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by PopMatters Staff

10 May 2016


Marshall Gu: Excepting “Lose Yourself”, there is perhaps no other hip-hop song that is so anthemic and iconic that you probably know all the words without realizing they’re permanently burned in your hippocampi. I’m constantly bothered by the number of times “Juicy” has been sampled throughout music (ie. CunninLynguists’ “Predormitum”; Jay-Z’s “A Dream”; J. Cole’s “Villuminati”; even Vampire Weekend’s interpolated it) because it’s almost always used as a badge/symbol/easy hook, instead of evocative, but there’s a reason it’s sampled so many times—it’s a stone-cold classic. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 May 2016


Evan Sawdey: This band pisses me off so much. Their first album of fluffy, One Direction-endorsed pop music was surprisingly serviceable, but then this group of young Britons study the discography of Peter Gabriel and end up making one of the better pop albums of 2016? Unheard of. How dare they. Yet musically and lyrically, that disc is on point, distinct, and pointedly creepy at times. “A Change of Heart” is an odd choice of single, airy and fluffy, with a narrator whose girlfriend is telling him he’s riddled with diseases and looks terrible. Even with a merely-OK pop hook on those lightly-tapped synth pads, the perspective is still distinct, and makes one wonder what the 1975 will be up to yet. (“Ugh!” is the far better single though, for those keeping score.) [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 May 2016


Photo: Cara Robbins

Pryor Stroud: Lifted from Prism Tats’ eponymous LP, “Creep Out // Freak Out” is a freak-punk maelstrom whipped along by an unrelenting sexual pressure. Singer Garett van der Spek seems to be both animated and afflicted by desire, a paradox that enlivens his voice with a tortured yet masochistically amped-up poeticism. This paradox is also present in the guitar, which wields a pure thrash-this-out-of-my-system punk ethic that only intensifies as the song surges toward its end. “I’m gonna creep you out / I’m going freak you out”, van der Spek repeats, so certain of his own perversity that he feels like he should just own up and admit it. But what is there to admit? The guitar is there to tell you: something violent, sickening to some, a brutality of skin that’s best left said in the flesh. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 May 2016


Chris Ingalls: “Church” is a schizophrenic mashup of EDM with a healthy dose of funk, but it’s a rather unsteady, jittery funk, full of cowbells, distorted vocal samples and a beat that seems too rushed and wobbly to induce dancefloor mayhem. Davis takes his cues from P-Funk, turning the grooves on their ear while maintaining a unique vision. Weird and fun. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: I shouldn’t like this song as much as I do. The groove is decent yet uninspired, the lyrics are passable yet generic, and the singing is ok but nothing to call home about. “Move and Shout” isn’t much more than disco nostalgia, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t bobbing my head to the funky guitar riff or singing the chorus in my head by the end of the song. It’s not a great track nor is it an original one, but it is entertaining and catchy nonetheless. [7/10]

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Cage the Elephant Ignite Central Park with Kickoff for Summerstage Season

// Notes from the Road

"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.

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