The New Classics

February 10, 2010

NEW HOME… again.

Filed under: Message — Greg @ 7:38 pm

Please Bookmark and Subscribe to the RSS on the new site as soon as you can. Or follow me (sometimes) on Twitter. Viva la revolucion.


FUCK Blogspot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Greg @ 1:07 pm

Since November of 2009, I’ve been using Blogger as the home of The New Classics, and have been writing not only some of my best reviews and personal thoughts on the current landscape of music, but an incredible volume of posts. More than I should be capable of on my schedule. About ten minutes ago, Blogspot completely deleted all of my work, without a trace left, citing “infringement”, and that I went against their terms of service. Somehow, when all of my posts were made up of my own words, youtube embeds, and LINKS to either the sites whom originally posted the music, or the actual links that those sites hosted. NONE of the links I posted were of my own personal files, and was merely relaying already uploaded (and presumably ok with the artists) files. I am incredibly aggrivated at the moment that the last four months of my site have literally disappeared for no good reason, especially since in the 9 or 10 months that I called WordPress home last year, I never had a single problem like this.

I am very sorry that I ever left WordPress for the bullshit (and less-advanced in many ways) blog world of Google’s Blogger. So fuck it, I might have lost over 500 posts and countless irreplaceable pieces of journalistic opinions, thoughts, and archived ideas, but I am not going to stop.

The New Classics is returning to WordPress, as early as later today, and I’m gonna keep this motherfucker truckin’. FUCK BLOGSPOT


January 1, 2010

Album Review: Lil Wayne > Rebirth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg @ 8:00 am

Artist: Lil Wayne
Label: Young Money / Cash Money / Universal
Genre: Pop Rap / Rap Rock
Featured Artists: Eminem, Shanell, Kevin Rudolf, Travis Barker
Featured Producers: Cool & Dre

Analysis: Regrettably, it’s here. The record that rap’s most prolific, popular and, arguably, creative superstar has been threatening to release for the last thirteen months and no less than six release date pushbacks has been leaked to the world thanks to a shipping snafu by Amazon. So fans and critics alike are now getting a two month jump-start on an album that was first supposed to see the light of day nine months ago. Most likely inspired by the success of Kanye West’s left-field album (although on an entirely different spectrum) 808s and Heartbreak, this one is different. This is not Tha Carter III. This isn’t Dedication 2. Shit, this isn’t even Tha Block is Hot. This is Lil Wayne’s “rock” launch. This is Rebirth. Regrettably, it’s here.

Over the past year, it became clear that Rebirth was not really going to be a true rock album, at least not in the sense that it was originally described to the public. Basically, Wayne began learning how to play guitar, and got it in his gassed-up mind that it was a good idea to write a whole album based on this new skill. The first problem was, it doesn’t seem like he had anyone around to tell him how truly misguided this idea was, especially considering he can’t play the instrument very well to begin with. Very rarely is rap and rock an enjoyable combination, even with accomplished musicians. Weezy had zero chance of turning his original proposition into anything even remotely good.

However, what the sporadic song leaks throughout the year revealed was that Rebirth had (and still has) more of a pop-oriented slant. The first single, ‘Prom Queen’, seems more like what Wayne’s idea of rock music is than an actual rock song. Live instruments, a little bit of screaming, and lyrics about adolescent troubles. It’s easy to imagine that Lil Wayne has never listened to real rock and roll music before, because so many songs from this album seem inspired by the hollow, radio-pandering ringtone pop-rock of the last two years or so. Maybe this is based on his own misguided interpretation of what rock is, or maybe it’s because he comes from the hip hop world, where radio-pandering and hollowness are the standard. I’m not entirely sure why he decided, at 27 years old, that singing about getting turned down by a prom queen in high school (which I’d bet a fair amount of cash money never actually occurred) was a good idea, but he did. Isn’t this the same guy who spent his entire career bragging the fact that he’d been entrenched in thuggery and drug culture and since he was nine years old? One would think that going to the prom wasn’t his biggest concern.

