The indie music world was changed when Preppy Urban Kids released their first album five years ago. Never before had we heard Paul Simon melodies drowned out by thousands of African drums. Now, with "Follow Up", Preppy Urban Kids have grown up and matured, i.e., the music is slower and more boring. "Follow Up" is a more "grown up", "mature", and "adult-oriented-and-not-in-the-porn-way" album, but being "adult" is not at all indicative of quality. Just ask every single adult who works a shitty office job they hate. "Follow Up" is the aural equivalent of putting on a nice sweater and sitting at home with a glass of scotch - a metaphor that sounds like a compliment, but when you think about it, is really, really sad.
Is this a one song record? Yes. But this song was the song of the summer, as determined by the thousands of Vines where that song is incidentally playing in the background, YouTube parodies where the cast of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games sing the song. There was also a cover from Cool Ranch Doritos and the good folks at Frito-Lay. We all followed the branded content and hashtagged our outrage to the manufactured controversy appropriately, but at the end of the day, this album unquestionably has the song of the summer on it. Summer being the influential taste-maker season that it is, there is no choice but to make "Album With The Song of The Summer On It" one of the best albums of the year. Congratulations to the Song of the Summer and the 11 other songs that sound like background music for a Final Cut Pro tutorial.
Look, we all know this album is OK at best. This blurb is a half-hearted apology for its inclusion, beginning on the defensive, and never really making any point about why this is actually one of the best albums of the year whatsoever. But Daddy loves clicks, and we'll take any we can get. So share this on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr please! Call us idiotic or sell outs or morons! The banner ads will display regardless (turn off all ad-blockers in advance!)
Their first album, "First Album", was amazing, one of the best albums of the decade. Their next album was good, but won a Grammy for Album of the Year, because the Grammy's are run by people who live in a timezone two years behind us. Now, they've released a Double Album, and the question is: can we all pretend to like this album so Band can continue to have mainstream success?
Look, we all know "Double Album" is half as good and twice as long, but their songs are in Toyota commercials, and that's awesome. Yes, "Double Album" is the latest sign that Band has no idea why they were so good in 2005, but they're going to be on SNL next week, and maybe some of those people will listen to that first album on Spotify? Sure, we're not on Band's street team, and we don't get a cut of their gate, but pretending to like Band as they make the worst Euro-disco this side of the Chunnel is the least we can do for the band that made legitimately good music, what was it, eight years ago? Wow. That's more good will than the outfits you'll find at their secret show in Brooklyn.
Synthpop got thrown on its ear this year when A Band With An Unpronounceable Name made "Synthpop Album." "Synthpop Album" is undeniably great, and undeniably impossible to talk about with another human. How are we supposed to pronounce Band's name? Like the word it almost is, if it weren't for the missing vowels? Letter by letter? Maybe it's the name of a Lovecraftian horror? Is it fricative h? What is a fricative? Maybe it's a sound that human vocal chords can't produce? Is Band telling us it is time for mankind to evolve? Or is it a clue for a giant ARG we don't even know we're participating in? Even die-hard fans are unsure, and Band refuses to give a definitive answer. It's a shame, because we know our cool aunt would love this album, if only she knew how to ask for it at Best Buy.
Here at Music Website, we mostly review rock albums. But sometimes, a hip hop album comes around that's so popular and well-received we can't ignore it, because to do so would be borderline racist. But what can be said about the "The One Hip Hop Album We Listened To" that every other website that reviews mostly rock music hasn't already tried to say?
The beats, the rhymes, all the other basic components of hip hop that we are aware of all sound like they should. The music sounds like it belongs in a Japanese role playing video game, which we like, but feel weird for liking, because that cements us as the kind of nerdy white boys this record was made in opposition to. The lyrics are more personal and introspective than the last album, which is good, because there are less lines that have the n-word in them that would make us uncomfortable to reprint. All in all, this is, without question, our favorite album of the year, unless it is our second-favorite.
Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan? Bob. Dylan.