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ArtDate / RatingArtist / Release (Release Date)OwnershipTags
真の愛
Nov
21
2019

2.50 stars
[Rating120916169]
It's a decent debut for the name with a few interesting sample chopping skills shown off here and there - the track 王手 (King) comes to mind - but they don't really flesh out into anything ambitious enough for me to properly commend, otherwise this would be a groundbreaking release. But we all knowHKEfor his lack of intention to hone his skills onto anything substantial. If anything, he only had a brief period of proper grinding thanks to the massive numbers that2814's Birth of a New Daydid, and even then he was still putting out some silly stuff, whether on his labels or his aliases (or both), and if 2017 proved me anything in retrospect, it's that it should've been clear that it wasn't gonna last forever at that time.

I know I shouldn't be saying this much about an album that's this substanceless, but the core of HKE's psyche bothers me every time he puts out something less than great and I go to listen to it for the sake of exp.
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Night Drive
Nov
25
2019

2.00 stars
[Rating121086050]
So many wasted ideas and potentially creative samples wasted by slapped together vocal manipulated vignettes and crippling effects, all of which are poorly timed and (as much as I hate to say this about most vaporwave) very lazily put together with no rhyme or reason. I wish this concept alias that HKE put up had a little bit more thought to it instead of pretending that the project is as big as he and his fans have been hyping it up to be, and when he realised that he could've been doing this a lot better, he just sorta flipped the switch and kept going from there, up until he dropped the highly ambitiousI Am Chesumasutawithout applying any proper ambition to any of its previous albums.

What I'm saying is you gotta have blueprints.
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I Am Chesumasuta
Nov
21
2019

4.00 stars
[Rating120915414]
Headcanon: This is the last Chesumasuta album. No other album came after this. No release other than the Infinity of a Void EP, of which the third track is too good to pretend it doesn't exist. But that was it. That is all Chesumasuta put out, or all that HKE put out under this alias anyways. Nothing else. Nothing more. This was it.
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░▒▓RNBW▓▒░
Jan
31
2018

3.50 stars
[Rating95559796]
As lazy as it appears, it's still quite the compelling release.

I tried my best to keep this review short, because this isn't something that people should take as seriously as I do, but... The way I see it, it's strangely compelling for what it is.

What this is is an EP that spans eight and a half minutes, and what it mostly consists of is super loud, distorted snippets of tracks from the Porter Robinson album "Worlds". Maybe there are other sources of music that are used in a couple of other tracks, but besides that, there's not much else to it production-wise. And I'm not kidding when I say loud, I do recommend that you listen to this at your lowest volume setting to start out with.

That said, most people could write this off as lazy, meaningless, and practically a joke by most standards. However, do note that this is a very small release, with a scant runtime and very little in the way of accessibility. It was originally released on BLCR Laboratories back when it was formally known as Bloody Carpet, and I couldn't imagine that the label was all that serious to begin with, hence why it was replaced with another installment of the FAILED EXPERIMENT series (003) before being completely removed altogether.

Now that's enough of the context for this release, what are my thoughts on it? Well, if you could see where I was going with this, you could tell that I, strangely enough, like this album. Love it even, though I don't think it deserves that big of a score for what it is. What I see this as, thematically, is like being trapped in an over-the-top wonderland crafted by your extremely obsessive lover that would rather see you die than escape. Hey, look at that tracklisting and tell me that's not the vibe that it gives off, if not similarly so.

Seriously, because of that theme, it gives off a strong story by crafting together just as little as possible, and I love it all the more for it. That final track in particular is a standout for how it closes off the album too! Try listening to this album late at night before going to sleep, because it is anxiety-inducing! I'm not saying that this album's the moon or the stars, far from it even. It's just that I found this small little album all the more fascinating because of that, which is why I found this to be all the more unique and weirdly lovable for it. Doesn't mean that I'm giving it an 8/10 tho, not that it deserves a score at all, but if there's a better score to give a very small album that while I love it, it's not something that I would recommend as much as a serious album...

For me, it's a 7/10.
Lost Fragments
Nov
30
2019

3.00 stars
[Rating121302774]
Pretty solid collection of b-sides such as new unreleased material and collaboration/compilation features. Obviously it's not going to be great from the premise alone, save for if youreallylove their style of music - as in love-all-three-of-their-studio-albums love - but I'm glad this exists and shows that the two are still active in terms of serious releases, plus it's worth having all of those tracks compiled onto here.
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Iconic Bitch
May
03
2019

1.50 stars
[Rating112507330]
When it comes to vaporwave and future funk, there are two types of people that enjoy but view the genres differently. There are those who view them as a couple of pretty cool genres, they take them in a serious manner, see the potential in them, and if they produce for the genre, they can often take the opportunities to experiment with the ideas and make something great out of them. On the other hand, the more common type of vaporwave consumers are often the ones that see these genres much more for their memes and less for their creative potential. It's even worse when they produce for the genres and try to implement these memes in as many ways as they can while still reaching for the boundaries of those genres. That's where 3D Blast falls into that latter category.

