New Album Review

Album Review: “An Evening With Silk Sonic” by Silk Sonic

ALBUM: “An Evening With Silk Sonic” by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic


LABEL: Aftermath Entertainment and Atlantic Recording Corporation

RATING: 8.4/10

BEST TRACKS: “Leave The Door Open,” “After Last Night (with Thundercat & Bootsy Collins),” “Smokin Out The Window,” “Skate”

FCC: Track 7 – “777”

Paying homage to the classics, this short and sweet record by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak is a must-listen. Thanks to their stellar execution, this exciting new release manages to live up to the hype. For those who wish that R&B was more mainstream, or miss the classic soul from the 1970s that we all know and love, Silk Sonic’s debut project is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. 

As cohesive as “An Evening With Silk Sonic” is, this album still covers a wide range of topics and sounds. Mars and .Paak offer upbeat bangers such as “Fly As Me” and “Skate,” (although I must admit the former sounds like it was made for an Old Navy commercial), while still producing gorgeous ballads such as “Put On A Smile.” They explore feelings of love and lust towards someone on “After Last Night (with Thundercat & Bootsy Collins),” my personal favorite from the album. They immediately pivot to feeling heartbroken and betrayed on the singalong-able track, “Smokin Out The Window.” Whether they’re excited, emotional, or ecstatic, they know exactly how to express what they’re feeling. 

Vocally, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak deliver solid performances, managing to blend their unique identities into a smooth, cohesive sound. Their chemistry is stellar, and it’s difficult to imagine two artists working together as well as they do. While both of their vocals showcase their individual talents and identities, they still just work together — they sound as if they’ve been singing together for years. Whether it’s due to their experience or their natural chemistry, their vocal performances leave little room for improvement.

With the majority of production done by Bruno Mars and D’Mile, the instrumentation on “An Evening With Silk Sonic” sounds exactly how you’d expect – but in a good way. The sultry, flirtatious, and emotional themes discussed in the songwriting are very appropriately mirrored by the production choices. Sonically, every song is filled to the brim with soul and passion, yet contains an impressive amount of detail. The production choices may not be ambitious or boundary-pushing, but there’s so much intent behind every decision that you don’t even notice. Additionally, it’s unfair to expect progressive production choices on an album that was made to revive and celebrate the classics of R&B.

And if we’re being honest, Silk Sonic’s take on classic soul doesn’t hold a candle to legends such as Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield. This is mainly because Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak aren’t taking themselves too seriously on this project – which makes their execution that much more impressive. They can get away with lyrics like “I’m sipping wine (sip, sip)” because their vocals and production are so well done. They can get away with production that isn’t very ambitious or experimental because every song is orchestrated in such a thoughtful and meticulous way.

While “An Evening With Silk Sonic” may not be as much of a classic as its inspirations, the amount of passion and detail on this record is too great for any comparison to be made. Mars and .Paak have further proved their capabilities as musicians and producers by creating a project that not only celebrates the music of the past, but is capable of standing on its own. Silk Sonic clearly knows how to deliver; let’s just hope they keep delivering.


Finals Season Solidarity

It’s finals season, and I just wanted to offer some solidarity in this wild portion of the semester. No study playlist, no tips, just solidarity.

I’m also a student and it’s a very grueling thing to be: a lot is expected of us all at once. It is extremely difficult to work, do school, extra-curricular activities and have friends. People will hear this statement and brush it off by saying “such is life.” Yes, but that doesn’t make this time any less difficult.

I sincerely hope that everyone’s finals are going well thus far and that everything works out the way you need it to. I hope that professor is lenient with their grades, you get a curve on your toughest exam and that your hard work pays off. More than that, I hope you’re taking care of yourself to the best of your ability (you need sleep)! 

I am not even supposed to use exclamation marks in these posts, and I should be using them sparingly but ideally not at all… that’s how much I want you all to be getting sleep during finals.

Encouraging tidbits can seem shallow and empty, but just know this is all very sincere from me.

