Oneohtrix Point Never- Garden of Delete
For nearly 10 years now, Daniel Lopatin has been making music that eschewed every populist notion that comes to mind. It’s kitschy, glitchy and sometimes rather itchy, 100% wool sweaters for the ears. Garden of Delete continues this trend, an album about nothingness from a protagonist removed from characterization named Ezra. The music is just as esoteric and nihilistic as the summary, but with a bend of aggressive metal throw in for new dimensions. Perhaps his recent Korn-referencing merch item has added a new outlook on his music, or perhaps he’s just laughing at us trying to figure him out. The music is captivating, Ezra is a shadow among the chaos and who can honestly say where this came from?
8.0 (or maybe 2.0… or 10.0 This is one of those that rating it seems futile because it’ll change on every listen. But for now, 8.0)
Grimes- Art Angels
Behold, uninhibited genius. Art Angels is the 4th studio by Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes and holy hell what a wallop. For some, this newest album may be a turn off because of how accessibly pop it is, but you’re gonna hear this from me: Boucher has made one of the most delightful, complex and overall best pop albums of all time. In summer of 2014, Boucher released “Go”, which was originally written for Rihanna. Fans of her previous output were more polarized than a decent pair of sunglasses about the song, which admittedly wouldn’t have been out of place on KISS FM. But after yet another brilliant demo with “REALiTi” (which appears on this album in a slightly altered but still excellent state), it was seemingly confirmed that Grimes was heading down a path that was significantly more Top 40 than any of her other material. Art Angels has a sound all it’s own, rooted in beautiful pop tradition and also breaking some exciting new ground. The highlights are great in number and quality, ranging from “Scream”, which features one of the most incredible guest spots of the year from Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes as Boucher sits back and shows off one of the best-kept secrets in rap today. Aristophanes is horrifying and makes a dangerously beautiful Western debut on the song, while “Yoga” Q.U.E.E.N. Janelle Monáe only adds to what is becoming an impressive resumé with the deliciously poisonous kiss-off “Venus Fly”. But in the middle of the album, Boucher reminds us how this is her goddamn show, and “Kill v. Maim”, with it’s sing along verses and K-Pop inspired bridge, is a game-changer in Western pop.