Last I heard from him, he was renowned for making one of the best vaporwave albums of 2016,3D: Die a Hero. Curious, I gave it a shot, and truth be told, I hated it. I hated it so much. It was a such a bad attempt at fusing vaporwave and future funk together with terribly lazy sample chops, less than sub-par beat choices and annoying vocal samples that serve no purpose in between these songs other than to make the album worse. This was before I left the vaporwave fanbase, and looking back on that group now, the genre is easily at its most bastardized state to date. Almost no highlights came from the genre in 2018, and even albums likeSlideanddeep dark trenchwere much less "vaporwave" than they are vaporwave inspired or influenced.

That doesn't mean I have left the genre completely, I still keep tabs on labels likeBusiness Casual, because they have put out some of the most notable releases of the community a fair while back, I even most recently loved the latest album fromSA-20, NO REFUNDS. So I was very curious as to what 3D Blast has to offer this time around now that he's released this new album on Business Casual and the cover art is admittedly awesome. Hell, there's even a chance that he's improved since I last saw his work in the genre.

And in a way, he did improve... Yeah...

This album was a lot less grating than his previous work was, to be utterly fair... But I still dislike it quite a lot. I will say that at first, I really enjoyed the first two tracks. Beyond Nostalgia seemed to be a solid fusion of vaporwave and future funk in a way that's much more clear of what it's trying to be, taking the slower, effect heavy elements of the former genre while keeping the original beat patterns that retain its status as the latter. I will say though, after listening to this album in full, I came back to it and it grew off me a lot, and that's because this style was not only wash/rinse/repeat for the album, but it grew tiring super fast later on in the album, especially thanks to the tracks Roulé Doolé, King K and What We Both Want, all of which are way too fucking long and repetitious to the point that got annoying.

The first half of the album was not very good, but the second half of this was even worse with its guest features - especially the two tracks in particular that feature rap verses. I don't know if it was 3D's rapping or the guests' rapping, but this is easily the whitest shit I've heard in the genre. These two tracks are Stop Reading and Start the Game as well as Legends of the Late, the former has a shitty refrain that consists throughout the entire track to the point of insanity, and the latter is absolutely confusing and structure-less. On second listen, I definitely appreciate Ruby a lot more, even though it's not great, it is easily the best track on the album; it has a fantastic groove and is more serious than any other cut here, and I do unironically enjoy thatAriana Grandesample.

But overall, I just really disliked this thing. It doesn't help that the vocal samples that pop up between tracks or parts of tracks have gotten more meme-focused and overall pretty fucking awful. Trust me, I love Eric Andre as much as the next guy, but slapping him at the front of Roulé Doolé is super redundant to the point where it hurts the face of future funk to come. I will say that the sample chopping and screwing has improved a ton, but what does that say when the music is so boring and tiring? The worst vaporwave and future funk always comes from the producers that see these genres for their irony and memes, and 3D Blast will always fall into that category for me.

MOST FAVS: Ruby
LEAST FAV: Stop Reading and Start the Game

3/10
Labor Days
Sep
02
2019

2.00 stars
[Rating117482661]
Many people agree that this is Aesop Rock's best record, so going into this, I was expecting it to sound a lot more interesting than his most recent records that I've enjoyed. Unfortunately though, the only thing that caught my ears were Aesop Rock's vocal inflections made different to sound like he hasn't taken a shower in over a week. Not much else.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those listeners that prioritizes the sound of an album over its lyrical content. Doesn't mean they don't add or subtract to a record for me, it's just that if I want to hear any compelling words, I would want them over equally compelling instrumentation. By contrast, every single beat on this album is plain and boring. I get that this came out not too long after the 90's, but I feel like it still came out a decade later than it should have.

The only other thing that caught my ear was the final lyrics to No Regrets, and bits of lyrics elsewhere in the track, that talk about fulfilling a life without wasting any time. I appreciate that, but most of the time, I try to pick up lyrics, and they're completely blurred thanks to the blurriness of the overall sound of this record. Not a single other track is distinct to one another, and eventually I started skipping through them after a minute each, because I knew they weren't gonna change anything mid-track to make the whole album click for me. Sure, that's an ignorant way of thinking that shuts off any chances of redemption, but after 5 or 6 tracks, I was boldly certain that this was not how I was gonna spend my hour. I'll pass.

