#reviewoftheweek / Aer - Aer

Hip hop and reggae mix well all the time, but it's when you add in the acoustic guitars and the fun elements of sunny party music that elevates the sound. There are tons of bands that have attempted to live in the space that this sound occupies, but very few have been as successful at owning is as Aer have. Their latest, a self titled release, this their defining moment as a band. From the lead track, also the lead single, through the entire album, Aer mixes fun music with cunning lyrics and spot on delivery proving that they deserve to be talked about in the same breath as The Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid, and Sublime. Naming the album after themselves was surely the right way to go, because their sound and success will forever be defined by this release.


#reviewoftheweek / James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

Palm trees, ocean waves, and flamingos are not the first images that come to mind when thinking about and listening to James Vincent McMorrow's music, but his latest album is a little bit of a departure from his signature sound. He has had a bit of a dark depressive quality throughout his music in the past, but his new album features is same indie mellow sound, but with a little bit more of an upbeat bright quality. The stand out tracks on the album are "Red Dust," "Gold," and the first single "Cavalier." His voice is equally haunting and uplifting and his lyrics are incredibly poetic. JVM is a prolific voice and given the right opportunity and the right exposure could find himself as big and as popular as artists like Passenger and Gotye.


#reviewoftheweek / Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest

Sara Bareilles' latest album is perhaps the biggest surprise nominee for Grammy's Album Of The Year, but that doesn't mean it's not deserving of the award. The first single from the album, "Brave," was everywhere on radio during 2013, but as the nomination proves, is not the only standout track from the released. Sara Bareilles has made a pretty big name for herself and has not had such a large pop hit since the released of her debut single "Love Song" in 2007. So, 6 years later Bareilles is finally getting her day in the sun, showcasing how she can put together a full collection of music just as potent and powerful as her hit singles. This album will solidify her place as on of the best and most credible female singer/songwriters of this generation.


#reviewoftheweek / Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Since the first listen to "Get Lucky" on radio waves and online, the song was virtually everywhere during 2013, and rightfully so. It was just plain awesome. But it's actually not what make Daft Punk's latest album the best of 2013. Since the duo released their album "Discovery" they haven't really put together a complete collection of music that could compete with that recording, which was essentially the best of 2000. Their new album features their signature robotic/electronic sound but this time with a twist. For "Random Access Memories" Daft Punk decided to use live instrumentation performed by a slew of musicians and a handful of vocalists including Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas, and Paul Williams. The most notable of the musicians in the studio with the robots was Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers. His signature disco guitar is all over the first single, which may have been the main reason for its success, but it's the inclusion of the signature sound on the first track of the album that immediately draws the listener in and gets them hooked immediately. What Daft Punk have proven, and which will ultimately win them the Grammy for Album Of The Year in a few weeks, is that electronic music whether created on a computer or live in the studio with real people and real instruments is a force to be reckoned with and is the sound of the future.


BURN THIS / January 2014

  1. Travie McCoy (featuring Jason Mraz) "Rough Water"
  2. The Dirty Heads "Sloth's Revenge"
  3. Pepper "Hunny Girl"
  4. The Green "Power In The Words"
  5. Passafire "Right Thing"
  6. The Movement "Sweet Life"
  7. The Hip Abduction "Live It Right"
  8. The Wheeland Brothers "Like You Do"
  9. Naia Kete "Crazy Glue"
  10. Will Evans "Life Is A Photograph"
  11. Chris Trapper "Northwest Sun"
  12. Moonshiner Collective "California Dream"
  13. Zach Heckendorf "Keep Your Hats On"
  14. Rob Drabkin "Down To Fate"
  15. Quiet Life "San Luis Obispo"
  16. Houndmouth "On The Road"
  17. The Head And The Heart "Summertime"
  18. Moon Taxi "Young Journey"
  19. Boy & Bear "Southern Sun"
  20. Jose Gonzalez "Step Out"


Get ready for a new feature beginning in 2014. No more randomly posted album or DVD reviews. Each week, on Wednesday, THISisMODERN.net will post a new review of an album or DVD labeling it as #reviewoftheweek. The review will also be hashtagged at www.twitter.com/thisismodern. The reviews featured will be albums, eps, etc. that you need to hear and hear about. Some will be by artists you've heard of, many will be by ones you have not yet or need to soon. Stay tuned to this site and the twitter feed to find out when the reviews are posted and which music is being featured. It's been a long while since THISisMODERN.net has commited to posting reviews regularly (the last time was when a review a day was posted in 2010 commemorating 10 years of the site). Enjoy the reviews!

*additionally, no more release dates will be posted at the site due to the fact that they change so frequently