August was filled with last minute work projects and a two-week vacation during which I mostly listened to Dr. Dre and the sounds of Nature in the Carpathians. Nature in the Carpathians, while soothing and enjoyable is also kind of bland and somewhat derivative. 4/10
Dr. Dre: Compton — Similarly to liking wine, liking Dr. Dre’s first two albums are an acquired taste(oh god, what is this simile?); maybe not when they came out (back when that kind of sound was something completely new), but definitely now. Compton: The Soundtrack, on the other hand, is the semi-sweet, juice-like wine you started with before you realized that real wine is actually SO much better. (I’m rolling with the simile, against all better judgement.)
That doesn’t mean that the album is bad, but it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table compared to The Chronic and 2001.
This album, in my opinion, is the perfect closer for Dre’s solo career. It’s the big, bold, final exclamation mark of his career. The album’s guest list is HUGE, and, as per usual, Dre got the best performance out of each of the featured guests and producers. This album shows why (almost) every artist Dre worked with at some point became HUGE (Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar).
The album paints a vivid picture of living in Compton (hence its title). There’s a lot of similarities between good kid, M.a.a.D City. Not so much in the “coherent story”, but in the tone, themes, and lyrics.
I’m glad Dre scrapped Detox and did this instead. 7/10
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly — Even though it came out AGES ago, I have had this album on repeat since the day it came out. I immediately knew it was great, but it took a while to get me to a point where I like every single one of the songs. The album is not narrative driven, at least not in the way good kid, M.a.a.D City was. Instead, the album is framed by a poem. At the start of almost every song the poem is used as an epigraph. As the album evolves, as its themes develop and reveal themselves, the poem grows and becomes longer too, until we hear the poem in its entirety at the end of the album. 10/10