Reviews \

SPIN’s Review Roundup: 129 Lengthy and Tweet-Sized Takes on May 2013’s New Releases

The long and the short of the last month

Chance the Rapper

ACEYALONE – Leanin’ On Slick
6: Acey rhymes breezily over Bionik’s Motown throwbacks, Cee-Lo and Nathaniel Merriweather hang loose.—MR

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EVE – Lip Lock
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FRENCH MONTANA – Excuse My French
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HAVOC – 13
5: Atmospheric, foreboding beats hindered by tedious tough-guy rhymes makes for bland New York street-rap comfort food.—BS

HOMEBOY SANDMAN – Kool Herc Fertile Crescent
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MYKKI BLANCO – Betty Rubble: The Initiation
8: Weezy-like darkwave hip-hop prince/ss bridges the gap between golden-era rap and riot grrrl.—BS

QWEL & MAKER – Beautiful Raw
7: Maker’s lovely sunshine-soul loops help Qwel’s anti-mainstream jeremiads go down smoothly.—MR

RITTZ – The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant
7: Insane Clown Posse’s po-faced white-trash worries get Twista-style fast-rap treatment.—BS

SOLE – No Wising Up No Settling Down
7: He brings anarchism to the “Trap” with thrilling analyses, but is waylaid by a “War on Self.”—MR

TALIB KWELI – Prisoner of Conscious
6: Owning your stodgy rep is only half the battle. Apparently, the other half is jockin’ A$AP Rocky.—BS

THE UNCLUDED – Hokey Fright
3: Aesop Rock’s exhausted abstract rap goes on a no-chemistry date with Kimya Dawson’s beyond-tedious twee.—BS

Daft Punk

ADULT. – The Way Things Fall
7: “New Frustration” aside, mellowed Detroit electro-punks sound positively noirgasmic after six-year hiatus.—PS

AM & SHAWN LEE – La Musique Numérique
6: Air-y Moog pop tunes with a shaggy disco flavor, as sugary-sweet as Skittles.—MR

BATHS – Obsidian
7: Neoclassical concerns and instrumentation (black plague, violins) meet very modern beats and timeless, crushing angst.—CM

BIBIO – Silver Wilkinson
6: Man ponders own importance whilst walking through a wheat field, trips on robot parts (and Phoenix for “Tout”).—CM

CLASSIXX – Hanging Gardens
8: Glossy hipster-disco fights off fossilization in post-LCD landscape. Four years too late, or perfectly timed?—JS

CLUB 8 – Above the City
7: Swedish boy-girl duo compliments their cooing Sunday-morning melancholy with clattering Saturday-night rhythms.—BW

DAFT PUNK – Random Access Memories
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DECO CHILD – Skinless
5: A chamber-pop hermit crab camps out in the shadows of Antony, James Blake, Thom Yorke.—PS

5: A Beres Hammond acolyte mixes sweet lovers rock and lugubrious dread bass with uneven results.—MR

JOHN GRANT – Pale Green Ghosts
8: Consummate indie crooner meets Icelandic EDM master from Gus Gus for wryly brokenhearted tour de force.—BW

7: Vintage synth-pop from Japan is memorable; but Cleopatra.Recs.Forum bass licks hurt by drum machine set to kill.—JES

KODE9 – Rinse:22
8: Hyperdub boss takes a seam-ripper to 37 tracks of grime, techno, and footwork; leaves the club in tatters.—PS

MARÍA Y JOSÉ – Club Negro
8: Tijuana kid’s existentialism via synths and blood: cartels, maquiladoras a good justification for mumbling.—JES

MOUNT KIMBIE – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
7: James Blake swag surfers mold shattered dubstep into rainy-day full-band brooding.—JS

OCTO OCTA – Between Two Selves
8: Thoughtful Brooklyn house producer translates his inner landscape to soul thump, featherweight jacking.—JES

pacificUV – After the Dream You Are Awake
6: Goldfrapp-y electro post-rockers space out with aplomb, lose points for Billy Idol cover.—KG

7: Between Four Tet and Lightning Bolt, London synth-drum duo hotwires techno with muscles instead of MIDI.—PS

RP BOO – Legacy
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5: This Pup’s tired. Ten tracks of thumpy, growly synth-pop, with none of the grit that made them industrial icons.—KG

STEFFI – Panorama Bar 05
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TRICKY – False Idols
6: Trip-hop pro and his low-affect gals slowly exhale prettily mild dread no longer seductive enough to truly scare.—KH