CD Reviews

Cruel Summer, HNGRY, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color


G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer (Def Jam/G.O.O.D. Music)

On paper, Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music collective should put together a mind-blowing album with Cruel Summer. In action, it’s like the NBA All-Star game: It’s a big spectacle that never lives up to the hype. A smorgasbord of artists littered over anthemic production delivers blasé results. Outside of Big Sean (“Clique”) and Pusha T (“New God Flow”), the album seems to be largely phoned in. Annoying hooks (“To The World”) and questionable guests (Mase on “Higher”) are coupled with soulless production. It’s not bad, just not the G.O.O.D. we anticipated. ★★☆☆☆

What We’re Buying

1. Mumford & Sons, Babel
2. Green Day, Uno!
3. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap
4. Murs & Fashawn, This Generation
5. No Doubt, Push & Shove
6. The Killers, Battle Born
7. As I Lay Dying, Awakened
8. Various Artists, Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer
9. Rise Against, Endgame
10. Deadmau5, >Album Title Goes Here<

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4503 W. Sahara Ave., Sept. 24-30.

Diverse Hip-HOp

The Cafeteria Line, HNGRY (The Cafeteria Line)

California duo TiRon and Ayomari have to be one of the most underrated duos in all of hip-hop. With the release of HNGRY from their collective, The Cafeteria Line, they further prove their worth. HNGRY channels the vibe of Atlanta’s Dungeon Family, as the futuristic buzz of “Yellow No. 5” and the lo-fi rumble of “Radio” showcase an extraordinarily effective diversity. The soothing keys and horns of the title track anchor the album, and the cruising “Indie 500m” powered by R&B singer Sir, is a standout. HNGRY is an album not to be missed. ★★★★☆

Soulful brain food

Brother Ali, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color (Rhymesayers)

Capitalizing on election season, Brother Ali brings his brand of pulpit rap to the masses. With a belly full of fire, Ali targets the state of our country in Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. Ali’s opening salvo (I used to think I hated this place) on “Letter to My Countrymen” sets the tone for the political album. Ali touches on social issues including unemployment (“Work Everyday”), the inner-city struggle (“Need A Knot”) and America’s affinity for war (“Mourning in America”) with staggering vitriol over soulful beats. If he wasn’t a rapper he’d certainly be a leading voice in the community. ★★★★☆


What albums are on Andreas’ radar …

OCT. 22: The buzz for Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut Good Kid, m.A.A.d City is approaching deafening levels. Can he eclipse the stellar Section 80? OCT. 31: A$AP Rocky’s LongLiveA$AP will prove whether or not his Internet-hype-turned-huge-major-label deal is warranted. NOV. 13: No OutKast album? No problem. Big Boi will drop Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, and we can live somewhat satisfied that this is the closest thing we’ll get to another OutKast album.

Suggested Next Read

Robert Randolph and the Family Band


Robert Randolph and the Family Band

By Craig Asher Nyman

The Hard Rock Hotel team couldn’t have picked a better act for the grand opening of its newest music venue, Vinyl. Inside the intimate confines it was a funky good time as Robert Randolph and the Family Band jammed out with a high-energy 80-minute set. Appropriately kicking things off with “Good Times,” Randolph and his literal family (sister on backup vocals, cousins on guitar, bass and drums) got the crowd electrified for a boot-stomping funk-and-soul evening.