It is currently 0 degrees Fahrenheit at 2:30 p.m. with a potential high of 3 degrees in the next 3 days. Forced indoors and filling the time alone or with friends lends itself to music in abundance and depth. Our peers here at Rocky Mountain College are no strangers to sophistication and taste, so with that said here is a collection and review of what our fellow Bears are into at the moment.
Because The Internet – Childish Gambino
In terms of creativity and originality, Because The Internet achieves greatly. For example, the 25-minute Clapping For The Wrong Reasons short film and the digital 76-page script that accompanies the album, are a collective body of work. Everything works in tandem, carrying you through Gambino’s experiences and troubles. Gambino’s writing is ambitious, experimental, and imaginative, displaying his scriptwriting background and his work in acting, and his amazing imagination. There are moments on BTI where he pushes the boundaries, making it a very captivating listen.
Smiling, Laughing – Gorgeous Bully
Smiling, Laughing is tones of earthy, shadier color. The songs of angst, stagnation, weight, gloom, and heartbreak are all in a varied mix of styles and tempos. The first track Misery Loves Company plays like the score to a walk through a grayscale utopia, while 5 AM and Don’t Ask Why’ have more of a disgruntled, energetic pace, not joyous, but more of a nostalgic filter. In contrast to this sense of distance, the other songs are individualistic yet akin. Take the piano-laced final track I Wish I Knew How To Love,” exactly what you expect to get from an ode to lost love.
Piano – Joy Again
First, My only qualm with Joy Again’s EP, Piano, is that, by virtue of being an EP, it’s far too short. The Philadelphia-based “jock rock” band led by Arthur Shea and Sachi DiSerafino only provide us a tiny seven songs and peace out well before the party ends, a total of 17 minutes. But in those seven songs, they become the party, bouncing from sing-along ready grooves to sincere explorations with a bit of college-age brokenhearted pettiness added in. Right off the top, Joy Again opens things up with the summary Abaigh’s Song, a track that’s grounded by jangle-pop guitars and elevated with vintage computer flourishes. It showcases DiSerafino’s vocals. Don’t let the heavy guitars fool you—it’s immensely playful, a Technicolor backyard jam buoyed by the electronic punch. Joy Again has teased us long enough with singles and EPs. It’s time for a full-length album to give listeners an even better range of what the self-described collective is capable of producing. But until then, Piano is enough of an appetizer to tide you over, You are rarely bored.
Basketball Breakups – Good Morning
There’s a sense of intimacy on a whim with this album. Lead track Garden is interesting in the juxtaposition that if we wait, what we want will come. The danger is being kept complacent, implying that things will change if we give them time. Classic Quip being a rebuke brings the kind of language that gets bandied around in hyper-masculine spheres. Best Supporting Actor presents as a love song of boundary and mutualism while But We’re Not There Yet is an attempt at the same interdependency that gave way to the weight and expectation of deep love.. Ultimately, Basketball Breakups shows something candid, as straightforward and raw as waking up to a winter storm.
Barter 6 – Young Thug
Young Thug is not into being candid. He thrives inside a gray area, an animated luster of his own contradictions, and he never offers a straightforward explanation. However you process that sentence know that it manifests in something that feels idyllic and full. This has no real misses, maybe some aren’t as great as others but you stay within the realm of great nonetheless. The opening track ‘Constantly Hating’ unveils gently, its impressionistic Wheezy beat leaving space between bass tremors for Thug to explore. It reflects none of the clamors of Thugger’s dramatic 2015. Instead, Barter 6 displays that his greatest skill all this time was not his method, it’s not even his voice, or at least, not entirely. It’s Thug’s uncanny and singular way of piecing a song together, a skill he has doubled down on with this release: a way with vocal technique, melody, and detail-oriented composition that makes the mislead seem approachable and the familiar feel new.