CD Reviews

Rome, Goblin and The Greater Than Club

Modern-Day Spaghetti Western Soundtrack

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi Rome (Parlophone)

Danger Mouse has been pushing boundaries in music ever since he combined Jay-Z’s a capellas from The Black Album with instrumentals from The Beatles’ White Album in 2004. His progressive work with Cee-Lo, Gorillaz, MF Doom and Beck has been critically acclaimed and cutting edge. The same can be said for his spaghetti Western-themed collaborative effort with film composer Daniele Luppi, Rome. With Norah Jones and Jack White handling lead vocals, Rome is a brilliant effort that features musicians from the spaghetti Western era and it feels as if it was created to score remakes of A Fistful of Dollars and ˆ. It may be difficult to grasp initially because of where the inspiration comes from, but it’s hard to deny Jones’ haunting vocals on “Black” or White’s distinctive and chilling “The Rose With the Broken Neck.” It may not sound like anything you’ll hear on the radio, but that’s why it’s called progressive music. ★★★★☆

Abrasive Shock Rap

Tyler, The Creator Goblin (XL)

Odd Future has created a monster buzz thanks to their rebellious “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. Their brash approach to music has swept the Internet up in a cloud of hype that has culminated in the release of OFWGTKTA frontman Tyler, The Creator’s Goblin. The album is excruciatingly vulgar and abrasive to the point where Sacha Baron Cohen would be offended by the themes stuffed into the album. If disrespecting women and offensive language aren’t your cup of tea, Goblin probably should be nowhere near your ears. However if dark, shocking and outrageous rap piques your curiosity, Tyler certainly has the audible recipe. Although “Bitch Suck Dick” and “Transylvania” are just entirely too abrasive and misogynistic for their own good, Tyler does showcase a few bright spots. “Yonkers” finds Tyler’s heavy voice lobbing obscenities over sinister production while “She” benefits from a smooth hook courtesy of Frank Ocean. Ultimately, the same storm of controversy that created Odd Future’s hype is what shreds the album into a redundant shock-rap tirade that falls well short of expectations. ★★☆☆☆

Fly Common Man Rap

Fly.Union The Greater Than Club (Self-Released)

Columbus, Ohio, trio Fly.Union doesn’t have a major label machine to push their music to the masses. Instead, they built their own buzz by releasing brief EPs called Value Packs before dropping the The Greater Than Club. Iye, Jerreau and Swifaa craft a project that could fit right in with ’90s West Coast hip-hop groups such as The Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief, while injecting a 2011 common man’s sensibilities. The trio’s tales of having fun are injected with social commentary that offers more than fresh beats and rhymes. Songs such as “Hard Sell” find them rhyming about escaping economic hardships while “Love For You” deals with the false love people offer when you’re on top. TGTC is a groovy musical ride that deals with life’s hurdles in a lighthearted manner that can be appreciated by any lover of hip-hop. ★★★☆☆

Suggested Next Read

Love Fest


Love Fest

By Jarret Keene

This is the story of a nonprofit organization and a downtown cultural scene uniting for an arts awareness event. On one side, there’s Opportunity Village, a work-training program for people with intellectual disabilities and the Valley’s best-known charity group. On the other, Emergency Arts, the Vegas hot spot that has been the main reason for much recent press about our Sin City arts scene.