Open Mike Eagle

Melalbums of 2015 (loved list)

Here are my favorite records of the year thus far, in no particular order and continuously updated:

Sleater-KinneyNo Cities to Love

Björk – Vulnicura

Susanne SundførTen Love Songs

Screaming FemalesRose Mountain

Open Mike EagleA Special Episode Of EP

DoomtreeAll Hands

Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly

Laura MarlingShort Movie

Titus AndronicusThe Most Lamentable Tragedy

Advertisements

Melalbums of 2014 (in no particular order)

Stephen Malkmus and the JicksWig Out at Jagbags

WarpaintWarpaint

Sun Kil Moon Benji

St. VincentSt. Vincent

Wild Beasts Present Tense

BeckMorning Phase

Freddie Gibbs & MadlibPiñata

LiarsMess

Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere Else

Have a Nice LifeThe Unnatural World

A Silver Mt. ZionFuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

The War on DrugsLost in the Dream

The Pains of Being Pure at HeartDays of Abandon

BraidNo Coast

The New PornographersBrill Bruisers

tUnE-yArDsNikki Nack

Against Me!Transgender Dysphoria Blues

SwansTo Be Kind

Sharon Van EttenAre We There

First Aid KitStay Gold

J. MascisTied to a Star

Thurston Moore The Best Day

clipping.CLPPNG

Mimicking BirdsEons

Open Mike EagleDark Comedy

Busdriver Perfect Hair

milo a toothpaste suburb

Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty

FKA Twigs LP1

Aphex Twin Syro

Princess NokiaMetallic Butterfly

Azealia BanksBroke With Expensive Taste

Iceage Plowing Into the Field of Love

Perfume GeniusToo Bright

Mick JenkinsThe Water[s]

Caribou Our Love

Flying Lotus You’re Dead!

Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2

D’Angelo and the VanguardBlack Messiah

Milo – Things that Happen at Day/Things that Happen at Night

I was stoked when I found out Milo was releasing his debut album, a double EP, that involves the theme of day versus night and other overarching messages that go along with that concept. He recently signed to HellFyre Club that Busdriver  and Open Mike Eagle are both signed to (how cool is that?!), so naturally I had high expectations for this new release. Personally, I really enjoyed Milo takes Baths, his last release, mainly because he rapped over the instrumental glitchy-electronic beats of the artist Baths, who I happen to enjoy quite a bit. Though I enjoyed this album, I felt slightly underwhelmed by it when compared to his previous release I Wish My Brother Rob was Here, which seemed more consistent in the sense that it was varied and flowed effortlessly. Milo takes Baths has some killer tracks on it, but was too short and lacking. Milo makes up for this on Things that Happen at Day/Things that Happen at Night by a long shot. I’m going to try and review this double EP without transforming too much into fangirl mode.

Things that Happen at Day dropped first and my initial reaction basically was love at first listen. The beats were right on point, the lyrics as cleverly written as ever, and Milo sounds more confident than before, like he is proud of his new sound and still maintains his “Modest Milo” swag while showing off how well his rapping skills have developed since his last mixtape. “Folk-Metaphysics” stood out to me immensely. Milo raps about a to-do list like, “I should eat more Fig Newtons and sign petitions for Women Right’s Movements.” I also love the hook on that track, “I won’t make promises I can’t keep, which is why I won’t make promises ever. And when I write letters to those ex-girlfriends, that’s going to be the header.” Also, did I mention how sick the beat is on this song? The guitar sounds mildly bluesy and the electronic part that jumps in makes the track really come alive. I love how Milo sings in reference to the song “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers. The strings on the song “Legends of the Hidden Temple” are absolutely beautiful. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by this first EP because the beats, references, and messages were all so solid and it felt like I was listening to the same old Milo with a fresh new sound.

As for Things that Happen at Night, I immediately took notice of the references throughout the EP. Sailor Moon, Harry Potter, Gus Haynes (The Wire), and several others are spit out on the table along with other insightful ideas that Milo is known to spit about in his music. He samples the Warpaint song “Billie Holiday” on the track “Monologion” and that blew me away at first listen. I’ll admit that I wasn’t too hot on the beat used in the track “The Gus Haynes Cribbage League” because the generic high-hat beat seemed all too familiar and I was surprised to hear Milo using a beat that sounded so radio-friendly. However, the lyrics, of course, were so substantial and as soon as Busdriver spit out his rollercoaster-esque flow, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride. “Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (for Schopenhauer)” is probably one of Milo’s best songs yet, in my opinion. He is as philosophical as ever and the Middle-Eastern vocals that are sampled add a transcendental feel to it. Finally, there is a hidden track at the very end of this song that closes the album. Milo is rapping along with Open Mike Eagle about a pizza party with all of their friends that somehow involves Gameboys, dancing to Notorious, and someone stealing the pesto spinach garlic pizza slices. It’s just a goofy track, but the beat is so uplifting and fun. A good way to end such a captivating EP.

