Noir Fall 2016 - Page 13

Blood Orange REVIEWS Freetown Sound Domino Recording 2016 Dev Hynes is probably the man behind some of your favorite pop songs of the last 5 years and you didn’t even know it. When he’s not writing songs for Carly Rae Jepsen and Sky Ferreira, Hynes makes resplendant dream-pop and r&b under the Blood Orange moniker. On his third effort, Freetown Sound, Dev calls on many voices — both sung and spoken — to help quantify his place in this world as a black, queer individual. By focusing on the burdens he’s faced with, he offers solidarity and hope to the many who struggle with the same issues. In 2016, Freetown Sound feels pertinent. Anderson .Paak Malibu Steel Wool 2016 No one has had a bigger year than Dr. Dre’s latest cosign, Anderson .Paak. The multi-talented drummer-singer-rapper is responsible for 2016’s best album, and dominated every track he’s found himself on since — and he’s not done yet. So about that album I mentioned, Malibu, yeah. It’s really really good. .Paak is a natural entertainer, crafting ornate funk-indebted r&b with pop sensibilities and the ability to trade bars with the best of ‘em. Lately, it seems like Anderson .Paak just can’t miss; and with Malibu, you’ll always find yourself with new favorites. Skepta Konnichiwa Boy Better Know 2016 Finally, we got an album from Skepta — and he delivered. On Konnichiwa, the king of Grime produces 9 of his 12 songs, and provides a steady platter of punchy hype-rap poised for the Wembley-sized crowds he’s drawing these days. Aside from heavy-hitting singles like “Man” and “Shutdown,” Skepta offers the menacing turn-up anthem “Detox,” & the quirky Pharrell collab “Numbers” — wherein P delivers a dorky verse which sounds sorta like a robotic 2 Chainz. A lot of people wondered if the release of Konnichiwa would grant the Grime genre the crossover hit many have been predicting for years now; I don’t know if it did that, but don’t be surprised if you hear Skepta at the function this year. Images:,,