Daily Music Creation Playlist

Just made a YouTube playlist for the song I create during my Daily music creation challenge. Check here to find an archive of your favorite compositions as they continue to grow and grow.

Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp a Butterfly” (The GB&U Music Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Music ReviewsTo Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar (2015)

Welcome to the review of Kendrick’s latest album “To Pimp a Butterfly”. As the current torch holder of the west coast does he live up to the hype or fail us?  Let us explore the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Kendrick’s sound is unique. I give him credit for trying something new with his sound. I like the groove of songs like “King Kunta” and “Wesley’s Theory” Shine on this album. I also love the Funk and RnB inspired tracks like “Complexion”, it’s smooth and instantly catches my ear.

 The Bad

Whoever produces Kendrick’s tracks lays the effects on his vocals a little to thick. Some songs, like “Institutionalized”, it’s difficult to hear his dense lyrics under all those layers of needless effects. Speaking of dense lyrics, I find it hard to remember a lot of songs because there aren’t many memorable, goose-bump creating lines. The main line I remember is from….

The Ugly

For Free?(Interlude), the second track on the album killed the entire experience of the album for me. First, why is the second track of the album an interlude?  Second, I respect the Jazz instrumentation and spoken word delivery, but to hear a man croon “This dick ain’t free” over and over again makes me feel uncomfortable. It also caused me to be more critical on the album, especially after the strong beginning with “Wesley’s Theory”

Final Thoughts

Who would I recommend this album to: Anyone who likes a funk sound and wants some hip hop with a different sound

Favorite Song: Wesley’s Theory

Least Favorite Song: For Free?

Next week’s review: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Past Reviews

Fall Out Boy – “American Beauty/American Psycho”

Kelly Clarkson – “Piece by Piece”

My Thoughts on Tidal

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

Fall Out Boy “American Beauty/American Psycho” (The GB&U Music Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Music Reviews

American Beauty/American Psycho – Fall Out Boy (2015)

Welcome to the review of Fall Out Boy’s latest album “American Beauty/American Psycho”. Last album FOB was trying to Save Rock and Roll.Is this album a beauty to behold or a psychotic crazy album? Let us explore the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

It’s great to know that Patrick Stump’s voice is still as flexible and strong as ever before. To be honest, it’s been stronger since post break up Fall Out Boy. This album is full of powerful anthems which accentuate the lead singers awesome voice. If you are looking for an album that gets you hype all the way through, this album is the album for you. The album doesn’t slow down until the fourth track “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and even that song is rather medium tempo.  It’s high energy from start to finish and had me nodding my head nearly the whole way through.

 The Bad

The album is only 39 minutes long! I wanted more, maybe a song or too. When the album ended, I did a search of the track list to make sure I had all the tracks. I’m guessing this is a case of quality over quantity.

The Ugly

The ugliest part of this album and Fall Out Boy in general is the lyrics. If you want some deep profound lyrics to ponder on “American Beauty/American Psycho” doesn’t have that. Half the time I don’t ever know what the subject of a song is unless I read the lyrics online or the song title actually makes sense. At least they stopped making ridiculously long song titles. (Ex: Our lawyer made us change the name of this song so we would get sued)

Final Thoughts

Would I recommend this album? Yes

Who would I recommend this album to: Those wanting something to rock out to with high energy to get pumped for the day

Favorite Song: Uma Thurman

Least Favorite Song: Novocaine

Next week’s review: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Past Reviews

Kelly Clarkson – “Piece by Piece”

My Thoughts on Tidal

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

Kelly Clarkson “Piece by Piece” (The GB&U Music Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Music Reviews

Piece by Piece – Kelly Clarkson (2015)

Welcome to the review of Kelly Clarkson’s latest album “Piece by Piece”. As the first winner of American Idol, is she good enough to be considered an idol or have her skills just become idle.

The Good

Kelly’s voice is stronger than ever on this album. She has a strong consistent voice throughout the album and I believe she has put her time into this album. I also love the variety of subject matter. From her claims to not want her “Bad Reputation” ruined and her “Nostalgic” feeling towards past failed relationships. She has a variety of songs that range from edgy upbeat tracks to soulful ballads, proving she does have a “Second Wind”

The Bad

A lot of the tracks are forgettable. After the opening track “Heartbeat Song” the next three songs. “Invincible”, “Someone” and “Take You High” got lost in memory and didn’t really draw me in. Especially the feature with John Legend on “Run Run Run”

The Ugly

The ugliest part of the albums were the ballads. I don’t know if it’s the quality of the song or placement of these songs within the album but they slow the pace of the album down for me. The three tracks I mentioned after “Heartbeat Song” suffered mostly from being after such a poppy upbeat track. It really made those following track drag longer than expected.

