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Top 3 Easy To Listen To Albums/Mixtapes
This list is no no particular order I just listed the Top 3 easiest to listen to albums (not in order from greatest album). This review is broken up into three sections: production, content, and vocals. This review if for people who enjoy in depth analysis of music and like music as a whole not specific to one genre or style. All the albums featured on this list were released in 2015.
1. Ego Death
1. Ego Death
The first on the list is Ego death released by the band The Internet. The internet is a soul band consisting of members: Syd the kid, Matt Martians, Jameel Bruner, Patrick Paige, Christopher A. Smith, and Steve Lacy. The Internet is a west coast based band affiliated with OFWGKTA their debut album was the very wonderful Purple Naked Ladies. The vocals and production on Purple Naked Ladies wasn't the best, but The Internet was fresh on the seen and was struggling to find their footing.
This album is a vast improvement in sound quality and instrumental quality compared to previous bodies of work. There is actually a full band this time and there is quite a bit of live instrumentation. The production is good the band sounds rehearsed and the different instruments really blend compositionally. The music isn't unnecessarily loud it's instead soothing and mellow. The production quality and instruments compliment each other adding to the flow of the whole album. This instruments have a funky vibe to them with a very smooth tone. The sequenced drumming does sound a little flat, but there is room for improvement. The band and producer did a wonderful job at creating captivating grooves.
Syd the Kid has made leaps and bounds since previous works. Syd the Kid stays into her range she doesn't stray much and that makes for a very soothing sound. When Syd the Kid does reach for higher ranges she delivers. The vocals on this album can be improved significantly, but they aren't bad infact they're pleasant.
The content on this album isn't dark or heavy it doesn't try to tackle controversial topics, but instead focuses on a significant other. The main topic on the album is love with dashes of soul. The whole album is very light hearted and mellow not dark and heavy. The album content stays pretty consistent in all 14 tracks, but you don't buy an Internet album to hear about political injustice.
Ego Death Album
My personal favorite on this list.....Trapsoul by Bryson Tiller. This album is an R&B album with soul and trap influenced beats. This is Bryson Tiller's debut album attaining the number 11 position on Billboard 200. Bryson Tiller was born in Louisville, Kentucky after releasing the song "Don't" on Soundcloud he started to gain major internet attention. Even rapper, singer, songwriter Drake and producer Timbaland co-signed him.
This album was produced by Fade MaJah, J-Louis, Gravez, Milli Beatz, Rob Holladay, Dopeboi, Sango, Ayo & Keyz, Bagheera Smoov, SykSense, Timbaland, and The MeKanics. Partnering up with some well known producer has definitely paid off. Sonically this album sound absolutely amazing I could listen to the beats all day. The beats are laid back with the drums and bass packing a heavy punch. The trap instruments are bass heavy delivering a very resonating deep sound. The instruments are low key, but are overt and vibrant in songs like "Rambo". The production and sound is more mood music and would fit really well in parties or times of intimacy. The sound is very chill and with strong trap pizazz. The name definitely fits the album when you buy this album what you get is what you expect.....Trap flavor with the smoothness of soul.
The vocals on this album are really good and compliment the good production quality. Bryson Tiller does a really good job with matching the beat flow. Tiller on this album has a Drake-esque sound, but is distinct enough to be unique. He does a good job with the rhyming flow to deliver very memorable and catchy songs. The pace of his voice and the beat make for a low/medium pace. The pace isn't upbeat, but at the same time it isn't slow and sluggish. The vocals matched with the very structured beat composition makes for an album that is very easy to listen to. You can easily play this album in the background and work without the album being too distracting. Tiller can sing really well and rap when he needs to he mainly stays in one voice range and doesn't stray very often. This makes for a very consistent sound, but it is different enough to not be boring. Bryson Tiller came out of nowhere with this amazing album and delivered. Tiller set the bar high for future pieces of work.
Tiller's sings/raps mainly about girls like all the albums on this list. The soul oriented theme is centered around a significant other. The theme is consistent through all 14 songs on this album. The content again isn't controversial and it doesn't tackle political topics it is just simply soulful. The album has a lot of quotables and the writing paints pictures in a mellow vivid way. Tiller made a genius move in combining trap and soul. This creates a unique sound making the content flow and have rhythm without missing the smoothness of soul. Tiller leans more towards the soul side when it comes to his content not touching the trap subject matter. In fact the only trap vibe on this album comes in the form of the beats and production. Like all the albums/mixtapes on this list they all have really relatable themes and content and this album is no exception. It's almost like Tiller has a song for every occasion in your life.
3. Chixtapes 3
The majority of production was done by Play Picasso. The production on this mixtape was very unorthodox and interesting they took popular R&B songs from the 2000's and altered them to make them sound new. Alicia Keys, Usher, Myron Avant, Juvenile, and Jagged Edge were some of the few musicians music that was on this mixtape. Taking old R&B songs and flipping them to make them sound brand new is a very interesting approach and makes for great music. Sampling music is the essentials in music creation, but the production on this mixtape was different it was more than just sampling it was completely altering the old track. When you listen to the beats and production on this mixtape it's like it transports you to a happier time. The beats alone set up the perfect tone for the mixtape and really give good support to the vocals.
Tory Lanez is really talented when it comes to singing. He sounds a lot like Bryson Tiller, but Lanez has a more of a classical R&B vibe to his vocals. The vocals on this mixtape matched with the amazing production makes for a really lax and chill mixtape to listen to. The beats and singing on this mixtape is smoother and softer compared to Trapsoul. Lanez is more experimental when it comes to ranges and that pays off big time. Lanez seems a lot more seasoned and experienced when it comes to creating music. Makes sense given how Chixtape 3 is the third installment in the Chixtape trilogy that follows a story line. Because this album is centered around a story line the albums vocals sound more meaningful and it adds depth to the singing. The vocals have a modern classic feel to them making for an interesting sound, blending the new with the old.
The Chixtape 3 follows a story line about Tory Lanez's girlfriend Jalissa and his new found interest in her best friend Keisha. The moody emotionally in tune lyrics matched with modern classic vocals and great production makes for an amazing mixtape to listen to. Lanez again has very relatable music that resonate with the listeners. People say that Lanez and Tiller are just failed Drake clones. I would disagree with that because every rapper or singer has their own style sometimes that style draws inspiration from other artists. To say that because Lanez and Tiller have similar style (or content) to Drake they are biting his style is ignorant. The whole art of hip hop and R&B is to sample and draw style from previous people's work so you can shape and form your own. Don't believe me look up your favorite rap songs or R&B songs I guarantee a majority of them sampled music from previous known songs. So Yes, Tiller, Lanez, and Drake have very similar content and wrtiting materiel, but they are all good in their own unique way.