Emmanuel Elone: Let’s get this out of the way; Run the Jewels 2 was one of the best albums of 2014, and “Love Again” was one of the best songs from that album. You really can’t go wrong with Run the Jewels. Killer Mike brings his southern-tinged lyricism to the table once more, this time talking about coitus. This continues on El-P’s verse, but becomes much more interesting when Gangsta Boo mirrors Mike’s verse by talking about intercourse from a woman’s perspective. In fact, her feature is so fantastically vulgar and pimp that it nearly overshadows Mike’s and El-P’s, which is not an easy feat. Production-wise, all you need to know is that it is an El-P instrumental, like all Run the Jewels songs. If there’s any flaw in the track, it’s that El-P’s verse isn’t as great as Mike’s or Boo’s, but it’s still as over-the-top and enthralling. Put simply, Run the Jewels is one of the best hip-hop groups of the 2010s, and “Love Again” is one of their best songs yet. [9/10]
Latest Blog Posts
Pryor Stroud: Evolving from a cinematic skyscape to a piston-pumping house anthem, “Born Slippy” remains one of Underworld’s most mesmerizing and uplifting slices of electronica. Its effortless amalgamation of varying components—incantatory chanting, echoing synth pulses, thump-thump-thump drum machine programming—has since served as a template for countless producers working in a similar mode. [9/10]
Pryor Stroud: Pounding, repetitive, and replete with an unwavering sonic concentration, “Die Schallplatte” takes the most basic elements of Kraftwerkian synthpop and integrates them into a strobe light-mimicking exercise in dancefloor hypnosis. The six-note-then-seven-note synth riff that anchors the track is particularly well-executed; its caustic, fizzling texture brings to mind a bio-mechanical attempt to animate a dying organism - you or, perhaps, something more sinister - through a dangerously high electrical charge. [7/10]
Pryor Stroud: “For What It’s Worth” is an atmospheric R&B slow jam that seems to be on the verge of a self-destructive nervous breakdown; both vocalists, in a mere moment or two, could succumb to an onslaught of uncontrollable weeping, and the beat—a network of noxiously woozy bass and high-reverb electro blips—likewise could bottom-out at any second and strand these vocalists in the very psychic emptiness that they seem to be combatting. All-in-all, the track’s take on downcast, pseudo-sung hip-hop is nothing you couldn’t get from a throwaway Drake song, but its acute sense of sonic melancholy is deserving of multiple listens. [6/10]
Genre blending is the modus operandi for multi-instrumentalist and producer Kyle Norton, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I Feel Like I’m on Fire”, the lead track of his debut EP under new moniker Norty, is testament to that. With a electronic bedrock, it opens with an anachronistic jazz lounge bassline, piano notes, and brushed drums. The atmosphere is thick and swirls like curlicues of smoke as tempos shift, Norty’s relaxed vocals and hip hop beats join the sound collage.