May 22, 2020


BRELAND – BRELAND EP (Bad Realm Records)

Oh boy, where do we start.

So what Breland – I apologize, I mean BRELAND – and his team have produced here can definitely be considered “music”.  I will give him that.  But that’s where the compliments end, because the BRELAND EP is doodoo.

The tracks on BRELAND EP are mostly bad hip-hop songs with bad country aspects shoehorned in.  The best tracks are the ones that don’t feature any of those country leanings – for example, “WiFi” is pretty solid.  But there are plenty of tracks in the other category, including “Hot Sauce”, “Horseride”, and the absolute abomination known as “My Truck”.  I’ve heard plenty of samples and beats in my day, but never one that sounded like forest animals in various levels of distress.  It’s easily the worst song I’ve heard this year; I would gladly put it up against several other years too, and feel good about my chances.

I’ll also say that none of this is a knock to BRELAND’s vocals, as he sings pretty well!  But his voice is ridiculously overshadowed by the overproduction inherent in most of the track, and that’s a shame.  I’d definitely give him another chance if he stepped out of the contrived country-rap space and made a more traditional R&B album.

FFO: Lil Nas X, Sam Hunt (who unsurprisingly features on a “My Truck” remix)

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April 17th, 2020


Nils – Caught In The Groove (Baja/TSR)

Let’s face it: these are trying times.  We’re all stuck inside, oftentimes without much to do.  Some of us are locked down with significant others, boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wifes, etc.  After that 5th or 6th ep of your rewatch binge of The Office, you glance at one another, and it’s time.  Clothes go off, deodorant goes on – don’t pretend that you smell good right now – and from there it’s into or onto the bed, the couch, or even the washing machine.

You know what’s missing in this scene?  The music, of course.  But not just any music; it has to be right.  The two of you (or more, I don’t judge) deserve it to be right.  And that’s where Caught In The Groove comes in.

I can’t claim to know much about German jazz musician Nils Jiptner, or what exactly he was thinking as he conceptualized this album.  Maybe it was an audio illustration of the rolling German countryside, or an ode to the neo-gothic architecture still on prominent display in Munich.  Perhaps it was more of a call-to-action, to encourage all who listen to unite and make the world a better place.  But regardless of any of that, this is very clearly a sex album for doing sex with other sex-doers.

From the uptempo “Good Times are Better” and “I Like The Way You Do It”, to the slower “My Mornings With You” and “All Roads Lead To You”… oh.  I guess Nils knew that he was making a sex album all along then.  As smooth as a fine whiskey, and as layered as a fine dip, Caught In The Groove delivers as a complete listening experience.  Good luck getting through the whole 12 track ride with your pants on.

FFO: Sex

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