I was trying to think of New Year ‘catch phrases’ but have come up with a few. Maybe something like, “2015: It’s Time!” or “2015: Get Into It!”, but since we’re a music blog I figure we’ll go with – “2015: Put It In Your Ears!”
Panda Bear | Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
After blitzing his record around the world, Panda Bear has released his 5th solo offering, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. Sounding vaguely sonically similar to his contributions to the 2012 Animal Collective record Centipede Hz, there were a lot of risks taken – because, well, the last Animal Collective was a bit of a disappointment. The main difference is the way Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) utilizes modern hip hop and electronica and combines it with his own wet sort of production that truly sets this apart from his earlier offerings.
Dan Mangan & Blacksmith | Club Meds
Without being preachy or necessarily self-indulgent, this is one of those records that probably could’ve done a lot more with a lot less. My keeping to their folky, alt-rock vibe, Dan Mangan and Blacksmith have allowed themselves the opportunity to fill in the gaps in however they want. They do this admirably, but one can get lost in a weird sense that instead of bashing musical ideas into your brain, this record presents it’s ideas softly, almost as a suggestion. This is an incredibly dark record overall, and probably isn’t best to lift you out of “winter blues” if that’s what you’re looking for.
Mark Ronson | Uptown Special
This album is exactly what you think it is: Soul, Funk, and R&B nerd and super-producer Mark Ronson gives you his 11-track take on late-70’s/80’s funk. After ‘Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)’ dropped late last year, we got a sneak peak at what the next 10 tracks would really sound like, and again, it’s exactly as advertised. Defiantly not all bangers, but what album is, right?