The Drop

By By Chase Straight, Red Pulse Writer

By Chase Straight, Red Pulse Writer

The Renaissance
Universal Motown
It’s been almost 10 years since Q-Tip has released a feature-length studio album8212;but it’s not for lack of trying. His 2000 LP Kamaal the Abstract was never officially released because record executives didn’t think the music was commercial enough, despite the rave reviews from the few who could get their hands on the album. However, the wait is over. After years of wrangling with stuffy label execs, Q-Tip brings us The Renaissance8212;proof that Q-Tip is still on top of his game and one of the most entertaining MCs alive. The album’s first single, “Move,” is propelled by Kanye-esque beats and ’70s groove samples. Q-Tip is joined by notable artists such as Norah Jones and D’Angelo. The collaboration with Jones, “Life is Better,” is a standout track that allows her to take an active role in the song, showcasing her lyrical talents when most artists would have relegated her to the hook.

Bloc Party
Since their 2005 release, Silent Alarm, Bloc Party has become a staple of the indie rock scene, evoking the sounds of alternative ’80s British bands such as The Smiths, The Cure and Gang Of Four. Their third album, Intimacy, finds the group in familiar territory, exploring the same kind of raw, electronic feeling their debut album had. Intimacy is basically Silent Alarm plus the experience of three years together as a band. Intimacy is the result of more advanced production and contains more complicated song arrangements, but it lacks the novelty that made their original release such a splash in the music community.

Lady Gaga
The Fame
Sweden’s own Lady Gaga was originally discovered by Akon and signed as a songwriter. After hearing her vocal talents, Akon promoted her to a performer and paved the way for the release of The Fame. A rarity in the world of pop music, Lady Gaga should be commended for having written every song on the record. That being said, Lady Gaga desperately tries to set herself apart from the Britney-Christina scene with ’70s and ’80s guitars and beats topped with elements of theatrical production. Despite her songwriting prowess, the lyrics stand in the way of what could have been an innovative record, coming off as flat and insincere. In Paper Gangsta, she rips on former record label Dej Jam, but it’s hard to shake a laugh when you hear a porcelain-skinned, blonde Swedish girl faux-rap lines such as “Cuz the ones who loved me, told me to stop/Like homegirl can’t catch shit if it drops.”

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