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August 20, 2018 | by  | in Music |
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YUNOREVIEW: Salient Edition

Followers of Anthony Fantano’s YouTube channel, The Needle Drop, will be familiar with his YUNOREVIEW section, in which Fantano reviews various albums he didn’t manage to get to in a full review context. As we approach the mid trimester break, I thought I’d make my own version of Fantano’s segment.
The Internet – Hive Mind

Hive Mind is the fourth and latest album from LA neo-soul group, and former Odd Future aficionados, The Internet. Capitalising on the success of 2015’s Ego Death and various successful solo projects from the group’s members over the last few years, Hive Mind is an on-brand continuation of a winning formula for the band. The album is a little front-loaded, in that the two tracks I enjoyed the most happened to be the first two – the groovy “Come Together” and promo single “Roll (Burbank Funk)” – prior to a run of fairly similar sounding songs that kind of mush into one after a while. Still, fans of The Internet and neo-soul in general should find plenty to like here.
Ha the Unclear – Invisible Lines
The latest from Kiwi rockers Ha the Unclear is stupidly good. I’ll admit to have not been as familiar with the band’s earlier material as I would have liked prior to listening to Invisible Lines, and I kinda regret that now. Opener “Where Were You When I Was All You Needed?” is equally angular and poppy – I love how the edgy melody in the verse gives way to a stellar major melody and chord progression, as well as the anthemic chorus that follows. “Wallace Line” is surely a contender for song of the year, again showcasing a strong grip on indie-pop songwriting, vocal harmonies, sharp lyricism and earworm melodies. Fans of The Mint Chicks and earlier indie-pop out of New Zealand should love this.

Tierra Whack – Whack World
Whack World is the blistering debut from 22-year old Philly rapper Tierra Whack, and it flies by. Whack’s debut consists of 15 tracks, each only a minute in duration, and engages with everything from country to trap. In a year where the concise record has been in vogue – looking at you, Kanye – this 15 minute album seemingly re-writes the conventions of the “album”. Many of the songs settle into a groove, only to sharply transition into the next track. This is often jarring, and disrupts any sense of sonic continuity throughout the album. Still, Whack is an exciting and eclectic rapper who is pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and popular music in general. Looking forward to what she does next.
The G.O.O.D. Music Friday releases
It would be remiss of me, in 2018, to not voice an opinion on the weekly releases driven by Kanye West throughout June. To my ears, only two of the five albums were particularly good – Pusha T’s Daytona and the self-titled debut from Kids See Ghosts. Beyond that, I found the projects by Kanye, Nas, and Teyana Taylor to all lack a semblance of artistic identity – there was something missing on all of them. In contrast, Daytona in particular showcased an artist at the top of his game, flexing gritty bars over hard Kanye beats, showcasing a perfect take on the concise 7-track album. I wish the others had embraced the concise album style in the way Pusha T and Kids See Ghosts did, instead of producing albums that were just okay.

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