4/10
Since I Left You
Feb
23
2019

3.50 stars
[Rating109672177]
Almost every single sample off of this hour-long experience blends into themselves to create a seamless and cohesive set of tracks.

Now, does this come off as creative and mind-blowing to the majority of the music fanbase who loves this album? Absolutely.

To me? Personally? I can't say that I'm thrilled by this at all, save for the odd standout such as Frontier Psychiatrist. I've listened to a ton of plunderphonics records before this, even though they came out well after this, and as a result, I'm just not excited for this one at all. It doesn't stand out to me because the whole thing is just a blur compared to other albums of this genre that surpass expectations, which brings me to how predictable this album is on top of that. It's an album that so many people can dance to while I'll just be sitting by the corner on my phone, and nothing comes off as eclectic, playful, complex or surreal, especially compared to what I've heard before.

I pretty much feel the same way towardsDJ Shadow'sEndtroducing....., except that it's even more sluggish and boring than what the Avalanches bring to the table on this one. Plus, they can pull off a funky beat when they try, and it does work for some of the time. I'm just not excited over either of these albums.

That being said,

I still think this is a good album.

So I'll just leave it at that.

7/10
Thank You
Feb
17
2019

3.50 stars
[Rating109413005]
Can definitely see this working in a better execution

I can understand where all of the hate is coming from, the vocals are purposefully amateurish, the noise can seem overbearing at times and while the melodies are often charming, the lyrics do seem to be more blunt and odd than most other records, but... I like it!

There is a lot to be worked on though, for me anyways. My main issues with this album mainly run down to the vocals. I get where Rook and Devi are going for with sounding damaged or desperate or maybe even rebellious... I could be wrong but that's what I'm getting from it. However, they're just such a detriment to the sonic enjoyability of this record, because if there's meant to be a vocal melody on here, these girls are far from on-pitch, not to mention the few bits of autotune don't even come close to helping them. And if not, and they're instead just trying to deliver some screamo or rap styled vocal deliveries, which they kinda tread towards on quite a few moments, they could definitely be more refined and stronger than they are on this record.

Aside from that, there's quite a bit to enjoy here if you're a big fan of noise pop, especially the noisiest of noise pop. There is a lot of clipping and distortion on here, which can get overbearing at times, but there are moments where that can be enjoyed quite a lot! There're moments where the noise can fit over the track for the better, even on the choruses where the melodies are supposed to be the forefront to them. For that, I enjoy it quite a bit, and the chords and harmonies on other parts, with or without the noise, they're very enjoyable more often than not! I can definitely say that the production is a selling point here, even if it does have its misses.

Overall, I enjoyed it, at least for its short runtime. I guess I can see myself coming back to this if I'm feeling like I want to go fucking apeshit, but there's better records to fulfill that more than this. I know some of the hate is justified, it's definitely not for everybody, but you're given enough fair warning by the album cover and tracklist alone. But otherwise, I see a lot of potential here! Definitely not one the best sophomore releases I've ever heard, but if they hunkered down and focused on a more refined yet just as noisy listen, then you're definitely gonna wanna keep an eye on them for quite some time.

6/10
Behind the Front
Nov
23
2019

3.50 stars
[Rating120996928]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 01 - Behind the Front

Yeah, this one is weird. For a Black Eyed Peas debut, it really is a good one, but it's got mighty flaws. I won't be the first to admit that the game show themed skits are fucking awful. The performances on those are terrible and the concept just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There are some tracks in the front half of this album that are really lackluster, and only the singles featured on that side shine the most both in lyricism and production, skits aside - and thank god there's no more than three of those skits on this album. From the fourth track's bland, smooth jazz influenced tune, to Clap Your Hands' two minutes of material desperately stretched out to five, not to mention Movement's use of the generic electricity sound effect and Be Free's techno stems that are insultingly bad throughout.

I think that's why it's called Behind the Front, because once you leave the front half of this album behind, that's where the album really shines. The production throughout is much more enjoyable, it really shines past the bland, flavourless production, and even if the lyrics aren't incredible, they're still much more competent than the music community gives them credit for. I think the production throughout is what's the most tasteful here, especially the flutes on What It Is, which inspires the song's incredibly chilled out vibes that I love a lot. Duet's beat is the best kind of smooth, some lush touches on the beat that feel really natural, and Love Won't Wait has fantastic musicianship on the guitars throughout the song.

I haven't talked about it a lot yet, but the best tracks on this album easily go to the singles, no doubt. Fallin' Up is a great into, Joint & Jam is really fun (though that might just be my biased nostalgia for the music video), Karma has the best lyrical themes on the album (and another great video too), What It Is - as I've already said - is incredibly laid-back and relaxed while also having some fun, and Head Bobs has the most aggressive beat of the record - it goes hard for all the right reasons.