Let me take this moment to clarify something. I am a Lil Wayne fan, for the most part. I love the guy’s eccentricity and weirdness, his work ethic, and about 70% of his tremendous musical output. But one of the most ironic aspects of this project comes from a quote that I recall from an interview he did a few years ago, where he said that white people can’t sing* (unless you’re Robin Thicke, of course). He trashed Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (aka “that nigga with the big lips”), and flat out said “fuck them”. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he meant white singers and not white people in general, but the irony is there: according to Wayne, white folks – the same folks who sing in 95% of American rock groups – can’t sing but he feels obligated to make an entire album centered on his own atrocious vocal chops. Obviously to cover for this, auto-tune was evoked very liberally on Rebirth. Regrettably.

As expected, the tracks where Wayne mimics his idea of rock (the Good Charlotte-imitating ‘Get a Life’, the Avril Lavigne-esque ‘Knockout’, the faux-punk rock blitz of ‘The Price is Wrong’) turn out to be the worst. There is no getting around this. Do not let some potential against-the-grain ironist convince you that these are moments of sublime genius, because they are not. They are simply bad music.

Also as expected, the tracks more favored in hip hop turn out to be the best. ‘One Way Trip’ could be a forgotten mixtape song without Kevin Rudolf’s hook, but with it, it becomes a melodic ballad that I believe would have been a better-suited lead single. ‘On Fire’, almost has no live rock elements at all, and with it’s Scarface theme sampling (people still do that?), it could almost be a leftover from Tha Carter III. If you are noticing a theme, that’s because there is one. The largest issue, among so so many, with Rebirth is that the best songs here would be the worst songs on any other Lil Wayne release. Such is the curse of setting such a high benchmark for your work.

The one redeeming factor on this album is the Eminem-featured ‘Drop the World’. Though not as Earth-shattering as it could have been, this is the direction that Wayne should be on; taking advantage of his mega popularity to link up with other mega superstars, and creating the type of rap music that he is actually good at. Unfortunately, ‘Drop the World’ is not enough to make up for the many blemishes found throughout the rest of Rebirth.

So when a real official release date eventually comes and goes, the label can blame Amazon for the (what I am assuming will be) poor sales, but they don’t deserve it. Oh sure, someone there fucked up big time. But in a way, I bet that Universal is breathing some relief that they have a scapegoat for the projected astronomic belly flop that this thing was destined for from the beginning. It’s almost like Wayne excitably exclaimed that he was going to create a rock album before he actually realized what that meant. Rebirth feels like a project that should have been abandoned a month into the process, only to keep digging itself deeper than it should have. But regrettably, it is here. Now when Lil Wayne is released from prison in the way-too-far away year of 2011, let’s all just forget that this shit ever happened.

Rating: 3.0
Highlights: ‘Drop the World’ ft. Eminem
Music Videos:

‘Prom Queen’

*UPDATE: It seems that VIBE must have checked this review and removed their 2007 interview with Wayne from their own site, because it is no longer available. Anyone at that bullshit mag want to explain themselves?

November 14, 2009

Packing Up and Moving

Filed under: Message — Greg @ 6:06 pm

January 1, 2009, I started a blog called The New Classics. You can read about my original goals here. Mid-year however, I lost a lot of interest when it became too time consuming, and after several attempts to revive it, something just didn’t feel right. I need a new start.

So, starting fresh I am relocating the blog right here. A lot of my original hopes and ideas for the blog are still in tact, but they will executed be a much looser, easier way.

At 12:00am on November 26th, 2009, Thanksgiving Day, I am re-launching The New Classics with a month-long countdown of the Top 150 Songs of 2009, filled with downloadable links, music videos, videos of live performances, track information, and some words about each song.

Then on January 1, 2010 the site will resume it’s old duties of reviewing new songs, albums, mixtapes and music videos daily (hopefully).

If you’re interested in being around for the new beginning, bookmark or subscribe to the RSS to keep up with all the happenings. If you don’t really give a shit until there’s some actual quality material up here, check back soon and see if you like what I’m writing.

Either way, I hope you enjoy all the hard work I am going to put into the new site, and please drop some comments even if you don’t. I love debates and discussions, and that is what this site is going to thrive off of.

I’ll see you all on Thanksgiving. Thanks guys.

October 25, 2009

New Music: Clipse, Popular Demand (Popeye’s) [ft. Cam’ron]

Filed under: Download, Hip Hop, Song — Tags: , , , — Greg @ 12:23 pm


Song: Popular Demand (Popeye’s) [ft. Cam’ron]
Artist: Clipse
Album: Till the Casket Drops
Producer: The Neptunes
Label: Columbia Records
Notes: none
Analysis: Cult followings in hip hop don’t get much bigger than that of both Clipse and Cam’ron. Neither act has had a mainstream hit in years, but both have fans hungry for new material constantly. In Clipse’s case, most of the material they put out is worthwhile, but with Cam’ron, for every ‘Dead or Alive‘ there is an absurd track like ‘IBS‘ (which  happens to be about his irritable bowel syndrome). Thankfully, on the drowsy piano-laced banger ‘Popular Demand (Popeye’s)’, Malice, Pusha T and Cam’ron stick with what they’re all best at – shit talking, bragging and drug raps: Continue Reading

October 23, 2009

New Music / Music Video: Arctic Monkeys, Cornerstone

Filed under: Download, Indie Rock, Music Video, Song — Tags: , — Greg @ 6:00 pm


Song: Cornerstone
Artist: Arctic Monkeys
Album: Humbug
Label: Domino / Warner Bros.
Notes: 2nd single from LP
Analysis: ‘Cornerstone’ has a simple, slowly-strummed sweetness to it that Arctic Monkeys songs don’t usually go for, as far as I know. Here, Alex Turner sings a tune about (or at least what I interpret as) wanting to pretend that every woman he meets is a different woman in particular, and in the end settles for the woman’s sister. It’s the kind of song that I picture will get the crowd of a Monkeys show swaying back and forth and singing grinningly. Continue Reading

New Music / Music Video: Snoop Dogg, Gangsta Luv [ft. The-Dream]

Filed under: Download, Hip Hop, Music Video, Song — Tags: , , — Greg @ 6:48 am


Song: Gangsta Luv [ft. The-Dream]
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Album: Malice in Wonderland
Producer: The-Dream
Label: Priority Records
Notes: 1st single from LP
Analysis: Snoop decided to play it a little bit safer with his latest lead single. Unlike the stripped-out classic ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, or the auto-tuned disco-flaired weirdness of ‘Sexual Eruption’, ‘Gangsta Luv’ is a more straightforward pop rap dance track. Continue Reading

October 22, 2009

New Music / Music Video: Frightened Rabbit, Swim Until You Can’t See Land

Filed under: Download, Indie Rock, Music Video, Song — Tags: , — Greg @ 6:40 pm


Song: Swim Until You Can’t See Land
Artist: Frightened Rabbit
Album: The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Label: Fat Cat Records
Notes: 1st single from LP
Analysis: ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ is a song about abandoning all hope and getting the hell out of dodge before the worst hits the horizon.

Dip a toe in the ocean. Oh how it hardens and it numbs.
And the rest of me is a burgeoned man
built to collapse into crumbs.
And if I hadn’t come down
to the coast to disappear,
I may have died in a land-slide
of the rocks, the hopes and fears.
Continue Reading

New Music: Big Boi, Shine Blockas [ft. Gucci Mane]


Song: Shine Blockas [ft. Gucci Mane]
Artist: Big Boi
Album: Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
Producer: unknown
Label: Def Jam Records
Notes: none
Analysis: When you’re using a sample better than Jay-Z, you have to be doing something right, regardless of how many times your album is pushed back. ‘Shine Blockas’ rocks a soulful ‘I Miss You Baby’ sample by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes once used in the Kanye West-produced ‘This Can’t Be Life’ on Jay-Z’s Dynasty album. Where Jay (along with guests Beanie Sigel & Scarface) spat about the problems of their worlds, Big Boi takes a different turn by going in about those darn haters that always sound like such jerks. Continue Reading

October 21, 2009

New Music / Music Video: Death Cab for Cutie, Meet Me On the Equinox

Filed under: Download, Indie Rock, Music Video, Song — Tags: , — Greg @ 8:17 pm


Song: Meet Me on the Equinox
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Album: New Moon (OST)
Label: Atlantic Records
Notes: 1st single from LP
Analysis: Death Cab has had a great 2009 thus far. Riding the success of their near-perfect 2008 LP Narrow Stairs, they released two of my favorites from the album: ‘Cath…‘ and ‘Grapevine Fires‘ as singles this year, followed by the equally-superb The Open Door EP followup that further cemented my admiration of this band. ‘Meet Me On the Equinox’ is a track written specifically for the soundtrack to a teen-fad film franchise of the last couple of years; New Moon. Continue Reading