I have three projects and two tests this finals period, all due within a 72 hour period. Needless to say, I’m also a bit stressed. But, it’ll all get done. It always does.

Best of luck,


Classic Album Review

Life Without Buildings “Any Other City” Album Review

Life Without Buildings was a Scotland based indie-rock band of the early 2000s, named after a b-side by the band Japan. Unfortunately this album and a few singles was all they ever released, as they were really short lived, forming in 1999 and disbanding in 2002. However, this record is a cult-classic for a reason. It’s mesmerizing, whimsical, fun and a unique take on math rock.  

Sue Tompkins, the vocalist, has an insanely mesmerizing way of talk-singing near-nonsense lyrics in such a way that it begins to make sense. It’s not what she’s saying, it’s the way she’s saying it. You want to sing with her, engaging in the childlike mumbling right there with her. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard (although, I’m sure other things like this exist, and if you know of them, please let me know) and it keeps me engaged in the music. 

The melodies are enchanting, the instruments are prominent but not overpowering and the lyricism makes absolutely no sense: it’s the perfect storm for good art-rock.

This ten-track record clocks in at 44 minutes and 31 seconds, and it’s impossible to not savor every moment. 
When doing research for this album review, I found a Youtube comment by user Devon Reed on a video that summed the band up perfectly:  “​​Did what many great bands do.  Recorded one great album.  Broke up shortly thereafter.  Forever preserved as a moment of perfection.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, Devon. There’s not much else for me to say besides, give it a chance. And if you still don’t like it, listen to it until you do (at least a little bit).

Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 11/30

1MAKTHAVERSKANFor AlltingRun For Cover
2BEACH HOUSEChapter 1: Once Twice Melody [EP]Sub Pop
4LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
5BLACK MARBLEFast IdolSacred Bones
6LITTLE SIMZSometimes I Might Be IntrovertAGE 101
7MCKINLEY DIXONFor My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like HerSpacebomb
8NATION OF LANGUAGEA Way ForwardPlay It Again Sam
9PARQUET COURTSSympathy For LifeRough Trade
11ILLISMFamily Over EverythingThe CRWN
12LIILYTV Or Not TVFlush
13PRETTY EMBERSUnderSelf-Released
14SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE“The Door Is Open” b/w “The Door Is Closed” [Single]Saddle Creek
15CHURCH GIRLSStill BloomsAnchor Eighty Four
16EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
17FOTOFORMHorizonsDismal Nitch
18HOVVDYTrue LoveGrand Jury
19FILM SCHOOLWe Weren’t HereSonic Ritual
21STRANDEDMidnight SunDouble Phantom
22ROSS FROM FRIENDSTreadBrainfeeder
23JAPANESE BREAKFASTJubileeDead Oceans/Secretly Group
25UNION OF KNIVESEndless From The StartDisco Piñada
26MARY VEILS, THESomewhere Over The Rowhome [EP]PNKSLM
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 11/30

1GREEN LUNGBlack HarvestSvart
2FORTRESSDon’t Spare The WickedSelf-Released
3PORTRAYAL OF GUILTChristfuckerRun For Cover
4NOVA SPEISequentisBam&Co. Heavy
5WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKSHope Valley Burns: EulogyElectric Talon
6SPIRITBOXEternal BlueRise
7LOATHEI Let It In And It Took EverythingSharptone
9ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINEPurifying BladeProfound Lore
10BLOODY KEEPBloody Horror [EP]Grime Stone
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 11/30

1FIT OF BODYPunks Unavailable [EP]2MR
2AMON TOBINHow Do You LiveNomark
3BICEPIsles (Deluxe)Ninja Tune
4MACHINEDRUMPsyconia [EP]Ninja Tune
6FJAAKSYS03 [EP]Self-Released
7ROSS FROM FRIENDSTreadBrainfeeder
8DJ SABRINA THE TEENAGE DJCharmedSpells On The Telly
10LSDXOXODedicated 2 Disrespect [EP]XL
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 11/30

1LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
2LITTLE SIMZSometimes I Might Be IntrovertAGE 101
3MCKINLEY DIXONFor My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like HerSpacebomb
4EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
5ILLISMFamily Over EverythingThe CRWN
6GENESIS OWUSUSmiling With No TeethHouse Anxiety/Ourness
7INJURY RESERVEBy The Time I Get To PhoenixSelf-Released
9SHADTAOSecret City
Blog New Album Review

Album Review: “Spiral” by Rezz

I’ve found that I’ve often discovered artists at slightly the wrong time to really get the most out of their work. I got into Car Seat Headrest a month after they came to Cat’s Cradle and it seemed like everyone in The National started releasing solo projects the moment I became a fan. But just this once, the stars aligned. I started DJing during the afterhours block this semester, which means I had to go from an electronic music novice to someone qualified to run a weekly show about it. Rezz was my gateway into a world of thumping bass and hard-hitting kick drums, and I was waiting for this album with a feverish anticipation. Spoiler alert: it was worth the wait.

Sounding effortless to me is one of the best things an artist can do, having instantly iconic moments feel like they are just dispensed without a care in the world adds another level to any music. I normally don’t feel this from EDM, with its meticulously crafted structures, but here it feels like this album is good without even trying to be. Rezz is swimming in so much quality production that “Levitate”, a song that spends half of its runtime over a repeated guitar loop that barely rises above the backbeat, still comes together as a quality track with a sneaky bassline that isn’t really a drop but propels the song in a great direction regardless. It’s all uphill from here, “Sacrificial” makes great use of individual bass notes underneath perfectly arranged vocal harmonies, this is probably my favorite track on the album. “Let Me In” starts slow but continues ramping up the pace with the drop becoming more and more urgent.

The release of this album wasn’t just perfect because of when I got into Rezz’s music either. “Spiral” marks somewhat of a transformation of what a Rezz song means. She built her career off a very specific type of fusion of dark techno and dubstep now called “midtempo”, where songs have house and techno elements but are slowed down to 100-110 BPM, really letting the listener hear the technical aspects of the basslines. Her work in this genre is amazing, and we get all of that here, but she opens up the soundscape with more of a focus on the highs, with offbeat notes and clicks making even the bass drops more fleshed out. Some tracks adhere more to her older style, such as “Spun” and the extremely hard-hitting “Chemical Bond”, but this more balanced approach can be felt across the whole album. Her previous albums were also almost entirely lacking in vocals, but “Spiral” has features from singers on more than half its tracks, and they deliver. “Taste of You” features a restrained buildup that lets Dove Cameron inject a compelling edge to the song before exploding into the drop, and Metric’s Emily Haines arguably carries “Paper Walls” with a vulnerability that matches the moody instrumental until a switch is flipped and the kicks start going stratospheric.

Perhaps the best part of the listening experience is that it’s only going to get better the more I listen to the project. As varied and amazing as the deep cuts were, the singles were still the best songs for a variety of reasons, which means that the high points on an album that at time of writing came out under twelve hours ago were songs I’ve been bumping for months. As we draw further from the release day, this line will blur more and I’ll be able to appreciate “Spiral” as a body of work more. 

And Rezz, if you’re somehow reading this, please announce a show closer than DC.



dj mozzie’s Movie Soundtrack Recommendations

Howdy y’all! After writing about the music of Swiss Army Man a blog or two ago, I was feeling inspired to share more of my favorite movie and television show soundtrack albums. Included are recommendations of songs from each.

Any Wes Anderson Movie Soundtrack

Film director Wes Anderson is quirky, and the music that accompanies his movies matches the whimsy of his characters. Anything Wes Anderson has directed is bound to have eccentric music, including but not limited to The Life Aquatic, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Favorite songs: From The Life Aquatic, I recommend Life on Mars by David Bowie and Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop and The Stooges

Perfect for: car trips, dinners with friends, belting in the shower, or strolling around downtown in your favorite pair of fun pants.

