You've seen the best, now check out our least favorite albums of 2016.Read More
Elements of trap, hip-hop, and electronica all come together on araabMUZIK's third effort, Dream World, but perhaps not to the greatest of results. The album takes the trashiest parts of all of its elements and combines it into one, flat, sloppy compilation of boring tracks.
For some, just the use of the word "trap" can be enough to deter their attention. This album doesn't do that any favors. Most notably at the core of the tracklist are tracks clearly intended to instigate a late night club and rave vibe, some doing better than others. This theme is first seen in 'A.M.', which tries to be the hype up song any rave needs but just fails in context of the album, given that it's sandwiched between some relatively chiller tracks. This track and the track that does what 'A.M.' wishes it could do better 'Stadium House' are found between the lame, minimal hip-hop beat track 'Try Me' and the slow and chill (admittedly refreshing) 'Mind Trip'. 'Try Me' falls in line with many other dull tracks including 'Loud' (literally featuring someone named Loud Lord) and 'Train Wreck', the latter of which clearly warns you of its quality in the title.
Lots of this album is just plain standard; even lower than that, at points. Songs like the raving 'Senor Breakfast' with Baauer could've been a solid track had it had some form of progression going on - it's mostly just one synth hook on repeat for three minutes without any real elaboration on anything. 'Left Side' had a lot of potential with the sweet piano and bass duo it has going on, but there's no action found within it. A simple piano lick or drop could've easily elevated the track to something more than two loops repeating for three and a half minutes. That's where all the problems lie with this record - araab thought he had something going with the hook for each song, but relying on a single hook in each song and repeating it in every measure of it was not the way of making the songs click. The only song I can say I legitimately enjoyed was 'Chasing Pirates', and that's all thanks to the creaminess of Raiche's melody and voice throughout the song.
araabMUZIC doesn't really seem to understand the concept of a good hook. You get one rolling and repeat it at pivotal moments of the song: a chorus, a repeat, a coda, et al. What you don't do is repeat in every single bar of every single measure of the track. That's where Dream World fails. You're better off skipping this one, unless you need some crappy background music for a party.
Favorite Track: Chasing Pirates
Least Favorite Tracks: Train Wreck, War Cry, A.M.
Rating: 30 / 100
2016 is off to an extremely strong start. Here’s just a list of all of the new albums I’ve listened to from January to March and links to reviews, if applicable.
Doing it a bit different this time, doing it by rating, from greatest to worst. Alphabetical just seemed trivial.
5-Star Albums (8.5 - 10)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend: 10
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor: 9.5
- Deftones - Gore: 9.5
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing: 9
- Foxes - All I Need: 9
- Daughter - Not To Disappear: 9
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams: 8.5
- HÆLOS - Full Circle: 8.5
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album): 8.5
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines: 8.5
- The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect: 8.5
4-Star Albums (6.5 - 8)
- David Bowie - ★: 8
- BANNERS - BANNERS: 8
- Savages - Adore Life: 8
- Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo: 8
- Jack Garratt - Phase: 8
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - This Unruly Mess I've Made: 8
- Sia - This Is Acting: 7.5
- Grizfolk - Waking Up The Giants: 7.5
- The Drones - Feelin Kinda Free: 7.5
- Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye: 7.5
- Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.: 7.5
- Textures - Phenotype: 7.5
- Rihanna - ANTI: 7
- Megadeth - Dystopia: 7
- Hands Like Houses - Dissonants: 7
- Miike Snow - iii: 7
- BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance: 7
- The Jezabels - Synthia: 7
- Amy Lee - Recover, Vol. 1: 7
- Steven Wilson - 4 ½: 6.5
- Chairlift - Moth: 6.5
- Porches - Pool: 6.5
- Polyphia - Renaissance: 6.5
3-Star Albums (4.5 - 6)
- ZAYN - Mind Of Mine: 6
- Mogwai - Atomic: 6
- Låpsley - Long Way Home: 6
- Baauer - Aa: 5.5
- Asking Alexandria - The Black: 5.5
- The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It: 5
- Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness: 5
- School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB: 5
- Krallice - Hyperion: 4.5
- Future - EVOL: 4.5
- Anderson .Paak - Malibu: 4.5
- Wiz Khalifa - Khalifa: 4.5
2-Star Albums (2.5 - 4)
- Killswitch Engage - Incarnate: 4
- Cozz - Nothin Personal: 3.5
1-Star Albums (0 - 2)
- None! :D
Top Albums Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
- Deftones - Gore
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing
- Foxes - All I Need
- Daughter - Not To Disappear
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams
- HÆLOS - Full Circle
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album)
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines
Top Songs Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)'
- Panic! At The Disco - 'Emperor's New Clothes'
- Deftones - 'Hearts/Wires'
- Foxes - 'Better Love'
- Lacey Sturm - 'Rot'
- AURORA - 'Through The Eyes Of A Child'
- Deftones - 'Phantom Bride'
- Dream Theater - 'Moment Of Betrayal'
- Daughter - 'New Ways'
- Jack Garratt - 'My House Is Your Home'
After years of building up a career with a wide array of remixes and taking over the club scene, the ‘Harlem Shake’ legend Baauer has released his debut record, Aa. It brings together elements of hip hop, electronica, grime, and more to form each track, but sacrifices originality for energy at points.
The album begins with a splash of soothing noise with ‘Church’, that’s a bit off-putting in it’s disjointed nature despite being a refreshment before the meal is served. Unfortunately, the meal doesn’t seem fully cooked. It starts off nice with ‘GoGo!’ and ‘Body’, which balance flow with energy in a strong ratio. Sadly, this trend doesn’t hold too well by the thick of the record. It hits a peak of energy with the grime-influenced track, ‘Day Ones’ before it hits a bad streak, the next two tracks being just plain boring, especially ‘Way From Me’. ‘Temple’ almost brings the album back up, despite going a bit overboard with the animal sounds to hit the “jungle” effect, but it falls back to a low after. ‘Make It Bang’ is just downright questionable, and Future delivers his same, bland flow on top of a hip hop beat on ‘Kung Fu’. ‘Church Reprise’ is where the album should have ended, it taking that pure, washing sense from the intro track and elaborating on it with guitar and more synths. Sadly, what would’ve been a beautiful ending to a bumpy album ends at an all time low with ‘Aa’, the most painfully cliché club track this year.
Baauer’s debut is a bit of a mess. It has a few high moments, but the energy just isn’t sustainable throughout. It sacrifices any trace of originality of his own sound to make up energy, which doesn’t even live up to what it should. The high moments just don’t last long enough, either. Aa isn’t the electronic album of the year, nor will it be very close.
Favorite Tracks: Day Ones, Church Reprise
Least Favorite Tracks: Aa, Way From Me, Sow, Kung Fu