This week we check out the primary album since 2010 from Neptunes aspect venture N.E.R.D., and the third album launched this 12 months by L.A. hip-hop collective Brockhampton.
N.E.R.D., No One Ever Actually Dies
The Pax Neptunia lasted, roughly, from 1999 (“Obtained Your Cash”) by way of 2006 (Hell Hath No Fury), a scorching streak throughout which Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams proved that essentially the most forward-thinking producers in pop music is also essentially the most earth-shatteringly profitable. N.E.R.D. initially appeared like a form of skunkworks for them, a rap-rock trifle that confirmed simply what number of beats these dudes had within the financial institution. In 2017, No One Ever Actually Dies isn’t fairly a comeback, however it’s a nervy assertion of the aspect venture’s continued relevance. Features of its manufacturing sound as immortal as Pharrell himself seems to be, with these plush, rounded drums that made it hundreds of thousands nonetheless powering the entire machine easily. However the N.E.R.D. venture has at all times served as a clearing home for the duo’s most experimental impulses, which means these manufacturing strategies are wrapped round oddball catcall indie-pop (“ESP”) and aquatic funk (“Lightning Hearth Magic Prayer”). A assassin’s row of visitors finds itself slotted into unconventional settings, whether or not it’s Rihanna turning into ’02 JAY-Z on the seismically enjoyable “Lemon,” Gucci Mane flitting in as an virtually instrumental adornment on “Voilà,” or a pair of Kendrick Lamar verses that rattle like firecrackers. It’s a bizarre fucking album, in different phrases, neither as crowd-pleasing appropriately nor as experimental because it needs to be. The drums sound nice, although, and the Rihanna monitor is pretty much as good as N.E.R.D. will get.
RIYL: MGMT. Unhealthy Flaming Lips. Over-produced “druggy” indie rock with occasional verses from world-class rappers.
Begin right here: First single “Lemon” is a fucking smash, and for good cause—a dense assemblage of percussion, hi-hats, catchphrases, and one fantastically charismatic famous person captured in essentially the most flattering mild conceivable. It’s classic Neptunes, in different phrases.
Brockhampton, Saturation III
[Question Everything, Inc.]
Brockhampton data can sound like they’re on shuffle. That is, maybe, a collateral impact of releasing three albums in six months containing contributions from greater than a dozen members, a self-styled fashionable boy band (they insist upon the time period) all based mostly out of a shared home in Los Angeles. However the music, erratic as it’s, crackles with a wierd vitality; it’s undoubtedly hip-hop, however totally unencumbered by custom. On Saturation III, the conclusion of a trilogy meant as a form of proof of idea for the collective, they go from menacing electro (“Sister/Nation”) to sprightly indie-pop (“Hottie”), typically inside only a few minutes. Like its predecessors, the album is hit and miss, however the batting common stays uncommonly excessive for a venture like this. You would slot the breezy, golden-age “Johnny” alongside any of the underground hits the crew has launched this 12 months, whereas the suitelike “Bleach” is an summary R&B energy ballad with an aching, heartsick climax. If it looks like there’s nothing these guys can’t do, it’s as a result of there’s nothing they’re not keen to attempt. Subsequent 12 months’s promisingly titled fourth album, Workforce Effort, suggests they’ll be making an attempt their biggest feat but: concision.
RIYL: Kanye West. Damage Reserve. Frank Ocean.
Begin right here: “Johnny” is Brockhampton at its greatest: Breezy beats folding into one another, verses that alternate from humorous (Kevin Summary: “Anyone received Harry Types’ cellphone quantity?“) to revealing (Jabo: “I’m a shithead son, and I’m unhealthy at rising up”).
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