Review: the summer in albums


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Some of the most influential albums of the year have been released in the last couple months. With that in mind, and with its being the last few weeks of summer, I thought I would walk through some of the best album releases of the summer, from top-40 hip-hop to mind-bending electronic pop.

DAFT PUNK — Random Access Memories

Never in my life have I ever witnessed an album more anticipated than the new Daft Punk album. Many people such as me spent months stalking the Internet, hoping to find even the smallest clue of what to expect from the mysterious sound-stomping robot geniuses that make up Daft Punk. No one can argue that this wasn’t great album, but did it really live up to all of the hype? That is for you to judge. Some were baffled by the ’70s sound Daft Punk brought to many of its new songs, while others realized that disco is cool when EDM masterminds put their spin on it. This isn’t my favorite Daft Punk album by a long shot, but Random Access Memories single-handedly turned the already legendary Daft Punk into untouchable music icons.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Notable Songs — “Get Lucky,” “Doin’ it Right,” “Give Life Back to Music”


Kanye West is a lovable and personable guy. OK, maybe not … but no one has ever said you have to be heart-warming to make sensational music. Throughout his career, music lovers have always looked to see how Kanye will change rap with each of his releases, and his new album, Yeezus, delivers yet another new concept to hip-hop. If someone names an album Yeezus, he’d better make sure it lives up to the implications of its name; West does. By implementing crazy electronic beats, grungy loud background noises, and, like always, mind-boggling rhymes, West convinces you that it is indeed OK to love yourself that much.

4 out of 5 stars

Notable Songs — “New Slaves,” “Black Skinhead,” “Send it Up”

PORTUGAL. THE MAN — Evil Friends

The number of famous bands that have come out of Alaska over the years could probably be counted on one hand. Portugal. The Man is not only the most famous Alaskan band, it is one of the hottest bands on the market. The band gained a large amount of success after releasing a number of albums between 2009 and 2011 and attracting various types of nationwide audiences. In its new release, it adds an electric pop sound to its traditional, more alternative folky sound, thanks to the producer of its new album, Danger Mouse. Evil Friends is proof that an All-American alternative band can open up its musical repertoire to the growing and somewhat intimidating genre of electric pop-rock.

4 out of 5 stars

Notable Songs — “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” “Modern Jesus,” “Evil Friends”

VAMPIRE WEEKEND — Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend has a unique sound, and for most people, it’s hit-or-miss. However, in my professional opinion, this is one of the few bands of today that can successfully release albums that listeners thoroughly enjoy from start to finish. By their third album, some artists change their sound completely, which often leads to a decrease in popularity. Vampire Weekend has altered its sound slightly by adding various electronic elements, more string instruments, and complex harmonies among the band members. But don’t worry — although the pace of this album is slower than the previous albums, there are still a number of songs that feature the running guitar riffs and eccentric lyric combinations that made us fall in love with this band in the first place.

4 out of 5 stars

Notable Songs — All of them

THE CHILD OF LOV — The Child of Lov

Saying this album is hard to describe is an understatement. Imagine the eerie music that plays right before a big shootout scene in an old Western film. Then, right before the two cowboys fire their pistols, hundreds of town members break up the showdown by turning on bass-filled hip-hop music and start dancing like energetic robots. Regardless of the description, this 20-something-age producer has recorded a début “hip-hop” album like no one has ever heard before. The bass is heavy, his voice is anything but ordinary, and the guest appearances by MF Doom and Damon Albarn are remarkable. If you are looking for R&B, punk rock, and computerized electronic songs, intertwined with hip-hop, this is an album for you.

5 out of 5 stars

Notable songs — “Fly,” Owl (featuring MF Doom), “Heal”

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