Listen Before You Die: Kanye West – The College Dropout

Kanye West came into the scene as this young-kid out of Chicago who could mix a mean set of soul and gospel records into an unbelievably infectious beat. Most notably ‘infectious’ are the tracks he did with Jay-Z, “H to the Izzo,” “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love),” and “Lucifer,” to name a few.

Listen Before You Die: Rogue Wave – Out of the Shadow

With the release of the new Rogue Wave album in less than a week, I decided to pay homage to the band’s finest. With a run time just short of 37 minutes, Out of the Shadow is delicious amalgamation of hook-filled, occasionally folk-flavored, lo-fi indie pop songs. Frontman, Zach Rogue, has natural…

Listen Before You Die: Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise

Kids are cute. Occasionally they have extremely ambitious and logically impossible goals like growing up to be a dinosaur or living off of Lunchables and Sunny D forever. That being said, Sufjan Stevens’ has company. His ambitious musical map of the US of A project, had he continued, would have came to a close around ...

Listen Before You Die: The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site

John Samson, singer, principal songwriter and guitarist of The Weakerthans, made a good deal of punk music before releasing this album, but it doesn’t often glean through the deceivingly simple indie-pop he’s created here with Reconstruction Site. Sure with songs like “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue,” and…

Listen Before You Die: Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

There was nothing brave about Vampire Weekend’s eponymous debut release. Just a couple of Ivy League kids making an indie-pop album after listening to an armful of Afro-pop records. Plenty of bands have done this before (See: Paul Simon, he actually went to Africa), but when Vampire Weekend handed out…

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