Fire Squad's "Give me an album and I'll rate it'" Thread

Started by Fire Squad, Aug 10, 2020, in Music Add to Reading List

  1. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 18, 2020
    @Ordinary Joel
    [​IMG]
    #50: Sade - Promise [8.8/10]

    It's a tall, tall task trying to rank this band's discography. I'd place Love Deluxe at the summit for sure, it has Sade at their most introspective, expressive, inarguably by that point the band had mastered their patented Neo-soul/smooth jazz style that they innovated the industry with. After that it's a marble scramble trying to find the proper placement of each album, the difficulty lies in which direction did you, the listener, find yourself more impressed with. Diamond Life was the quintessential debut where. they showcased their brand of jazz-pop, their 3rd effort Stronger Than Pride was the band taking a quantum leap as musicians and Sade uncovering another frontier of Soul in her voice that lied within. Their efforts in the Aughts are mature slow-burners that embrace their senior presences and while they can be a bit inconsistent, they're still gratifying to listen to since Sade, is well, incredible. That brings us to this...

    On their sophomore effort, I can't help but assimilate the similar direction Kanye took with Late Registration following The College Dropout, both cases here are an example of how to expand and refine your signature sound. On Promise the instruments are even more fleshed out in the mixing, there was a point to prove from the band saying "Hey we're more than just our immaculate lead singer!" Everything they did by taking Jazz instruments and turning it into soulful-pop from their debut was amplified considerably on here, it was a signal of their versatility and set off a trajectory of growth with each following album. The A-side of this album is without a shadow of a doubt, the most unapologetically groovy they've ever been, that string of the first three songs is a trip to some smooth island resort paradise. So with the being said, Promise to me is their most important album and for me their 3rd best, just behind Stronger Than Pride, goddamn what a catalog...
     
    3
    awhellno, Ricky and Ordinary Joel like this.
    3
    awhellno, Ricky and Ordinary Joel like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  2. Ordinary Joel
    Posts: 27,885
    Likes: 67,902
    Joined: Mar 23, 2015
    Location: South Australia

    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Sep 18, 2020
    You have this uncanny knack of capturing my thoughts and summarising them in ways I never would've imagined, but they make a whole lot of sense once read :wow5:

    Favourite song of yours from this sophomore sensation?
     
    3
    icecube, Ricky and Fire Squad like this.
    3
    icecube, Ricky and Fire Squad like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  3. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 18, 2020
    @Ordinary Joel
    [​IMG]
    #51: Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds from Another Planet [8.5/10]
    We...need....a......new album....from....them........badly.

    Excuse me I apologize, I was dying of thirst like Kendrick chasing Sherane, it's just the relishing feeling that I can't quench after I heard this album again. It's important to establish another point that Joel probably knew all along compared to us peasants: Dream-Pop is another genre that's impossible to make bad music in. Japanese Breakfast has been our generation's answer to Slowdive from the 90's, it's a similar stamp of ethereal, misty music to gaze at the night sky. Actually it's scientifically proven that this band's music is instantly elevated once PM hits (As proven by me, a random tastemaker on an online Eminem forum). When they dropped their first major LP Psychopomp, the signs of a great and mystical band were there, but this, THIS...

    It's hard to describe what's Japanese Breakfast's greatest strength, since every component from this album and every thing that followed after has been nothing short of elite. Let's start with the lead singer Michelle Zauner, she is the modern reincarnation of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star fame--a faint, whimsical presence with a voice that was born to compliment soft guitar riffs and soaring strings/synths of the genre. The band itself is also versatile, being able to balance experimental alternative rock chords/drumwork and then revert to hazy indie-pop is no small feat. It gives this album a marvelous range, a true showcase of various nuances clashing together to formulate the perfect soundtrack to a late night road trip under a starry sky to an inconveniently distant convenience store. It's an incredibly rewarding album to venture into, whenever and whatever they drop to follow this is gonna be heavenly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
    Oct 29, 2020
  4. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 18, 2020
    Huge thanks man, I honestly don't consider myself to be a writer in an anyway so this feedback means a lot! For the stuff that isn't Rap, I try to find some kind of parallel since this might sway people that possibly read these reviews to hopefully give it a chance.

