A Smashing Pumpkins album with Tommy Lee on drums and a running time of a mere 32 minutes? I’m intrigued. Oddly, even with the incredibly short (for Billy Corgan) running time, this is one of the more varied Pumpkins albums in terms of sound. It has the heavy rockers you expect (“One and All”), but also has quieter moments (“Being Beige”), electronic based dance tunes (“Run2me”), and is that a flute on “Drum + Fife”? Based on the title I guess that makes sense. Surprisingly, on first listen at least, the album holds together despite these variations, and provides a very enjoyable listen. It is way too early to know if Monuments to an Elegy will have the stickiness of its excellent predecessor Oceania, but it has that potential.
DJ Premier gets around. His latest undertaking is teaming up with his long time buddy Royce Da 5’9″ as PRhyme (the two first worked together on Royce’s track “Boom” on his 2002 debut). PRhyme is exactly what you would expect from the duo: Royce’s underground flow over classic sounding NYC beats. The album certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but with guests like Killer Mike, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, and Jay Electronica, fans of both Golden Era boom bap and current indie rap will find a lot to love here.
The debut from Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Canopies, Maximize Your Faith is straightforward electro pop. It isn’t bad, but there’s nothing interesting here either. It’s all very safe yet hooky, peppy yet ultimately forgettable. Basically this is the type of band Clear Channel goes ape over and it wouldn’t shock me if they were playing stadiums with Bastille and Foster the People in the near future.
An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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