, Princess Superstar, and my favorite MC Paul Barman.

As someone who doesn't take much seriously, and thinks its a fine way to go through life, I really enjoy people who can pull off putting their own ridiculous personality into their work. Tracks like "Vulture Shark Scuplture Park", "Anarchist Bookstore part 1", and "Bleeding Brain Grow" tie together brainy-flexing and an insucient world view that on its won would be formidable, but when its combined with the beat machine thats employed by the Doom Team, its a full on masterpiece.

Not everything is, of course, fun and games. Old Paul is a small, but bright point on an album so devoid of honest intent that really speaks to who the man is as a person.

In all, there hasn't really been an album like this in the genre's canon, and its certainly a welcome change from the days of Death Row records.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default more hip hop: Aesop Rock - Float (2000)

Aesop Rock became an instant classic on his first LP, Float. It came before his well-recognized Labor Days album and was far sparser than that album. The beats are less funky and more minimal here than all of his later songs but the production is a good fit to Aesop’s impossibly nasal bass voice and monotonous rapid fire lyrics that are brainier than every other lyricist. Yes. And the beats are made by Aesop himself as well as my probably favorite producer of today: Blockhead.

Listening to Float is a hazy, dizzying experience because the rhymes are said so fast but you’ll inevitably hear some of the most clever lyrics you’ve ever heard. Sometimes they pop up loud and clear, or slowly and repeated in a short chorus. Often they are remind me of the guy who advertised Micro Machines on TV in the 80s; almost but not quite too fast to hear.

Every head loves Aesop’s next album, Labor Days, because on that one his flow is more refined and the beats are a step up. But Float is what you need if you like it raw.

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Old 05-28-2010, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I remember listening to this excessively on a camping trip when I was in middle school. It's one of the quintessential hip-hop albums. It was one of the first albums in the genre that I felt like I understood. Growing up as a lower-middle class white kid I wrote rap/hip-hop off as a joke. It's got consciousness, heart, humor, and killer production. It balances it's heavier tracks with amazing grooves. "B.O.B." is a classic that never gets old. "Stankonia (Stanklove)" puts you in another dimension altogether.
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