Lupe Fiasco, Thievery Corporation Head Up Albums Of The Week - February 10
Thu, 09 Feb 2017 15:18:55
This week in album releases offers some surprises, some stellar performances, some small artists making big on debuts and some humble tunes which are as beautiful as anything you'll ever hear.
Lupe Fiasco brings DROGAS Light, an independently-minded release that celebrates the artist's freedom away from major label machinations. Thievery Corporation bring some Jamaican flavored spirituality to the dance floor, and Jesca Hoop enters the scene with her debut solo venture — an album that is confident, courageous and sublime.
Keeping things light in the pop department Mother Mother issue a release of warm, larger than life anthems which deserve to live in the lungs for while, and fellow Canadian artist, Jamison Isaak delivers a staggering piece of beauty under his moniker Teen Daze — an album that reassures even the most hard of heart — that everything might just turn out alright.
So without further ado — here are the ARTISTdirect choice cuts of Album of the Week...
Lupe Fiasco — "DROGAS Light" — 1st & 15th Entertainment
Lupe Fiasco has the kind of quality that you admire, even if you don't personally dig the albums he drops. Since his debut in 2006, the Chicago rapper has delivered release after release that has cemented his place at the top of a game which changes the rules almost weekly. On DROGAS Light, the first release from Fiasco since parting ways with Atlantic Records, there's a sense of revived independence and a force of will that sounds like an impassioned debut. The latest single from the album, "Tranquillo" featuring Rick Ross and Big K.R.I.T. is certainly one of the strongest moments of the album, and it's the easiest point of access. Turn it up… see how you feel.
Thievery Corporation — "The Temple of I & I" — ESL Music
With The Temple of I & I Rob Garza and Eric Hilton enter into a new chapter of focus in the life of Thievery Corporation. This album, recorded in the winter sun of Jamaica, builds on themes that the D.C. duo have explored before. Themes of unity, peaceful confrontation of common enemies and the expression of soul are delivered here in spades. An essential album in the ever-increasing canon of work that stands as much for a way of life as they do an approach to music.
Jesca Hoop — "Memories Are Now" — Sub Pop
Sub Pop continue their work in remaining the most credible indie label shouldering in on mainstream markets. With Jesca Hoop the label delivers a star. Fresh from her collaboration with Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Hoop brings a debut album that's as big as a 'small' artist can be. This is a staggering piece of art, with songs populated with fractured lyrics, angelic vocal passages and a sense of purpose that stands in doorways, ready for whatever's coming. This is a great album and everyone's going to own a copy.
Mother Mother — "No Culture" — Def Jam
Singer Ryan Guldemond considers himself an empty vessel, taking what he feels like from the world, before he throws it back out as a pop creation. It's smart self-awareness from a band who have played with the genre since forming in 2005, and on this new album the Canadian outfit go toe to toe with form and audience expectation. There are hooks — like on "The Drugs", and there are livelier moments like on "Everything is Happening" but it's the anthems that Mother Mother bring to the collection that distinguish them from the usual pop fare. "Baby Boy" shows the band at their best, and is worth the entry ticket alone. This album doesn't set out to change the world, but it sets out to have fun… and in that regard it's 100% effective.
Teen Daze — "Themes For Dying Earth" FLORA
With Themes For Dying Earth, Teen Daze — the Vancouver-based electronic project revolving around Jamison Isaak — has produced an album of beauty. While the group's 2013 album Glacier was an exploration into natural wonders. Themes For Dying Earth develops those themes, places a human in the landscape and makes the universal deeply personal. It's a masterstroke of an album, and deserves as much attention as any of the bigger hitters making more noise in this week's' releases.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff