50 Cent- Before I Self Destruct review, 7.5/10

50-cent-album-cover

The Invasion: 6.5/10 Your standard intro track. 50 comes out energetic but without a lot of interesting rhymes it doesn’t really resonate with me. 

Then Days Went By: 9.5/10 Great song. Lyrics are a lot more memorable, the funniest being about being 12 and having sex with a 20 year old. He doesn’t care that it’s technically rape, because it was so cool. Not gonna lie. That’s the exact same interpretation I’d have if I hooked up with a 20 year old. The beat is great too. The organ and background vocals are perfect.

Death To My Enemies: 9/10 This is a Dre beat, and it definitely shows it. 50 goes hard, claiming that this CD isn’t “Tha Carter”. Anything anti-Wayne I’m all for, because he’s played out. There isn’t a whole lot to this track, but it’s great for what it is.

So Disrespectful: 7/10 Ah 50 and your fightin’ ways. This is his anti-Game/Young Buck track among others… It’s not bad, but I actually like Piggy Bank off Tha Massacre more for some reason (wow, I never thought I’d say that).  Woulda given this an 8 if it wasn’t  referencing Young Buck doing more syrup than Pimp C. This is because Pimp C had more talent in his pinkie than 50 Cent has in his entire body.

Psycho: 9/10 50 changes up his flow on this track, which makes you wonder if Em wrote his verses. Both go hard on the track, and Em especially shines (what’s new?). Anytime you mention beating the Octomom with a Cabbage Patch kid you have my vote. Way to go Em. Topical and funny.

Hold Me Down: 4/10 Someone tell Scott Storch to stop doing coke. This beat is strangely bad, and really shows how far Scott Storch has fallen off. 50 Cent’s raps are tired and pointless. So far, it’s the worst song on the album. He must have put this on the album to do Scott Storch a favor. Trust me, he did not do him any favors by allowing millions to hear this track.

Crime Wave: 6.5/10 Another swagger track about guns, how itchy trigger fingers are and how much bullets burn. I don’t discount 50 Cents credibility on the knowledge of how getting shot feels, but I don’t need to hear about it a bunch of times. When did it become cool to get shot a bunch of times? 

Stretch: 9/10 Sha Money XL’s beat is pretty good. Song about selling drugs, but it’s pretty interesting.  I don’t know why I like this track, but it’s strangely hypnotic. “Streeeetch”…”Kurt Cocaine.” I don’t know if it’s clever but I like it. Haha.

Strong Enough: 7/10 Soulful beat. More lyrics about guns and how hardcore he is. Transitions into how much money he has. Then he disses his old crew. It kinda goes all over the place, but the lyrics are better and work well with the beat. 

Get It Hot: 5/10 Not really feeling this track. The beat by Nottz is kinda cool, but it doesn’t work all that great with 50. It clocks in at 2:59 and it feels long. That’s not a good sign. Nottz gonna listen to this song again…

Gangsta’s Delight: 9.5/10 Haha, this song is great. Remix the lyrics from Rapper’s Delight with a Dre beat. 50 has got some balls to redo a classic like this. Somehow, it works. The beat is grimey. I love the piano in the background.  The lyrics work. 50’s flow is perfect. So far, my favorite song on the album.

I Got Swag: 5/10 Did you know 50 Cent has a lot of money, as well as swagger? Me neither! Thank God he cleared it up on this track. Throwaway.

Baby By Me: 8.5/10 Ok, I get it. That’s kinda clever: “Have a baby by me baby, be a millionaire” Throw a Ne-Yo hook on it, and it’s a hit, right? Sorta. It’s overproduced by Polow da Don, but overall I think girls will like it. It’s likable for a chick track. After 12 songs about shooting people and selling drugs, it’s a nice break. 

Do You Think About Me: 7/10 Another girl track but it’s more laid back. It’s not as catchy, but not terrible. I feel like they should have put it somewhere else on the CD to break up the two softer songs.

Ok, You’re Right: 7/10 The only previously released song that actually made the CD. It’s pretty good, but I don’t really like the chorus that much. I actually liked the song “Get Up” more, and am kinda surprised it didn’t make the CD. 

Could’ve Been You: 7/10 Weird song but it flows well. R. Kelly is singing about smelling shit. 50 Cent does alright on the track, but it’s strange to have as a closing song. 

Overall: 7.5/10 (Don’t know if my math worked out on that at all) 

Final impression is that it’s better than Curtis, but the subject matter was too focused on guns and drugs. There were too many generic songs that had no clear message. Half of them were just excuses to rap about killing people with a different chorus for each song. If he would have taken a few of those tracks off and had a few tracks that told a story or had different subject matter, the CD would have been great.

Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3 review, meh/10

jaz-y-blueprint-3-cover

What the hell happened to Jay-Z? He is disgracing the first The Blueprint cd hard. It’s like when The Blueprint 2 came out and people were like, “Oh…so that’s what we’re going to expect now. Time to lower the expectations”. 