If this album has taught me anything, it's that exploring the Black Eyed Peas discography is going to be... very interesting. They clearly don't have the best reputation out there, and even this album has some shocking surprises, from the vomit beat on Be Free to a feature on Duet from fuckingRedfoo??? Redfoo featured on a BEP album from 1998????? I already get the feeling that I'm gonna need to buckle in, because I'm in for a ride to say the least.
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Bridging the Gap
Nov
24
2019

3.00 stars
[Rating121037751]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 02 - Bridging the Gap

Yeah, I'll have to admit, this one's pretty unremarkable compared to the first album they did. Similar to their debut, and Imeansimilar, their shining moments have always been the singles, but I'm kinda leaning on a bias for having their DVD as a kid, so please take that comment with a grain of salt. Of course that's not strongly the case for this album, nor their previous, because there are deep cuts that I really enjoy - specifically Release, which I think has a really fun beat (but that's probably because it was part of a music video I grew up with too), and Go Go, which has a really eclectic back and forth between the members of the trio. I can compliment the beats that will.i.am produces all day, especially on the first leg of the record, but they're definitely not reinventing the wheel like they say they aim to.

I'll be honest, when it comes to a lot - if not all - of my first listen experiences, the lyrics very much fly over my head, except of course for the singles. However, some of the topics that the trio tried to aim for on a few of these cuts are pretty bad - noticeably so. The opening track for example, a decent way to boot the record up, but if the hook proves anything, the song is pretty much - in the words of the almighty Brian David Gilbert - "a mid-2000's suburban mother's conception of rap." That's gotta sting when the song debuted as soon as the decade did. Weekends was one of my favourite singles and I still have a soft spot for it, but it's still pretty vapid in its party lyrics and painfully generic DJ scratches. However, that's not even the worst of Black Eyed Peas' topics in this record.

Bringing it Back leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's probably not the first time BEP are pretending to revitalize the conscious lyricism of hip-hop, but they're certainly not good at being conscious of how derivativetheyare in most of their early material. You're not bringing it back, so stop acting like it. However, the truly worst song I've ever heard from the Black Eyed Peas when it comes to lyrical topics is Rap Song - a song literally describing a girl and complimenting her as if she's a rap song. I'm starting to get a good grip as to why the group is so disliked upon the general hip-hop community.

There's not much else to say here. Get Original and Request + Line are tied for my favourite singles of this album, the former being a simple fun brag over a killer beat and delivery - especially Chali 2na's verse - and the latter that genuinely sounds like a beautiful way to close off the album because of its production. It's almost as sentimental as the hidden track, which reprises a lot of lyrics at the start of this record. Otherwise, there's really nothing left to acknowledge here besides the decent production and occasional instrumental skits in-between tracks. I'll give it to them for being a bit more consistent this time around.
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Masters of the Sun Vol. 1
Nov
29
2019

0.50 stars
[Rating121272149]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 07 - Masters of the Sun Vol. 1

Nah, I didn't like this one at all. There was not a second of it that I would call great. That was absolutely dreadful. Granted it's not their most laughably bad album, but it's because it's their least entertaining, least essential and least compelling album to date. Some people, in fact many people, will argue that this is their best album, and that's fine? I can definitely say it's their most consistent album, but that's pretty dire, and I guess the production is probably their most tasteful since, I don't know, Elephunk? I'm reaching for positives here, because despite a few good pumping beats, there's really nothing special to this at all.

I can at least say that even on their most baffling attempts at anything, on their worst albums and worst songs prior, even on Monkey Business, there was mostly a degree of entertainment to be had on almost all of them, for better and for worse - hell, even on Monkey Business, there's still a few singles to which I adore. This was not entertaining at all, unless of course you're catching a certain tasteless lyric or an even more tasteless sample. Seriously, I caught samples from Soul II Soul, Beastie Boys and Suzanne Vega that I've already heard sampled before, and I am willing to fight that their Dick Dale sample on Pump It was way more tasteful than any of the samples here, sans the one use for Ring the Alarm's beat, which is again not much.

I should get into the lyrics that I caught. Thanks to how uninteresting a lot of these beats are, it's harder than ever now to distract yourself from any bad lines you catch. Right from the get go, BACK 2 HIPHOP all the way up until probably NEW WAVE, you're gonna catch Will, Apl and Taboo each drop lines every now and again that expresses that same trashy mumble rap complaints that you get from every other faux woke old-school rappers (think Eminem for example). They really are spending a bulk of this record being completely and predictably fake woke. Why did I not expect this. I should've completely expected this. Doesn't help that each member ends their verse on RING THE ALARM by saying they are "god body" as if that makes any fucking sense at all.

