Weekly Capsule Reviews: 06/08/2017


This week: Oddisee, Josh Okeefe, Arcade Fire, Vic Mensa

Oddisee: The Iceberg [Mellow Music, 24/02/2017]

More R&B than hip-hop; plenty on the rhythm side, little on the blues, the way it should be. In fact it powers through the underlying blues with what we’re forgetting to take in today: fun and being thankful for our measly possessions even if it’s as simple as that bare mantel. With a lot of these clean-cut moralists there’s a lesson which we should always heed. Whether that’s respecting yourself, the people around you, or taking note of your “progress”, pick one, it’s enough. (8/10)

Josh Okeefe: Josh Okeefe [self-released, 16/06/2017]

Pain as catharsis and trying his utmost to stir up imagery from the Nashville plains he inhabits a lot more now. But he’s still an Anglophile—Salford, the Busby Babes, and “Fergie Time” are first on the bill, even if he’s from Derby. (7/10)

Arcade Fire: Everything Now [Sonovox/Columbia, 28/07/2017]

Nuggets throughout, thankfully, defending us from what the crits and fanboys were dreading since before their veneration of Funeral, i.e. nothing. The nuggets, you ask? “Love is hard, sex is easy”; “Saying, ‘God, make me famous/If you can’t, just make it painless'”; and… yeah, why not, “You and me, we’ve got (chemistry)”. (6/10)

Vic Mensa: The Autobiography [Roc Nation/Capitol, 28/07/2017]

If you’re unsure of his stoner status after “Rollin’ Like a Stoner”, then “And then police come in the crib, looking all out the window/And shorty come out the bathroom, mad as a schizo/I wanna speak to her, but as a minority/I had to hide the weed first, that’s a priority” should sure it up. But what’s worse, that or the Gucci flip-flops? There’s something off about having There’s Alot Going On released last year ahead of this “memoir”. Fleshing out his mistakes previously but reliving them here, even just as a means of spiritual and mental cleansing, might confuse the listeners if they weren’t in tune beforehand. Mensa’s still not quite there, tunes-wise and personally. (5/10)

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