News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
October 30, 2014
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Music

Beats to Peep 1: Dev Hynes. Watch the Throne.

By Kossouth Bradford

What’s happening Sonic Treats listeners. Welcome to Beats to Peep, a new addition to Sonic Treats music coverage.

In Beats to Peep I’ll be informing y’all of musical treats I’m soaking up and have a few tracks you can listen to. Most of the albums can be listened to in full at Grooveshark.

Kossouth analyzes some beats, for you. Oil portrait by Michelle Bradford (michellebradford.carbonmade.com).

So an album that is currently getting a lot of rotation is Blood Orange, Coastal Grooves, by Dev Hynes. This is a very nice listen—there’s a real smoothness to it. The album blends a few styles: funk, spaghetti western, Asian, pop—quite impressively. Dev Hynes has a soft melodic voice that compliments the rhythmic guitar work, and the album has an almost lighter-funkier David Lynch-Blue Velvet vibe to it. A nice album for your 8 o’clock cocktail party—your folks will be ready to mix up and get a little sassy after they leave your crib—lyrics are kid friendly.

Another album I’m listening to is 1977  by The Dream, and to be honest I’m somewhat shocked about this. I am not normally a fan of poppy R’n’B but this is a very enjoyable album. The Dream’s sound has a lush-fuzzed-out soulful mood to it. Catchy melodic hooks with some density to them—a guilty-pleasure listen. No doubt, The Dream is a talented cat, like an R’n’B version of Kanye in regards to his musical fearlessness and ear for engrossing sounds. You might put this album on after a tough week with your loved one or to help with a frustrating ride on the subway after you were denied the opportunity to know your date more thoroughly.
What makes this even better is that it’s free. Download the entire album at Datpiff.com. Keep out of your kids ears–some dirty language.

Last album I’m going to discuss is Watch the Throne, by Kanye and Jay Z. I know it has been discussed to death but I must say, this album has some nasty tracks on it. I wasn’t expecting much, wasn’t a fan of the singles released. However, there are about 5 to 8 very tight tracks, 2 to 3 solid tracks and maybe 4 to 5 throwaways.

My picks are “Murder to Excellence,” “Primetime,” and “Gotta Have it.”

When Kanye and Jay Z do it right on this album, they crush it—lyrically and musically–pushing boundaries on both fronts, with an impressive level of intimacy and vulnerability cloaked in bravado. These are two black men who fought upstream most of their lives, now trying to come to terms with the surreal level of fame, wealth and influence they currently possess.

Some of the beats have a real visceral emotional power to them.

Not for children’s ears.

Take care folks—Happy listening

Kossouth

Watch the Throne on grooveshark.com,

The-Dream-1977 on datpiff.com

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