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2018 Grammy Nominees for Album of the Year

Mattermap door Abby Tiska 01 december 2017

2018 Grammy Nominees: Album of the Year

  • Kendrick Lamar, "DAMN."

    • Storytelling has been Lamar’s greatest skill and most primary mission, to put into (lots of) words what it's like to grow up as he did—to articulate, in human terms, the intimate specifics of daily self-defense from your surroundings. Somehow, he’s gotten better. The raps on his fourth studio album "DAMN." ...»
      Matthew Trammell Contributor Pitchfork Bron: Pitchfork 18/04/2017
    • Seemingly exhausted with the burden of constantly pushing hip-hop forward into concept operas, electric Miles explosions and Flying Lotus electronic burbles, Damn. seemingly takes a classicist route to rap music. If To Pimp a Butterfly was the best rap album in 2015, Damn. is the platonic ideal of the best rap album of 1995, a dazzling display of showy rhyme skills, consciousness-raising political screeds, self-examination and bass-crazy-kicking. Kendrick has many talents – pop star, avant-garde poet, lyrical gymnast, storyteller. But here he explores what we traditionally know as a "rapper" more than on any of his albums to date. ...»
      Christopher R. Weingarten Journalist Rolling Stone Bron: Rolling Stone 18/04/2017
    • DAMN. is Kendrick Lamar dead and Kendrick Lamar alive. It is Kendrick Lamar condemned and Kendrick Lamar redeemed. It is a meditation—or rather, a series of meditations—of Kendrick’s technical and emotional capabilities. Those meditations, on subjects explicitly named in songs like “PRIDE.” “LUST.” and “FEAR.” are bound together as an examination of Kendrick’s own existence: his past, his present, his future, his disciples, his worshipers, his enemies and his worldview. ...»
      Carter Shelter Contributor Paste Magazine Bron: Paste Magazine 15/04/2017
    • For all its self-interrogation, "DAMN." is Mr. Lamar's most accessible album, and the one in which he finally allows anthemic impulses to fully coexist with his at times ornery aesthetic. Songs like "DNA.," "LOYALTY." and "HUMBLE." had the gut-punch and abandon to rouse this arena, as did the older songs "Alright" and "Backseat Freestyle." Though Mr. Lamar was largely alone onstage, backed by an obscured-from-view live band, which made the reticent jazz-inflected soul he prefers to rap over into something denser, greasier and more shattering. ...»
      Jon Caramanica Journalist The New York Times Bron: The New York Times 13/07/2017
  • Child Gambino, "Awaken, My Love!"

    • For his third album, "Awaken, My Love!", Gambino delves into the kind of grungy stanklove that OutKast once indulged in on their magnum opuses. When its first track, "Me and Your Mama," was sent to websites last month, listeners were stunned at the epic six-minute track, its soaring gospel chorus and the raggedly intense feeling he summoned with ease. ...»
      Mosi Reeves Journalist Rolling Stone Bron: Rolling Stone 02/12/2016
    • “Awaken, My Love!,” his third album as Childish Gambino, takes a sharp turn: from rapping to full-time singing and from contemporary production to unabashed throwback. The music directly recalls the 1970s R&B before hip-hop — the era of Parliament-Funkadelic; Earth, Wind & Fire; Stevie Wonder; the Spinners; the Chi-Lites; the Ohio Players; late Sly and the Family Stone; and early Prince. ...»
      Jon Pareles Journalist The New York Times Bron: The New York Times 07/12/2016
    • Glover has a keen ear for genre idiosyncrasies and Awaken, My Love is full of tiny rewarding details: the pinched surf guitar of California; the squalling organ blasts of the Parliament-Funkadelic-ish Riot. Only the limitations of his voice occasionally let him down – he doesn’t quite have the range to nail Awaken’s more ostentatious vocal lines. Still, it’s a minor gripe when there’s so much here to enjoy. ...»
      Gwilym Mumford Journalist The Guardian Bron: The Guardian 01/12/2016
    • The tracks are embellished with intricate details throughout, like the delicate xylophone on “Terrified.” “Redbone” builds from a slow jam into a peak of futuristic guitar and forceful staccato piano chords. It’s a love song, which has always been Glover’s forte, whether on Because the Internet’s “3005,” “Telegraph Ave,” or Camp’s “L.E.S.” The same goes for the open-hearted “Baby Boy,” possibly inspired by the birth of his son. These songs dig into something that feels unique to Glover’s heart, not just his record collection. ...»
      Matthew Strauss Associate Editor Pitchfork Bron: Pitchfork 06/12/2016
  • Bruno Mars, "24K Magic"

