Kanye West-athon: “The College Dropout”

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The College Dropout

Ok let’s go, one day early…
It’s strange at this point in time, to think that there was a time before Kanye, but there was and This was the album that catapulted a young Kanye West into the forefront of rap music, before this he was best known for his work behind the scenes for Jay- Z, it (the album) was an audacious stunt, but it’s a testament to his skill and his infamous ego that he managed to pull it off.

The album opens with the intro, which is really one of the many skits on the album, it’s ok, and it does set the scene for what the album will be presenting, it then goes straight into the first track “We don’t care” which does talk about some slightly stereotypical things to talk about in a rap album “Drug dealing just to get by/ stacking money ’till it gets high”, but it’s really quite sunny and upbeat, with some horns and a sing- song hook, and frankly shows that Kanye is no thug, just a normal-ish guy.

I really like this album, I like that it balances humour while being extremely honest, and occasionally dark, “Jesus Walks” is, in my opinion one of the best songs he has ever written, talking about his faith and the fact that the public would rather listen to the, “cash, guns ‘n hoes” anthems than about something, at least in his mind. positive.

“Though the wire” is also very good, talking about the aftermath of a near fatal car crash, over a high pitched Chaka Kahn sample, and it ends with “Last Call” a twelve minute extravaganza about how he got started/ signed in the industry, it’s really compelling stuff.

This album is fantastic, if this was the only album he ever released, it would’ve been remembered as a great rap album, and I glad it wasn’t as he’s a very talented guy and frankly hip hop needs more people as talented as Kanye, yes the skits are slightly irritating at times and I’m not a fan of “The new workout plan” at all, but frankly they do add atmosphere to an otherwise excellent album.

Rating: 4/5 if you like rap and haven’t checked this out yet go do it, right now.

Disagree, think I completely missed the point, let me know, until next time.

Goodbye

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Kanye West-athon

Hello again.

So I thought I’d do something a little different, because I like Kanye West and I’ve never done anything like this before, I’m going to review every solo album he has released, so I won’t be reviewing “Watch The Throne” formally, but here are a few quick thoughts on it: it’s ok, I personally don’t think it’s anything incredible, it goes on for a bit too long, but it does have a few good tracks on it “No church in the wild”, “H.A.M” and “Otis” but hell that’s just my opinion.

See you friday.

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1 year today! (a thank you)

This blog is one year old today! Yes it seems like longer, but here we are, thank you to the new readers and especially the ones who have been with me since the beginning, this blog was originally created to help me deal with a tricky time that I was going through, but also showcase my love of film.

In the end it helped, but I still took a hiatus for a while, I’m glad however, that I didn’t give up and kept going because this blog is I think evolving, yes I don’t have a strict schedule I adhere to, but that suits me more creatively, less restrictions meaning that- within reason, I am able to put the content that I want when I want to.

I don’t have anything planned so here is a list of artists/ albums that I am currently really into:

Everything Everything: Arc, a really interesting, high concept album, that I hope gets nominated for the Mercury Prize this year.

The 1975: a group of young guys making really cool, slightly different music, check out anything they’ve released it’s all good.

Rudimental: Home, a really lovely drum ‘n bass record, you could shove this on at a dinner party and no one would be particularly offended.

Youssou N’Dour: Nothing’s in vain, his best most touching album, that I would recommend to anyone regardless of their musical taste.

Regina Spektor: anything she has released, she’s phenomenally talented and is definitely worth your time.

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, if you don’t mind rap music with extremely course language, this is one of the best albums I have heard, I’m quite late to the “Yeezy Yeezy” party, he’s extremely talented and I’m really looking forward to his new album, *sigh* “Yeezus” (released on tuesday), this album was raved about and for good reason it’s very good.

That’s it for today thank you so, so much and continue stick with me I’ve got some good stuff planned.

Daniel McKeon

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Inspiration

When it comes to cooking, there are few things that I find genuinely inspiring, in all honesty the book that has and continues to be instrumental to my style of cooking, is Nigel Slater’s “the kitchen diaries 2”, I like a lot of his other stuff and I also like Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris kitchen” book (which you should totally check out), this book is the one that I go to, for more (admittedly) sentimental reasons.

