RUN THE JEWELS- RTJ 3
The most exciting duo in rap right now drop a free mixtape on Christmas day and continue their winning streak with this third self titled album release. Their political anger is understandably ramped up, but so is their joy- two guys celebrating a true friendship and partnership who are in the zone playing off of each other. And the production is A-one as usual.
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THE XX- I SEE YOU
3rd album and first since 2012’s “Coexist” is both an improvement on that record and a step forward for the band. While maintaining the group’s signature smooth, sultry sound the xx incorporates elements from dj Jamie xx’s solo career and uses samples for the first time.
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Atlanta trap-rappers piggy-back and the success of #1 single “Bad and Boujee” and follow-up smash “T-Shirt” with the best album of their career so far. Though “Culture” is certainly front-loaded it’s still by far their most consistently good release so far and its unique but more accessible sound should garner the group a ton of new fans.
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JULIE BYRNE- NOT EVEN HAPPINESS
Sophomore album by NYC transplant Julie Byrne is a beautiful and serene mixture of folk and new age music. It’s over in just over thirty minutes and feels even shorter- there are no weak moments.
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CLOUD NOTHINGS- LIFE WITHOUT SOUND
“Life Without Sound” continues Cleveland indie rocker Dylan Baldi’s winning streak to three in a row. It is a slightly more melodic update of the passionate, energetic, lo-fi bash-pop sound the band has carved out over most of the past decade. And the drums remain ferocious.
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