I could go over more that I've taken note of, but I really don't want to, so I'll just leave it at BIG LOVE, which is a fucking awful closer. This is essentially them going back into making full-on pop rap for no fucking reason other than to continue selling out like they've promised not too, with the hook "all that we're made of is big love" which makes me question if the Peas are even human at this point, and a painful fade-out. From the start of this discography onward, I had faith in the Peas that they wouldn't be as deserving of their hate and flack throughout the music community as much as they got it, and now that I've finally reached their latest effort to date, I can say that I fully understand everything now. I have lost all empathy for the Black Eyed Peas going forward, and that's not gonna be redeemed anytime soon.
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Elephunk
Nov
25
2019

1.50 stars
[Rating121099077]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 03 - Elephunk

Yeah, okay, wow, what a fucking disaster. Going into this one, I expected the utterly tasteless lyric change to Let's Get It Started (to which I will refer to the edit as Let's Get R-Slurred), I expected the shift from quote-unquote "conscious" music to pop rap - which was a very weird change considering what they were going for before - and I was expecting the singles to shine above the rest. But holy shit, the album was much worse than that, worse than I ever expected. Every track here was notable, and for the most part not for the right reasons at all. Let's go through this album track-by-track, but first, make sure you buckle your seatbelts.

The first two tracks, Hands Up and Labor Day are both complete wastes of time. The instrumentals to these tracks are less than unremarkable, and absolutely nothing stands out from them. I got bored very fast, despite fully anticipating the singles that should've front-loaded this album. Let's Get R-Slurred has that lyric change you'd expect, except the delivery from the start makes me vomit. Fun fact: That's not the only part that's changed! In fact, the entire instrumental has been reworked in the censored version, and this original mix is far more empty and stiff. Hey Mama was a very good single for me when I was a kid, but hearing the album version felt so off for me, especially thanks to the god awful, borderline insulting vocal appearance by Tippa Irie.

Shut Up remains to be one of my favourite singles thanks to the tune and delivery, but the mixing that I finally hear in my studio headphones is a bit weird, especially Taboo's awful vocal mix here. Smells Like Funk, Latin Girls and Fly Away are not that remarkable either, but at least better than the first two tracks. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the deep cuts, but of course that can't happen. We have Sexy, which doesn't sound too bad at first... until will.i.am (and only will.i.am) opens his mouth. Those have got to be some of the worst will.i.am verses I've ever heard, Jesus Christ. And The Boogie That B is laaaaame. It is so lame, from the vocals to the production, it's just completely unenjoyable despite how it takes a similar sound palette to the rest of this album.

The final leg of this album is by far the most... interesting. We have The APL Song, an apl.de.ap dedicated song where he raps about his origins in the Philippines, where he came from, what he once called home and how he thrived in their version of the ghetto. It's so heartfelt for a single and it's easily one of the most tasteful Black Eyed Peas tracks ever. And then Anxiety blows that out of the water with a ear-grating Papa Roach collaboration in the form of overblown rap metal, and more than anything else so far, it's one of the most baffling things I've ever heard. I really couldn't stop laughing at its existence. And before you could stop for breath, you reach Where is the Love, which is about as good of a conscious pop song as you could've remembered, and it was one of the best songs the group ever made. Just that huge contrast between the last three tracks is the cherry on top of this thing, I really couldn't say anything more.
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Monkey Business
Nov
26
2019

1.00 stars
[Rating121144580]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 04 - Monkey Business

Yeah, that was monkey business alright. Holy shit, what were they thinking? I'm glad that I did this in a listening party with friends, because this was fun, but it was fucking agony too. I cannot believe any of this. I genuinely went into this discography thinking I was going to be lenient to these guys, but it really fucking tanked, the whole thing, with this album. I was going into this with a good mood, right? Like I enjoyed quite a bit of the first leg of this; Pump It, Don't Phunk With My Heart and especially Like That were all really great singles, and even the kid in me made me indifferent towards My Humps at worst due to pure nostalgia but... I really could not fucking believe all the executive decisions Will and the gang made for the entire album. The further I kept going into the album, the more I look back at My Humps with the taste of dirt in my mouth.

First of all, don't let the aesthetics of the cover art fool you, right? Because they do fit over the singles well, but once you get to the deep cuts, that is thrown out the window completely. Key example is Gone Going, which is fucking stunning. Like, I was scared shitless by the shit they were doing, because from the acoustic guitar to the vocals, before I knew it, I was listening to the sunniest, most jarringly bright Black Eyed Peas song I've ever heard. Like if you're really serious about using that, I'd rather have Chance's The Big Day be used as the cover art here, because that was embarrassing.

