Monthly Music Round-Up — February 2020

2020 is really shaping up to be an incredible year for new music. After believing so strongly that January would not be able to be musically topped, February comes along and absolutely blows it out of the park!

As per every month now, I wanted to share with you all the new albums, singles, and more that I discovered this month. I will also repeat the criteria I went through in the previous round-up.

This includes me ranking all of the album’s I’ve reviewed in February, listing my top 20 tracks of the month, writing about my favourite music video and album cover, and lastly addressing some albums that I didn’t get chance to review this month.

So without further do, let’s begin…

1: Ranking The Records I Had Reviewed

#13 — Green Day — Father Of All…

Green Day’s Father Of All… feels more like the father of all bad punk albums. The band that seemed to invincible back in the late 90’s / early 2000’s have completely and totally lost their edge. Rather than sticking to their signature style of punk rock, Father Of All… is instead a nauseating mixture of pop-punk and rock’n’roll, with both styles being poorly executed. Green Day didn’t exactly release the best batch of albums beforehand, but Father Of All… is a rotten cherry atop this mouldy musical wedding cake. This is an album I strongly dislike, and by a long stretch the worst album I’ve reviewed so far.

read the full review here

#12 — King Krule — Man Alive!

From flat-out awful to flat-out disappointing, King Krule’s Man Alive! was an album that I had been anticipating for ages, ever since the dreamy, melancholic masterpiece that was 2017’s The Ooz. The way I felt about this album, seems very similar to how those who disliked The Ooz felt about that project. While I loved the bittersweet mixture of sorrowful grit and colourful psychedelia, Man Alive! is completely grim in its sound, voiding almost all sense of wondrousness and energy in the process. I am positive that this is the least engaging and least enjoyable King Krule project to date; and is lastly, the most disappointing.

read the full review here

#11 — Loving — If I Am Only My Thoughts

While Loving’s sophomore record was certainly an improvement on their debut, it didn’t take too long for the effect to wear off. It works well with the quiet and minimal indie sound. However, said sound, I didn’t feel, had as much as a memorability as the other records listed above this.

read the full review here

#10 — La Roux — Supervision

Sorry La Roux fans. While Supervision is a solid third effort, as well as a brilliantly independent project, I still feel that it could’ve been better musically. Many of the productions used sound too similar to each-other for many of the tracks to really stick out. As well as this, it still didn’t feel quite as charged as it should’ve been , for La Roux’s stand against her previous label. That being said though, it was still quite a fun album.

read the full review here

#9 — HMLTD — West of Eden

This album definitely interested me, but my trouble with it was the sheer lack of brand new musical content to listen to. With singles released as far back as 2017 being included on here, and very little in the way of brand new material. However, it finally feels like HMLTD has concluded the routine of releasing singles/EP’s, and can begin working on brand new album cycles. Despite the lack of new tracks however, I still found this project to be a fun listen, which didn’t feel too clunky in its structure.

read the full review here

#8 — Moses Boyd — Dark Matter

Moses Boyd’s solo debut excited me a tonne initially with its jazz elements and resemblance to one of my favourite albums of last year. However, as the album progresses, it slowly but surely becomes less jazz-inspired, and is instead more reminiscent of trance. Although, I did enjoy the first half of this album enough for it to stick in my memory.

read the full review here

#7 — Ozzy Osbourne — Ordinary Man

While this album didn’t do a tonne to stand out from the rest of his solo discography, Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man keeps the classic heavy metal aesthetic well and truly alive. There is quite a generous selection of bangers to choose from. And although I was still left wishing that Ordinary Man felt more of an ultimate album than it ended up being, I still found the album highly enjoyable.

read the full review here

#6 — Tame Impala — The Slow Rush

While I definitely understand that The Slow Rush is a far less unique album as its 2015 predecessor Currents, I still found it to be a very enjoyable piece with a considerable amount of accessibility. Sure, it doesn’t do as well to differentiate Tame Impala from other indie bands, but I feel that this fact matters little.

read the full review here

#5 — Grimes — Miss Anthropocene

Miss Anthropocene served as my introductory album from singer/songwriter Grimes, and I must admit that I am glad to have this album as my first full taste. Grimes shows an excellent amount of versatility, and has a very cosmic atmosphere to it. While this album has indeed only confused me more about which set style Grimes aims to home in on, very few of these many styles feel poorly executed.

read the full review here

#4 — Obongjayar — Which Way Is Forward?

