Various Artists – Adult Swim Singles Program 2014

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Not much to see here despite there being more tracks here than any previous installment. The indie rock tracks are of no consequence (ie. Speedy Ortiz’s “Bigger Party” seems to exist only for the “make out” and “make off” switch at the end), and the metal tracks don’t interest me personally (I can dig Deafheaven’s drumming more if I dug their vocals; Sleep’s “The Clarity” has some predictable menace, but its menace all the same, so that’s good; Mastodon’s “Atlanta” is kind of goofy). You can delete Run the Jewels’ “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” because you should already own it on Run the Jewels 2 and because it might be his most annoying beat up until the beat switch which isn’t enough to save it, as well as Tim Hecker’s “Amps, Drugs, Mellotron,” because it’s Virgins’ “Amps, Drugs, Harmonium,” but played on a mellotron instead of a harmonium; whoop-de-doo. And you can spin Fatima Al Qadiri’s “Star-Spangled” once before deleting. Quoting the artist herself, “‘Star-Spangled’ is dedicated to American national nightmares […] On one hand, dark dreams of suburban serial killers and mangled hitch-hike heads. On the other, a false hope of national greatness cooked by covert agendas,” and while that certainly sounds great, all she’s done is spaced out the national anthem. Neither of the two footwork tracks are worth writing home about, and Captain Murphy’s “Cosplay” ain’t much of anything at all, and especially disappointing considering “Between Friends” and “Between Villains” were highlights on the previous two of the series.

The few highlights: Ka’s “Lost Prophet Report,” which is better than anything off any of Ka’s studio albums because he abandons his DIY-shtick for a production that’s finally interesting (though his voice and flow are still Earl Sweatshirt if Earl Sweatshirt was asleep and not nearly as good with words).,Giorgio Moroder’s “Giorgio’s Theme” highlights how much better Random Access Memories could have been if Daft Punk cut down on the prog pretensions and just focused on dance, and Future’s “Coupe” was a complete surprise because I hate Future; hate how the only thing that separates him and the rest of his ilk is his incomprehensible flow. But these arpeggios and choir backdrop have made me twitch-dance while my parents are asleep; love the drum stutter after “You got hoes looking like mermaids,” love the sheer sound of some of these lines including “You went colossal your posture is very awesome” and “This my environment / I’m going crazy, so crazy, need a psychiatrist.” If Honest sounded anything like this, I would have been on-board as well instead of thinking it was one of the dumber albums from 2014 to be critically acclaimed. Heard “Move That Dope” for the umpteenth time this morning and nope: shit still sucks.

B-

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