Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Self Titled


Over the years Alexander Ebert and his gang have been preaching the beauty of life, love and music, and their 2013 self titled record continues to deliver those messages.

35-year-old Alexander has gone through a lot in his life and music is his therapy, this is very obvious once again in this record. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros channels back to the bands fantastic 2009 debut album Up From Below while also incorporating some of the more mysterious darker tones of their not quite as fantastic 2012 album Here. The band found major success from their break out single Home, but seemed to distance themselves form that toe-tapping, dancey sound on Here, an understandable artistic decision, but I'm sure the bands fans are very happy to hear some much more positive, uplifting sounds on this LP. Tracks like Better Days, Country Calling and In The Lion produce some jazzy bass-lines, funky melodies, and groovy hooks that Here was desperately calling for.

"These songs mean everything to me - It's the rawest, most liberated, most rambunctious stuff we've done." Alexander claims on a facebook post for the announcement of the new album back in May 2013. Lyrically, this is clearly some of the best stuff we've heard from the band, "Try to remember, that you can't forget / Down with history, up with your head" Alex sings with the Zeros cheerfully backing him up on the records introduction track Better Days.

The album wraps up with the epic tune This Life, a perfect choice for the finale. Alexander sings of the troubled times of his old life and his decision to never go back. "Oh, this life ain't for me now / It's for you." That's what Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are all about. Reflect, move on and rejoice.

-The Talent

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jay Z - Magna Carta Holy Grail


Jay Z is back with his twelfth studio album "Magna Carta Holy Grail", his first solo album in four years since fairly weak "The Blueprint 3". Clearly Jay wanted to return with a vengeance, and with a title like this that contains two historically powerful items such as the Magna Carta and the Holy Grail, and that is certainly the case here.

It appears that after working with Kanye West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch The Throne over the years has rubbed off on Jay. MCHG shows reminiscents of both albums. It has this very larger than life and epic quality to it, almost like Jay is trying to finally prove that he's one of the best, if not thee best in the business as Watch The Throne did for him and 'Ye. I truely think this is Jay's attempt of his own My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, just maybe not as dark and twisted.

Jay through out this LP is telling us he's the "king", and rightly so. We're gonna need to come up with some sort of Magna Carta to stop him from putting a beating on everyone in the game as he sips from his holy grail. He takes the opportunity in Tom Ford to let every one know he's in his own category of rap. He's mot about the Molly life, as it seems most rappers and hip hop artists are these days, as they suggest to using it, in their lyrics. He doesn't pop Molly he rocks Tom Ford. He's a class act, he'd rather spend his money on classy tailored suits than indulging in opiates.

The albums pinnacle eighth track "Crown" is the perfect representation of the album's theme and the albums title. Jay screams out "You in the presence of a king / Scratch that, you in the presence of a God" at the beginning of his verse on the track. Through out the record he's making references of being a "king" and being a "god", hence the album's title. Much like Kanye's Yeezus. The track sounds very familiar to I Am A God, using similar screams through out the song and what sounds like Capleton's voice that was heard in the very beginning of I Am A God. But if anyone is aloud to have their track sound similar to 'Ye's, it's his best bud Jay Z.

The Album features collaborations with power houses like Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Beyonce, Rick Ross, Nas and production from Pharrell, Timbaland, Travis Scott, Swizz Beats and many more helping to create one of Jigga's better solo efforts.

-The Talent