ALBUM REVIEWS

“Lianne La Havas” by Lianne La Havas

British soul-singer, Lianne La Havas, released her self-titled album on July 17, 2020. Unlike most self-titled albums, this is not La Havas’ first. This third full-length studio album discusses themes of growth and change, specifically in relationships, and the entire cycle in between. The reason it took La Havas half a decade to release new music is because she felt the need to experience growth as well. It’s a lovely mixture of R&B and soul with soothing melodies and vocals.

Album review: “Jump Rope Gazers” by The Beths

Jump Rope Gazers is the second full length album by New Zealand indie-rock band, The Beths. It was released on Friday, July 10, 2020. The band consists of lead singer and guitarist, Elizabeth Stokes, Tristan Deck on the drums, Jonathan Pearce as a second guitarist, and bassist Benjamin Sinclair. This album will have you feeling like you’re in a turn-of-the-millennium teen or young adult movie (think 10 Things I Hate About You or even Hillary Duff’s A Cinderella Story). The album’s themes touch on love, communication, and the uncertainty of the current state of the world.

Album review: “Tim” by The Replacements

For a band who were notorious for destructive live shows and wholehearted rejection toward achieving mainstream fame, creating an album that shaped the legacy and direction of alternative music is a pretty big feat. Released in the era when alternative music was primarily driven by post-punk bands, The Replacements defied all standards of what alternative music “should” be. They didn’t want to become the next Smiths or Cure — rather, they took inspiration from acts like Bob Dylan, Big Star, Tom Petty, and The Clash, and transformed these influences into their own brand of humbled (yet chaotic) alternative punk, as seen in 1985 release Tim. Without The Replacements, the state of alternative music as we know it today would be vitally different.

Album review: Modern Dread by Denai Moore

Denai Moore’s third full length album, Modern Dread, was released Friday, July 3, 2020. The British-Jamaican singer has been making music since 2013 that’s quintessentially indie -in the sense that it does not seem to conform to a particular genre. Her inspirations range from Lauryn Hill to Bon Iver, and this intricate twist of sounds can be heard in her music. This album explores themes of introspection, breakups, and how one fits in with the rest of the world as the future seems to be “dreadful.” If you were a fan of the Moses Sumney album…

Album Review: “Roy Ayers JID002” by Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers JID002, JID being the acronym for “jazz is dead,” is the collaborative album released by jazz artists Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Roy Ayers on June 19, 2020. The release date was specifically chosen for Juneteenth to honor and celebrate Black musicians’ role in the history of jazz. Roy Ayers has been composing jazz, funk, and soul music since the 1970s. According to a bio on Bandcamp, “he was said to have more sampled hits by rappers than any other artist.” His work can be heard in Tyler the Creator’s song, “Pothole…”  

Album Review: “Coastal Grooves” by Blood Orange

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 2011 album “Coastal Grooves” by Blood Orange. Known for his other solo project, Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange is the funk/RNB solo project of musician Dev Hynes. Similar to his inspiration, Prince, Hynes explores themes of gender fluidity throughout his imagery and music, while not directly labeling himself as anything. 

Album review: “Arizona Baby” by Kevin Abstract

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 2019 album “ARIZONA BABY” by Kevin Abstract. Known primarily from his work with rap collective BROCKHAMPTON, “ARIZONA BABY” is Abstract’s third solo studio album. After coming out as gay in 2016, Abstract has never shied away from discussing his sexuality in his music — notable, given that until recently, the rap and hip-hop world has never been particularly inclusive and accepting of LGBTQ+ artists.

Album review: Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers

“Punisher” is Phoebe Bridgers’ second independent full-length project released on June 18, 2020. The indie-folk-rock singer is a member of boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center -Both of which make an appearance in this album. The album explores themes of depression, relationships, and dreams, and how they all seem to intertwine throughout life. Fortunately, Bridgers has been very open with the production of this album, so there are concrete answers for what each of the songs mean. The album is softer in sound, much like Bridgers’ previous work, this time with more orchestral sounds sprinkled throughout the tracks.