The second EP from soul artist Obongjayar really seemed to convey a strong authenticity, with many of the tracks carrying a great sense of wisdom as well. This truly is a soulful project, in the purest sense of the word, and the warmth and uplifting nature that it brings make it a simply brilliant EP.

read the full review here

#3 — Gengahr — Sanctuary

While I do believe that a lot of indie albums feel quite middle-of-the-road, Gengahr’s Sanctuary is far, far away from being in that position, and is instead an incredible colourful, fun, and atmospheric project. With a solid mixture of moods, and dozens of very catchy tracks, this is definitely an indie album to recommend.

read the full review here

#2 — Marc Almond — Chaos and a Dancing Star

While I would consider myself to be much more of a Soft Cell fan, as opposed to Marc Almond’s solo career, my (very late) introduction to Marc Almonds music, being his newest album Chaos and a Dancing Star is a truly incredible project. It addresses the focal subject of death so artfully, as only Marc Almond could do.

read the full review here

#1 — Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats — UNLOCKED

The more I listened to this collaboration between hip-hop artist Denzel Curry and producer Kenny Beats, the more I found myself enjoying it. In fact, I would even go as far to say that I enjoyed this album just as much, if not more than Denzel Curry’s 2019 album ZUU. Thanks to Kenny Beats, the production of this album is incredibly unique, and paired with Denzel’s highly animated vocals, you have something truly engaging.

read the full review here

2: Top 20 Tracks of Feb 2020

We have once again been treated to enough great new tracks to easily create another top 20.

20: Biffy Clyro — Instant History

19: King Krule — Cellular

18: Billie Eilish — No Time To Die

17: Seeva — Clouds

15: Jake Shears — Meltdown

15: Obongjayar — Dreaming in Transit

14: Moses Boyd — Y.O.Y.O

13: Gorillaz — Momentary Bliss (feat. slowthai & Slaves)

12: Thundercat — Dragonball Durag

11: Enter Shikari — {The Dreamer’s Hotel}

10: Ozzy Osbourne — All My Life

09: Grimes — So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth — Art Mix

08: Gengahr — Moonlight

07: Juniore — Bizarre

06: Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats — ‘Cosmic’.m4a

05: The Weekend — After Hours

04: Joji — Run

03: Code Orange — Swallowing the Rabbit Whole

02: Marc Almond — Lord of Misrule

01: Yves Tumor — Gospel For A New Century

Quite possibly the best track that I’ve heard so far from Yves Tumor, the production of this track is absolutely glorious, with it’s surreal industrial synths and hellish trumpets. Yves Tumor’s vocal also feel very reminiscent of Noid, which I would’ve regarded as my favourite Yves Tumor track if not for this one. This track really spells out a tonne of potential that Yves Tumors newest album, whenever it may be released, could be the very best that he’s ever created.

3: Music Video Of The Month

Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats — UNLOCKED

For those of you who are confused by the fact there is no title track on my favourite album of the month, this music video was essentially created for the entire album. Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats have just as much acting chemistry in the video than they do musically on the album.

As well as this, I absolutely adore all of the different art styles that were created for each song. It truly does amplify the feeling of UNLOCKED being an exciting musical journey, and I definitely feel that this video helped the album to become y February favourite.

Directed by Jack Begert and Christian Sutton

4: Album Cover Of The Month

Grimes — Miss Anthropocene

I would certainly say that there were quite a few contenders for this months best album cover, as we were treated to many an alluring design. But for me, I just couldn’t possibly ignore just how awesome the album cover for Miss Anthropocene is, and I simply had to fill this spot with that.

I find the whole design format look for the album really cool, and I feel that it is a good reflection of this albums futuristic aesthetic. I also love the fact that you can find track titles scattered across the cover, if one looks closely enough.

There is also a separate cover that was created for the deluxe edition of this album. However, I prefer the standard edition a tonne more.

Artwork by Grimes, Bradley G Munkowitz, Ryder Ripps & Popovy Sisters

5: Albums I Almost Reviewed

There were another 3 albums which I didn’t quite get round to reviewing this month, but would consider possibly reviewing them towards the end of the year;

Blossoms — Foolish Loving Spaces

Dan Deacon — Mystic Familiar

Pet Shop Boys — Hotspot

And that concludes the second musical month of 2020. Feel free to share your thoughts on this round-up, and any great music that I may have completely missed.

Stay tuned for more reviews and next month’s round-up (I have a feeling that we could end with some very good projects in March).

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My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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