NJ's Music Diary

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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #51
  • Posted: 05/23/2020 07:40
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Madvillainy by Madvillain - This album has been in my queue for a while now, being one of the most beloved hip hop albums of the 2000s if not simply the most beloved. I like the idea of a bunch of short songs making up a whole work, and at less than 50 minutes this is a really concise album, which is really nice. It's certainly unique in its tone and style. It's rather humorous and silly, which I enjoy a lot in records. The rapping by MF DOOM was incredible and Madlib's production was extremely unique and fit very well with what they were trying to achieve. But I'm just postponing the inevitable. I didn't like it. Like, at all. It just completely and thoroughly bored me throughout. I feel that objectively it's a solid record and I should have enjoyed it. It's not like it did anything poorly - quite the opposite, in fact. But I didn't enjoy. I'll listen to it again sometime, but for something that's as short as it is, I just didn't enjoy it at all, which is really disappointing. I almost feel like apologizing for not liking it, which is silly, but whatever. I guess that ends my streak, which is unfortunate. Maybe I'll take a break from hip hop for a while.
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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #52
  • Posted: 05/24/2020 01:25
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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill - I said I was gonna take a break from hip hop for a while, and I was planning on listening to some alternative guitar rock or something, but I couldn't think of anything that interested me, so I decided to listen to this since it's really only half a rap record. Anyways, I loved this record, and it made me cry (in a happy way), probably because of my dumbass love problems, but it was a rather empowering record. I can't only like depressing shit I guess. Lauryn is a great MC and a great vocalist and she switched up rapping and singing enough to make the record consistently fresh. It was still rather long, and not every song was great, but as a whole it is an amazing record. Hopefully it'll be the start of another streak, we'll see. I still plan on giving Madvillainy another chance sometime, mostly because I found out it's one of my closest friend's favorite records.
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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #53
  • Posted: 05/25/2020 07:36
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ye by Kanye West - I'm just gonna go through his whole discography. I also listened to Yeezus and MBTDF again today (and I've been listening to random tracks from TCD daily). I was thinking of checking out The Life of Pablo as per Mercury's recommendation, but I'm tired, so I listened to this cause of the short length. I'll check out TLOP tomorrow. Probably. I'm pretty bad at keeping to schedules, but whatever. Okay, the mini-review: the first 5 songs were alright. I didn't really care for All Mine and I thought Wouldn't Leave was probably the best song among those first five, but nothing stood out as particularly great or bad or anything. The last two songs, on the other hand, were excellent, especially Ghost Town, which is easily one of the best songs he's released. I had to go back and listen to it again immediately after finishing the album. Those two tracks were so great that I really have to question the fact that Kids See Ghosts is so much more beloved. It is a better record, but they're pretty comparable, in my opinion. And they're both pretty backloaded, though KSG is more consistent. It certainly never reaches the heights of Ghost Town, though. Not at all. Anyways, I liked this album, but it's way too inconsistent considering its short length. You'd think a seven-song album of only 23 minutes would be super concise and every track would be solid, but that was not the case. Those last two tracks pretty much made up for those shortcomings, though. It's definitely my least favorite of his records thus far, but really not by that much. It's still really good, and once again I think it's silly that KSG overshadowed it so much.

NOTE: After relistening to Yeezus and MBDTF, my opinions on both have changed a bit. I enjoy Yeezus much more on relisten. I really like every song except I'm In It, but 9/10 is still a great ratio, perhaps the best of any of his albums. I believe it's moved up to #2 behind TCD for me. MBDTF, on the other hand, I just had a hard time enjoying as much. I only like about half of it, maybe 60%, and while I don't outright dislike anything, as a whole it just doesn't really come together very much. To be honest, I've attempted listening to it about three times prior to this and shut it off after about three songs, and the first three songs are amongst the best on the album. Plus almost every song drags out way longer than they need to. I still think it's a solid record, and it definitely contains his best material, but I just think it's less enjoyable and fun and charming than his earlier works I've listened to and less consistent and concise than Yeezus. The poduction is great, though, and despite my complaints about track length and dragging stuff out, I still think Runaway is a contendor for song of the decade, and easily his best material. Overall, though, I'd move it second-to-last just above ye so far. They're all really good, though.
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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #54
  • Posted: 05/26/2020 02:35
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The Life of Pablo by Kanye West - I didn't care much for this one, unfortunately. Like all of his albums, I'll be relistening to it sometime, but this is easily my least favorite so far. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me to be his most inconsistent album and it's over an hour long. It's not nearly as charming and well-written as TCD and LR and it's not nearly as well-produced as MBDTF and Yeezus, and it doesn't have a song like Ghost Town that elevates it at all like ye does. Waves and Fade stood out because of their strong prodution, but certainly not their lyricism, and St. Pablo was easily the standout track for me, because it's the only song I feel can stand alongside his other works in terms of songwriting, but it's still no Jesus Walks or Ghost Town. The vast majority of this album was no better than the worst song on TCD (Breathe In Breathe Out), so I don't quite get its love, but maybe it'll grow on me after I listen to it again. I don't know. For now, though, it just seemed like it dragged and wasn't up to par with the rest of his records I've heard in any regards.
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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #55
  • Posted: 05/26/2020 04:48
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Jesus is King by Kanye West - TLOP's run as my least-favorite Kanye record was very short-lived. On the one hand, I will give this album credit for its strong production, which is excellent, as per usual for Kanye. On the other hand, despite being only 27 minutes and none of the songs being even 4 minutes long, it seemed to really drag on, unlike ye or KSG, which were much more successful at this EP-length thing he's been doing. The main problem with this album, however, is the lyricism. Kanye's not the greatest lyricist in the industry by any means, but he is still solid as a songwriter for sure, and this is just disappointing. I will admit that I am very much not religious, but I am a religion minor at a Christian university, so I really don't have any problem with religion, and it can be very interesting when people are using it to say something, like he did in his masterful Jesus Walks. That is, unfortunately, not the case here. This is just boring and bland and really isn't saying anything. Gospel music can be really fun, obviously, but it never really worked here. Nothing was outright bad or anything, and again the production was phenomenal, but as a whole it just feels purposeless, like Kanye just doesn't know what he wants to do with his current style, which, while he's not always made perfect music, has never really been the case before. I'm glad he's (hopefully) using this newfound religious bond to get himself out of the dark hole he's been in for a while, but hopefully he can make better music with it next time.
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NJ



Gender: Male
United States

  • #56
  • Posted: 05/26/2020 08:02
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Graduation by Kanye West - This is pretty similar in quality to ye, maybe a bit better. Which is nice, the last two albums have been a bit of a disappointment. Compared to his previous two albums, this has just as many "filler" tracks, but less great ones, so I don't like it as much. The lack of skits is decent, but in hindsight they kind of acted as a nice break between large sections of music. The middle of this album was pretty bad (Barry Bonds and Drunk and Hot Girls are just not good), but it has a very strong start and a pretty good finish. Good Morning and Champion were great, and Stronger is an absolutely amazing track. The Glory through Big Brother are all good. The real highlight is Flashing Lights, though, which is just so excellent and catchy. Easily one of his best songs, and enough to elevate this album in the same way Ghost Town does for ye. I guess there's only one album left in his solo discography for me to check out, I'll be doing that tomorrow. For the sake of completion, I'll be listening to Watch the Throne as well, though.
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