There was enough to be said about that one song for a whole paragraph, and it doesn't get much better. That song if followed up by They Don't Want Music featuring the now late James Brown, which has no business being the longest individual Black Eyed Peas song to this day. With an incredibly lame beat and ridiculously shitty lyrics on not only this but the rest of the entire album, that song was six and a half minutes far too long. Disco Club is really no better at all, especially because the whole track sounds like it was being performed by a marching band! What a fucking awful tone and sound palette to waste on a disco song.

I can't even talk the positives anymore because they are completely eclipsed by this awful fucking album. I liked Bebot when I first heard it - I thought it was another great opportunity for Apl to rap about his hometown again, which was great - but in the context of the record, man is it so much worse and especially repetitive. The last two tracks are fine but only sonically. I can't even begin to recap any of the several shitty lyrics throughout this thing, they're so bad. This era of pop rap from the Black Eyed Peas turned out so much fucking worse than I expected, and they subverted my expectations beyond belief. Just enjoy Like That and never listen to this album in bulk.
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The E.N.D.
Nov
27
2019

2.50 stars
[Rating121188597]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 05 - The E.N.D

Yeah, I can't make heads or tails with this one, honestly. This was the one album by the Black Eyed Peas where I remembered listening to every detail of it when I was a kid, and that includes all the weird interludes and transitions, except I had no conception of lyrical analysis. The one I dedicated the least memory to was definitely Out of My Head, so that's probably why it's my least favourite track. There's a lot to go off of here, at least for me compared to the other records, but not a lot of it good. The singles are all flawed, even though they're marginally the best tracks on here, especially I Gotta Feeling which sounds more genuine and celebratory than any other Peas song - even One Tribe which tries too hard to be genuine and celebratory. The deep cuts though are not that much different except with more noticeable flaws.

I'll quickly mention something about the lyrics before we go into anything else: these are easily the Peas' most vapid and wasteful bars to date. Maybe it's good to have empty lyrics instead of cringe-worthy lines like on Monkey Business (one of the only times you'll ever catch me using the term cringe-worthy), but if you want to love this album, then you're gonna have to bereallylenient towards the lyrics and the production here. Speaking of, the production is just as empty as well. Any one of these songs could be improved drastically with more dense layering on the production, and I would be much happier with this album, but another problem that rises up is much more insulting. This album is essentially a pop rap group trying to appeal to Gen X families who have never heard a Daft Punk song in their lives - there is so much blatant ripping off of Daft Punk influences and sound palettes all over this album, it's repulsive - Rock That Body, Alive, Missing You and Rockin' to the Beat especially.

I know I've been nothing but a negative nancy on this record, but I'm gonna be honest, there's a reason I'm indifferent toward the thing overall: because in the words of YouTuber MicTheSnare on this exact same subject, I can't bring myself to hate it. This is really because I already listened to and loved this album a lot as a child, but I was hoping that was gonna be an advantage for me to like this album. The truth is that all that nostalgia made me do is feel impartial to it at most. That doesn't mean I didn't dislike anything of it. Alive was tiring and derivative, the beat drop on the opening verse to Meet Me Halfway was irredeemably weak, and do I need to go into Now Generation's lyrics? Do I have to? I don't want to.

Speaking of which, I swear to god, the beat to Now Generation is a blatant sample, and I wish I know what it was, and I'm hearing a weird Ricky Martin interpolation on Showdown, which on its own is a weird fucking song. I think the moment where the pure hatred for the lack of taste and creativity the Black Eyed Peas had on this album was on Party All the Time, which from the intro, had some potential, but as soon as the beat drop came, the deal was broken. I was expecting something so much more satisfying and grand than this, similarly to I Gotta Feeling's drop, but apparently that was a very high bar for them somehow. Yet despite every single thing I mentioned here, there are moments peppered throughout this album that for absolutely inexplicable reasons I enjoy quite a bit, and I feel a mild guilty pleasure underlining every second of it despite how much of a void this album is in total, which nearly scares me as much as the album cover did back when I was a kid - but that's a different story.
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The Beginning
Nov
28
2019

2.00 stars
[Rating121232772]
The Gecko explores Black Eyed Peas: Ep. 06 - The Beginning

Yeah, I don't know where to begin with this one - pun not intended, somehow. It's definitely not a good album, but it's easily not their worst, and I think that is something I'll put to blame the most on the production, at least when it works. I am a huge EDM fan, my love for music blossomed with it, and it will always have a special place in my heart... but the EDM that I grew to love came from genuine EDM artists that helped build the craft to what it is today. Black Eyed Peas on the other hand rip directly from just that, artists like Daft Punk just like with their last album and this time around, deadmau5, with just as many blatant copycat moments, made doubly insulting when Will says "This is that original, this has no identical." No wonder Daft Punk told him to fuck off, cuz now it's clear to me more than ever what type of person will.i.am is.

