The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Benita Barden

From Gangsta Rap to Despicable Me: A Short Guide to The Neptunes and Pharrell Williams

The Neptunes have influenced the sound of 21st century pop as much as anyone else. Check out our short guide to Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo’s production team!

REVIEW: Weaves – ‘Wide Open’ (Memphis Industries)

On their sophomore album ‘Wide Open’, Toronto’s Weaves exude increased confidence and identity that stands them in good stead for future efforts.

REVIEW: Cut Copy – ‘Haiku From Zero’ (Astralwerks)

Cut Copy’s fifth album ‘Haiku From Zero’ does exactly what music marketed as “vintage” should do, but fails to do so memorably.

REVIEW: Zola Jesus – ‘Okovi’ (Sacred Bones)

Zola Jesus’ fifth album ‘Okovi’ is the sound of a confident, distinctive artist constantly evolving and adjusting her own sound.

REVIEW: Jake Bugg – ‘Hearts That Strain’ (Virgin EMI)

Recovering from critical and commercial disaster last time out, Jake Bugg’s fourth album ‘Hearts That Strain’ sees him back in familiar if entirely unoriginal territory.

REVIEW: Girl Ray – ‘Earl Grey’ (Moshi Moshi)

Girl Ray’s eagerly awaited first full-length ‘Earl Grey’ fulfills all the requirements for a promising and entertaining debut.

REVIEW: Jay-Z – ‘4:44’ (Roc Nation)

Shawn Carter’s elder statesman role in hip-hop is long since secured, but ‘4:44’ doesn’t particularly add to his legacy, failing to make its desired social commentary stick in the mind.

REVIEW: Vince Staples – ‘Big Fish Theory’ (Def Jam / Universal)

With ‘Big Fish Theory’, Vince Staples explores hip-hop’s historic love affair with dance and electronica on a polished, highly enjoyable album.

REVIEW: SZA – ‘Ctrl’ (Top Dawg / RCA)

SZA’s much-anticipated debut album ‘Ctrl’ delivers handsomely, full of insightful and on-message slow jams and genre-mashing fun.

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