Motet – Totem

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The Motet’s new album Totem is the self-described ‘future of funk’, and while it’s not a bad album, I would personally just call it ‘more funk’.

The songs on the album are fun and upbeat for the most part, with strong bass lines and a beat that makes you want to dance. My only complaint is that it’s forgettable. I’m coming back to my notes about the album and I can’t remember what half of them are talking about. The tracks sound very similar to each other for the most part and I found myself losing focus on the song even though I was sitting at my desk explicitly to listen to this album. The problem is how repetitive the songs are, which isn’t to say sound bad, but they didn’t manage to keep me engaged.

As far as how the album was mixed I have a few questions. In some of the songs the bass guitar is very muddy, and at first I just assumed it was just to help cover up cheap recording equipment or and inexperienced mixer, but then in other songs like ‘Damn’ the bass was much crisper and easier to listen to. So why not just use that same strong clear bass for every song? I don’t know if they were going for a stylistic choice or something, but whatever the reason is, I’m not a fan. That’s nitpicking though, and to be fair the vocals were always very clean and the singers timbre stood out well. Speaking of the singer, I like him a lot. His name is Lyle Divinsky and I have to say, I could listen to him sing all day. He does the whole ‘funk’ theme very well, while not over performing.

This album is a professional piece of art, don’t get me wrong. If you’re at a party and this album shows up on spotify, there’s no reason not to put it on. But I can’t give you a reason to look for it either. If you want to listen to a solid funk albums with no real issues, this fits bill. I think The Motet should be proud of what they’ve made.

Review: Hamilton, An American Musical

How is there not a review for this on here yet? You should know what Hamilton is by now, and if not you’re in for a treat. The show is the the best musical to grace broadway since Wicked.

The show follows the historical figure Alexander Hamilton. A man I’ve admired since I took APUSH back in highschool. The man is the reason why we say “United States is” instead of “United States are”. The actual musical is very different for broadway, seeing as it’s hip-hop, or at least as hip-hop as broadway will ever get. Personally I had never listened to any actual hip-hop before this, but it acts as a sort of ‘gateway drug’ to harder songs.

The show was written by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, and he takes you on the emotional rollercoaster that is the life of Alexander Hamilton. The show’s first act has a feeling reminiscent of the last act of Les Miserables, with a ragtag group of young men starting a revolution but spoilers, this time the rebels win. There’s also a romance story mixed into the battles, filled with it’s own complications of love triangles, cheating, and having a family. The second act begins with the end of the revolutionary war and the creation of the United States constitution, and the show ends with the tragic death of Hamilton at the hands of his friend and rival Aaron Burr (which is stated in the first 5 minutes, so I’m not spoiling anything).

The only drawback about the show is that tickets are sold out until late next year, and it will be a good long time before the University will be able to do it.

It’s so good, I’m listening to it as I’m writing this and the only left to say is that it’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time, and you NEED to hear it.