    • Mars wanted Magic to recreate the nostalgic wonder of the school dances he attended in the Nineties – and his crowded productions, infectious attitude and soaring voice go well beyond "tribute" into the realm of "IMAX reboot." "Perm" is a future-shocked James Brown hip-hop hybrid that sounds like an update of please-please-pleasers Son of Bazerk; "That's What I Like" brings the silky vibes of 12 Play–era R. Kelly into the boom of modern trap; "Finesse" is a modern BBD bite down the rat-a-tat "Poison" snares. The chorus to "Calling My Lovelies" – "I got Alesha waiting/Iesha waiting/All the –eeshas waiting on me" – feels like he's writing himself into the adult epilogue of Another Bad Creation's playground romance complete with a thirsty phone call to Halle Berry's answering machine. The arrangements throughout are simply outstanding, bubbling and percolating with ADD explosions of melodic counterpoints, overdubs, subplots and funky worms. ...»
      Christopher R. Weingarten Journalist Rolling Stone Bron: Rolling Stone 18/11/2016
    • “Uptown Funk” was the theme-park version of one sliver of funk, 24K Magic is the rest of the park: rebuilt shinier and glitzier and safer, every element engineered to please more than the real thing, and with a hell of a tour guide. It’s not history, not even historical fiction, but harmless fun. ...»
      Katherine St. Asaph Contributor Pitchfork Bron: Pitchfork 02/12/2016
    • But instead of pogoing from genre to genre in pursuit of hits, Mars has crafted something compact and cohesive that feels like a proper album.
      Although the title track’s exuberant electro-funk apes ‘U
      ptown Funk’, the album is mainly a tribute to early ’90s R&B. “Those ’90s songs are what I was singing to get the girls in school, the songs that the girls like, what we were dancing to as children,” Mars told NME recently, and his affection for this music is palpable. ...»
      Nick Levine Contributor NME Bron: NME 01/12/2016
    • Mostly his songs are like cotton candy: sweet, sticky, structurally impressive but not especially deep. What's most striking about this album is how it expands upon Mr. Mars's longstanding interest in American soul music. Rather than linger in one time period, with one production approach, he's all over the map, from the 1950s to the '90s, and sniper sharp throughout. ...»
      Jon Caramanica Journalist The New York Times Bron: The New York Times 23/11/2016
  • Lorde, "Melodrama"

    • "On "Melodrama," her second album, Lorde's nights out are a swirl of drunken flirtations and reckless hookups, where she tries to forget herself but ends up more lonely and self-conscious than ever. Momentary pleasures lead to lasting regrets; trivial interactions can seem cataclysmic." ...»
      Jon Pareles Journalist The New York Times Bron: The New York Times 16/06/2016
    • Melodrama is Lorde’s study of being a young woman finding her own conviction in unsteady circumstances. Sometimes, this also involves being single—a breakup and a raucous house party serve as thematic through-lines—but romance is only part of the album’s script. In the difficult, exhilarating course of the record, written largely when Lorde was 18 and 19, her true reward comes with her embrace of self. As a nod to her clearest pop forbearer, her peace is in accepting that she will, sometimes, end up dancing on her own. ...»
      Stacey Anderson Senior Editor Pitchfork Bron: Pitchfork 16/06/2017
    • Lorde's writing and fantastically intimate vocals, ranging from her witchy, unprocessed low-register warbles to all sorts of digitized masks, make it matter. She has said the album's conceit is a house party and its unfolding dramas; indeed, Pure Heroine's cool snark is now a hotter passion, in its millennial-skeptical way. It's most vivid on the rueful piano ballad "Liability," a meditation on the loneliness of an ambitious pop drama queen. ...»
      Bill Hermes Journalist Rolling Stone Bron: Rolling Stone 16/06/2017
    • ...Melodrama sounds less like a troubled attempt to follow up a huge debut album than a cocky challenge being issued to her musical contemporaries. For all its odd misfires, it makes a great deal of the stuff that sits alongside it in the charts look pretty feeble by comparison. If that sounds like faint praise, it isn’t meant to be: if it was easy to make hugely successful mainstream pop music as smart as this, then everybody would be at it. And they patently aren’t. ...»
      Alexis Petridis Journalist The Guardian Bron: The Guardian 16/06/2017
  • Jay Z, "4:44"

    • Jay-Z's unusual vulnerability elevates 4:44 to something more than just a tawdry reality show. And the album is full of Love & Hip-Hop­­­-styled revelations: Released just Friday, there's already been a wealth of Internet headlines that have sprung from 4:44's lyrical oeuvre. ...»
      Mosi Reeves Journalist Rolling Stone Bron: Rolling Stone 05/07/2017
    • Jay-Z’s latest album was, among other things, an exorcism. Of personal demons, shame, guilt, and ego. His new tour, following that release, opens with Jay Z burning in effigy (the image is from the “Holy Grail” music video). Then the screens, originally positioned as a sort of cocoon or shield, ascend, and Jay-Z emerges from the embers. ...»
      Frazier Tharpe Staff Complex Bron: Complex 28/11/2017
    • The album is certainly built around a betrayal, but his duplicity, the corresponding apology, and his reassessment are vehicles for his own maturation. Before, he was unfadable, the supreme hustler without error. Fatherhood has eroded some of that cool, but 4:44 deconstructs an entire worldview. ...»
      Sheldon Pearce Contributor Pitchfork Bron: Pitchfork 05/07/2017
    • In addition to the stuff about his marriage, “4:44” finds Jay-Z taking up one of his most reliable subjects — the accumulation of wealth — in a fascinating new light. Where he used to rap about money as a symbol of status (itself a political act given his background), here he describes it explicitly as a tool of black self-determination in songs like “Moonlight” and “The Story of O.J.” ...»
      Mikael Wood Pop Music Critic Los Angeles Times Bron: Los Angeles Times 28/10/2017

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