RVA Mag #27: Record Reviews (Part 2)

Posted by: Amy – Dec 28, 2016


This article was featured in RVAMag #27: Winter 2016. You can read all of issue #27 here or pick it up at local shops around RVA right now.You can find Part 1 of our Record Reviews here.

Naked Pictures
Wade The Water

After a short wait, Naked Pictures have delivered the stellar follow-up to their NUDES EP. On Wade The Water, the band continues to express an adoration for blistering '90s alternative and bolting post-hardcore jams. In finding ways for the two worlds to coexist, Naked Pictures craft a number of instant favorites with songs like “Die Alone” and “My Turn.” This is the band that people met in 2016, but will fall immediately in love with in 2017. (SC)

Pete Curry
Night Logic

There appears to be no stopping Pete Curry. On his latest, he extracts all of the pop sensibility of his past work and indulges in an electronic labyrinth of synthesizers and video game soundtracks where the dichotomy of songs becomes especially impressive. Consider this not only Curry’s best to date, but also a perfect soundtrack for the winter months ahead filled with dance parties. (SC)

Way, Shape, Or Form

An expansive discovery of rock-tronica that is deeply memorable. Elsewhere bucks the expectations and standards of each genre as it strives for an immersive expedition utilizing melodies that somehow brood and prance simultaneously. After a two year absence, it’s clear Troy Gatrell’s songwriting skill has only grown as he delivers a rousing instrumental record... one that’s equally memorable and inspiring. (DN)

White Laces
No Floor
(Egghunt Records)

White Laces’ run comes to a bittersweet close with No Floor. It's a glorious stopping place, though, in that they found what may be the strongest distillation of their evolving sound. Landis Wine’s gliding voice pairs beautifully with synthetic elements that call to mind the '80s, merging the past and present to create something truly timeless. I know it should feel final, but I'd rather think of it as everlasting. (DJ)


A Tribe Called Quest
We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service
(Epic Records)

With atypical MCs like Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper enjoying critical and commercial success, it’s important to remember who came first in hip-hop with seamless, often eccentric fusions. Tribe’s return and farewell record excels in avoiding bittersweet sentiments, instead glorifying a genre that is as expressive as it is connective. Of course, bittersweet moments do pass by in remembrance of members past. If only Phife could have lived to witness the warm welcome this return received. (DN)

Bon Iver
22, A Million

Bon Iver rids himself of the shackles of “Skinny Love” and “Holocene” with a side-step that initially seemed polarizing, yet became stunning in realization. Much like his own records, Bon Iver isn’t charting new sonic territory for anyone but himself, but his own personal takes on folktronica make this a deeply personal record that pushes the boundaries of whatever folk is in 2016, as well as whatever Bon Iver is in 2016. (DN)

Black America Again
(Def Jam/ARTium)

The timing of this monumental release feels imprinted on each spectacular song, most written far before any political match-up was finalized, something that sadly speaks to the country’s stubborn acquaintance with Common’s woes that are part of the national DNA. Change is clearly harder than ever, but stunning works like this definitely ease the journey’s pain. The national conscience and moral compass Common provides here truly cements the rapper as a vibrant and necessary voice of civil rights. (DN)

Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition
(Warp Records)

Since the 2011 release of his stylistic revelation XXX, Danny Brown has kept busy, pushing his oddball hip-hop sound further into abstraction and mingling that with more and more electronic elements. DB’s first release for experimental music label Warp is perhaps his most thoughtful and ambitious yet. Odd pacing causes the album to drag a bit, but there’s a depth to the songwriting that makes repeat listens worthwhile. (CE)

Reviews by Cody Endres, Davy Jones, Doug Nunnally, Shannon Cleary