-- By doubleay
Future is a definitive Hip-hop titan who has garnered sky-high numbers in all aspects of his business and has established a platform that ascends from trap music to the mainstream in a way few artists could ever hope to achieve. The past two years of his career have been a wildfire run to say the least and he is currently sitting comfortably at the highest pinnacle he's ever known. As for touring he opened up for Drake’s Jungle tour, then his own international Purple Reign tour, and is now about to embark on another tour with Drake for his huge Summer Sixteen tour. In addition to the rigorous touring, Future has managed to release three studio albums, four solo mixtapes, a collaboration project with Drake, and host DJ Esco’s recent Esco Terrestrial mixtape. At this point Future’s discography has become rather hearty and reliable collaborators say there is tons more unreleased material in the vault. Among his three albums released in the past two years, the most recent, Evol, was just released on vinyl.
Prior to the vinyl pressing, it was originally released digitally back in February of 2016. Evol is 11 cuts highlighting Future’s iconic dark and twisted stylings. Always known for his somber grittiness, Future keeps Evol thematically depressive and street-oriented, but features a more cohesively melodic approach to the album. Future’s vocal capabilities are historically stand-out, but in the past his singing and rapping have seemed less calculated. On Evol his approach is more formulaic, providing more fluidity as he goes from spitting to singing in his tracks. This vocal presence creates a moody introspective body of music that provides so much more physical depth to the project compared to that of an average Hip-hop album.
-- By doubleay
Did you take a Twitter vacation over the weekend? If you weren't already aware, Beyonce just went right ahead and Beyonce'd again, releasing a (sort of) surprise album called Lemonade. Though it was previously only streaming on Tidal, for which you have to have a paid account, it's coming out on CD/DVD May 6th! You can preorder it now.
Anyone who's played her previous album to death, 2013's excellent Beyonce, knows they're in for something special. To boot, this new album features work by The Weeknd, James Blake, Jack White and Kendrick Lamar, plus samples and inspiration from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Soulja Boy and Animal Collective. Production was handled by Just Blaze, Diplo and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend.
I'm starting a new series in which we highlight an item or items from our collectibles. Usually these are only available in-store at Amoeba Hollywood, so come down to the store if you're interested in what you see! (Since quantities are limited, you might want to call ahead to see if it's still available.)
The Weeknd - Kiss Land
Found behind the cash registers at Amoeba Hollywood
Before The Weeknd hit it big with his latest album, Beauty Behind the Madness, and its accompanying huge singles ("The Hills," "Can't Feel My Face"), The Weeknd came through on his debut studio full-length like a cold front from Canada, with gorgeous R&B melodies shrouded in lo-fi sound and cool atmosphere. Along with his excellent first mixtapes, collected on Trilogy, Kiss Land introduces us to Abel Tesfaye's way of injecting creeping menace into gripping songs like "The Town," a song about rekindling an old flame after time on tour that echoes its feelings of longing with dramatic synth work. Musically, he keeps things fascinating throughout. The brutality of his Portishead-inspired beat in "Belong to the World" helps send that song's disaffected love lyrics home. And the album's murky final tracks see Tesfaye showing off at what he does best — creating epic (and epically sad) R&B anthems, like the hip-hop equivalent to tracks from The Cure's Disintegration. Kiss Land may be a downer, but Tesfaye's catharsis makes for a beautiful listening experience.
Did you miss Record Store Day this weekend? You can read about the day’s activities here. As far as releases go, we still have several titles available in limited quantities. These are available in-store at Amoeba Hollywood and online as of the time of this writing, but as quantities are low and demand is high, you should act fast if you want anything on this list!
One of the great cult bands of all time, Big Star reformed for a live show 20 years after burning out after two fanatical student DJs from University of Missouri asked them to. The lineup consisted of original singer/guitarist Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens with The Posies’ Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. It’s the first time the performance has been commercially available and has been mastered from the original tapes, adding five performances to a 1993 release. Limited to 4,000 copies total.
#1 Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle (6131 Records)
These are truly the kind of albums that I live for every year. They just seem to come out of nowhere. I knew after listening to the first song that I was going to love this album. She is sort of like a young Chan Marshall of Cat Power. A beautiful and haunting voice that I just can't resist. An album I want to listen to again as soon as it ends. I have always been a fan of anything Mark Kozelek and Bill Callahan. All things dark and introspective. And she will fit nicely on your shelf next to those artists. I never find music like this depressing. There were a lot of great albums out this year but it was sort of hard to come up with my favorite of the year. But as soon as I finished this album for the first time I knew that I had found it. A perfect album.
#2 Tamaryn - Cranekiss (Mexican Summer)
This is the third album by Tamaryn but my favorite by them so far. And it is really rare to make an album this good on your third try. A perfect album for fans of anything dream pop or shoegaze. Tamaryn often sounds to me like 90s shoegaze greats like Cocteau Twins, Cranes or Curve. I have spent a lot of time with this album this year. The perfect album for long drives home from work. I can never get enough of this genre and am so happy that bands keep putting out albums like this.