Monday, April 19, 2010

Albums of the Week: Serani, Ya Boy & Big Rich, Los Campesinos! & E-40

I'm about a month behind on these posts (and I know our imaginary readers have been holding their breath in eager anticipation), so this will be a four-for-one.  About four weeks ago, I listened to Serani's debut album, No Games, for a week. Serani's biggest song, "No Games", is a personal favorite of mine, both for its undeniable infectiousness and also for sentimental reasons as it reminds me of a friend's bachelor party trip to Costa Rica. The rest of the album is more than merely listenable, and while I won't call it a great album, I will say that it decidedly made me long for more tropical environs. In his own genius words: "It's, it's, it's Serani, just in case you never know."

After a week of upbeat dancehall, I listened to Ya Boy and Big Rich's new EP, Guns & Roses. For better or worse, this was about what I expected it would be - some 2010 mob style music. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's something to ride to. 

Following a week of Frisco rap, I decided to partake in some Welsh indie rock courtesy of Los Campesinos! and their third album, Romance Is Boring, which was released earlier this year. I had read about Los Campesinos! a couple of times in Spin over the last couple of years and their albums had always been on my lengthy list of shit to buy. I finally busted a huge CD-buying nut earlier this months, which included buying all three of their albums. For some reason, this was the first album I decided to listen to. At the time, it was enjoyable enough, but nothing stood out as terribly great and, two weeks later, I can't really remember much of the album, so I guess you can say it was forgettable.

Last week, I decided to listen to the first of E-40's latest double release: Revenue Retrievin': Day Shift. I used to be the biggest E-40 hater, pretty much throughout the whole 90s, but since then I've really come to appreciate his genius and Day Shift only served to reinforce that appreciation.  I'm too lazy to break down individual songs, but of the 19 tracks, the only one I really wasn't feeling was the obligatory sex track - "Fuck You Right". I also felt like 40 dumbed down his flow on "Whip It Up" to match the guest artist, Gucci Mane. Other than that, I genuinely liked the rest of the album and the majority of the beats knocked in my 1998 Volvo wagon. Since I gave my least favorite song some shine in this post, here are some of the standout tracks: "Bitch", "Duck", and "The Art of Storytellin'".

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