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Mace & Crown | April 24, 2018

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Monarch Music Minute: The Regrettes, SOHN and Chief Keef

Lindsey Lanham
Staff Writer

‘Feel Your Feelings Fool!’ – The Regrettes 💿💿💿💿💿

Courtesy Warner Bros. Records

Courtesy Warner Bros. Records

For any female warrior wanting to attack the patriarchy one angsty song at a time, “Feel Your Feelings Fool!” is the perfect soundtrack to your tirade. An ode to feminism and teenage angst, The Regrettes have channeled ‘90s garage rock into a modern tale of brute honesty.

Lead singer Lydia Night holds nothing back. Her raw sound gives the band a punk edge that resembles Courtney Barnett. The album, released on Jan. 13, has quickly become a feminist staple.

“Feel Your Feelings Fool!” opens with the track “I Don’t Like You.” A quick, three-minute-long track, the song presents The Regrettes in a vulnerable light. As Night sings, “You say hello, I want to die / You say I do and I think I’m gonna cry,” she sets a morbid tone for the start of the album.

Following “I Don’t Like You,” the second track, “A Living Human Girl,” transforms the album from a sob story to an unashamed punk condemnation of stereotypes. Lyrics such as, “An a— full of stretch marks and little boobs / A nice full belly that’s filled with food,” make sure the listener fully understands how outdated gender norms are. The song is a full-on feminist punk explosion and is easily one of the best on the record.

“Feel Your Feelings Fool!” continues on with it’s “f—k-what-you-think” aesthetic. One of the last tracks off the album, a two-minute anti-female stereotype anthem, “Ladylike / WHATTA B—-H” upholds any claims made earlier in the album. The track starts off with with a simple message on how females are supposed to act.

“Be soft, be shy, read a book and learn to cook / Be nice, be dumb, clean the floors and wash your pores,” Night sarcastically sings. Quickly turning the tables, Night goes on, “I heard that girl Lydia is a total f—king b—-h / I heard that she’s a feminist so she must not shave her pits,” exemplifying the irony in feminist stereotypes.

“Feel Your Feelings Fool!” is 15 tracks of female-empowering rock. Defying all gender norms and female expectations, the band sings about the downsides to shaving, the truths about breakups and how little they care what other people think of them.

‘Rennen’ – SOHN 💿💿💿💿

Courtesy 4AD

Courtesy 4AD

Three years after the release of his debut album, SOHN (Christopher Taylor) has proven he can only go up from there. “Rennen” is complex, intimate and just damn good. It’s a prime example of what electronic artists can achieve.

“Rennen,” which translates to “run” in German, dropped on Jan. 13. Taking on a more Banks-esque R&B sound, SOHN has become more low-key since his debut release, “Tremors.” For the fans, his sound hasn’t changed too drastically but has been finely tuned and slowed down so that he can get his message across.

Hit single “Conrad” is made for the radio. It’s an upbeat track that’s easy to sing along to. As SOHN repeats, “I can feel it coming / We can never go back,” the music gives the song an ominous feel. As fun as it is, “Conrad” is just a hint at the complexity SOHN produces on “Rennen.” The repetitive lyrics and radio-ready sound gives the song little depth and portrays SOHN as somewhat of a sell-out.

Opening track “Hard Liquor” sets a morbid tone. The song deals with addiction and features a strong female lead.

“She’s never been turned away / don’t care for what people say / she’ll never see a rainy day,” he sings. “Hard Liquor” gives the initial impression of depth and honesty.

Other tracks like “Rennen” and “Primary” show the wide range SOHN has. “Rennen” is backed by piano as SOHN croons, “My fate don’t mean a thing.” The ability to take different instruments and sounds and put them together in one song is hard, but the artist pulls it off effortlessly.

“Signal” shines through production. It’s synth and use of various percussion instrumentals make the song interesting and refreshing. SOHN’s voice is backed by autotune of different pitches. The longest track on the album, “Signal” is also one of the most intricate.

Overall, the production of “Rennen” is wicked. It’s layered, complex and takes electronic music to a whole new level. The music is only a vehicle for SOHN’s voice, though, and pushes it to the forefront. His range gives an edge to his music, making sure the listener understands exactly how he feels while singing. “Rennen” is the perfect electronic album to start 2017 with.

‘Two Zero One Seven’ – Chief Keef 💿💿💿💿

Courtesy RBC Records

Courtesy RBC Records

After an underwhelming 2016, everyone doubted Chief Keef’s ability make 2017 his year. “Two Zero One Seven” may just be the saving grace he needed.

“Two Zero One Seven” is a weird collection of drill hits and introspective thoughts. Chief Keef has the rare ability to make his voice its own instrument. Sometimes he’s yelling, but on tracks such as, “Fix That,” he relies on autotune to get his message across. At first listen, it sounds a bit scattered, but the album is a collection of well put together ideas and concepts.

The album is full of one-liners and short quips. Lines such as, “The diamonds in my ear giving me a brain freeze,” on “Trying Not to Swear” give the album a quirky edge. In “Hit the Lotto,” Keef raps, “You can’t stand me? Get you a stool.”

Keef has no time for cheap radio hits. On “Two Zero One Seven” he has managed to produce music that’s busy and loud without being obnoxious or confrontational. He’s not afraid to mix sounds and try new things–lucky for him, it paid off.

“Two Zero One Seven” opens with “So Tree.” The track is the safest on the album and is easily the least exciting. This changes quickly when second track, “Fix That” introduces a well-defined beat and features lines about smoking in rehab.

The rest of “Two Zero One Seven” is full of brazen lyrics and sounds. In “Knock It Off,” Keef manages to rhyme “bags of money” with “Led Zeppelin.” Aesthetically, the album is almost an immature mash up of cartoon-like voices and lyrics. The creative feeling pays off, though, which makes it one of Keef’s more distinctive albums.

The songs themselves vary in volume and production value. The seemingly unmastered “Two Zero One Seven” may deter listeners at first, but the album is full of hits. Keef isn’t afraid to use autotune to his advantage and his unique production skills make the album different and all around enjoyable to listen to.

It’s safe to say: Sosa’s back.

Rating System:

💿 — Face palm.
💿💿 — Eh…
💿💿💿 — We’re getting there.
💿💿💿💿 — I’ll listen to it twice, even.
💿💿💿💿💿 — Hell yes!