Top foreign nonformat albums
A bit late, but still publish our top for 2017 from the best foreign releases that do not have (or have a minimal) relation to hip-hop and are usually published under our regular column #Neformat.
Gord Downie – Introduce Yerself
October 17, died Canadian musician Gord Downey. His death did not come as a surprise, because back in May of 2016, he was diagnosed with brain cancer in an advanced stage. A week after the death of the artist, his latest album “Introduce Yerself” (“Imagine Yourself”) was released, and he began working on it with the frontman Broken Social Scene after learning about the impending death. As it becomes clear from the introductory part – the disc is entirely composed of elegies, so that depression and melancholy come through from every line, every word and chord.
This is a farewell to the world of a 53-year-old musician, recorded in audio format. 23 songs are dedicated to 23 specific people who in one way or another influenced the life of ex-frontman The Tragically Hip. He just tells the most memorable stories from his life, without naming names – who needs it, he will understand.
Corbin – MOURN
Corbin Smidzik, formerly known as Spooky Black aka Lil Spook, in 2017, took the final music course with honest complaints about the seriousness of the material produced. Given that the old art was more of a meme than music, and the fact that it was part of his very teenage life, this step looks like a logical stage of growing up, as Corbin came close to the third ten.
The name of the album “Mourn” very accurately describes the contents and, perhaps, even beyond that – the mournful and melancholy performance of the artist sometimes sounds like the howl of a wounded beast, tired of licking wounds, who don’t want to drag out. Nevertheless, despite some monotony, the singing of Corbin and the bits Shlohmo and D33J ultimately provide the necessary chemistry in the form of quite fresh alternative arenabis.
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
Charlotte Gansburg managed to turn tragedy into creativity, pain into relief, and synthave into a language of feelings. “Rest” was recorded after a seven-year pause in a creative career, and this allowed the actress not only to collect all her emotions in one pile, but also to be able to competently portray them with the help of music. The producer was electronic musician SebastiAn, from whom you also can hardly get new music. When the French romance is combined with the cool sounds of the synthesizer, the output is the strongest mix – both enchanting and frightening.
Allan Rayman – Roadhouse 01
The story of Allan Reiman could be decorated with a beautiful sign “Once Upon A Time In Canada”, because his work directly oozes with the atmosphere of the past, although it does not appeal to nostalgia; his songs seem to be imbued with gunpowder, alcohol and tobacco, but his soft voice somewhat understates the seriousness of the sung story on Roadhouse 01 in the eyes.
Allan is a kind of bard, or singer songwriter, who skillfully uses his own gift and the gifts of others. On the album, he skillfully assembles arenaby, country, blues and hip-hop, somewhere inflating darkness and noir, somewhere appearing in the light. However, it is difficult to say about the work that yin and yang have come together here, they will probably still have to find each other in the announced sequels. Oh, and don’t forget to grab the mini-album “Gun”, it’s also hardly separable from the mysterious Canadian musical universe.
St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION
Each album is St. Vincent is a big event for the world of alternative music. Annie Clark with particular thoroughness approaches the choice and elaboration of the image, sound and visual part of all her longplays. For the new era in her work, called “MASSEDUCTION”, she chose bright colors, latex, avant-garde electronics at the junction with art pop and glam. And once again did not lose.
This is a real celebration, a whirlwind of emotions; 42 minutes long fireworks, at the end of which the bright rays of the lanterns of night New York (where the release was fully recorded) will sparkle for several more hours in your eyes and head. This is pop music of the future from a strong and independent woman, a multi-instrumentalist, who controls from and to the process of creating her own creations and does not admit to the cause of guest writers and second-class pop producers.
Arca – Arca
To perceive the Arch in isolation from his image is simply impossible. In his music, visualizations, performances and philosophy, Burial and Bjork are intertwined – two very ambiguous, but revered representatives of alternative music. For some, the work of Alejandro Gersey with his fetishism of pain and suffering causes a sharp aversion and denial, while for others – delight and charm.
An incredibly talented producer, at 28 he has already worked with the titans of the music world and has designed the style of the albums Bjork and Kanye West.