Best of June 2012 Spotify Playlist
My favorite song of June was, without doubt, “Pop That” by French Montana, Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne. Had it been released with more fanfare, I probably would have written a rap state of the union piece on it. That Rick Ross, a Florida native, sounds at home on an Uncle Luke sample is no surprise, but reviving the start-stop dipping and the hissy, slightly piercing high-end of Miami Bass seems to reinvigorate everyone involved.
I’m sure Lee on the Beats produced the song first, then French called in all the favors he could after the fact; but, serendipitously perhaps, the beat nestles into each guest’s sweet spot. Montana has the most acapella drops to accommodate his A+B=C sing-song flow, Ross’ verse is heavy on the scattered snare rolls that he and MMG favor, and Drake’s verse lets up on the bass in favor of a more serpentine synth pattern. I’m not sure if it’s going to become a certified hit—Wayne’s verse is probably too unrepentantly gross for that—but clubs have to go nuts when that sample first fades in, right? No one has caught me dumbing out in my office chair yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The smart money says that French doesn’t have ten more of these up his Versace scarf for an album, but I’m hoping that he does.
As far as cohesive albums go, Japandroids’ restless Celebration Rock is still the best of June for me. Their second proper album keeps the heedless urgency of their first releases, but Brian King and David Prowse’s songwriting amps up the desperation. Every song is still about drinking and dreaming, but now most of those images sound like old memories, not recollections of last night’s party. Because the music is so raucous and focused—a big sound for a band of only two dudes—Japandroids have always had an immediate quality, but now the lyrics are more wistful without sacrificing any of the rawness that I loved.
Clams Casino’s second instrumental mixtape would be high on my June list as well. According to reviews, I’m supposed to think that Fiona Apple’s latest is teh best evar, but I merely like it. And a word about Diiv’s Oshin: I can listen to it over and over, zoning out without realizing when certain songs end or even when the entire album ends. This is either a really good or a really bad thing, but I’m undecided.
The worst song of the month is Juvenile’s “Ain’t What You Want”. Sorry, Juvie.