Album Reviews

Everybody by Logic

Review by Neil MacAlister

With Everybody, Logic outshines the corniness and repetitiveness that plagued his last two projects by playing to his biggest strength: his ambitious, cinematic approach to album-crafting. Everybody tells the story of a man who is chosen by God to be reincarnated until he’s lived the life of every human being.

Through the perspective of 12 of these reincarnations, Logic addresses ideas of race, sexuality, suicide, and, ultimately, the utopian ideals of equality and understanding. The guest features are incredible (especially Killer Mike’s aggressive sermon and J. Cole’s uncredited outro), and the production is some of his best to date. But Logic’s variety of complex flows and impressive writing are the highlights.

His experiences of being biracial and dealing with his conflicting ancestries provide some of the album’s most emotional moments, and he uses both personal and imagined experiences to craft a powerful, inspirational project. Everybody’s ambitiousness tends to get away from itself, but fans who return to Logic for his quality of writing will find a lot to appreciate.

 

Just Like the Movies by Kami

Review by Neil MacAlister

Chicago’s SaveMoney is one of rap’s brightest collectives. They are a group of rappers, singers, and producers, (helmed by unofficial leader Chance the Rapper), who are establishing a unique brand of jazz-influenced, neo-soul hip hop.

Artists like Chance, Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, and Towkio have grown to much-deserved acclaim in recent years, but the latest SaveMoney release comes from one of its lesser-known artists: Kami. Though he started attracting attention as half of Leather Corduroys (with Joey Purp), he’s gone off on his own to craft an exciting project that injects elements of ‘80s pop and rock into hip-hop. The phrase “just like the movies” is repeated like a mantra throughout the album, as Kami portrays the world through a cinephile’s eye.

Kami draws inspiration from Kubrick, Tarantino, and John Hughes, mixing cinematic songwriting with synth-laden, ‘80s-inspired neon production from Knox Fortune. Multiple members of the SaveMoney crew have standout features on Just Like the Movies, which is the latest innovative album to join the ranks of Chicago’s remarkable discography.

 

Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? by Black Lips

Review by Andrea Renney

Atlanta’s bad kids, Black Lips, reinvent their garage rock ‘n’ roll sound with their eighth studio album, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, released May 5 on Vice Records. Produced by Sean Ono Lennon, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? marks a shift in the band’s nearly 18-year-long career. With two new members comes a new sound that’s more chilled-out and full of swagger and saxophone. The individual tracks’ instrumentals and themes all seem to follow a similar concept, and the tracklist even includes an overture, interludes, and a finale.

Genres the band has always cited as influences are explored more blatantly: “Crystal Night” and “Wayne” evoke memories of ‘50s doo-wop, and “The Last Cul de Sac” and “Rebel Intuition” are throwbacks to when country music was taken seriously. Overall, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? alternates between dreamy psychedelia and distorted nightmare. These are the types of tracks that give you something new with each listen.