I think Kanye and Timbaland gave Hova some advice to use more futuristic beats, and it just doesn’t work. Drake is featured on “Off That”, and although it is kinda catchy, the lyrics are pointless. The whole reason why The Blueprint worked so well was because of the introspective lyrics and soulful beats. The attempt at that is “A Star Is Born”, and the lyrics are good, but the beat detracts from the message of the song. This is just a lazy album.

Here’s what to expect. “Run This Town” is one of the better tracks on the album. Bad sign. Young Jeezy injects some much needed life in “Real As It Gets”, but Jay-Z’s verses are meh. “Venus Vs. Mars”, “Thank You” and “Hate” are very tedious and sound like they should have been offered as bonus tracks or left off all together.

I’m getting so tired of the current trend in rap. Ever since Lil’ Wayne got noticed by sorority girls and blew up rap has been in a funk. Hova’s attempt at getting it off of Autotune is pointless, because the direction he’s trying to take it in is a horrible lateral move that serves nobody.

Overall, this cd is a solid meh outta 10. Nothing really hits, and gives me the same feeling the first time I heard Curtis. Jay-Z has nothing left to say, so he really should just stop. I used to be a fan, but this cd is so mediocre it’s sad. 

 

Meh/10

Metallica- “Death Magnetic” review, 9.5/10

Metallica’s latest CD, Death Magnetic, is truly impressive, and I’m going to give you a track by track review. Granted, this is from a Metallica fan since age 9, so take in the review knowing that I am biased towards liking anything they do. That being said, I don’t think anyone can deny that this album is good. It not only dwarfs anything off of St. Anger, but as years pass, I think people will mention it along with Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All as some of their best work. Only time will tell I guess. This is what I think of it today:

That Was Just Your Life: 9.5/10

The song starts out with a beating heart, and then unleashes vintage Metallica for the next 7 minutes. The song mixes everything perfect. It sounds like a more thoughout “My Apocalypse”, with better song structure.  Yet another amazing song on the album. Everything works perfect.

The End of the Line: 9/10

I never I thought I’d say this, but parts of this song remind of Rage Against The Machine. There are a couple riffs that sound like they could have easily come off of Evil Empire or Battle For Los Angeles. And that’s a good thing, by the way. It’s getting pretty redundant reviewing every track, because I have nothing but good things to say about them. They all thrash, have great choruses, and are catchy as hell. What more can you ask for? “The End of the Line” is no exception.

Broken, Beat & Scarred: 9/10

“What don’t kill ya make ya more strong!” Hetfield bellows throughout this bruiser, and grammar aside, he is right. This song rocks, and will sure to get the mosh pits flowing on tour. I can’t say much about it, except that the entire song kills, and is yet another great track on a cd full of great music.

The Day That Never Comes: 9/10

Metallica’s first official single, “The Day That Never Comes”, debuted Thursday, and if this single is any indication of what the rest of Death Magnetic will be like, I can’t wait to be headbanging for the next two months. The song has many different elements working in its favor. First off, the lyrics are much better than anything off of St. Anger. Compare this song to something like “Invisible Kid”, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The instrumentals are all better. Lars’ drumming has improved, as has the sound of his drums. The tone of the guitars is similar to …And Justice For All, which is a very good thing. I didn’t notice much bass standouts from Trujillo, but on their other song, “Cyanide”, you can hear his presence throughout the track. Hammett’s solos fit the song perfectly, just like the old days.

James Hetfield’s vocals are slightly higher than previous efforts, but for some reason I like them more. He sounds more sure of himself than on St. Anger, and it definitely helps the song.

The only complaint I have with the track is that it switches up the music a little too much without having solid transitions.

The thing I like about this single is that it sounds like Metallica of old, but doesn’t sound like they are treading on old ground. The music has a new feel to it, without sounding derivative or contrived in any way.

All Nightmare Long: 9.5/10

You think the song is going somewhere, and then 40 seconds in, Metallica completely changes directions, and then it happens again, and again, making for an insane “Enter Sandman” that rocks incoherently. All of a sudden you realize you are headbanging, and enjoying yourself thoroughly. Then you are tapping your foot. Then you are punching your grandmother’s teeth out. I guess that is the theme for the entire Death Magnetic CD.

This is yet another song that I redundantly deem as amazing. I am still shocked how every track on this CD just straight up rules. The best part is that Metallica isn’t just copying songs from their glory days. They are taking the structure and ideas from the mid-80s Metallica, and incorporating it in a new format.

Cyanide: 10/10

Ok, so I’ve officially become obsessed with the new Metallica cd, Death Magnetic. “My Apocalypse” came out today, and as far as I’m concerned, they are 3 for 3. “Cyanide” is my favorite out of the three, but they’re all good. The thing I like about “Cyanide” is that it has the most coherent song structure, and has all the elements that make Metallica great. Hammett’s riffs are sinister as hell, Trujillo’s bass helps the song groove, Hetfield’s vocal inflection is perfect, and Ulrich is competent…as always.

