Best of the Month is decided by a number of different variables; voter counts from preceding posts, reader reaction ratings, gut feelings, and lots and lots of heated discussions.
Album of the Month
N.E.R.D’s first album in some years certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of inventiveness. They’re no longer leaps and bounds ahead of their peers in this now genre-less age of music, but they are still ahead and the wild twists and turns No One Ever Really Dies takes the listener on shows why they’re still considered pioneers of the game. It’s fun, it’s energetic, and it has a social message to get across. It’s lighthearted riot music and while it may not be as ‘woke’ as they play it as, it is elevated by some fantastic guest spots from the likes of Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Andre 3000. In short, it shows why music is always better off when they’re a part of the conversation.
This movie has been getting a ton of buzz on the film festival circuit over the past year and this is our first official “official” look at the upcoming movie ever since Amazon Studios won the big bidding war for this one. It depicts an incredibly intense and chilling noire-esque story that looks to sport yet another master performance from Joaquin Phoenix. There’s promises of brutality and much more going on than what appears on the surface and we can’t wait to get a chance to check this one out for ourselves. “Modern day Taxi Driver” are some bold words to live up to.
Following in his wife’s footsteps, JAY-Z has turned 4:44 into a full blown visual album with a ton of thoughtful, well put together visuals for each of the album’s songs. “Smile” is the latest song to get the visual treatment and it’s one of his most impactful yet. More of a short story than music video, it tells of his mother’s hidden struggles of having to hide who she truly was and who she loved. It’s a very personal and powerful video and message that’s punctuated by his mom’s appearance and spoken word piece at the end. His evolution as an artist has been astounding to watch and this was the perfect way to cap off his 2017.