By Kendall Gibson Columnist
‘Full Frequency’ – Sean Paul
Through some stark cultural division, I have until this week been completely ignorant of hip-hop superstar Sean Paul. The same goes for his supporting artists: 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Jason “Jigzagula” Henriques. Before this week, in my opinion, these weren’t even real names, but now I recognize them as titans of a universe separate from my own. In their universe, people devour auto-tune and drum machines as if they are essential to life. For me, they are poison.
If You Like: 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Jigzagula.
‘Nossa Onda é Essa’ – Bossacucanova
For those looking for new music, an area I bet most haven’t explored is Brazilian Pop. Portuguese lends itself excellently to music, and in this case it is melodiously layered over groovy jazz. Scratch that, this isn’t jazz; it’s spy music. The song “Balanca” makes you feel like you’ve just tumbled out of a plane over a jungle. “Rio de Inspiracao” is the soundtrack for when you’ve landed with your parachute, and the natives are greeting you with their jungle delicacies and their impressionable women.
If You Like: Os Mutantes, Seu Jorge, The Seatbelts.
‘Morning Phase’ – Beck
Morning Phase is about overcoming darkness in life. Each song begins with a soul-crushing beat and then Beck’s voice slides a hand around your shoulder and tells you it’ll be OK. In “Blue Moon” he laments, “I’m so tired of being alone,” but the delicate way with which he croons the lyric suggests an inner drive to bounce back. On the rainiest of days, this album will be a godsend, because the lyrics and the soundscapes are uniquely powerful at triggering emotions.
If You Like: The Pixies, Modest Mouse, Jack White.