Mac DeMarco – “2” – Oct. 16
Mac DeMarco isn’t your typical 22-year-old. The Montreal, Quebec-based musician just released his second project of the year, the aptly titled “2.” His lyrics are what you would expect songs about love, parents and being dissatisfied with just about everything.
“Cooking Up Something Good,” the first track on “2,” takes place at DeMarco’s house, and reflects his observations of everyday life. “Momma’s in the kitchen/cooking up something good. Daddy’s on the sofa/Pride of the neighborhood.”
“And I’ll be up at midnight, with my cigarette. Oh, when life moves this slowly…” he laments on the chorus, and the sense of monotony and apathy is nearly palpable. The songs feel immediate and personal.
With the modest success DeMarco achieved earlier this year with his debut, “Rock and Roll Nightclub,” he was able to improve his arsenal of recording gear. But it doesn’t take away from the rawness or organic quality his songs had before — it just makes them all the better.
Taylor Swift – “Red” – Oct. 22
It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since Taylor Swift first hit the country music scene, later turning into the pop icon she is today. At 22, Swift has been churning out music since she was 16, and she doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Her newest album, “Red,” is a predictable addition to Swift’s catalogue — sad songs about hopeless romance and breakups. Swift’s split with actor Jake Gyllenhaal undoubtedly played a role in this album, which appears to come up during “All Too Well.”
“Hey you called me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest.” Lyrics like this are common on “Red,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a recipe she has crafted and perfected for mass appeal.
But with another album this similar to previous efforts, it begs the question: Is this how every Taylor Swift album is going to be?
Meek Mill – “Dreams and Nightmares” – Oct. 30
This has been a very strong year for hip-hop. During the past four months, the industry was looking at two albums to define the end of the year for hip-hop: Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid m.a.a.d city” and Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares.”
I wrote a glowing review of Lamar’s album, and had similar hopes for Mill’s debut studio album (now that he’s under the guidance of rap mogul Rick Ross). Mill has a great ear for beats and this album highlights that. But unlike with previous efforts, money was not an issue with this release.
Mill puts his newfound fame and money to use on “Dreams and Nightmares” by enlisting a host of talented guests for features such as Nas, John Legend and Mary J. Blige.
“Amen,” featuring Drake, is definitely a great radio single. It’s catchy and has already proven itself in the club. The same goes for “Young & Gettin’ It” featuring Kirko Bangz. But songs in between radio hits hurt this album. There’s too much filler and not enough cohesiveness to hold my attention.