Looking for new music? DJs at WVAU share their thoughts on a range of recent releases.
A$AP Rocky | LongLiveA$AP
The iconoclastic New York swag rapper’s major label debut mixes brains with the cheapest of thrills.
While “LongLiveA$AP” isn’t as consistent as “LiveLoveA$AP,” the 2011 mixtape that introduced the narcissistic talent of A$AP Rocky to the music-consuming public (and earned him the major label deal), it still boasts its share of standout bangers.
The opening pair of title track and “Goldie” combine extremely infectious, bombastic beats with Rocky’s signature, easy-riding flow.
Later, as Rocky begins to sound same-y, a staggering number of guests come in to help him out, including Schoolboy Q (“PMW”), Santigold (“Hell”), Kendrick Lamar and Drake (“Thank Me Later”), Skrillex (”Wild for the Night”), and a horde of the game’s hottest young MCs on the mighty posse cut “1 Train.”
The album closes with another strong pair of tracks, the Danger Mouse-produced “Phoenix” and the soulful “Suddenly,” on which Rocky introduces levels of personality and sensitivity hinting at new directions for the victory-lapping rapper.
Recommended If You Like: Kanye West, Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Skrillex
By Jesse Paller - Desolation Row, Thursdays, 10 p.m. - midnight
Toro Y Moi | Anything In Return
Chaz Bundick is back and ready to party.
Chaz Bundick, who performs under the stage name “Toro Y Moi,” covers all the types of vibes you would want to hear at a party in his newest album, “Anything in Return.” There are also some nice chill wave tracks — which is what Toro Y Moi is known for — like “Touch” and “High Living.”
There are some great pop tracks, like his singles “Say That” and “So Many Details,” but Bundick spreads his horizons with some really solid dance tracks like “Cake” and “Never Matter.”
Vocally, this is some of the best work that Bundick has released. This album is much more confident, lyrically centered and just easier to sing along to than his earlier work.
Musically, this album is beat-driven and bass-heavy, creating a foundation for Bundick to go off of but then return back to, instead of drifting around freely. The pop-driven track-ins in “Anything In Return” makes it the most accessible album Toro Y Moi has released to date.
RIYL: Washed Out, Small Black, Neon Indian
By Drew Sher - Fur Sher, Saturdays 4-6 p.m.
Yo La Tengo | Fade
It’s all in the details.
With their newest release, Yo La Tengo explores a musical style that takes them far away from their normal sound.
As opposed to their comparatively up-tempo albums, there is a pronounced presence of atmospheric accompaniment and mellow vocalization on “Fade.”
While this subdued trait is done well on most of the album, there are times where it is overdone, like on “Well You Better” where the vocals are mixed uncomfortably low, leading to a muddled effect.
Outside of these rare instances, the low-key vocalization allows for the detail in the instrumentation to come forward. Horns and high end percussion weave together on tracks like opener “Ohm” and “Cornelia and Jane” that complement the emotive lyrics. Subtle growth is seen on tracks like “Is That Enough” that is easily overlooked.
As a whole, “Fade” shows another side to this eclectic group and displays their ability to create subtle yet intricate detail.
RIYL: Sparklehorse, Pavement, Spiritualized
By Leigh Hopkins - Ambient Bloom, Wednesdays midnight-2 a.m.