Album Reviews: Weezer, Solange and 2 Chainz

Rapper 2 Chainz came onto the scene with his 2012 debut Based on a T.R.U. Story.

Rapper 2 Chainz came onto the scene with his 2012 debut “Based on a T.R.U. Story.”

Connor MacDougall, Staff Reporter

Weezer – The Black Album
Release date: March 1
Weezer’s had a rocky road ever since entering the 2000s, alternating between fun, well produced pop-rock like The White Album, and bland, goofy attempts at appealing to a younger crowd, such as Raditude. With their latest effort, The Black Album, the band finds themselves on the cusp of the former while too many times falling into the latter.
The album starts out strong with the funky lead single “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” a song about the band’s nonstop efforts to keep moving forward in their career. On “High as a Kite,” lead singer Rivers Cuomo sings about a feeling beyond description that he longs to feel, to get away from the pressures of show business. But it quickly goes downhill, as the songs become increasingly more boring and forgettable. Corny lyrics and dull melodies combine to form an incohesive and dry mess of a second half, only slightly redeemed by its ecstatic closer, “California Snow.”
Overall, The Black Album just feels like middle-of-the-road Weezer that you gain nothing from listening to. (5/10)


Solange – When I Get Home
Release date: March 1
Coming off her critically-acclaimed 2016 album A Seat at the Table, Solange had a lot of hype to live up to. And with When I Get Home, the R&B singer creates a moody, stripped-back neo-soul piece about never forgetting where you came from, in Solange’s case, Houston, Texas.
When I Get Home thrives off of repetition – the same lyrics are stacked on top of each other, and similar sounds are reused throughout the album. Solange uses this to her advantage to create an almost hypnotic collection of songs that blend together seamlessly. On the third track, “Down with the Clique,” she sings about people from Houston who made it big as stars and how many of them seem to have forgot where they came from, chanting in the chorus (from the perspective of the city), “We were down with ya, down with ya.” Unfortunately, there are some cases when the songs feel too stripped-back and feel as if they’d benefit from more production tweaks.
With her new project, Solange presents what feels like an essential piece about the importance of remembering who you are. (8.5/10)


2 Chainz – Rap of Go to the League
Release date: March 1
Rapper 2 Chainz, has had an interesting career. Earlier on this decade, his music just seemed like generic club tracks without much effort behind them. But in 2017, his album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music showed that he had obvious talent that to this point had gone to waste. 2 Chainz continues his winning streak with his latest project Rap of Go to the League.
Sporting features from the likes of Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott, the 55-minute-long album goes in depth on celebrating black excellence while simultaneously crushing stereotypes (the album’s title refers to the cliche narrative that a black man’s only way out of poor lifestyle is through rapping or basketball. On the track “Momma I Hit a Lick,” 2 Chainz and Lamar rap about their success while mentioning famous African American figures like long-time rapper Mannie Fresh.
Where this album falters is its longevity. The songs near the back end don’t have the same power as the songs in the first half. But overall, 2 Chainz still comes through with a tight collection of songs worth listening to. (7.5/10)