What kinda makes this production more forgivable for me, with no good reason at all, is that the production is a lot more dense and less empty than The E.N.D was, which isn't that much of a compliment when it's still that deeply derivative and tasteless. The track Whenever is a prime example of both. There is no reason why they should try sunny acoustic guitar strums over a thudding beat, one of the hardest on the record, and somehow it works over much better than those same shitty sunny guitar attempts over at Monkey Business. Doesn't make it a good song, but definitely a better one. While I'm at it, the start of Light Up the Night reminds me so much of the better moments of Elephunk while The BOY has a pretty average yet admirable house drop that actually makes it one of their most properly celebratory sounding songs since I Gotta Feeling, which kinda makes sense since I was told David Guetta had a hand in producing them both.

Not much Daft Punk influence shows up too much on this album, it only ever shines through on Fashion Beats, and when it does, the shine is of blinding, painful light, because it is so blatant. Matter of fact though, the deadmau5 influences are also blatant on other tracks when you consider how much of his sounds show up on tracks like The BOY, Someday and especially Don't Stop the Party. Again, that opening line from Will acts like they just don't even exist, and that's awfully scummy. While I'm on Someday though, I'll say that it is their best track here. Seriously. It has no reason to, it is still as lyrically void and instrumentally derivative as the rest of the album, but the execution of it all makes it work so much more than every single other track here, even the Dirty Bit single that kicks it off - which by the way, looking back at that chorus... Fuck off, Will and Fergie. You two have no rights to that chorus.

There isn't really that much I can say? I mean, Love You Long Time has certainly no drop to it, not even that much bone to a meatless song, and apl.de.ap and especially Taboo really don't make that much of an appearance on this album, it's essentially a will.i.am and Fergie album more than ever, which is really unfortunate given what they were from the beginning, thank goodness their comeback remedied that. I'll give it to the band for having enough mercy for making this their shortest album at the time, and less songs too, because that could've really made the album more meandering. That being said though, this is definitely a less interesting album than The E.N.D by a large margin, and maybe as enjoyable but still more insulting for sure.
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Boris at Last -Feedbacker-
Jul
02
2019

4.00 stars
[Rating114960406]
Boris at Last - Feedbacker (2003)

*listens to Boris at Last - Feedbacker once*

*lays on the floor in the fetal position, shivering*

8/10

------------------------------------------------------------

Actual Review (based on first reaction)
I don't know about you, but when I first started this album, I was stone cold lukewarm towards part one of this record, because by no means was I immediately captivated by the drone metal recording, and I was a little bored by the first half of part two. But once it got noisier and noisier, that's when the impact of this record really started to take hold of me.

Then part three was when the noise rock really fucking kicked in, and to me, that was the centerpiece that started making me really fall in love with this record. It was also the buildup to the immense climax that was part four, which shattered me. I was absolutely scared of what I was hearing and actually feared for my life as it went on.

Part five is the calm after the storm, and a bit uneventful, nearly as much as part two was going to be, but given everything before that, it was the perfect closer to what was one of the scariest albums I've ever witnessed. I'm pretty sure that when I relisten to this, the first two parts will make more sense, but for now, on the scale...

8/10
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The Ascension
Jul
21
2019

2.50 stars
[Rating115709645]
I just think the instrumentation on a lot of this one is so much more scant and lifeless than it is at all dense or tense. It does have a few moments, but none of it really budges my overall rating of it, and I'm just very disappointed in this one after I was asked to have Lesson No. 1 on Electric Guitar set my expectations to this thing.
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Hold On Now Youngster
Sep
29
2019


[Rating118625906]
I feel betrayed. For a good majority of this past decade, I had a passionate love for the song You! Me! Dancing! ever since I first heard it on a stick-figure animated collaboration web series. Then when I tried to find a way to download it, the version I heard on theSticking Fingers Into SocketsEP had a completely off-putting recording of the bass and especially the drums. I had given up searching for this version until just today when I had found out that they had a debut album featuring this song, and I was invited to a listening party of that album. I was so excited, and then when I finally got to that track, it was a completely different performance with different sounding recordings or instruments, as well as minute details completely swapped over for others. Having ran into that version, I thought it sounded completely awful and ruined the momentum of the record. Then I went searching and finally found the version that I fell in love with so much, only to find that it was in a low-quality demo EP titled the same as their debut album! I've never been fond of the idea of enjoyingdemoordemo-soundingalbums, so this just adds to the betrayal even more for me.