I know this has been nothing but positive feedback about this new double EP, but as a critical music listener I must offer some elements of this release that I feel weren’t implemented as effectively as they could have been. Ultimately, I do enjoy how insightful Milo is with his philosophical constructs that lead him on a search to find objective truth, his political ideologies, his literary references, and the many geek culture references that he tends to tip his hat to. According to Milo, this double EP has an intended theme: “exploring duality and responsibility. it is unavoidably obtuse, overwhelmingly self-important and I am not sorry.” I’d agree with this, but I have to say that in terms of both EPs I’m not sure exactly how they are too different in the themes they portray. As a whole, I’m sold on every track and I love this thing to death. But when it comes to differentiating Things that Happen at Day and Things that Happen at Night, I’m at a loss because it seems difficult to decipher. I’m not trying to state that the mere concept of this release is too overwhleming or anything; I just feel as though there wasn’t a significant difference between the two EPs that would create such a lightness versus darkness concept of some sort. In other words, the EPs sound great as a whole, but I’m not sure how they’re intended to stand alone because separately, they do not seem to resonate as strongly because they aren’t too drastically different to me.

Needless to say, this double EP was everything I could ask for from Milo and more. I graduated with a philosophy degree which is why I appreciate all of the philosophical ideas that he throws at the listeners, but I think that anyone could relate to Milo regardless, because of how open he is and how much he references our current society. If you like underground hip hop or clever lyrics, this dude is your man. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

9/10

Melalbums: Top 50 Albums of 2012

50. Why?Mumps, etc.

49. Cat Power Sun

48. Twin ShadowConfess

47. P. O. SWe Don’t Even Live Here

46. Sharon van EttenTramp

45. Port St. WillowHoliday

44. PinbackInformation Retrieved

43. Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky

42. MiloMilo Takes Baths

41. Torche Harmonicraft

40. Mount EerieClear Moon

39. Andrew BirdBreak It Yourself

38. Fang IslandMajor

37. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

36. Purity Ring Shrines

35. Mac DeMarco – 2

34. Liars – WIXIW

33. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind

32. Sun Kil MoonAmong The Leaves

31. Beach HouseBloom

30. Open Mike Eagle 4NML HSPTL

29. BurialKindred EP

28. Kendrick Lamar –  good kid, m.A.A.d city

27. WaxahatcheeAmerican Weekend

26. The Mountain GoatsTranscendental Youth

25. Aesop RockSkelethon

24. Shearwater Animal Joy

23. Grizzly Bear Shields

22. Flying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes

21. LazerbeakLava Bangers

20. Lone Galaxy Garden

19. Wild NothingNocturne

18. TNGHTTNGHT EP

17. The EvensThe Odds

16.  Death GripsThe Money Store

15. The Tallest Man On EarthThere’s No Leaving Now

14. Frank Oceanchannel ORANGE

13. Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light

12. Tame ImpalaLonerism

11. Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 It

10. Dark Time SunshineANX

9. Alt-JAn Awesome Wave

8. Matthew DearBeams

7. Jens Lekman I Know What Love Isn’t

6. DeerhoofBreakup Song

5. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do

4. Cloud Nothings Attack On Memory

3. Anaïs MitchellYoung Man in America

2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ’Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

1. SwansThe Seer

Honorable mentions: Joie De VivreWe’re All Better Than This, GrimesVisions, Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, A Place to Bury Strangers – Worship, Screaming FemalesUgly, SerengetiC.A.R., The Sea and Cake Runner, StarsThe North, MoonfaceHeartbreaking Bravery

***For some reason or another, I found these albums to be enjoyable but inconsistent in some way. They each had some incredible songs, but as a whole they didn’t resonate with me as strongly as the 50 albums I chose above.

What are YOUR favorite albums of 2012? I’m sure I missed out on a ton of albums, so please let me know any ones you think are worth checking out that didn’t make it onto my list.

Melalbums of 2012 list (in no particular order)

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Swans – The Seer

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do

Perfume Genius- Put Your Back N 2 It

Anaïs Mitchell – Young Man in America

Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t

TNGHT – TNGHT EP

Dark Time Sunshine – ANX

Mount Eerie – Clear Moon

Open Mike Eagle – 4NML HSPTL

Burial – Kindred EP

Why? – Mumps, Etc.

Cat Power – Sun

Deerhoof – Breakup Song

Waxahatchee – American Weekend

Milo – Milo Takes Baths

Lazerbeak – Lava Bangers

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city

Sun Kil Moon – Among the Leaves

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

Grizzly Bear – Shields

Lone – Galaxy Garden

Death Grips – The Money Store

Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE

Beach House – Bloom

Aesop Rock – Skelethon

The Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth

Wild Nothing  – Nocturne

Screaming Females – Ugly

Fang Island – Major

The Men – Open Your Heart

Liars – WIXIW

Matthew Dear – Beams

Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This

Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky

Pinback – Information Retrieved

Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

Torche – Harmonicraft

Shearwater – Animal Joy

Mission of Burma – Unsound

Port St. Willow – Holiday

Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

P.O.S – We Don’t Even Live Here

…to be continued…