    Darn a favorite song, aside from the stellar singles it might either be War of the Hearts or Maureen. Both are just remarkable examples of each band member firing at full cylinders with the smooth jazz style, plus dat sax :lawd:
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  5. Thy
    Posts: 10,582
    Likes: 19,146
    Joined: Jun 28, 2015

    Thy 000000

    Sep 18, 2020
    Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow

    I think you'll like this one
     
    3
    Jeans, Fire Squad and Ordinary Joel like this.
    3
    Jeans, Fire Squad and Ordinary Joel like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  6. Ordinary Joel
    Posts: 27,885
    Likes: 67,902
    Joined: Mar 23, 2015
    Location: South Australia

    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Sep 18, 2020
    Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, your eloquence and wit within your writing is something I'd like to emulate one day. Constantly checking into this site and seeing you, @Donkey Kong Cuntry, @Antman, @awhellno, @Sav Stanfield post amazing content is a joy, and somedays I feel inspired to write a review or tidbit about music. One thing that unfortunately stops me from taking that step is the fact my music knowledge and prose isn't up to standard, it's just that I consume and immerse myself in music as a hobby.

    Anyways I digress! Great song choices. Mine would prolly be Jezebel or the Is It a Crime?, coz once that sax roars you know you're in for a rollercoaster of a project :lawd:

    And yes! Great write-up on Japanese Breakfast! :emoji_heart:

    It's about dat time we got a new LP from them soon. Michelle Zauner recently released an EP with Ryan Galloway from CRYING entitled "pop songs 2020" and it's filled to the brim with saccharine goodness!
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  7. awhellno
    Posts: 1,097
    Likes: 2,947
    Joined: Apr 16, 2016

    awhellno ♠️♥️♦️♣️

    Sep 18, 2020
    Are you kidding? You have an extraordinary taste in music and you've introduced me to so much stuff outside of hip hop I'd otherwise never known about. I'd love to see a thread from you, introducing us to those soulful, indie, melancholic albums/songs you always post because I know you got a ton of them. :emoji_pray:
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  8. Ordinary Joel
    Posts: 27,885
    Likes: 67,902
    Joined: Mar 23, 2015
    Location: South Australia

    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Sep 18, 2020
    I'm actually being real! :laff:

    I love music and want to learn more before I take a plunge into that world.

    I also half-arse a lot of things and if I want to do something like you guys then I'd prefer to know my s--- before I write something :emoji_sweat_smile:

    Guess it's the dreaded self-doubt really.
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  9. awhellno
    Posts: 1,097
    Likes: 2,947
    Joined: Apr 16, 2016

    awhellno ♠️♥️♦️♣️

    Sep 18, 2020
    Whenever you ready fam. Music sxn will wait for that Joel thread :emoji_raised_hands:
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  10. Grimace aka Andys Father
    Posts: 9,354
    Likes: 15,640
    Joined: Nov 28, 2014

    Grimace aka Andys Father Andy is my son

    Sep 18, 2020
    echoing @awhellno , @Ordinary Joel ur one of the most knowledgeable, insightful and articulate members here when it comes to new music, non-hip hop especially. would love love ayyyy love a thread or something by u championing certain tracks or artists. would be a high quality addition to the discourse
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  11. Jeans
    Posts: 529
    Likes: 1,539
    Joined: Aug 8, 2020

    Jeans Joe From Family Guy

    Sep 20, 2020
    [​IMG]
    the greatest album of all time by the greatest band of all time
     
    6
    awhellno, Coop, Fire Squad and 3 others like this.
    6
    awhellno, Coop, Fire Squad and 3 others like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  12. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 20, 2020
    @Winter
    [​IMG]
    #52: Q-Tip - Kamaal the Abstract [7.5/10]

    Tha Carter III, Sir Lucious Left Foot, When The Casket Drops, LASERS...I can probably chalk up more names of heavily delayed albums that I can remember insatiably anticipating day after day, perpetually living in a cycle of disappointment + daydreaming of what the album could be like (I thought LASERS was going to be the album of the life). When that sweet day came, it was either an explosion of relief, delusion, possibly disappointment--in the case of LASERS I experienced all 3. Alright let me stop crying about LASERS, the wait for that was nothing in comparison to what Q-Tip had to endure for this project's freedom. This was supposed to be the follow up to Amplified, then this s--- got leaked on two different ocassions, heck I recall bumping some LQ version of this when I started high school. Luckily Tip got his label situation sorted out and what we got just a couple of years later, was one of the best albums of the decade. But what about poor Kamaal?

    I should be harsher on this album, but it doesn't deserve the already exhausted observations of slightly dated tracks along with various creative risks Q-Tip undertook that simply fell short. For some reason I gravitate towards musicians that aren't classically trained singers (Andre 3k, Mos Def) but still attempt it, the end result ends up being sometimes more soulful and jarring in spite of the off-cue notes. Q-Tip often times ends up being a background presence on Kamaal, letting his signature snares + bassy drums coalesce with a mix of funky jazz instruments complementing his vocals. It would also be lazy to label this as purely an album of instrumentals, Kamaal was designed to be as uncompromising and experimental as Q-Tip possibly could, he didn't want to just be pigeonholed as the face of the Tribe, he wanted to be taken seriously as a tour de force musician. In a way Kamaal was a beacon of light indicating Tip was pulling the jigsaws together for a masterpiece, a puzzle piece that year by year he slowly completed until we The Renaissance. Everything that made that album great, had it's rough beginnings on here, a must listen to any fellow Tribe Stan.
     
