Album Reviews

KUMD Album Review: David Dondero

Jan 11, 2017
David Dondero

David Dondero | Inside the Cat's Eye

A jack of all trades from bartending to carpentry, David Dondero deals out another sound release as a musician. Released after the New Year, Inside the Cat’s Eyes is a ten track album that at times seems to flow like a short story.

KUMD Album Review: Ab-Soul

Jan 4, 2017
Ab-Soul

Ab-Soul | Do What Thou Wilt

Carson, California, rapper, Ab-Soul has long been known for embracing all parts of his consciousness. Now he’s back. 

KUMD Album Review: J. Cole

Dec 28, 2016

Fayetteville rapper and Dreamville Records founder, J. Cole tells a powerful story on his newest album, 4 Your Eyez Only. The album differs from Cole's previous releases– The Sideline Story, Born Sinner and 2014 Forest Hills Drive– but make no mistake; this is J. Cole at his finest. 

4 Your Eyez Only showcases the life and the legacy of Cole’s childhood friend, James McMillan Jr. — Wanna be rapper gone drug dealer — who serves as a symbol for the struggles faced by black America.

KUMD Album Review: Dr. Dog

Dec 21, 2016
Dr. Dog

This has become a year that won’t be forgotten. For whatever reason someone felt personally victimized by 2016, one thing is for sure, countless influential and inspiring music releases have been a saving grace. Dr. Dog adds themselves to that list with the release of their second album this year, Abandoned Mansion.

KUMD Album Review: Childish Gambino

Dec 14, 2016
Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino | Awaken, My Love!

In retrospect, the signs of what was to come from the mind of Childish Gambino were all there. It was all too obvious. Yet there was no way to prepare for the bombshell that is the eleven tracks of Awaken, My Love! Not even the more soulful moments of his previous release, Kauai, are enough to explain what’s about to take place.

KUMD Album Review: Sarah Krueger

Dec 7, 2016
Sarah Krueger

Sarah Krueger | Northern Air EP

Thanksgiving has come and gone, meaning holiday music of all types is allowed to take back its musical throne throughout the month of December. Some wait all year for it, while others have learned to grin and bear their way through it. Thankfully, Sarah Krueger provides a meeting point for both types of listeners.

KUMD Album Review: The Shacks

Nov 30, 2016

The Shacks | The Shacks EP

Shannon Wise and Max Shrager walked into the studio in Queens, New York, on a whim one day in 2014 and left under a new name, The Shacks. The duo holds its own with Shrager’s musical skills that have been recognized since the tender age of 14 and Wise’s feathery voice to form their self-titled release, The Shacks EP.

KUMD Album Review: Sad13

Nov 23, 2016

Sad13 | Slugger

What Sad13’s premiere album, Slugger, may lose in approachability is quickly supplemented by songs so unique they cannot be forgotten without a good effort. Each song has a rough edge, a DIY feel, and yet a modern and electronic presence can always be felt. The tracks, while certainly part of the modern pop scene, stand out like the sore thumbs that won the game.

KUMD Album Review: Bon Iver

Nov 16, 2016

Bon Iver | 22, A Million

Kanye West once said that Justin Vernon, also known as, Bon Iver, was his favorite living artist. 22, A Million, Vernon’s newest album has many saying the same.

Beautiful, willful and something of a triumph, 22, A Million moves listeners, though they may struggle to explain why or how. The first listen leaves them wondering. The second — wanting. And the third — crying tears of both sorrow and joy.

KUMD Album Review: NxWorries

Nov 9, 2016

NxWorries | Yes Lawd!

If anyone has been sleeping on Anderson Paak, it’s time to wake up. Paak and beat maker extraordinaire, Knxlwledge, have joined forces under the alias NxWorries to present their brain child, Yes Lawd!

KUMD Album Review: The Radio Dept.

Nov 2, 2016

The Radio Dept. | Running Out of Love

Who wants a break from American politics? –All hands go up- Alright, let’s get started. Running Out Of Love is an album composed from social and political unrest, hailing from one of the few places that could rival Duluth for being the most victimized by winter: Sweden.

KUMD Album Review: Ruminations

Oct 26, 2016

Conor Oberst | Ruminations

The leaves have turned and in that Duluth wind whispers a certain change. The crisp leaves will soon give way to even crisper, icy mornings. Fear not, Northerners; where layers of sweaters and wool socks fail to wrap snugly, Conor Oberst’s new album, Ruminations, will be sure to blanket every listener in warmth. Oberst’s smooth vocals with a slight twang glide over the piano and guitar with various lapses into Bob Dylan-esque harmonica affairs.

KUMD Album Review: Kishi Bashi

Oct 19, 2016

Kishi Bashi | Sonderlust

From time to time an album will arise that is truly a joy to listen to. Sonderlust qualifies. Sonderlust is lead vocalist and violinist Kaoru Ishibashi’s third time at the head of the musical experiment that is Kishi Bashi. Third albums, much like second albums, are often the testing ground for a band’s ability to stay relevant and powerful. The reports are in. Kishi Bashi hasn’t lost its step.

KUMD Album Review: Drugdealer

Oct 12, 2016

Drugdealer | The End of Comedy

Often one wouldn’t know they wanted an album like Drugdealer’s debut The End of Comedy. It takes one or two front-to- back listens to realize that this album, an amalgam of classic psychedelic riffs, jazz, and alternative rock, is exactly where you wanted the new age of “make what you want” to go.

A quick history lesson makes it clear that Michael Collins, the hand and mind behind the band, isn’t new to this game. Previously working under the names Run DMT and Salvia Plath, Collins now leads the charge with Drugdealer.

KUMD Album Review: Kaleo

Oct 5, 2016

Kaleo | A/B

Icelandic-American quartet Kaleo first emerged onto the music scene in 2012 when they performed at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. From there, native radio stations started playing their Icelandic hit “Vor í Vaglaskógi” which gained them success overseas. However, the band achieved even more success in the U.S. with their single “All the Pretty Girls” when it was featured on Spotify in 2014.

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