Album review: Purple Rain by Prince

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight Black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 1984 album “Purple Rain” by Prince. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince rose to prominence in the late 1970s with a heavy funk/synth pop sound and continued to become (arguably) one of the greatest artists of the 1980s. Notable for his androgyny, gender fluidity, and defiance of stereotypes regarding gender and race, Prince was one of the first mainstream artists to embrace his fluidity. In doing so, he broadcasted an important message to his listeners — it’s okay to differ from the norm.

Album review: “Grae” by Moses Sumney

Grae is Moses Sumney’s double-disc album that was fully released on May 15, 2020. The first twelve songs were released as grae: Part One on February 21, 2020. Sumney is a genre-bending artist based out of Ashville, North Carolina. If I could choose a few words to describe his music they would be ethereal, rich, and passionate. The emotion-heavy lyrics throughout this album focus on topics like identity and purpose. If you’re looking for something that’s on the outskirts of R&B and indie-soul, this album is for you. 

Album Review: Nightclubbing by Grace Jones

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight Black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 1981 album “Nightclubbing” by Grace Jones. Jones is a Jamaican musician, notable for her androgynous appearance and popularity among LGBTQ+ communities in the ‘70s and ‘80s. With her outspoken personality and unapologetic nature…

Album Review:Gone Now by Bleachers

When I discovered this album in early 2019, I was in a strange transitional period. I had made the decision to graduate high school a semester early and felt aimless — all of my friends were either still in school (celebrating their seniority) or had already moved away for college, while I worked nearly every day. It was during that time I found “Gone Now” and fell in love with the album….

Album Review: “Come On Pilgrim” By Pixies

“Come On Pilgrim” is the first studio release by American alt-rock band, the Pixies. One could argue that with this 1987 release, the Pixies predicted the alternative rock boom of the ‘90s approximately three years before it happened….

Album Review:Petals For Armor by Hayley Williams

Paramore frontwoman, Hayley Williams, released her debut solo album, Petals For Armor, on May 8, 2020. Williams had been making music with Paramore since 2004, but over the last couple of years decided to write pieces for a solo album….

Album Review: "Crush" By Daywave

Day Wave is an indie rock band from California that started in the mid 2010s. Jackson Phillip is the lead singer, and producer of their latest EP, Crush. The EP has surf rock vibes that tells the story of the stages of a crush. It was released on April 24, 2020….

Album Review: "Color Theory” by Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy (AKA, twenty-two year old Sophia Allison) is a singer-songwriter hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Her second studio album, “Color Theory” was released in February of 2020. I first heard Soccer Mommy while working in the radio station…

Album Review: Skylarking by XTC

When you hear the term underrated, in terms of music, you probably have a few artists that come to mind. Anyone who enjoys music, which is practically everyone, has at least a couple of artists they don’t believe gets the fair share of credit they deserve…

Album Review: “The Cars” by The Cars

The rise of 1980s new-wave music can be attributed to many driving factors: the death of disco, a seemingly endless output of prog-rock bands, the stigma attached to rising punk bands — so when The Cars released their self-titled debut in the summer of 1978, it was a breath of fresh air…

Album review: Four of Arrows by Great Grandpa

I was shown the song “Digger” from this album by our Music Director, Noah. I remember vividly he said to me, “hey, come listen to this awesome song,” so I did and we so into it….

Album Review: Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters

*Trigger Warning – themes of sexual assaultFetch The Bolt Cutters is the fifth album by Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart, professionally known as Fiona Apple. Apple’s music can be considered art-pop with a sprinkle of jazz. Best known for her sultry 1996 hit, “Criminal,” Apple’s voice is full of depth and emotion….

Album Review: The Strokes – The New Abnormal

The New Abnormal is the first album The Strokes have released in over half a decade on April 10, 2020.r  Originally from New York City, they’ve been making music together since 1998, and are now considered quintessential indie rock…

Album Review: Hot Fuss by The Killers

When I think of albums that will likely stick with me for the rest of my life, one of the first that comes to mind is “Hot Fuss” by The Killers. Released in 2004, it’s the first album I vividly remember hearing …

Album Review: Childish Gambino’s “3.15.20”

3.15.20 is the fourth studio album by rapper Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino. After initially being uploaded onto his website…

Album Review: Wanderwild's "Sleep Tight, Socialite"

Wanderwild’s “Sleep Tight, Socialite” is a skillfully crafted indie rock album. With a run time of only thirty minutes, they bring back early aughts influences and give it a modern twist….