The debut full-length release for Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins features guest appearances from Bilal, Brandy, Estelle, and Samora Pinderhughes. The singer opens “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdelene” by joking that an unidentified noise “sounds like a fart” before pivoting to the fanciful affirmation that she’s so head over heels for a significant other that she can’t help but chant the names of their three future children. There’s no question that August Greene is an album meant for mature ears. August Greene's debut single, "Optimistic," features the voice of R&B chanteuse Brandy in an inspirational remake of Sounds of Blackness' 1991 hit single. Even more unpredictable is the closing, multi-part epic, “Swishier Suite,” which opens with a swinging hi-hat cadence and freestyling trumpet—the closest the album ever gets to straight-ahead bop. It’s only when Springsteen leans on the nostalgia with explicitly backward-facing lyrics that the album gets a bit too self-aware. Free (& Subscription) Games for All Platforms: New & Upcoming, November Preview: 19 TV Shows & New Movies to Watch at Home, Music title data, credits, and images provided by, Movie title data, credits, and poster art provided by. Sal Cinquemani. ‘Don’t commit’ city, you could say I was the mayor. This is grown-folk rap, to be sure, but August Greene is future-minded. Hip-hop's newest supergroup emerged in January after Common announced that himself, Grammy-winning jazz percussionist Karriem Riggins and acclaimed pianist Robert Glasper had teamed up to form August Greene. What once seemed refreshing in its minimalism is quickly starting to feel insubstantial. Here’s why: The conversations surrounding gun violence in schools have raged for years here in the U.S. Those convos reached their apex just a couple weeks ago when a shooter robbed families of 17 lives after opening fire in Florida. Her attempt at a guttural low range is unlikely to unnerve a house cat, while her backing players try to revive the golden-age Bassey music with results that are quickly forgotten. No Sun bears the hallmarks of vintage Pumpkins: Bill Corgan’s melodic whine, Jimmy Chamberlin’s formidable drumming, and the intricate layers of guitar courtesy of Corgan, original guitarist James Iha, and Iha’s one-time replacement Jeff Schroeder. (Common’s revolutionary bent isn’t helped by lyrics that outline a plan of action that also involves watching Amélie.) The grindcore “This Body” brings the fugly with surprising abandon, throwing hissing industrial clatter atop an admirably tuneless dirge (you hardly realize it’s a way-late bid in the chopped n’ screwed sweepstakes until the 16 RPM guest rap drops in). Sex is, notably, a recurring theme on Positions. On the “divorce album” spectrum from Vulnicura to Utopia, Laura Veirs’s My Echo falls closer to the latter. While she pointedly entertains the pejorative “emo” in the title of the introspective ballad “Emo Song,” she nonetheless refuses to understate the origins of her trust issues: “You call me up, and lie again/Like all the men I used to trust.” Throughout the album, Kristi leans into her emotions, unconcerned about whether or not they might make her seem fragile or melodramatic. A willingness to adapt to the times, straying from the established formula of bombastic orchestral pop, has produced both hits (Wings’s art-rock-inflected “Live and Let Die”) and misses (the adult contemporary schlock of Rita Coolidge’s “All Time High”). / I met a little girl / She asked me if I was proud? Corgan’s mother inspired plenty of animus throughout the Pumpkins’ catalogue, but none quite as conflicted and harrowing as the kind that fills the song sharing her name. August Greene is an album filled with those truths, marrying Common’s poetic observations with Glasper and Riggins’ heavenly soundscapes. A handful of songs like that really see the group letting loose, but the bulk of August Greene primarily operates in a pensive, minor-key mode. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. For every elegantly forlorn lyric on Getting Into Knives, though, there’s a clichéd platitude or overdetermined metaphor. Every phase of Common's career has been outlined by a succession of sonic architects who shaped his sound. In Common’s case, this involves the maturity to develop from someone who rapped some of hip-hop’s most misogynistic lyrics in the early ’90s to landing philosophical observations like “forgiveness is a synonym for live and live again,” as he does on the melancholic “Practice.”. While Veirs’s lyrics are consistently unsettled and sometimes apocalyptic, they largely sidestep concrete problems in her marriage beyond rare whisperings of infidelity and alienation. The song certainly hits that ’90s R&B vibe, but it stands out instead of contributing to the grand fabric of the album. Accordingly, when Veirs makes pivotal emotional realizations, they come from outside herself. While August Greene may seem to revolve around Common, thanks in part to his effortless barrage of bars on “Patience” and his stroll down hip-hop memory lane on “The Time,” you can’t overlook the importance of the album’s ethereal production. So, in a sense, his latest phase — call it the August Greene years — finds Common coming full circle. Remarkably, he never gets upstaged by the expansive and varied list of artists. “Everything becomes a blur from six feet away/Get used to this,” singer-songwriter John Darneille warns on “Tidal Wave,” repeating “Get used to this” throughout the rest of the track. The impulse to leave things unsaid motivates My Echo’s sound, which often involves a contrast between acoustic folk instrumentation and electronic flourishes—in other words, between Veirs’s need to stay grounded and her tendency to drift off. Rather, it’s evident that Kristi revives the sound—which was predominantly represented by straight white men—in order to infuse it with her own life and experience as a Catholic school dropout and daughter of immigrants. Schrodt. Detractors may believe that alt-rock revivalism is more interested in merely serving up a ‘90s bricolage than breaking new ground. Brandy’s inspirational vocals are appropriately uplifting while Com slides in for a dose of reality. At the height of it all, Corgan finally delivers his raw, teary-eyed eulogy: “Long horses we are born/Creatures more than torn/Mourning our way home.”. The cluster of songs that open August Greene’s debut album offer a precious glimpse into how a 40-something rapper can continue to sound modern and, more importantly, dignified. In this timeline, Springsteen never gravitated toward the rock n’ roll soul-circus style of the E Street Band and instead leaned hard into the “New Dylan” hype that surrounded him at the time. Here’s why: The conversations surrounding gun violence in schools have raged for years here in the U.S. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for August Greene (Vinyl) at

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