Stephen Wyatt: PUP’s anonymity will be short lived. They write anthems and odes the perils of puberty and the abyss of adulthood, and “DVP” is no different. Holding onto hardcore music’s finer elements—frenetic guitar work, drums peaking at the end of an amphetamine rush, and the admixture of screaming diatribes (“I need to grow up!”) and surfer melodies—PUP primes themselves for a future that would benefit for a revival in hardcore music. [8/10]
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Piano music, even considering the neoclassical movement that sprouted (briefly) during the beginning of the last decade, is still regarded as a formalist type of art. It’s rare to see artists in the mainstream and even in the blogosphere break through the model. When such event takes place, we end up getting Max Richter‘s deeply rooted Romanticism or Nils Frahm‘s more agitated experiments.
Stephen Wyatt: Flume knows very well how Vince Staples can make a track turnt. The 24-year-old enfant terrible sharpens his production fangs on “Smoke and Retribution”, providing sweetness in Kucka’s deliberately quiet delivery to Staples’ untainted saltiness. As Staples’ verses drift in between Flume’s airy opus, the song’s brevity fails to underscore his purpose. Moreover, Kucka’s underutilization on “Smoke and Retribution” triggers the thought that this track was, in fact, rushed and unfinished. [5/10]
Steve Horowitz: Smooth—the title “Honey” is a good one for this tasty track. Of course it is honey being poured over a naked lover; so sweet, so sticky. The skin so…. yeah, you know. Sometimes a kiss is just not enough. The passions run hotter. Real life is messier than this, but a little imagination can make real life better. [7/10]
Timothy Gabriele: I’m guessing Pharrell’s major contribution is the beat, which is unspectacular, but this is a lyrical exercise anyway, a talent showcase. I usually don’t fall hard for these types of tracks unless the backing track is also pulling its weight. It can do so in a minimalist way (The Roots’ “Web” springs to mind), but I need something other than “Hey, this guy’s got a good flow.” A$AP Rocky is undeniably talented and has a number of rewind-worthy tracks, but this one’s a decent candidate for the dustbin. [4/10]