Micro Reviews: New Releases You Should Listen To

‘New Albums You Should Listen To’ is a new section that I shall be using as an expansion of the ‘Micro Reviews’ section that I have where I briefly talk about albums I haven’t had a chance to fully review. I’m basically going to use this section as a recommendation section where I talk about some albums that I look upon fondly.

Czarface – Every Hero Needs A Villain


Consisting of Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck and the brilliant duo 7l & Estoric, this is the second studio album from the trio under this name. ‘Every Superhero Needs A Villain’s production is handled by 7L and uses many different chopped and screwed clips from old films and TV shows to create an album that doesn’t bring much new to the comic-book sub-genre of Hip-Hop, but does it extremely well. The montage of clips paired up with the fantastic Boom Bap production that utilises heavy distorted guitar lines and interesting samples sounds like it’s been brought up to date for a modern audience sounding just as cartoon-like as the album artwork.

The rhyming ability from Estoric and Inspectah Deck is outstanding, proving how these time-old rappers — who’re constantly underrated compared to a lot of their peers from their hey-day — are still old enough to learn new tricks to entertain. The three members of Czarface being unique flows, and references that don’t ever sound corny or out of touch. They constantly stay on topic to the theme of the album but never sacrifice innovation in their rhymes. There’s also some fantastic features on this album from MF DOOM, Method Man and GZA. It’s an album well-worth your time if you’re a fan of Wu-Tang Clan or MF DOOM.

Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People


Indie Rock singer Ezra Furman’s third full length album, ‘Perpetual Motion People’ is an album about being an outsider. It’s in every nook and cranny of this album right down to him flirting with androgyny on the front cover. On this album Furman poured a whole lot of pivotal moments of his life into the song-writing from suicidal thoughts, to how it’s fun to live as ‘unnormal’ from society, to a letter he’s writing to congress, to legalizing gay-marriage.

Furman jumps around stylistically on every track on this album yet they all sound like they’ve been recorded by his band, ‘The Boyfriends’. There are Doo-Woop influences on tracks like the opener ‘Restless Year’, to balladry like ‘Lousy Collection’ and ‘Watch You Go By’. He wears all of his influences on his sleeve like David Bowie on ‘Haunted Head’, to more classic Rock influences. Yet no matter what he sings it sounds idiosyncratic and extremely flamboyant in both his vocals and the instrumentals. ‘Perpetual Motion People’ is an album about embracing yourself for who you are, whether it be good or bad, and showing it off to the world.

Florence and The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful


(I’m extremely late on this one I know), I almost didn’t review this album based on Florence and The Machine’s previous material. Florence Welch has got one hell of a voice, but has never had interesting enough instrumentals to really boost the song-writing. What’s happened before is that she’s sounded overbearingly loud at times as a result it’s ruined some of the decent songwriting. The Baroque-Pop influences from her previous albums have consistently sounded extremely tame and Florence has always felt the need too step up and fill in those gaps.

On this new album it feels like the band strikes the best balance of instrumentals and her vocal performance yet. She can still be extremely loud but the way the song structures and the instrumentation is a lot more ambitious which in turn makes her vocals sound powerful and emotive rather than obnoxious. There’s still Baroque-Pop influences like on the track ‘Ship To Wreck’ but it’s more prominent and the other instrumentals have a massive variation like the blaring electric guitars on ‘What Kind Of Man’. The song ‘Third Eye’, has a fantastic musical passage with vocal melodies being piled on top of each other towards the end of the track creating such dramatic tension, and on the delicate title track to the album the song finishes with massive blasting horns that sound stunning. Florence and The Machine stepped up their game in every way on this album and made them a creative pop group to be reckoned with. Well-worthy of their spot at Glastonbury this year.

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