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by PopMatters Staff

19 Sep 2016


Andrew Paschal: This song is so fun, infectious, and inventive. It adopts a hip-hop flair with a playful, tongue-in-check attitude, but its self-awareness and sense of humor never lapse into irony or parody. It’s unpredictable without being chaotic or messy; instead of over-relying on the catchy chorus and phoning in some passable verses, Beck finds new ways to surprise and delight throughout, with each verse stylistically distinct from the last. As a result, “Wow” has an almost Grimesean openness to possibility—Beck didn’t have to toss in some rhythmic piano three minutes in, for example, but he did and it worked out great. I didn’t expect Beck to be making a Song of the Summer on album #13, but I’m thrilled to hear he has some Odelay left in him yet. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2016


Michael Pementel: So far everything from 22, A Million has been straight fire. 33 “GOD” continues to make me believe that Bon Iver may be dropping one of the best albums of 2016. Instrumentally, this track knows when to start slow, keep this settling, and then kick in for a powerful chorus with sunshine rings and drums. Iver’s voice is the beauty we’ve come to know and love, and “GOD” in particular captures some poetic lyricism. The only thing I wish was that this song was longer so I could enjoy it even more. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2016


Dan Kok: After taking on the voice of a founding father, Daveed Diggs is back to laying his super technical flow on top of industrial, noisy beats. Clipping’s catchiest and most popularly appealing tracks from their previous album sounded like this one: A complex beat made in what sounds like a hardware store, an aggressive hook, and a series of jabs at society and/or hip-hop culture that everyone can agree aren’t too polarizing. But even on tracks like this where what he’s saying is perhaps a bit shallow, the way he says it makes it so engaging. Diggs’ writing can be very meaningful and resonant, but it can also just be fire. The latter is the case here. It’s a track you turn up and roll the windows down for and everyone needs that sometimes. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2016


Andrew Paschal: “Signal” starts out promisingly enough, with warm washes of analog synths combining with a sparse yet commanding beat and forlorn vocals. It remains in this state for a while, but as the song progresses SOHN chooses to give in to some of the more unfortunate impulses of electronic music, gradually layering distorted synthetic squeals that remind me of what James Blake once referred to as the “pissing competition” of EDM. While not quite approaching that level of grotesque, and at least abstaining from total excess, “Signal” nonetheless leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, like the feeling of waking up having smoked too many cigarettes the night before (or perhaps kissing someone who had). [5/10]

by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2016


Adriane Pontecorvo: Like so many of the best stories, Sampha’s new single begins in medias res: he’s a man on the run, full of breathless desperation and a need to keep moving. Suspense fills the track, and the track sounds like it could fill a theater; simple as sparse keys, repetitive drums, and a small choir of voices are, they come together in a cinematic masterpiece, with Sampha’s vocal performance taking top billing. The fear and adrenaline in his voice sit against a hint of melancholy, an added depth that leaves me wanting to know the narrator’s whole story. Regardless of whether or not there ends up being any more to know, “Blood on Me” offers a thrilling slice of aural tension and gives yet another reason to keep a close eye on Sampha’s solo career. [9/10]

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In Defense of the Infinite Universe in 'No Man's Sky'

// Moving Pixels

"The common cries of disappointment that surround No Man’s Sky stem from the exciting idea of an infinite universe clashing with the harsh reality of an infinite universe.

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