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On the Record: Beyoncé, Mad Decent, Childish Gambino, Patrick Cowley, R. Kelly, and Britney Spears

12.18.REVIEWS-BEYONCEBeyoncé
BEYONCÉ
(Columbia/Parkwood)
Sounds like:
Surprise! A “visual” album materializes, and the world goes ape for every minute of her fifth’s 14 tracks (and videos) full of old school R&B ferocity.
Free association: New classics: “Blow,” “Partition,” “Flawless” and “Superpower.”
For fans of: Kelly & Solange, Brit/Gags/Katy/Rih, Timbaland + Jay and Frank, flawless divas.

MDMad Decent
A Very Decent Christmas EP
(Jeffrees)
Sounds like:
A holiday collection from Diplo’s camp, and it’s shockingly fun. Tracks to twerk to alongside Rudolph, Santa and Frosty, plus tunes to deck the halls/trim trees.
Free association: A great way to start an inter-generational booty-poppin’ contest.
For fans of: Vjuan Allure/DJ Snake/Mitch Murder + Nicky Da B/Angger Dimas, Big Freedia.

12.18.REVIEWS-CHILDISHGAMBINOChildish Gambino
because the internet
(Glassnote)
Sounds like:
A strong, heady sophomore from Donald Glover—an ambitious effort that’s solid but doesn’t really capture the postmodern ennui of Internet disconnect.
Free association: OFWGKTA contemporaries do it better without being so obvious.
For fans of: Earl Sweatshirt/Tyler/Danny Brown + Chance the Rapper, 30 Rock/Community.

12.18.REVIEWS-PATRICKCOWLEYPatrick Cowley
School Daze
(Dark Entries Records)
Sounds like:
The late O.G. of electronic dance music (alongside Giorgio Moroder) offers a posthumous collection of porn-soundtrack inspired gems from 1973-’81.
Free association: One dance definitely fostered by this LP is the horizontal hustle.
For fans of: Sylvester x New Order, Black Devil Disco Club + Studio 54, mustaches and cocktails.

12.18.REVIEWS-RKELLYR. Kelly
Black Panties
(RCA)
Sounds like:
The nasty R&B vet’s 13th reflects 20-plus years of studio work (plus his pissy-pedo rep) as he filth-croons pussy worship and penetrator anthems.
Free association: And we made such progress with Love Letter and Write Me Back!
For fans of: Joe/K-Ci & Jo-Jo/Jamie Foxx/Anthony Hamilton/Tyrese, tiresome players.

12.18.REVIEWS-BRITNEYSPEARSBritney Spears
Britney Jean
(RCA)
Sounds like:
Well, there’s “Work” and “Perfume,” but this one’s for super-fans; auto-tuning and over-production abound, but it lacks the fun of her pre-zombie past.
Free association: She makes Gaga and Katy Perry look like avant-garde pop sorcerers.
For fans of: Hill Duff/Demi x Imagine Dragons/Calvin Harris, Ariane Grande + Avril, gay stuff.


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