Kitchen-Diaries-2

The reason for this, is that last year I was going through a tricky time, I had just started a new job and I was questioning whether this was the profession I actually wanted to continue with and so, one cold weekend in october I went to visit an old friend in liverpool, it was a fun weekend which cheered me up immensely, and on the saturday, we went to a “Waterstones” I bought this book, as he is my favourite of the TV cooks, I had also never had one of his books before, and it was fantastic, I read it compulsively, as if it was a thriller, by the end of the next week i had read it cover to cover.

I was struck by his passion for cooking, it also by extension, reinvigorated my dwindling  passion for cooking, by far the thing I am most proud of is the marmalade of his I made which turned out pretty well.

marmalade

So I suppose what this is is an open letter to Nigel Slater, I doubt that you will see this, but thank you, without your book I probably wouldn’t be as keen a chef as I am now, I’m sorry if this is a bit schmaltzy but it is true.

Thank you

Daniel McKeon

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Gabrielle Aplin: English Rain review

I’m so very sorry there haven’t been any updates recently, work has been very busy for the last couple of weeks.

Gabrielle-Aplin-English-Rain

Want to know why this blog is generally pretty positive? Because there is so much irritating cynicism on the internet I don’t think it needs anymore. *Spoilers* this review is positive too, what’re you gonna do?

I pre ordered this album way back when she released “The Power Of Love”, I don’t usually pre order things off the strength of one single, but that was a truly excellent single, does the album live up to my hopes? Yes, for the most part.

The album open with her latest single “Panic Cord” a very breezy number that, like most of the album skips along at a lovely pace, I love her voice it’s beautiful and as the album continues, it and the songs range from sad to happy but it never feels jarring, a couple of highlights include, “How do you feel today” and the new revamped version of “home”.

I like this album a lot, my problem though is that… I don’t love it, because unlike Lucy Rose’s near perfect debut, which touched me deeply, real whole body goose-bump covering heartbreaking lyricism, coupled with a fantastic musical arrangement, and it felt like a cohesive whole, this album always feels like a collection of bits rather than an album, but so do many peoples debuts.

She has immense talent and I will be with her from now on, as long as she continues to make good music, I just hope her next album will feel more complete, one last thing, I have never felt more glad an album had a secret track, as, had it not had a secret track the final track would’ve left a bitter taste in my mouth, as the secret track is a much more fitting end to the album, than start of time which is a bit bland and predictable.

Rating 4/5 an excellent debut that shows a huge amount of potential, go buy it.

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So… Films

So I haven’t done any film reviews in quite a while, the reason for this is twofold:

1. I haven’t seen many new films recently, I desperately wanted to see “The Place Beyond The Pines” only it isn’t playing near to me… Ok it is but only at the very expensive cinema in Leicester Square, I still will see it, and when I do I will review it but it may not be until it hits DVD.

2. I’ve wanted to do other things with this blog and frankly I’m really pleased with how they’ve gone, I’m definitely going to do more, recipes, music reviews, and I’ve got a couple of things similar to my last blog planned as well.

I will try to have a more regular stream of content going up as well, every week there will hopefully be a post up, I will also try to keep this website primarily about films, but I do want to do other things so it doesn’t become dull and repetitive.

Until next time, Goodbye

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London: Part 1

night-London-long

Of all the places I have travelled (so far), London is my favourite, it almost has it’s own personality.

I love how I can walk from Buckingham palace, through Green Park, past The Ritz, past Piccadilly Circus, into Leicester square, potter around Covent Garden, swing through Soho for coffee and finally end up in Oxford street, and if I want to I can then walk down to regent street, if I’m trying really hard.

The beauty of London is that you can see most of the landmarks in a weekend, but you don’t want to do that, because to get the best of London you’ve got to be there for a week.

It’s a city that rewards exploration, sure you can just stay on the high streets, and you’ll have a nice time, but I have found some truly incredible things by going off the beaten track, from independent delis in Kensington, bakers in Dulwich and record stores in Soho.

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As a city it is truly incredible, it is so beautiful, it does have flaws, don’t worry I don’t walk around everyday wearing rose-tinted glasses, that would get pretty tiring, next week I will give a small guide on some places to go to while here.

Daniel McKeon

 

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