Isaiah Rashad and Angel Olsen Lead This Week's New Releases
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo (Top Dawg): Couldn't have said it better than Pitchfork's Nate Patrin: "Cilvia Demo is as much a revelation as labelmate Kendrick Lamar's breakthrough Section.80-only this time, there's also a good kid, m.A.A.d city to look up at and aspire to." The throaty, lusty Isaiah Rashad threatens to steal the spotlight from his labelmate Schoolboy Q next week by stealing Kendrick's cool and simplifying it, on "R.I.P. Kevin Miller" into weed 'n' money, bi-es 'n' blunts, and flutes 'n' drums. "Webbie Flow (U Like)" interrupts one of the most beautiful beats in some time to ask for some oral, while the open-sky rattle of "Menthol" suggests how songful the Earl Sweatshirt album could've been if he didn't 180 jaggedly away from "Chum." Like Chance the Rapper's blowup Acid Rap last year, this is only a "demo" so its target audience can thrill to the illusion of discovery. The rest of us will catch its Digable-style breeze and weed-coughed tough.
Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar): The kind of solo artist that people describe as more desolate after she records with a band, this former Will Oldham sidewoman's two-minute single has the grungy guitar to make amnesiacs cry "Breeders." But Angel Olsen's real bait-and-schtick has more to do with Cat Power and Oldham himself: vague melodies that resist folk and country descriptors, well-sung and nothing special. Unlike Chan Marshall, she can lilt her way out of a seven-minute torch ballad ("White Fire") and unlike Oldham she can spin real twang from a pile of sound effects ("Hi-Five"). But in order to make one care to dig out the lyrics, she'd have to swing, bound, thunder, rock, roll, laugh or write a chorus. And therefore she's unlike the Breeders as well. See what other releases made the list here.
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