    3
    awhellno, Winter and Ordinary Joel like this.
    3
    awhellno, Winter and Ordinary Joel like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  13. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 20, 2020
     
    awhellno, Coop, Sign Language and 2 others like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  14. Winter
    Posts: 5,367
    Likes: 11,959
    Joined: Nov 24, 2014

    Winter Super Comfy

    Sep 20, 2020
    The write up the album deserves. Always found it a really fascinating listen
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  15. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 20, 2020
    Thanks man, I think we both are on that same boat of being forever mesmerized by his production cues. He took a lot of what J Dilla did on Amplified and used his own salience of Jazz to make a new signature sound for him in that decade, all those beats sounded retro AND futuristic like wtf :lawd:
     
    Oct 29, 2020
  16. Ordinary Joel
    Posts: 27,885
    Likes: 67,902
    Joined: Mar 23, 2015
    Location: South Australia

    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Sep 20, 2020
    Sault - Untitled (Rise)

    Keen to hear your thoughts on this enigmatic group.
     
    1
    Fire Squad likes this.
    1
    Fire Squad likes this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  17. joeyp363
    Posts: 9,917
    Likes: 13,701
    Joined: Feb 15, 2011

    Sep 21, 2020
    Griselda what would .50 cal do?
     
    2
    Fire Squad and Ordinary Joel like this.
    2
    Fire Squad and Ordinary Joel like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  18. Bourbon Ben
    Posts: 39,265
    Likes: 93,970
    Joined: Jan 23, 2016

    Bourbon Ben Mad pooper

    Sep 21, 2020
    The Stooges - Funhouse
     
    2
    Ordinary Joel and Fire Squad like this.
    2
    Ordinary Joel and Fire Squad like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  19. Enez
    Posts: 1,744
    Likes: 4,610
    Joined: Feb 13, 2019

    Enez otto world

    Sep 21, 2020
    can - tago mago

    also diamond eyes by deftones as a 2nd treat
     
    3
    Ordinary Joel, Jeans and Fire Squad like this.
    3
    Ordinary Joel, Jeans and Fire Squad like this.
    Oct 29, 2020
  20. Fire Squad
    Posts: 7,503
    Likes: 20,747
    Joined: Dec 23, 2014

    Fire Squad Boss Don Biggavel

    Sep 24, 2020
    @awhellno
    upload_2020-9-23_23-34-22.jpeg
    #53: M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming [8.8/10]

    PCP is one h--- of a drug. Crazy how you can remember those nights that you don't remember like Drizzy said. Usually when I DJ'ed college parties I strayed away from the drugs and liquor, always tried to sit behind the boards and focus being the soundtrack for these lunatics and watch the carnage unfold in front of my eyes. At this one particular bacchanal, this one burly dude wearing a Tapout tank and sunglasses that presumably hid his dilated eyes approached the booth and complimented the music, only to then hand me a tablet, just looking at it already I knew that s--- was PCP...now I know what you're thinking, why did good old Fire Squad accept some hallucinogens from some random cac? Yo, lowkey the dude had this funky aura about him that I just had to trust in the moment, dude looked like a debauchery guru sent from a Judd Apatow flick. Needless to say, that acid trip was mind-blowing, it got all the more ecstatic when this song came up on the mix. Don't think I've ever experienced another more euphoric, albeit drug-induced, feeling when the synthesized guitars kicked in that motherfucker and everyone in that party just collectively lose their s---...

    M83 for years dedicated themselves of making some of the most expansive synth-driven music known on Earth. What separated them from the likes of other New Wave revivalists is, they had a mastery of multiple styles coupled with a bravery of even experimenting them into these dense Shoegaze/Electro-rock tracks. With every progressing release they got better at fusing these clashing sounds until they got sick of getting limited recognition for wonderful dream-pop songs, so on this Double-LP they patented their experimental electric keyboard to churn out full-blown stadium anthems. There were no restrictions on maximalism, everything was meant to sound big and blissful on both of the CDs, even the mellow tracks on here are something to just marvel at from both an instrumental and song-writing perspective. This was an ambitious record, sure with a bit of filler, with truly staggering heights that make it all worth the sit down into this band's jubilant world of smashing drums and rapturing synths.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
    4
    Winter, Thy, awhellno and 1 other person like this.
    4
    Winter, Thy, awhellno and 1 other person like this.
    Oct 29, 2020