Tag Archives: DOOM

Favorite Albums of 2009 (Chase)

Right now, I feel like a lazy bastard. 2009 is passing by, and the most remarkable event of the year for me was seeing Billy Ray Cyrus in a Starbucks. However, all my inaction allowed for me to soak up all the music and beer that arose this year.

It’s hard for me to imagine a busier year in music. With a slew of long awaited follow-ups (Flaming Lips, Eminem, Sonic Youth), new side projects (Bad Lieutenant, Beak, Them Crooked Vultures) and music news in general ( Blur reuniting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Oasis split, Michael Jackson’s death), 2009 really out did itself.

I’ve put my picks of the year, in no particular order, below.

BEST ALBUMS OF 2009

Dan Deacon “Bromst”

Coming strong of the ridiculous, and often too much to handle Spiderman of the Rings, Dan Deacon set off to blow minds. Well, that what Bromst did for me anyway. A musical venture to Toon Land that never seems to run out of energy.

Flaming Lips “Embryonic”

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my Flaming Lips to heavily doped out. For the past two records, it seemed the Lips had decided to leave the psycho-tropics out of the recording studio. We here at SiA are pleased to annouce that with Embryonic, drug-induced music made a come back, and the Lips revitalized themselves. Hurrah!

DOOM “Born Like This”

Since 2005, the Supervillain himself, MF DOOM, seemed to fall off the face of the earth. Earlier this year, he dropped the “MF” from his name and unleashed his best solo outing to date upon the world. Featuring some excellent J Dilla production and unprecedented DOOM flow, it was a most welcome return.

Animal Collective “Merriweather Post Pavilion”
Album after album, Animal Collective manage to hone their experimental music in to a finer degree. MWPP is an instant classic. It’s one of those career defining albums that will be a benchmark for the band’s potential. After this can only be mind shattering greatness, or disappointment.

Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest”

Before Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear proved that they were a great atmospheric band. But previous albums failed to make it past a 3 month rotation. This one, however, is different. GB forged together a great pop record, while maintaining that atmosphere the indie crowd tends to admire.

Raekwon “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2
Good hip-hop is hard to come by these days. I’ve had Ghostface Killah carrying the torch for the past few years, but his recent stumbles had me worried. Have no fear, Raekwon is here! The long awaited follow-up exceeds all expectations, and is one the best hip-hop records in the past 3 years.

Tom Waits “Glitter and Doom Live”
The Gravely One rarely tours, and his sold-out tour across America last year was not to be missed. Sadly, I did. Thankfully, snippets from the tour have been pieced together on this most excellent of live albums. His voice harsh as ever, his stage banter still supreme, and alternate versions of recent songs and classics make Glitter and Doom Live essential to fans of……well, music.
Dirty Projectors “Bitte Orca”
To say that the Dirty Projectors’ music is eccentric, is a bit of an understatement. Starts, stops, blips, beeps, and occasionally incomprehensible lyrics can scare some people off. Bitte Orca saw the group tighten things up a bit, and put out a stellar record worth hundreds of revisits. No wonder why David Byrne loves them so.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Animal Collective

No one really grabbed 2009 by the nuggets quite like Animal Collective did. They started off by releasing some of the best music of the year/their career in January with Merriweather Post Pavilion. Next, they supported that album with a great tour across the nation, with several major festival stops. They compiled an excellent box set of their work. And they finish the year strong with the 30+ minute Fall Be Kind EP, which shows that MWPP wasn’t their creative peak!

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR

Eminem’s Return To Music
I can admit, I’m not that big of an Eminem fan. His first few albums were juvenile, fun, somewhat creative and always interesting. His issues with self-image and drug abuse led him to rehab and a few years out of the limelight. 2009 was supposed to be his big comeback, but all we got was Relapse. A record with half-assed writing, mediocre beats and an Em seems to have lost all relevance to the music world. Sure it sold well, but ultimately the record was a creative failure. Maybe if I were 14 again I would have crowned him king, instead I’m just sharpening the guillotine.

-Chase

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Review: DOOM “Born Like This”

DOOM

It’s been a long time comin’. DOOM’s Born Like This is finally here. It’s been about 4 years since MF Doom last released an album. It’s been about 4 years since MF really did…..anything.

A lot has changed since he last cut an album, the 2005 cartoon-laced collaboration with Danger Mouse known as Danger Doom. He now simply goes by DOOM. It’s All Caps, just like one of his 2004 Madvillainy tracks suggests. And his voice has gotten raspier. So, how has DOOM repaid us for all those years of inactivity?

The best way possible: A triumphant return to independent/underground hip-hop.

Seriously, Born Like This is probably one of the better rap albums I’ve heard since that infamous Madvillain album. A totally different league than anything last year’s darling, Lil’ Wayne, has ever produced. It’s a serious head trip.

The first track on the album “Gazillion Ear” is an infectious number that showcases DOOM’s production/lyrics unlike ever before. And follow ups like “Ballskin” and “Rap Ambush” solidify the pace for the album. Fast, aggressive, and often unlike most rap albums you’ve heard.

Born Like This is probably his most character-heavy album. He’s always brought a persona to his albums, however the DOOM (Marvel Comics’ Dr. Doom) persona is really felt this time around. For the most part, it’s great (“That’s That”). Other times, it’s a little too much. This is really evident in the nearly homophobic “Batty Boyz,” where DOOM raps about how gay superheroes are. Explicitly. Also, on the track “Supervillainz,” which the beat starts, stops, stutters, and dies so much that it’s almost unlistenable.

Another issue that time has certainly strengthened is DOOM’s song structure. On his own, DOOM’s beats had a tendency to go too long. Most of 2003’s Mm…Food? is a good example of this. This time around, his songs are shorter and never outstay their welcome (aside from the aforementioned “Supervillainz”) And sometimes, the tracks are so good, you’d wish they’d stick around a little bit longer (“Still Dope” and “More Rhymin'”)

Born Like This is a brainy,zany, and uncanny hip hop album that gets better with every listen. Like his previous solo efforts, there a few duds (just the 2 this time around), but the flow of the album and creative beats on the other 15 tracks make it easy to overlook.

It’s good to have the Metalface back.

-Chase