La La Land Soundtrack

Featuring Ryan Gosling as jazz musician Sebastian and Emma Stone as aspiring actress Mia, La La Land follows the two hopefuls as they go through hardships with their relationship and respective careers. The movie celebrates classic Hollywood nostalgia so beautifully.

Favorite songs: Mia and Sebastian’s Theme by Justin Hurwitz, Another Day of Sun by the La La Land Cast, and Someone in the Crowd by Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, and Jessica Rothe

Perfect for: date nights with your partner and times when you bring out the fancy silverware.

Loki Soundtrack

Loki was one of my top watches of the year. Although it wasn’t a movie, the movie-like quality was incredible. The music of Loki utilized an instrument called the theremin, which has an alien-esque sound to it. Coupled with the ‘70s design of the set of characters like Miss Minutes, the theremin is a smart and spooky addition to this retro-futuristic show. 

Favorite songs: Very Full by Tom Hiddleston, Loki Green Theme by Natalie Holt, and TVA by Natalie Holt.

Perfect for: Redecorating your mid-century modern A-frame house on a cozy fall day.

Twilight Soundtrack

I stand by the Twilight saga soundtrack being what encapsulates early 2000s like nothing else. Muse. Paramore. Linkin Park. Iron and Wine. Bon Iver and St. Vincent. Lykke Li. Florence and the Machine. Passion Pit. What more could you dream of for an angsty vampire love story?

Favorite songs: It is hard to pick just one, especially if we’re looking at the entire saga, but my favorites would have to be Roslyn by Bon Iver and St. Vincent, Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron and Wine, Turning Page by Sleeping at Last, or A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. 

Perfect for: those times when you are contemplating why you had to fall for both a vampire and a werewolf.

Euphoria Soundtrack

I loved HBO’s Euphoria. It is definitely in my top 5 favorite shows of all times. Zendaya stars in this heart wrenching story of personal hardship and friendship. The intense plot is coupled with beautifully intense music. Singer-songwriter Labrinth did the original score for the show.

Favorite songs: All For Us by Labrinth and Zendaya and Still Don’t Know My Name by Labrinth

Perfect for: listening to after fights with your loved ones.

I hope you enjoy my movie/show soundtrack recommendations! Attached is a playlist with every song mentioned.

<3 dj mozzie

DJ Highlights

Thanksgiving Dinner Set w/ carbon copy

A few months ago, my family came to visit me, and it was then the idea was born that me and my father should do a radio set together. I figured the Tuesday before Thanksgiving would be a good time for that (for travel reasons), and I gave my dad free reign on what to put on the set. He decided to make a set themed around Thanksgiving dinner and the progression of the night and foods you might eat. I love how creative he was with it and was very impressed with how all of the songs mesh together perfectly.

Without further ado, here is DJ GCarr’s Thanksgiving playlist:

  • “I Thank You – LP/Single Version” — Sam & Dave
  • “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf)” — Sly & The Family Stone
  • “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” — William DeVaughn
  • “Save The Bones for Henry Jones” — Nat King Cole
  • “(Do The) Mashed Potatoes” — James Brown
  • “Mashed Potato Time” — Dee Dee Sharp
  • “My Sweet Potato” — Booker T. & the M.G.’s 
  • “Sweet Pea” — Tommy Roe
  • “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” — Ohio Express
  • “Cold Turkey” — Lenny Kravitz
  • “Mother Freedom” — Bread
  • “Long Tall Glasses” — Leo Sayer
  • “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” — Jay & The Techniques
  • “Pecan Pie” — Golden Smog
  • “One More Cup Of Coffee” — Bob Dylan
  • “Goodbye” — Mary Hopkin
  • “Leaving on a Jet Plane” — Peter, Paul and Mary
  • “Take Me Home Country Roads” — Ray Charles

It was very fun to switch up what I normally play on my sets, and it really renewed my creative interest in what is possible for future sets of mine. The set is on Spinitron and Spotify.

Until next time,