Category Archives: Albums

Cajun Tomato’s 2012 Favorite Albums Pt. 2

I swear my ears fell in and out of love with albums this year like they were Taylor Swift. This in love one week, out of love next week, in love again cycle made it harder to pick a favorite album this year than the previous three years I compiled my favorite albums. Like Ms. Swift, I am recounting my infatuations, only these involve albums that I still love. These 10 albums are NEVER EVER leaving my iPod.

Below are Cajun Tomato’s 2012 Favorite Albums Pt. 2.

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Cajun Tomato’s 2012 Favorite Albums Pt. 1

The other night I watched Doomsday Preppers on National Geographic. The preppers were maniacal in storing emergency rations of food, buying enough gun ammo to shoot thousands of zombies, and mapping multiple escape routes from their cities. What the show taught me: I am fucked if the Mayan Apocalypse happens in three days. We probably all are.

At least I have music. Lots of great new music. I’ll coat my ears with it till the shit hits the fan. It won’t save me. Then again, I won’t have to worry about hearing loss if the shit hits the fan. Gotta find the silver linings!

Below is Part One of my Cajun Tomato’s 2012 Favorite Albums list in descending order. Also, I encourage you to peruse my favorite albums of 2011 Part 1 and Part 2, 2010, and 2009.

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Album Review: The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Out now

It’s too late to say Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be huge. Their debut, The Heist, rose to the No. 1 album position on iTunes shortly after release Tuesday. It’s a deserved peak. The album, as I view it, steals back hip-hop, transporting it from endless phony posturing back to more authentic territory without sacrificing an ounce of fun.

Here is my track-by-track analysis of The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis:

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Allejuah! New Godspeed And Other Upcoming Albums Making My Ears Drool

Allejuah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Just in time for the Mayan apocalypse, tonight Constellation Records revealed the Oct. 16 release of Canadian orchestral rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s first new album in a decade. The exclamation-friendly album is titled “Allejuah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” It will, assuredly, be the soundtrack of our world ceasing. If it’s not, I am demanding a refund. Let me not get ahead of myself though.

Godspeed is just one of the albums I am excited about this fall. You might recall I prematurely named my “Favorite Album of 2012″ finalists last week. You probably don’t. Here’s the link, as proof.

Below are albums whose upcoming releases are making my ears drool.

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2012 Favorite Album Finalists

My Jersey friend and occasional Cajun Tomato correspondent Lloyd Nelson objected to the idea of me listing my 2012 Favorite Album finalists with three months left in the year. So naturally I decided to go forward compiling my list. This is subject to revision. Late releases by Titus Andronicus, Big Boi, and Kendrick Lamar could all find themselves in the discussion.

Here, in alphabetical order, are my finalists for Favorite Album of 2012.

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Album Review: “Cruel Summer” by G.O.O.D. Music

"Cruel Summer" by G.O.O.D. Music

Album Review: “Cruel Summer”

Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music collective’s new album “Cruel Summer” hit the Internet Thursday night. I had high expectations. Kanye is a genius and Pusha T is one of the best rappers around. As my friend Wastro says, what could possibly go wrong? Hmmm … did I mention this is a collective effort?

Here’s a track-by-track analysis for “Cruel Summer”:

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Stop The Presses: Pitchfork Declares Animal Collective Album Merely Good

The upset of the college football season happened Tuesday, despite no games being on the day’s docket. Pitchfork, indie music’s judge, jury, and executioner of everything hip and cool, did NOT bestow Animal Collective’s eighth full-length album, Centipede Hz, with the coveted “Best New Music” tag – the first time in almost a decade the experimental Baltimore band failed to earn the site’s highest review honor for a new full-length release.

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A Not So Bold Prediction: Pitchfork Names Animal Collective Best New Music

In a little under five hours indie music tastemaker Pitchfork will bestow a Best New Music tag on experimental earbleeders Animal Collective’s eighth album, Centipede Hz. There’s no surer thing in the world of indie than a slobbering, cream-slacked Animal Collective album review on Pitchfork.

Animal Collective’s most recent album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, received a well-deserved 9.6 from Pitchfork. MPP remains the only Animal Collective album I enjoy. Its Beach Boys on an acid trip leanings represented a sharp turn from the band’s previous forays into masturbatory, hallucinogenic sonic pigshit. Obnoxious drone, nails scratching on chalkboard, shout, shout, oh god make it stop, tripping in the woods, shoutshoutshoutSHOUT!!! There you have Animal Collective’s pre-2009 recipe for success, with precious few exceptions.

Centipede Hz comes out Tuesday on Domino Records. I am expecting Pitchfork to shell out a 9.2 or above on it, thus raising questions whether one of the band’s four members has compromising photos of Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber. Centipede Hz will thus join albums from Frank Ocean, Beach House, Fiona Apple, and Swans as the five to garner Pitchfork’s coveted 9.0+ ratings in 2012.

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Salon Writer Errs In Calling Pitchfork People’s List A “Scandal”

Not On The People's List

Watergate. The 1919 Black Sox. Pitchfork’s People’s List.

Scandals, all. Well, that last one’s not a scandal to anyone except this guy.

Pitchfork asked its readers to name their favorite albums during the influential music site’s 15-year history. Slate writer Jody Rosen used the “s” word in describing it. Why? Two words: white guys.

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Is Frank Ocean A Shoo-In For Pitchfork Album Of The Year? (A Statistical Analysis)

Frank Ocean at Coachella

The hype surrounding Frank Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange, reached a fever pitch Thursday morning when indie tastemaker website Pitchfork gave the rising R&B star a 9.5 on a 10 scale, earning him a coveted Best New Music label. To put this in perspective, Pitchfork has bestowed scores of 9.5 or higher to six other albums the past decade. Those albums were The Wrens’ Meadowlands (9.5, 2003), The Fiery Furnaces’ Blueberry Boat (9.6, 2004), Arcade Fire’s Funeral (9.7, 2004), Kanye West’s Late Registration (9.5, 2005), Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (9.6, 2009), and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (10, 2010). Three of those six won Album of the Year – Funeral, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Pitchfork editor-in-chief Ryan Schrieber’s tweet from Thursday indicated Ocean would win Album of the Year if the year ended today. That’s no surprise, given the praise Pitchfork lavished on Channel Orange and the fact the next highest score the site has awarded this year is a 9.1 to Beach House’s Bloom. But not only is 2012 far from over but there are several Pitchfork favorites releasing albums in the coming months. Animal Collective, Ariel Pink, Grizzly Bear, Big Boi and Kanye West, all of whom have recent 9.0 or better albums to their credit, are dropping new music in the coming months. So while Ocean is most likely assured a spot in the Top 3, he has not locked up Album of the Year (yet, at least).

Here’s a statistical look at how Pitchfork’s scoring practices have changed over the past decade, from a more liberal approach a decade ago that resulted in unpredictable year-end albums list to their more streamlined and conservative approach to doling out 9.0 scores in recent years.

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