April Music Critiques

Arden Estep, Features Editor

April has witnessed the releases of many different albums from a variety of different artists. After new music put out in March from artists such as Solange, The Japanese House, and Rich the Kid, April had a lot to live up to. However, with releases from artists such as Cage the Elephant, Kevin Abstract, and Foxygen, April did not disappoint.

Cage the Elephant’s 13 track album titled Social Cues made its debut April 19. The album is Cage the Elephant’s most recently released album since their 2017 album Unpeeled. Now, nearly two years later, they’ve put out 44 minutes worth of material. Cage the Elephant’s frontman has seen his fair share of life’s cruelties, but rather than dwelling on his recent divorce and two of his best friends’ recent suicides, Matt Shultz focuses on the positives in his band’s most recent album. Their spunky beats and genre-hopping approach to music continues on to show through in this album. In one of the album’s more popular songs tilted “Ready to Let Go” Schultz gives his final goodbye to his ex-wife, with whom he’s recently separated from. However, rather than producing a somber tune, he manages to stay upbeat with the poppy chords and freeing lyrics.

Member of BROCKHAMPTON, Kevin Abstract, released his third proper solo project in the form of his 11 track album ARIZONA BABY. Following his 2016 album American Boyfriend, Abstract’s fans were expecting a lot. However, in over just half an hour of tracks, Abstract delivers songs that nearly even top some on his last album. In this album, his energy is toned down a bit as compared to how he behaves while with his band members. However, he brings similar issues to the forefront in this solo piece. He continues to focus on issues he has with the industry as a gay black man and even talks about issues within the band such as former member Ameer Vann’s dismissal after his sexual assault allegations.

Thirdly, April has been met with the release of Foxygen’s “Seeing Other People.” This 9 track album was released April 26. Just two years ago, Foxygen released their latest album. Now they’re back with another album of just under 40 minutes of indie music. However spunky the music may sound, the album discloses the fight between the two band members. It’s generated some negative responses as fans are perceiving the album just as them releasing their anger about the situation and being bad tempered. Aside from the band’s tendency to complain throughout the album, the music has been of a timely release as its been of much anticipation.