Weekly Capsule Reviews – 11/09/2016


This week: De La Soul, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Britney Spears

De La Soul – and the Anonymous Nobody… (26/08/2016 – AOI Records (self-released))

One of the most diverse records of this year, not just in hip-hop. The iconic trio feel like they’ve done all they can, collected all the royalties and accolades, but at the same time aren’t afraid to cash the newly-generated cheque. Who’d blame them? It’s what hip-hop always aimed for. And though this still has the cheques, hoes, and cap-in-the-ass self-imposed stereotypes, they still aren’t afraid to dish them out. Who’d blame them? It’s what hip-hop always aimed for. The highlight was the cock-rock and vag-block of Justin Hawkins and his guitar – “Fuck everyone/Burn everything”. Semi-highlights were David Byrne’s toned-down erratic-isms; Usher’s usual soft, breezy tenor; “Drawn”‘s outro bars; and the funk/hip-hop bassline of “Nosed Up”. Quote of the day: “I quit drinking, I quit the narcotics/Life’s a bitch, but she’s seeing a therapist”. (8/10) [Dorney’s Top Records of 2016: #20]

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (09/09/2016 – Bad Seed Ltd. (self-released))

Cave dealing with the loss of his son in July by remaining in the studio assuages the tragedy, and it’s brave. This album was amended to display clearly his dealings with grief and loss, which again is brave and commendable. I will admit this dark moment in Cave’s life has added an extra layer of meaning on the record, like Bowie’s Blackstar(7/10)*

*(amended grade on the 14/01/2017)

Britney Spears – Glory (26/08/2016 – RCA Records)

This set of erotica is as assured as I’ve heard her. She’s in control. “Do You Wanna Come Over?” is about giving it to a guy if he wants it and only if he wants it. How generous and understanding. The album remained on topic, surprisingly, in a way which wasn’t trite and indeed as diverse as she could muster. Sensual (“Just Luv Me”), soul-like (“What You Need”), always physically-moving (“Hard to Forget Ya”), and I don’t even care that the main single’s video “objectifies” men. Probably because I loathe the song. (7/10)


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