The Art of the Album Week of 7/17/2017

Noteworthy Albums Being Released This Friday

7/21/17

This Friday three albums that have been receiving some positive feedback based on singles are going to be released. We’ll have the chance to hear Lana Del Rey’s new album Lust for Life, which features powerhouses performers such as the Weeknd and ASAP Rocky. We’ll also be seeing ASAP Rocky featured on Tyler, the Creator’s Scum Fuck Flower Boy, which has got the entire internet wondering “is Tyler, the Creator coming out of the closet?” Finally we’ll be seeing the first studio album from 18 year old Declan McKenna, who is receiving much praise for his infectiously catchy indie-pop anthem, “Brazil.” Take a look below if you’re looking for a crash course in what these albums have in store for us.

Lana Del Rey: “Lust for Life”

 

This Friday, Lana Del Rey will be sharing her fifth studio album with the world. As the follow up to 2015’s Honeymoon, Del Rey has 16 new tracks pairing her sultry voice with 60’s style pop and low-key hip hop beats. In addition to Del Rey’s signature sound, you can also expect to see appearances from The Weeknd, ASAP Rocky, Stevie Nicks, and newcomer Playboi Carti on Lust for Life. So far, Del Rey has released five singles: “Love,” “Lust for Life ft. The Weeknd,” “Coachella-Woodstock In My Mind,” “Summer Bummer ft. ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti” and “Groupie Love ft. ASAP Rocky.” All of which you can find below.

Love

 

Lust for Life ft. The Weeknd

 

Coachella-Woodstock In My Mind

 

Summer Bummer ft. ASAP Rocky & Playboi Carti

 

Groupie Love ft. ASAP Rocky

From these first glimpses of Lust for Life it doesn’t appear that Del Rey has grown as an artist. In all of these songs, I hear a Lana Del Rey song that I’ve already heard before. While the songs offer a familiar sound, Lana Del Rey fans will be excited by the addition of hip hop artists, who so far have made nice contributions to Del Rey’s songs. Lana’s first singles “Love” and “Lust for Life ft. The Weekend” offer anthems for hopeless romantic to gaze into each other’s eyes as they drive into the sunset, with choruses professing how it feels “to be young and in love” on “Love,” or getting right to point and beckoning your partner to “ take off, take off, take off all your clothes” on “Lust for Life.”

While Del Rey’s vintage style songwriting has been historically successful, with hits such as “Video Games,” “Blue Jeans,” “Born to Die,” and “Young and Beautiful,” Lana seems to have moved away from that style of songwriting for “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love.” Now while both songs feature ASAP Rocky, who appears to know Lana very well. (The two depicted JFK, Jackie Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe in Lana’s hit from Born to Die “National Anthem,” which you can check out below.) Both songs feature standard hip hop beats which work for both Lana and Rocky’s style. The songs themselves don’t have much depth, but could be a contender for a low-key summertime anthem.

“National Anthem”

One feature about Lust for Life that separates it from the rest of Lana Del Rey’s catalogue is that the album cover features the first picture of Lana smiling. Now while this may not be too fascinating, it shows audiences that while her music may not be moving towards another sound, she at least is moving towards a new look, one that is not so melodramatic.

So whether you’re a Lana Del Rey fanatic, or have only heard a couple of her songs, Lust for Life sounds like it is going to be a promising album. If you’re waiting for Lana to get a new sound, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, because on this album Lana is sticking to what she knows, and what mainstream audiences like.

 

Tyler, the Creator: “Scum Fuck Flower Boy”

For many, Tyler, the Creator is known for the controversial topics addressed in his songs, his disregard for political correctness, or for his Adult Swim TV Show, “Loiter Squad.” No matter the context, chances are you’ve heard Tyler, the Creator’s name at some point or another. Recently, Tyler has been laying relatively low, meaning, I haven’t looked at my news feed and been overwhelmed with articles about Tyler offending someone, or being banned from a performance overseas. But after July 6th, 2017, sure enough Tyler, the Creator began to become a hot topic once again.

When announcing his fifth studio album, Scum Fuck Flower Boy, Tyler took to social media.

