Remember when Woody self-leaked “Big Poppa” earlier this summer, and we all got really excited about it? Well, his full length remix of all things B.I.G. has finally been released! Woody has proved himself before with the Woody x Kanye West Remixed album he released in May, and this Notorious remix is even better (if that is possible since the first one included Kanye).
My favorite has to be the first track: “Juicy”. Being an awesome hip-hop classic by itself, you would think this was a challenge for Woody but the whole song sounds so effortless and does not loose any of Biggie in it at all. Of course, there are other standout tracks on the album as well, including “One More Chance”, “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and the before mentioned “Big Poppa”. Check it out track by track below, or go to Woody’s Soundcloud and download the whole thing.
As a die-hard Biggie fan, I was more than slightly concerned when I saw a SoundCloud link to this mixtape pop up on my twitter feed. I do not know much about Lana del Rey except for her horrendous Saturday Night Live appearance that happened a few weeks ago, but for some reason, people seem to like her for her over-hyped quirkiness. Therefore, I could not be more confused about this mash-up. How would this work? How dare Terry Urban disgrace a hip-hop God by mixing his tracks with…this girl?
Since I picked my copy, Days is the only thing that’s on rotation. I’m absolutely thrilled with it: sound, track list, lyrics, unity, fluidity, you get it right? While Real Estate’s self titled was a delight, it was the tip of the iceberg for these New Jersey natives. Days is their submergence into the soft beach rock sound that your ear craves.
“Easy” literally eases you into the entire album. Constructing the relationship that’s the focal point of the album, creating vivid images, gentle riffs that ebb and flow in your ear. You’re led into this relationship with Real Estate and it involves different colored leaves, aimless drives, picturesque scenery, it’s the most hip relationship you’ve ever been in and you better take a picture with a polaroid camera quickly.
“Green Aisles” is a dream both reminiscent in it’s lyrics and hushed percussion, it’s a lullaby that quickly gets juxtaposed with “It’s Real”, a shorter but most upbeat track found on the album. And here’s where I lose my shit: “Kinder Blumen” (Child flower? I’ll save title analysis for another blog). Upon hearing the guitar riff for the first time, you’re automatically in a different mind-set. You’re far away from whatever reality you may have to face for the next 3 minutes and 56 seconds. There’s something about instrumental tracks that really resonate with me and it’s especially bound to happen with the seemingly effortless strumming and plucking that makes this song so lush.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the album was having Alex Bleeker (bass) sing “Wonder Years”, one of the more honest and up-front songs lyrically. “I’m not yours/ And you’re not mine/ And I’m not okay but I guess I’m doing fine”. Exemplifying the harsh realities of romantic relationship constructions.
Along with Real Estate’s ability to capture memories of youthful experiences and romantic feelings, they’re best at taking the ambiguity of those times and simplifying them into that “ah-ha!” moment; providing for more forward and focused vocals (Martin Courtney). The album is still chop-full of reverb and echo’s, as expected, but altogether it’s much more clear and direct. As a whole, Days is seamless, no track is out of place, it’s a true gem of an album for 2011. You’re undoubtedly able to listen to the cyclical guitar riffs for days, as you should.
As the days drew closer to the release of this album, it made me realize how underrated Portugal. The Man is. They’re that band you know, heard one song, heard of them but haven’t really listened to. They’ve somehow managed to straddle the radar, which isn’t a bad thing. It shows consistency. Playing together since 2004, In The Mountain In The Cloud is their sixth album released and they’re still able to deliver a quality blend of rock, blues, and psychedelic guitar riffs.
Let’s say you’ve just picked up this album, good for you. What’s the first thing you should know? What you’re holding is a work of art created by the band themselves. That’s right, PTM is kind of one of those DIY bands in the sense that they draw their own cover art (with a bit of help).