Another month, another round of album reviews! Enjoy these three reviews brought to you courtesy of KSCU’s lovely DJs. We hope you find some new music to get you through midterms!

The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II #

Review by Gabriella Schaub #

Bizarre Ride II by The Pharcyde is a classic album that was released in 1992 and is still celebrated by fans today. The album was the group’s debut and was met with critical acclaim, helping to establish The Pharcyde as one of the most promising hip-hop acts of the time.

Bizarre Ride II features a unique and playful style that set it apart from other hip-hop albums of the era. The group’s members, Imani, Slimkid3, Fatlip, and Bootie Brown, each have distinct personalities and styles that come through in their lyrics and performances. The result is an album that is both cohesive and diverse, with tracks that range from lighthearted and humorous to introspective and thought-provoking.

Tim Mosenfelder for NPR

One of the standout tracks on the album is “Passin’ Me By,” which became a fan favorite and helped to launch the group’s career. The track is a thoughtful and introspective look at unrequited love, with the group’s members sharing their experiences and observations on the subject. The song’s smooth production and clever lyrics make it a standout track on the album.

Another highlight of Bizarre Ride II is the track “Otha Fish,” which showcases the group’s playful and lighthearted side. The song is a tribute to their hometown of Los Angeles, with the group name-dropping various neighborhoods and landmarks throughout the city. The track is full of energy and humor, and it’s a great example of the group’s ability to craft catchy and enjoyable songs.

Overall, Bizarre Ride II is an essential album for any fan of hip-hop. It’s a classic record that helped to establish The Pharcyde as one of the most talented and unique groups in the genre. The album’s playful and thought-provoking lyrics, combined with its smooth production, make it a must-listen for fans of the group and of hip-hop in general.

Favorite Songs #

Sweet Trip - You Will Never Know Why #

Review by Ariana Tabrizi #

I love quiet dream pop vibes in an album and this was exactly that. The mixture of quiet, melodic guitar chords in the background mixed with some cool electronic beats gave it a really nice almost other-worldly energy to it. I imagine myself sitting outside in the grass on a sunny day enjoying this album while drawing, reading, or just vibing.

The first two songs on the album, “Conservation of Two” and “Air Supply,” are some of my favorites. “Conservation of Two” starts with some really amazing vocals that overlap and are soft until the guitar comes in and the song sort of picks up. When I’m listening to this song, and all their songs for that matter, all I want to do is just close my eyes, run around, and bop my head around. “Air Supply” is sort of the opposite where it starts out with some guitar chords coming in and then switches to vocals with a techno scale in the background that just really hits and feels almost like it’s scratching an itch way in the back of your brain.

My third favorite song on the album is “Pretending” and, while I also love it for the sound, what really hits for me are the lyrics and the message of the song. It’s all about being present and in the moment, leaving the past to be memories that can be looked back on but that won’t take you away from building new memories and exploring new things in the present. I think this really goes with that general theme of the album that’s appreciating the small things like the little changes in the song and the bits of electronic beats added in that really transform the sound. And more than that I think the song amplifies those feelings of quiet contemplation and happiness that being in a chill environment brings to a person.

This album is all peace and appreciation for life, a great listen for anyone wanting some calming vibes to bop to throughout their day.

Favorite Songs #

Grouper - A I A: Alien Observer #

Review by Lauren Foster #

A I A: Alien Observer is a beautiful experimental album that is so different from most things in the music world. Grouper has created something so haunting and ethereal and has made something that transports you to another realm.

The album starts with the track “Moon Is Sharp, " a blend of different sounds, voices, and melodies that sounds like the embodiment of space and the galaxy. This album contains a lot of deep emotions; some songs like “Come Softly-For Daniel D” are so beautifully sad and each song makes you feel like you’re floating around in the sky.

One thing I enjoyed about Grouper’s writing style is that she keeps her lyrics very simple. With that said, the simplicity doesn’t take away from her ability to deliver beautiful and moving lyrics. One of my favorite lines is from the track “Vapor Trails” where Grouper sings “you never made a cloud float in the air. But you rise the atoms in the air with your smile” The album closes with the track “Come Softly- For Daniel D” which was something so simple but it was honestly amazing. The keyboard echoes through your ears as does Grouper’s voice. This track was the perfect song to close out the album due to how delicate of a piece it is.

At times in this album, I did feel like there was a lot of repetitiveness. For instance “She Loves Me That Way” and “Mary, On the Wall- Second Heart Tone” feel very similar at times. However, I still think this was a well put together album.

Through this album, Grouper has demonstrated her ability to layer different tracks in an amazing way. While this album is short, only 39 minutes, it contains a great grouping of songs that left me wanting to hear more.

Favorite Songs #