Staff Picks: 1/1-1/7

Mark Noisiri
Artist: Midnight Kids Academy
Album: Class of MMXII
Comments: Let me start off by saying that this album was all I was listening to for the past week, partly because I’m the executive producer and the album dropped January 1, 2012. Got it completed just before 11pm that night. Midnight Kids Academy is an international collective of artists which I am a part of, and we decided to put together this compilation Class of MMXII to start off the new year on a high note. These are all highlight tracks made by the collective’s various musicians in 2011. The roster is very diverse, but all keep in touch with a certain atmospheric theme. Highly recommended for electronic and experimental urban music lovers and people that just want to look for a refreshing take on music in general. A free 29 track sonic experience just for you. Happy New Year.

Will Donelson
Assistant Editor
Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Album: All Delighted People
Comments: The Age of Adz is spectacular. It took me way, way too long to realize that, but it’s true. It’s a downright stunning album. The same year, however, Sufjan released this EP, and for the life of me I just can’t figure out how he was able to. Really, both this EP and the allbum are seminal (and long!) – it really is odd 2010 was such a big year for him. I’d almost say this EP is testing the water for Age of Adz. There’s more electronic influence, and it’s being combined with the large-scale orchestral work of The B.Q.E. The 11-minute “All Delighted People” and 17-minute “Djohariah” could also be seen as precursors to The Age of Adz‘s epic 25-minute “Impossible Soul”. The thing is, though, this assumption is unfair to just how long Age of Adz must have been in the works. The truth is, All Delighted People is its own epic, strange and magnificent beast.

Courtnay Glatter
Artist: Rihanna
Album: Talk That Talk
Comments: I have to say despite really good reviews it isn’t my favorite of Riri’s efforts so far.Talk That Talk is full of sexual songs. There are 11 songs on the CD and four of them are explicitly just about sex. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a bit much. I totally get singing about being attracted to someone and wanting them but it seems like there is an unnecessary abundance of songs about getting down. If that is totally your thing and you can really feel that then the CD is one for you. I just feel that sometimes there is more to talk about.  On the other hand, her slower songs about love like “Farewell” andWe All Want Love” showcase her unique voice and are absolutely the Rihanna tunes I know and love. All in all, the CD is decent. I would give it 3/5 stars, but I, like many others, want Rihanna to take some time in between her next efforts. It’s okay if you go away for a while Rihanna, it will be all the better when we see you again.

Carlos Reyes
Artist: Lykke Li
Album: Wounded Rhymes
It was difficult to chose an artist this week because on one had you want to start the year celebrating, but on the other you can feel a little melancholic about the time that had just passed. That’s why Lykke Li’s Wounded Rhymes is perfect; it has the best of both worlds. On one side you can dance to “Get Some” and feel like getting down to “Youth Knows No Pain”; on the other, it’s impossible not to reminisce about sad times with “Unrequited Love”.

Matt Fox
Assistant Editor
Artist: moe.
Album: What Happened to the La La’s
For the record, I’m not one to listen to jam bands. And by that I mean I never listen to jam bands. My knowledge of the genre goes as far as Electric Apricot and abruptly ends there. I received this album for review a couple days ago, and have been listening to it nonstop since. There’s a lot more to these guys than I expected, and each track has a different sound to it. At times I feel like I’m listening to a country album, but in the next hand it sounds like a mewithoutYou record. Check back soon for a review of the album!

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