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Sound Check

8/19/2015

Dr. Dredr dre
“Compton”
Interscope

Dr. Dre is officially an old man ranting at clouds in “Compton,” his first album in 16 years. But, like most everything else Dre has done in his career, he makes being a ranting old man sound absolutely amazing. “Compton” features Dre’s opinions on modern clothing styles (con), reality TV (very con), lazy kids these days (extremely con), and the amount of time kids spend looking at the Internet (better, but still pretty con). And yet, “Compton” also contains some of the highest-reaching production work Dre has ever done. The album plays up Dre’s biggest strength, which lies in identifying talented people and coaxing great work from them. As such, “Compton” features guest voices far more than Dre’s own. Musically, the album is stuffed nearly to the breaking point with ideas, but Dre’s masterful touch keeps anything from completely breaking down. From top to bottom, “Compton” is a gorgeous piece of work. CV

 

Grace PotterGrace Potter
“Midnight”
Hollywood

Grace Potter has, at least for the time being, ditched The Nocturnals. And in terms of difference in sound, fans of Ms. Potter and her band will most likely find “Midnight” to be paradigm shifting. Created with a clear electro-pop bent, “Midnight” showcases Potter at her most creatively unfettered. Given free rein to do as she pleases, she often makes the bold choice to stymie her own vocals, either in the name of aesthetics (“Low”) or as a narrative device (“The Miner”). There are certainly times when Potter’s voice gets put front and center — “Let You Go” being the strongest example — but the real star of the album is Potter’s own clear artistic vision. In showing so much restraint with the album’s sound, she creates something with more nuance and character than first blush would lead you to believe. CV

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