Final Thoughts

Would I recommend this album? Yes

Who would I recommend this album to: Those wanting something pop but with a little variety.

Favorite Song: Nostalgic

Least Favorite Song: Take You High

Next week’s review: Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho

Previous Reviews

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

Thoughts on Tidal Streaming Service

My Thoughts on Tidal (The GB&U)

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Tidal Music Streaming Service

So recently, Jay-Z and friends (Kanye, Rhianna, Daft Punk to name a few) started a Spotify-esque music streaming service named “Tidal” (probably because of the waves of money invested in this project). Tidal’s main goal is a way to get music artist payed, probably sparked by Taylor Swift denouncing Spotify for it’s pennies per stream policy that it pays artist. Will tidal crash it’s competition or be washed away in the tide? Let’s explore the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good 

Tidal offers high fidelity, loss-less audio. For non-audiophiles, lossless audio is the equivalent to 5k resolution in the TV world. If you listen to an mp3 your are listening to a compressed version of the original song giving you the equivalent of 1080p or 720p quality sound. This compression is mostly needed to reduce the size of the file, especially for the advent of mp3 players when 512MB mp3 players or less were the norm.

The Bad

Tidal has no free option. You can pay $9.99 for the same quality audio as Spotify or pay $19.99 for the loss-less audio mentioned above. I think this will hurt early adoption of this platform.

 Not to mention, the loss-less audio itself has a couple major flaws.

1) Most people won’t be able to hear the quality difference.

Most people won’t be able to hear the difference in quality either because of physical or equipment limitations. Most people’s ears aren’t trained to hear the minute details of loss-less and most speakers or headphones that an average consumer gets isn’t designed for loss-less but for the mp3 standard that dominates the market.

2) Data usage

Since loss-less is uncompressed it takes up WAY more space. In my experience loss-less Wav files are usually 10 times bigger than mp3 files. Meaning a normal 100MB album could end up being 1GB if streamed lossless via Tidal. So, if Tidal creates a mobile version I doubt it would be able to play in loss-less or else users will get mad and wonder how they used up 2GB of mobile data in one sitting.

3) Reduced Library of Music

Since Tidal is just starting out it will have a smaller library of music than Spotify although I’ve heard that, regardless of this fact it had a massive launch library that should have all of the more popular jams.

The Ugly

As for Tidal’s main goal, compensating artists fairly, I’ve heard very little on this. Most, I hear about is the loss-less audio. I’ve heard rumors that the pay structure is similar to Spotifiy’s pennies per play but I haven’t confirmed anything yet. That’s why this is the ugliest thing about Tidal. If it was created to give artist control shouldn’t they be advocating the benefits of the service to the artist as well.

Final Verdict

Tidal, as it’s been portrayed currently, is going to fail. No free trials, hi-fi audio that average people can’t use.and obscure benefits for artist that aren’t Jay-Z et al. Tidal has no competitive edge.

Big Sean “Dark Sky Paradise” Review (GB&U Music Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Music Reviews

Dark Sky Paradise – Big Sean (2015)

Welcome to the review of Big Sean’s most recent release “Dark Sky Paradise”. So let’s begin exploring the good, the bad and the ugly from this album shall we.

The Good

Big Sean is HUNGRY on this album. Get this man a buffet! You can tell from the first song “Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)” that he has something to prove this album. His lines are still as clever as always. I feel like he has matured a lot on this album and songs like “Win Some, Lose Some” prove that. This album is very deep and introspective with a balance of fun songs like “I Don’t Fuck with You”. This balance of substance and play is something I find is lacking in most mainstream hip hop. Not to mention even the bonus tracks sound album worthy but any way onto..

The Bad

Who keeps telling Big Sean he can sing his own hooks? His “singing” sounds like monotone crooning on most songs, sometimes it works but on song like “I Know” he should leave it his guest feature Jhene Aiko. Seriously though.

The Ugly

I think the main thing that brings the album down on the whole are the features. I feel like most of the features fall flat or don’t bring much to the song and are forgettable especially when compared to Big Sean’s energy. The singers do a great job on hooks though (except for Chris Brown on “Play No Games” something about it just didn’t mesh with my ears). For instance, E-40 on “I Don’t Fuck with You” I can’t remember a line from his verse. Lil Wayne on “Deep” sounded like a computer trying to rap because when he started speed up his flow the auto tune took over his vocals killing clarity. Then don’t get me started on Kanye’s lack luster verse on “All your fault” (Though that last verse where they switch back and forth is dope.)

Would I recommend this album? Yes

Who would I recommend this album to: Those needing some motivation or something to get hyped up for the rest of the day.

Favorite Song: Win Some, Lose Some

Least Favorite Song: Deep

Next week’s review: Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece”