The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Benita Barden

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.

REVIEW: Dua Lipa – ‘Dua Lipa’ (Warner Bros.)

Dua Lipa’s long-awaited debut album is extremely accessible and competent but misses the chance to be truly cutting-edge.

REVIEW: Jamiroquai – ‘Automaton’ (Virgin EMI)

Jay Kay and Jamiroquai have been away for seven years, but absolutely nothing has changed on their eighth album.

REVIEW: GoldLink – ‘At What Cost’ (RCA)

After two acclaimed mixtapes, GoldLink makes his major label debut with the solidly enjoyable ‘At What Cost’.

REVIEW: Thundercat – ‘Drunk’ (Brainfeeder)

Thundercat harnesses the sonic excesses of his previous production work and ideas to make a coherent, fun album that makes even more sense when intoxicated.

REVIEW: Jesca Hoop – ‘Memories Are Now’ (Sub Pop)

Jesca Hoop’s fifth studio album ‘Memories Are Now’ features yet more strange and evocative lyrics.