Now I know how Ashley Ninelives felt when they heard 2018'sNervous Young Inhumans.
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Hold on Now, Youngster...
Sep
29
2019

3.50 stars
[Rating118624478]
That is far and away the worst version of You! Me! Dancing! I have ever heard. Rest of the album's really good tho.
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Trout Mask Replica
Jun
16
2019

4.00 stars
[Rating114315722]
I've had so much fucking fun with this one.
Twin Fantasy
Mar
18
2019

2.50 stars
[Rating110616610]
Certainly better than I thought it was going to be.

Doesn't mean I totally like it tho.

It made me like Beach Life-In-Death much more, that's the very least I can give this album for what it is.
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Growing Up Gay
Jun
14
2019

2.50 stars
[Rating114238839]
Probably the most torn I've ever been on an album.

I have so many positives, negatives and neutrals about this album, it's frustrating. You kick this off with the first chunk of the record that's fine, just alright, but mostly due to the unique instrumentals that were given to them thanks to the likes ofFIRE-TOOLZat the production, as otherwise you'd get flows and rapping lyrics that border onto Logic levels of cheese. Then you have the second chunk that ranges from mediocre to downright awful, especially Dance which is just really boring, and the title track which just sounds awfully irritating. Not to mention the Venetian Snares feature which feels so conflicting in terms of both the sound and the execution, which is just plain weird to the point of indifference. Then we're followed up with the final chunk of this record that's consistently great! The lyrics are good (even if it did the whole spiritual lyrical miracle thing at one point) and the production was by and far the best that this album had to offer. There are so many highs and so many lows of this record, that I'm just borderline split on this thing.

On the scale?5/10
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Summer Love
Feb
19
2019

3.50 stars
[Rating109488486]
The Most Laid-Back a Future Funk Album Can Get

Future funk is a faulty genre. After the pioneering album that isHit VibesbySaint Pepsiand later the rise of artists to continue the genre such asマクロスMACROSS 82-99, Yung BaeandDesired, everyone and their mum has been trying their hand at the genre to make it as bombastic and exciting as possible in recent years, often blowing the levels out of proportion, and as a result, a lot of them unfortunately fall short of any excitement. This is likely because as more and more future funk albums of this vein are made, albums of the genre that deviate from the norm end up coming across a lot more character ("for better or for worse" I say as I side-eye3D BLAST's content). But often, there are also very few albums from the genre that pull back from those booming levels and come though with something a lot more chill, a lot more relaxing, at least for future funk standards.

EnterSummer LovebyDan Mason, an artist that otherwise came through with as much sub-par vaporwave attempts as the next person, instead deciding to pull up to Business Casual with a full-on future funk EP and album (I say EP as he released that a year before). Unlike a lot of future funk albums, this one doesn't attempt to me a crowded party fetching from 80's/90's aesthetics. Sure the may be present on this album, both in aesthetic and samples, but they're not as prevalent or potent. Rather, a bulk of this album achieves something more laid-back, a lot more than the average future funk album. So instead of an overwhelming party, you get a nice, relaxing day at a local poolside, where everyone's either chilling or having fun. I like that, I really do, you rarely get that sort of feel in many albums, and this one really fits the bill.

I will admit though, as much as I enjoy this one, it's still a faulty album. Most notably due to two things. One, if you're looking for a future funk album that makes an effort to chop and screw with their samples much in a way that makes them different to the sample, you're not really gonna find that here. Two, this album, a fair bit of the time, ends up using a lot of samples that, while are tried and true to the genre, have been used quite a lot before, so you're not really getting a completely new or original album in this genre. There are samples here that I recognize were sampled on other future funk songs before, hell even more than once. That's another thing with future funk, there are a ton of reused samples throughout its history, and at that point, I understand why Dan Mason decided to try and make a new take on sample-less vaporwave later on albums such asHypnagogia, even if I wouldn't be a fan of it at all.

That said, I do enjoy this album for what it is, and I appreciate how laid-back it is a lot of the time. It's still not completely original, nor is it anything too exciting or especially unique, so don't go into this album expecting anything too great. Still, it's well done and very appreciable.

7/10
Peasant
Jun
07
2019

2.00 stars
[Rating113941516]
This is that type of songwriting and lyricism that I was forced to sit through in short stories and poems in English class at high school to the point where it felt so tedious and tiring, and now that I'm hearing this in album form, I now see the medieval themes and acoustics to be a lot more novelty than sincere, and the whole thing just sounds like it belongs in a museum for teens to go on a school trip to, save for the guitar freakouts that I enjoy less than I would've wanted to. I can't really get behind this one at all, save for a few tracks that felt like it benefited from its grand and epic choral features.
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