Tyler first started gaining press for his upcoming album when he released “Who Dat Boy ft. ASAP Rocky” on June 29th. In the song, Tyler begs the age old question we’ve all had on our minds “who dat boy, who him is?” Now while the grammar of that question needs work, the song itself sends a strong message about Tyler’s new music. The instrumentals of the song feature high pitched synth chords, heavy bass, and fresh back beat. I found these instrumentals refreshing from the music released on Tyler’s 2015 Cherry Bomb, where beats are built off of diminished, minor chords, which gives the songs a dark and ominous feel. The trapped out bass line for Tyler’s “Who Dat Boy” is a breath of fresh air, and Tyler’s verse delivers a care free attitude. If that’s not enough, the delivery of ASAP Rocky’s verse is smooth, fast, and is reminiscent of his verse in “Fuckin Problems” from his album Long.Live.A$AP.

“Who Dat Boy ft. ASAP Rocky”

Shortly after the release of “Who Dat Boy,” Tyler made the announcement of Scum Fuck Flower Boy, again through Instagram. Shortly after the announcement of Tyler’s album, the internet began to explode with rumors about Tyler’s sexual orientation based on the title of the album, which served as clickbait for articles that aimed to address the homophobia is his songs. Critics and listeners who got their hands on the leaked album have shared that the songs “Foreword,” “Garden Shed,” and “I Ain’t Got Time!” all serve as evidence to figure out Tyler might trying to send a message to the world without being ironic.

Other notable releases of Tyler’s that will appear on this album are “911/Mr. Lonely” which features Steve Lacey, Anna of the North, and Frank Ocean, who we really haven’t heard from since the release of his fantastic album Blonde. Like “Who Dat Boy,” “911/Mr. Lonely” features some playful synth lines and an uplifting beat, with a beautifully soulful chorus. The second part of the song “Mr. Lonely,” features spoken word from Schoolboy Q, and highlights Tyler’s ability to spit verses at a fast pace, I mean it’s not Twista fast, but he’s got more flow than usual.

“911/Mr. Lonely”

“Boredom,” the third single leading up to Scum Fuck Flower Foy sounds familiar to many of Tyler’s interludes from 2011’s Goblin and 2013’s Wolf. The instrumentals to this song are well produced, but Tyler seems to fall back into the habit of using minor chords, although it seems as though he’s relying on guitar, rather than piano on this song, which gives it a fresh feel. Tyler’s verses sound very similar to what he’s released previously, but fans of Tyler will be happy with that. The strength of this song, certainly is in the instrumentals and production of the song.

Boredom”

 

Whether you’re of Tyler or not, the internet is buzzing (pun based on album artwork) with debate about what exactly Tyler is going to say with Scum Fuck Flower Boy. Could Tyler be coming out of the closet? Is Tyler still struggling with depression? Has Tyler met his Dad yet? All these questions could be answered while listening to Scum Fuck Flower Boy this Friday.

 

 

Declan McKenna: “What Do You Think About the Car”

 

If you listen to a radio station or Spotify playlist that leans anywhere towards Indie-Pop, chances are you’ve heard 18 year old, Declan McKenna’s breakout hit “Brazil”. For me, this is one of those songs that you know the words to, but you don’t know who it’s by, or what it’s called. I’m sure if you click the link below, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Declan McKenna “Brazil”

Whether you’ve heard of Declan McKenna before or are just hearing about him, “Brazil” sets the tone for what sounds like an incredibly catchy album. Following the success of “Brazil,” McKenna has released 5 other singles, which all appear on the album, which you all find below. From listening to these singles, it reminded me of MGMT’s incredible 2007 album Oracular Spectacular, with catchy guitar hooks and fun keyboard melodies.

“Humongous”

“The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home”

“Isombard”

“Bethlehem”

“Paracetamol”

With six of the eleven track’ on Declan McKenna’s What Do you Think About the Car released on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube, you have a chance to listen to over half of the album right now! If that isn’t enough, NPR is currently streaming Declan’s album for free right now, as a part of their First Listen series. While you’re at the NPR website, they also have a great Tiny Desk Concert, which features acoustic performances of “Bethlehem,” “Brazil,” and “Isombard.”

First Listen: Declan McKenna “What Do You Think About The Car”

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/17/536906060/first-listen-declan-mckenna-what-do-you-think-about-the-car

Declan McKenna NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert