Migos, Ty Segall, Train Feature In Top Albums of the Week - January 27
Thu, 26 Jan 2017 13:54:04
There's a lot going on in the album releases this week. Not only are more artists re-entering the fray following the slow-release month of January — but the contrasts are also quite stunning, and people are repping their genres well. Migos return, bringing all the heat of Hot-lanta with them, Julie Byrne has released an intimate album of genius over in the Americana section, Ty Segall puts his name all over stuff, and Japandroids return with a revived approach to enjoying life.
There are many points to discuss and most likely many elements to dispute as so many other artists released great work this week, but for now — and with a deep breath — here are ARTISTdirect's favorite albums of the week.
Japandroids — "Near To The Wild Heart Of Life" — Anti-
Japandroids end five years of anticipation and return with a highly polished new album that's going to please the fans. There's a sense of rejuvenation here, as the title-track suggests — the band are coming at their craft with the sense of ‘anthems' not just songs. The tunes carry with them the smell of the casks in which they brewed — so informed by the past and other brews — but with a new depth, and a kind of surly take on what it means to be in a band and alive in a time that can be confusing but which ultimately improves with a sing along.
Julie Byrne — "Not Even Happiness" — Ba Da Bing!
Few albums will hit you in the way "Not Even Happiness" can hit you. This folky-Americana album may well be a masterpiece. An album of spare and graceful beauty, it explores themes of loneliness, and somehow brings the singer to the center of a connection between listener and something bigger. It's a remarkable accomplishment for Byrne's sophomore effort — essential listening for fans of genre and beyond.
Train — "A girl, a bottle, a boat" — Columbia Records
The eighth studio album from Train was made without their longtime guitarist and founding member, Jimmy Stafford. Fans needn't worry too much though, since the world seems polarized by the band — you love them or hate them — the lovers will be pleased that Train is firmly on track, producing their signature soft-rocking sounds, and exploring the themes of relationship and personal struggles through ballads, and easy melodies. This album serves Train as usual — catchy, rhyming couplets and some of the twinkle that made tracks like "Jupiter" so big.
Migos — "C U L T U R E" — Quality Control Music
Atlanta trio, Migos, are back with a follow-up to 2015's "Yung Rich Nation"... and it's as big and as beautiful as you'd want. Lack of confidence was never an issue for Quavo, Takeoff and Offset — and on this album of highly quotable lines ("Courtside with a bad b**** / Then I send b**** through Uber") and highly moveable beats, it's like they have more weight than ever before. Recently knocking Ed Sheeran off the number one single spot, seems quite apt for an outfit who are simply "Doing it for the C U L T U R E".
Ty Segall — "Ty Segall" — Drag City
The authenticity of Ty Segall's garage rock pedigree is put nicely on display in this eponymously titled released, his ninth studio album. There's something of a patchwork feel — not in quality, but in essence — as Segall plays through textures and toys with the fabric of his tracks. The garage influence is there, but it sometimes wears thin to expose the craft of the songwriters' influences that are echoed here. "Break a Guitar" sounds like a pub-rock track of old school black t-shirt wearing bands, while "Freedom," is a loosely slipping gear that sounds like a Beatles outtake — and it's really interesting. If you want to get your friends into Ty Segall the artist, "Ty Segall" the album is an excellent launch pad.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff