Albums of the summer

Here are some of the best albums you might've missed over the summer.

Angel’s Pulse” – Blood Orange

Dev Hynes’ fifth project under the alias Blood Orange satisfies the listener despite its 33-minute runtime. Unlike his previous projects, Angel’s Pulse does not feel like a collection of songs. Instead, the record flows freely, each track smoothly transitioning into the next. Hynes strays from typical song structure opting for more loosely composed tracks, which dazzle their audiences with spontaneity. The mixtape incorporates several critical features, including long-time collaborator Ian Isiah as well as psychedelic funk musician Toro y Moi. In its entirety, Angel’s Pulse delivers marvelous vocal performances and meticulously constructed instrumentation through an unconfined medium.

“Bandana” – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

Indiana rap artist Freddie Gibbs teams up with producer Madlib for their second album as a duo, perfectly meshing the former’s effortless rhymes and the latter’s sample-heavy produc- tion. From this marriage, Bandana is born, and the unlikely pair proves once again that their gritty and candid sound remains desirable for fans. Freddie Gibbs enthralls audiences with his most compelling performance to date,
offering lyrically dense verses to complement Madlib’s distorted instrumentals. Meanwhile, Madlib relies on what he knows best: lush, soul-sampling beats. The result is a testament to the artists’ respective mastery of their crafts and one of the most captivating albums of the summer.

“Die a Legend” – Polo G

On his debut album, Chicago native Polo G executes a pop/rap fusion which proves the 20-year old artist is
much more than a one- hit-wonder. The album captivates fans through compelling lyricism, which gives a glimpse into the life of a Chicago youth. The subject matter, which Polo G incorporates, is surprisingly significant. The musician abandons the tropes of hip-hop lyrics, providing heartfelt sentiments regarding his path to fame and the tremendous loss, which he experienced along the way. “Die a Legend” tells a gripping story over simple yet graceful instrumentals, immersing the listener into the world of Polo G.

“Zuu” – Denzel Curry

Coming out of South Florida, Denzel Curry had always been performing in the shadow of the plentiful Floridian voices, which took over the rap scene in 2016. He served as more of a throwback rapper, and many believed his single Ultimate would be his only claim to fame. However, Curry has proven himself a force to be reckoned with on this LP. Zuu follows the artist on his journey of introspection, as he acknowledges the musical history of his hometown while bringing his own sound. Curry’s devotion to improvement manifests in his most accom- plished album yet. Zuu is a grand offering of musical expression, promising a bright future for the performer.