North Texas Daily

Fresh Beats: Song reviews for Beck and more

Fresh Beats: Song reviews for Beck and more

Fresh Beats: Song reviews for Beck and more
January 30
01:11 2014

Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer

Beck – “Blue Moon”

It’s been six years since singer-songwriter Beck Hansen released his last studio album, “Morning Guilt.” After parting ways with his record label and taking a few years to feature and produce other artists’ material, Beck is back with this single from his newest album, “Morning Phase.” The song is a world away both lyrically and melodically from his previous outings, especially “Loser,” the song many know him by. With a pounding drum track and somber guitar riffs backing the tune, “Blue Moon” is a smooth, soothing track that broadcasts Beck’s ability to hook the listener with his bright melody and echoing sound. Though this track is a little on the soft side, it is easy to appreciate as a bigger picture. “Morning Phase” releases February 25, and will definitely be worth a listen.

+ Refreshing take on Beck’s previously childish sound

+ Smooth, soothing acoustic sound

+ It’s much better than “Loser”

 A little on the soft side

Rating: 3.5/5

Listen if you like: Ben Folds, Blur, Wilco

Schoolboy Q – “Break the Bank”

Schoolboy Q has had an interesting year. With a feature on Macklemore’s now platinum album, “The Heist” and multiple collaborations with friend and label-mate Kendrick Lamar, more and more hip hop fans are finding out about Quincy Hanley. “Break the Bank” is one of four singles being used to promote his third studio album “Oxymoron.” It seems that he is on track to hit it big. With his distinct character and solid flow, Schoolboy combines Wu-Tang era rap style with modernized production values for an experience that is just wonderful to listen to. Each of the track’s bouncing choruses culminates in an isolated verse backed by a drum kit that hits hard with every syllable. If this track is a sign of things to come, then Schoolboy Q’s name will be everywhere this coming year, starting with the release of “Oxymoron” on February 25.

+ Top-notch production value

+ The isolated raps help the track hit hard

+ Wu-Tang era rap style

 Drum kit vs. real instrumentation

Rating: 4.5/5

Listen if you like: Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock

Run the Jewels – “Get It”

The duo of El-P (Jaime Meline) and Killer Mike (Michael Render) shocked the hip hop world late last year when they dropped the self-titled “Run the Jewels,” an album taking influences from current trends of glitch-pop and electronic music by combining them with the style and grace of early Outkast. This track, “Get It,” may be the perfect example of this concoction with their verses complimenting one another, helping the song transcend the boundaries of standard hip hop. The beat pounds throughout and the sampled sound on the chorus makes blaring this song as loud as possible a fun task and you’ll get lost in the chemistry that these two rappers produce. Put simply, Run the Jewels is this year’s Watch the Throne, and listening to the full album is wholly recommended as it is a joy to listen to all of the way through.

+ Duality of El-P and Killer Mike’s distinct styles

+ Pounding drums and electronic influence

+ Excellent sampling

 Somewhat on the short side

Rating: 5/5

Listen if you like: El-P, Killer Mike, The Roots 

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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