John Reuben, Reubonic



A record 7 years in the making. With his past behind him but respect given to it, veteran professional rapper John Reuben returns with a new record that is easily his greatest achievement. Infusing more electronic compositions than ever before, Reuben worked with composer Seth Earnest to create one of his most pivotal and introspective records. Compiled from random thoughts, lyrics, poems, and experiences over nearly the past decade, the songs compiled here give a full, unfiltered look into Reuben's mind and how he deals with the every day. 

Reuben is an artist that I grew up listening to, with his debut record releasing in 2000. That record still holds a lot of emotion and nostalgia for me. After sitting down with him, I was convinced that he respects his previous material as much as we as fans do. That's why large parts of this new album still give nods to his earliest albums, while still pushing the envelope both lyrically and musically. In addition, there's a lot of space given on this album, and Reuben says it's on purpose. Working with Earnest on the music and combining it with his heightened lyrical flow, it was clear that the album needed the opportunity to breathe. So Reuben might rap through a full 16-18 bars and then you'll have a good 30-40 seconds of straight music, to allow the song to build to the hook. Artists, and particularly rappers, don't seem to do that as much anymore, allowing their own music to breathe, grow, and form from itself. 

As he says on the record, this is a fresh start. In fact, it might be the freshest start he could have ever released. It just took 7 years to get there. And fans, it's worth the wait.

For people just discovering him, you've got a lot of catching up to do. But digest this album, give it your full, undivided attention. There's a lot of here, and it's all powerful.

Standout tracks: "Candy Coated Razor Blades", "One Drink Johnny", "Mainstream", "Future Nostalgia", "Identity", "Curious Part 1", "Curious Part 2"

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Paramore, After Laughter



(FUELED BY RAMEN) - MAY 12, 2017

After quite a while away, and apparently a few lawsuits, Paramore returns in what many are calling their third or fourth version of their band. Channeling as much of the 80s as they can for After Laughter, they've honestly never sounded better. While I might prefer earlier records, having Zac Farro back behind the drum set feels really good and makes this record stand out. It's certainly growing on me that they've gone much more pop focused, but it works. 

Standout tracks: "Hard Times", "Told You So"

Apple Music • Spotify

San Cisco, The Water


(ISLAND CITY) - MAY 5, 2017

Just as jam packed as their previous two records, the Fremantle band returns after over a year's worth of recording time with another stellar volume. Fun, light hearted tunes abound, and make for a really great and easy-listening record. Lazy synths with jam-worthy rhythms abound, and since I've been listening to these guys for years, every record they get better and better. 

Standout tracks: "Kids are Cool", "Waiting for the Weekend", "The Distance"

Apple Music • Spotify