EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Craig Clemens

December 16, 2014

I had most of this already written in my head on Sunday. I looked up what was coming out this week on Friday and pre-listened to most of the albums over the weekend. Unfortunately, yesterday I was bedridden from an overly busy weekend, but thankfully nothing really of consequence was surprisingly released … nope…. no way something like a new D’Angelo record will drop or anything…


D’Angelo and the Vanguard | Black Messiah

…or maybe it will.

We should all buy a lottery ticket today cause the odds that this would ever see the light of day has been stagnantly low since work began on the Voodoo follow-up in 2001.

Over a decade of Prince-like control over musical direction, drug addiction, weight gain, police busts, reinvention, weight loss, teaser tours, and getting in public fights with ?uestlove, finally we have the second incarnation of D’Angelo’s catalog.

Recorded entirely to 2-inch tape (nothing digital at all) this record is getting mixed reviews on the first listen, however consensus is that after the 3rd or 4th time through, it’s a freaking epic LP. I know it’s been a long time, but I remember the same thing happening with Voodoo. That’s just how D’Angelo records roll, I guess.

Is this a classic record? A turning point of R&B and soul music? Probably not. Should this have really taken 13 years to produce? Probably not. It’s it exactly what we expected? Ultimately, yeah, it is.


Charli XCX | Sucker

‘Boom Clap’ is a great song, she did an admirable job on the hook for Iggy Azalia’s ‘Fancy’, but the rest of this offering? Pretty middle of the road. After the catchy creativeness of ‘Boom Clap’, for some reason I expected a full LP of creative pop music. I may have overestimated what Charli XCX was ultimately capable of. And for the record, I hope she proves me wrong in the future. This record, as a debut, lacks a new ‘sound’, anything that would set Charli XCX apart from all the other middle-of-the-road pop acts out there. Sure, she banks on her British background a lot, but by not really putting any of those elements into any other aspect other than the lyrics really makes the whole thing ring hollow. This record could be, and should have been a whole lot better.

Krill | Lucky Leaves

I try and include a wide cross-section of genres in these posts, but I think this is legitimately the first time I’ve features a real, honest-to-goodness, brand new grunge record. I’m pretty excited about this fact. This album sets the tone early by playing the theme they wrote themselves, ‘Theme for Krill’, which sets up the rest of the record for a sort of ambivalent garage-grunge that won’t nessesarily make you ‘think’ like maybe early 90’s grunge challenged the listeners at the time to do, but it will make you wonder if there is actually some steam left in the genre overall, even after post-grunge ruined everything.