06:11 AM on 06/24/13
(July 4) Jay-Z - Magna Carta Holy Grail NoteIt's no secret that I (amongst many others) was fairly disappointed in Hova's last release, 2009's The Blueprint 3. Despite including some of the man's best cuts ("Run This Town" and "Empire State of Mind"), the release as a whole was completely underwhelming. If anything, it felt like the mogul was just on cruise control to his next payday. And even though he's already cashed in with Samsung on his upcoming release, something within has me convinced that Jay is really gonna bring it on Magna Carta Holy Grail. Working with some of the world's best producers (and Swizz Beatz), MCHG seems like an opportunity for Jay-Z to grab the spotlight away from his friend, Kanye West (even if it's only temporary).
4) (July 2) A Great Big Pile Of Leaves - You're Always On My Mind NoteTopshelf Records has another winner on its hands, as A Great Big Pile of Leaves is set to release its new full length next Tuesday. It's definitely one of the finest indie-pop releases of the year - its melodies infectious and hooks memorable. This LP will always be on your mind as soon as you let it hook itself into your membrane.
3) (July 23) Drug Church - Paul Walker NoteDespite the tendency to get weird (and they get weird a lot - a major reason why I love them), Drug Church definitely brings the pit hits on its No Sleep debut full length, Paul Walker, named after the 2 Fast 2 Furious superstar of course. And while the titles are goofy ("Shopping For A Belt" and "Learning To Speak British," for example), the music and lyrics are anything but. Songs like "Deconstructing Snapcase" and "Donny's Woods" are some of the biggest-hitting hardcore songs of 2013. Don't miss out on this hottie with a body.
2) (July 2) Owen - L'Ami Du Peuple NoteWith his seventh studio album, L'Ami Du Peuple, Mike Kinsella proves that he still has it. While New Leaves and Ghost Town aren't bad by any stretch of imagination, L'Ami is by far Kinsella's strongest output since 2006's beloved At Home With Owen. Songs like "Coffin Companions" and "Bad Blood" are quite the pleasure, as they show that when Kinsella's on his game, there are few whom are better.
1) (July 16) Defeater - Letters Home NoteThis may be hard to believe, but Defeater's third album, Letters Home, is the hardcore quintet's heaviest and most devastating release yet. My mouth was agape for the duration of my first listen as songs like "No Saviour" and "Blood In My Eyes" really leave you shaken. Continuing the concept from the first two albums, Letters Home is from the perspective of the father of two brothers that listeners were introduced to in those prior releases. The listener discovers more background and relive some of the events through his eyes. Letters Home is undoubtedly one of the most brutal, honest, and compelling releases of 2013.