Generationals – “Reader As Detective”

Review by Nick Spezzacatena

Generationals new album Reader As Detective is exactly what you want out of indie pop music. It’s up beat, light hearted, and just plain fun. The instrumentation is bubbly, and danceable. I found myself bobbing my head to the beat while trying to be very scrutinizing while doing my very serious review. There is great groove going on through the entire album with the drums, bass, and catchy synth lines.

This band does a great job of creating classic pop riffs and turning them into something new and modern. The mixture of the retro melody lines with modern instrumentation makes the music super catchy, very interesting, and strangely familiar at the same time. The music feels comfortable as if it all the different moving parts belong together. They don’t force anything into the music, it flows effortlessly as music should. It is all very simple, but also perfectly catchy.

The mixture between the synthesized drums and acoustic drums was a smart direction, and it works very well. The synth drums are used more as fillers than the main beat of the song. Anything synthesized is perfectly juxtaposed with live instrumentation, and the sound they create is awesome. If you are an indie pop fan, you will love this album. The production is superb; it has a somewhat dirty and gritty sound without losing the tone and lighthearted feel to the album. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this album.

HUNNY – “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”

Review by Nick Spezzacatena

HUNNY recently dropped an album called Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This album is very interesting, and honestly a breath of fresh air for me. They obviously took influence from other great bands, but they still managed to incorporate a distinct style of their own – different enough from everything else in this vein, but not so different that it stands out particularly. OK, it’s actually a little difficult to pin down.

HUNNY is a band out of California that worked with producer Carlos De La Garza. Garza worked with Paramore and you can definitely hear that style in this album. The whole record has this driving down the highway windows rolled down with the beach to your right type of vibe. Musically it stays very upbeat, and feels like summer dance music. Lyrically it’s a completely different story.

The album is full of classic break up tunes, enveloping the feeling of sad loneliness, with the intent of moving on. The lyrics are ultimately 2000’s Emo in style, which I’m not upset about at all. The lyricist makes plenty of 80’s references throughout the record, and if you’re careful you can pick them out. They have super catchy melodies, that sound similar to something a minders iteration of The Cure might write.

According to their website they took influence from Depeche Mode for their synth sounds, which is definitely heard on a couple songs. I wish the synths were more at the forefront of all the songs and not hidden so far back since they are such great patches. The bass was screaming in these mixes, which being a bassist is nice to hear the bass being showcased. I have to admit though it was a little much. All in all though it is a good record and a lot of fun to listen too, a couple songs weren’t the best and you can tell they are still trying to find their sound fully. But I would say definitely give HUNNY’s new album a listen.

Chance, The Rapper – “The Big Day”

Review by Nick Spezzacatena

Chance the Rapper just dropped a new record. While he has quite a fewmixtapes in his catalog, This “debut” will be his fist full length studio album, as well as his first album for full profit. To me calling it a debut just seems like a publicity stunt to try and get more listeners, but at any rate, this is being considered his first record, and it is a marathon to listen too.

All together the album is made up of 22 tracks, which to me, is a little excessive. The number of songs wouldn’t be shocking if they all shared a common theme; like a concept album, but since none of the songs share continuity between them, I doubt that was the approach. Some of the tracks are super wordy, showing off his speed rapping skills, while others are slower, and more poetic with the lyrics. Throughout the album there’s a common lyrical theme in talking about real life issues; relationships, addiction, mental illness, bad upbringing etc.

Like most Hip Hop records, there are a lot of different artists that are featured on the album, but I ran into the issue where none of the artists who are featured are credited in the track titles, so me, having only cursory knowledge of modern Hip Hop, had no clue who the artists were until I did some research. There are about 23 different artists featured on the album and only 22 songs. Therefore, I felt like Chance’s voice gets lost amongst the hordes of performers. Everyone from Death Cab For Cutie to Nikki Minaj, Timberland and Randy Newman, to Gucci Mane are featured which is a hell of a cast of characters, but again it feels like too much. The album doesn’t really feel like a Chance the Rapper studio album; more like another mixtape with Chance rapping a verse here or there.

All in all, the album is alright, but the whole thing just feels like a more of a publicity stunt than an actual studio record. For the album being called Chance the Rapper’s “debut” studio record, there’s not a whole lot of Chance on the record. It feels a lot like a cheap attempt to try to achieve the most mass appeal as possible in the shortest amount of time. There is way to much going on in each song, and you quickly lose the appeal of Chance himself as he is only singing here and there, and rapping a verse every now and then. The best songs are at the beginning of the album with some interesting instrumentation and some catchy lyrics, but about 10 or 11 songs into the album, it starts to all morph together and sound the same. After “Handsome” the whole thing gets very boring in a musical sense, and becomes very repetitive lyrically. It wasn’t a horrible record by any means, but I am disappointed in it; the record as a whole does not have the passion and creativity that I’ve always enjoyed from Chance the Rapper.

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