New Music: Gucci Mane, Spotlight [ft. Usher]

Filed under: Download, Hip Hop, Song — Tags: , , , — Greg @ 5:56 pm


Song: Spotlight [ft. Usher]
Artist: Gucci Mane
Album: The State vs. Radric Davis
Label: So Icey / Warner Bros. Records
Producer: Polow da Don
Notes: 2nd single from LP
Analysis: Mark my words, you will be hearing this one everywhere for the rest of 2009. Convicted criminal and gutter-flowed mixtape rapper Gucci Mane is likely to hold a Top 40 spot next to Miley Cyrus with this song, and deservedly so. This track drips of the spilled Heineken Lights of women flocking to the dance floor to get busy to their new favorite song. Continue Reading

Like I Never Left

Filed under: Message — Greg @ 3:56 pm

I turned 25 a few days ago. I’ve been looking for a milestone of some sort to jump back into this thing headfirst, as I have several times before, and this one’s as good as any. I couldn’t fully commit to The New Classics for the past 4-5 months, and if you can’t put your best into something, why even bother? But as the gap from my last real update to “today” gets wider and wider, I think it’s time to give it another shot. I’ve missed a lot of music, and perhaps I will be able to cover it all in retrospect, but for right now I’d like to just dive into the freshest and newest, because there’s still some good shit coming down the pipeline. 2009 ain’t over yet.


August 18, 2009

Read This

Filed under: Message — Greg @ 1:49 pm

Thought I’d share this blog article (blarticle) about the subjectivity of music, and “best of” lists, even though they’re something that a lot of us love to read, and even take as gospel. This is the very point of the conundrum that The New Classics has aimed to solve from the beginning, despite using a rating system in itself. I believe that listing should be used more in the sense of directing people towards extraordinary music, rather than a “#32 is better than #45” bullshit argument, because it is impossible to say for certain (especially when voted on by a group of very like-minded individuals). Anyway, TSURURADIO is a pretty rad blog that I only came across recently, and I encourage everyone to give it a read.

As for the future of The New Classics, I’m slowly coming back into the swing of things, compiling a butt load of dope music videos that I’ve missed out on in the past 3 months of absence, to be followed by getting back on track with the new day-to-day jamz, and some opinion pieces. Keep checking in, please.

In the meantime, here are the top 500 songs of the 2000’s!

June 25, 2009

Rest In Peace Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Filed under: Message — Tags: — Greg @ 10:59 pm

Michael Jackson is literally the first artist to make me aware of music outside of nursery rhymes, which makes him infinitely important to me. Dangerous was the first album I can remember playing out until I was sick of it, back when I was a six year old doing Mike’s spin/crotch-grab dance moves and getting yelled at by my grandmother. ‘Heal the World’ was my joint, but ‘Jam’ always got me going and admittedly holds up much better.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

RIP Michael Jackson

June 4, 2009

Blog Politics

Filed under: Message — Greg @ 12:11 pm

I needed a two week break from the blog to re-evaluate what I’m doing here. I don’t think that the format I’ve been using for the past 6 months is the future of The New Classics.

There is way too much music coming out way too quickly for one person with a full-time job to keep up with it all on a daily basis. Aside from that, it’s hard to even enjoy the music when worrying about having to throw a review up, although the reviewing does help me appreciate a lot of it.

But what I think will happen going forward is a more column-based format. Sort of suggested songs and albums, including playlist/mini mixtape download links. Also, I want to figure out how to embed some type of flash music player, so that you guys can preview the tracks while reading, before opting to download. Because I can’t even count how many times I’ve blindly downloaded a zshare link and absolutely hated the song, so I think a stream player would be really helpful.

Another thing I want to dip into is articles about music. I’ve found myself with a lot of opinions and ideas about modern music and media lately, and there’s a lot I’d like to get out on the table for discussion.

The song & album review formats I’ve been using will still show up from time to time, but mostly for things that I think truely deserve the solo spotlight, rather than a post for every song that hits my ears.

Things are changing a bit, but I hope everyone who visited the blog before keeps coming back. Looking at the hit counts from my two week absence, the numbers surprisingly only dropped off slightly, so I know there’s a readership here. I’m not even quite sure where I’m going with the site at this point, but I know that it’s all for the best.

Thanks for reading The New Classics, check back soon.

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