Mike Schiller: There is something special, all right, about Lee Fields’ ode to his one true love. Soul music is so difficult to do well because its very name implies an authenticity that too many artists have a hard time conveying, while Fields manages to make it look easy. Maybe it’s because he’s been doing it so long, maybe it’s because he truly believes what he’s singing, but Fields’ voice, his words, even the way he moves on the screen, all of this feels warm, and natural, and right. Leaving the spoken-word coda off this video cut was a smart move as well, as it allows “Special Night” to exist as a pure and true love song, with none of the melancholy rumination on loneliness that sets up the rest of the album. It’s an absolute gem. [9/10]
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After Donald Trump’s human smokescreen Kellyanne Conway famously announced that the president was simply presenting the world with “alternative facts”, the connection was quickly made to George Orwell’s 1984. There’s good reason for this. (And while one should be happy for any resulting increase in sales of the book, we shouldn’t presume that it will be any guide to the remaining years of the Trump presidency. More on that below.)
Andrew Paschal: The geometric, digitized music video befits the clunky, clattering electronics that form the skeleton of the first half of “RVK”. These first few minutes are interesting enough if a little graceless and borderline irritating. It’s Raphaelle’s vocal contribution, coming in during the song’s latter half as it morphs into a moody, ambient reverie, which imbues “RVK” with real pathos and elevates it to a higher level. [7/10]
Steve Horowitz: This track and video kick serious butt, taking on the problems of the world in a direct, powerful, and poetic manner. Tempest raps straight and true, pointing out the bullshit (literally) and distractions along the way. The beat is steady, the imagery thoughtful and compelling, but it’s the words that carry the weight. Freakin’ awesome and scary. The lessons told are too complex for restatement other than to say we live in perilous times and it may be too late to do much about it other than to tell each other the news lest we each think we are nuts for thinking bad thoughts. [9/10]
Dishonored 2 opens with a coup. Emily Kaldwin is dethroned by an aunt she never knew she had, then imprisoned in her castle. Naturally, she escapes, and the first level/tutorial of the game has us sneaking out of our home. Along the way, you’ll encounter many traitorous guards and many more dead bodies. It’s easy to put two and two together; this was a coup after all. So what are you going to do about it?