Here are some thoughts on albums I listened to for The Grid and a show I attended for SPIN this summer.
Ciara, Ciara : I still agree with a lot of what I'm saying here - that Ciara is continually mishandled - but this review is a rare instance of jumping the gun. Ciara has severely grown on me; particularly the thugstep cheez of "Superturntup."
CSS, Planta : Bible, I had no clue people even still cared about CSS, but here they are on their fourth record? Huh. Even Dave Sitek can't save it.
Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail : I had to watch the number rating I assigned to PND cos I was reviewing Jay (no more hypen) Z the following week. I gave them the same number (7), but this just reveals the inherent flaw in rating systems: PND is a strong debut and MCHG is weak considering Jigga's canon.
Lenka, Shadows : Like Sia, but with none of the presence.
Selena Gomez, Stars Dance : The last place I'd expect to find a cover of Buju Banton's "Champion," but there it is. #killself
Braids, Flourish // Perish : A nice, controlled, shinier, Arbutus-y follow-up to 2011's Native Speaker .
Illangelo, History of Man : Unexpected: the dude who produces for the Weeknd makes really interesting, complex, narrative-style beats. Takes time and patience, and doesn't necessarily seem memorable, but it's a strong debut.
"Last night Timberlake spent most of the time being the manic, showboat-y Danny DeVito to Jay's composed, towering Arnold." TWINZ.