It’s pretty sad that Trujillo has only been with the band a few years, and his presence is already felt more than anytime Jason Newsted played for them. That’s not to say he was bad, he just didn’t have a lot to do. Trujillo’s bouncing groove that starts off the song is great, and it continues throughout, giving the song more depth.

The driving riff throughout the song is menacing, and is the perfect complement to both the lyrics and Hetfield’s voice. The chorus works perfectly in this song, to the point where I think this song will be the best on the album.

I don’t really know what else to say about the song, except that I recommend listening to it about 50 times. I have yet to get tired of it, and I’ve probably doubled that amount.

The Unforgiven III: 9/10

This was the one song on Death Magnetic I was worried about, mainly because I thought it would be a rehash of the past two versions. Turns out that it isn’t at all, and the song is pretty amazing. It starts out similar to their concert intro, “Ecstacy of Gold”, off of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It builds for a minute or two, before the song starts going. James Hetfield sounds great on the track, as does everybody else.

Once the 5 and a half minute mark hits, Hammett unleashes a great solo. All 7 and a half minutes of the song work well, and although it isn’t as great as the original “The Unforgiven”, it is better than “The Unforgiven II”.

The Judas Kiss: 10/10

Holy crap this song is amazing! The chorus is so hardcore, and the song pretty much knocks you on your ass. Listening to this song for the first time made me feel like the first time I heard “Master of Puppets”. Obviously being 24 now, I can’t lock myself in my room so my parents won’t harass me. Now I can get a noise violation because my annoying neighbors call the cops on me.

I can’t explain how cool this song is. Just listen for yourself. Everything about it is perfect.

Suicide & Redemption: 8/10

So far, this is the first song off of the new album that I haven’t absolutely loved, and the reason is that it is just an instrumental. It is still great for an instrumental, but I get restless, and after 10 minutes of straight music, I need a break. Thankfully, “My Apocalypse” comes next, so all is forgiven! Truthfully though, “Suicide & Redemption” is a good track. It mixes things up, and although it was a little long, I’m sure I’ll listen to it again and again. It’s no “Orion”, but it still rocks.

My Apocalypse: 9/10

“My Apocalypse” is the third song to be released off of Death Magnetic, and it is a dousy. It is the fastest and most brutal of the three, but it’s not the best. It reminds me of “Dyers Eve” and “Battery”, but more raw and less memorable. That’s not to say that it is bad, because it isn’t. Far from it. Like “The Day That Never Comes”, it lacks a certain cohesion, and is all over the place.

The problem with me is that I just like hearing Metallica rock out for 5 minutes, so the lack of cohesion isn’t that big of a deal to my bleeding ears. It doesn’t have a discernable chorus, but the song moves at such a break neck speed that stopping for a chorus seems like a bad idea.

When I buy this cd I might use this song to wake up to. Since it is named “My Apocalypse”, it sets a great tone for starting the day.

So that is my song by song breakdown. I wrote each as I listened to the song, not in the context of the whole album. Even out of order this CD is great. I’m sure this CD will consume my music listening for the next month. It is Metallica inspired by their old selves, revitalized by the pursuit of metal perfection. This is pretty damn close: 9.5/10

Metallica- “All Nightmare Long” review, 9.5/10

You think the song is going somewhere, and then 40 seconds in, Metallica completely changes directions, and then it happens again, and again, making for an insane “Enter Sandman” that rocks incoherently. All of a sudden you realize you are headbanging, and enjoying yourself thoroughly. Then you are tapping your foot. Then you are punching your grandmother’s teeth out. I guess that is the theme for the entire Death Magnetic CD.

This is yet another song that I redundantly deem as amazing. I am still shocked how every track on this CD just straight up rules. The best part is that Metallica isn’t just copying songs from their glory days. They are taking the structure and ideas from the mid-80s Metallica, and incorporating it in a new format.

9.5/10

Metallica- “Broken, Beat & Scarred” review, 9/10

“What don’t kill ya make ya more strong!” Hetfield bellows throughout this bruiser, and grammar aside, he is right. This song rocks, and will sure to get the mosh pits flowing on tour. I can’t say much about it, except that the entire song kills, and is yet another great track on a cd full of great music.

9/10

Metallica- “Suicide & Redemption” review, 8/10

So far, this is the first song off of the new album that I haven’t absolutely loved, and the reason is that it is just an instrumental. It is still great for an instrumental, but I get restless, and after 10 minutes of straight music, I need a break. Thankfully, “My Apocalypse” comes next, so all is forgiven! Truthfully though, “Suicide & Redemption” is a good track. It mixes things up, and although it was a little long, I’m sure I’ll listen to it again and again. It’s no “Orion”, but it still rocks.

8/10

Metallica- “The End of the Line” review, 9/10

I never I thought I’d say this, but parts of this song remind of Rage Against The Machine. There are a couple riffs that sound like they could have easily come off of Evil Empire or Battle For Los Angeles. And that’s a good thing, by the way. It’s getting pretty redundant reviewing every track, because I have nothing but good things to say about them. They all thrash, have great choruses, and are catchy as hell. What more can you ask for? “The End of the Line” is no exception.

9/10