‘Action’ is backed with brand new b-side ‘For Miguel’ which is our attempt at R’n’B. D’angelo and Neo Soul played a big part in inspiring it.
Is he trying to be ASAP or TI or something? It’s odd hearing that flow from him, but also entertaining. “My girl looks like Miss Info” is great but the Treyvon shout feels like a cheap deployment of a serious issue and doesn’t make any sense in the context of the track. And “homophobes on gay shit” - what? Meanwhile, I really like “fucked up like white girls with dreadlocks” and the bit where he switches from talking to rapping mid sentence and the fake-Clams (etc) beat.
Gambino also pops up on the "international remix" of the new Sway single where he repeats his own jokes (the Mona Lisa bit here « the EE Cummings bit in Freaks and Geeks) and generally comes off as lazy and boring. Ho hum.
Dre feature seems an odd choice for his first big overground single, but his verse is solid. Kendrick is still being Kendrick - always pleasing but never amazing, to me. I need to hit Section 80 a few more times and see if it clicks. This is good, I like it (that beat is made for lazy summer afternoons) but I don’t yet get why everyone is going out for this guy. - That said, I only just “got” Danny Brown this weekend. Give me time, world.
This is VERY good. Who knew I wanted to hear Liars doing Junior Boys doing krautrock? It looks good on them though and makes the promise of a “largely electronic” new record a very appealing one. They’ve always been good at “pretty” when they wanted to. I have a tendency to refract everything that gets released from April onwards through the prism of summer and if that new Kendrick is for doing absolutely nothing on a hot afternoon, this is the song you want on as you drive home through a cool night. The album’s out in June and based on this, could be doing some Best of the Year business. (On second listen: This could be like the brooding older brother to Cut Copy’s “Need You Now”).
(Inevitably, Jamieson Cox will write something much better about this than I could ever manage, so I’m not going to go deep here). I do kind of miss Longstreth sounding like he’s not really sure what singing is, but his new found vocal confidence is great. Still, my favourite moments are when he breaks loose from the croon and yelps. This surprisingly smooth and uh… will you all leave if I say funky? But specifically “funky” in a Spoon circa Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga way. It has the same feeling of having been broken down and rebuilt with fewer parts - for much of the song we’re just hearing vocals, drums and sprightly bass. It’s great but not “Stillness Is the Move” great, but, you know, not many songs are.
There’s a very real chance “R.A.P. Music” is going to be one of the best hip-hop records of 2012. No surprises here - Mike raps like he needs to and El-P’s beat is gymnastic and bombastic in equal measures, going from huge foreboding intro to a slimmer first verse then expanding to a bigger, bassier third section. Its really, really good.