WBEZ | Weeknd Drake Franz Ferdinand DeRogatis http://www.wbez.org/tags/weeknd-drake-franz-ferdinand-derogatis Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rim Shots: The Weeknd, Drake and Franz Ferdinand http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-09/rim-shots-weeknd-drake-and-franz-ferdinand-108736 <p><p><em>So much music, so little time: In an effort to better keep pace with the never-ending slew of new releases&mdash;especially those that are particularly worthy of your attention of especially undeserving of it&mdash;this blog introduces a new feature called <strong>Rim Shots: </strong>quick, single-paragraph reviews of albums you need to know about.</em></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1weeknd.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>The Weeknd, <em>Kiss Land </em>(Universal Republic)</strong></p><p>As the follow-up to his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-01-12/album-review-weeknd-%E2%80%98echoes-silence%E2%80%99-weekndcom-95503">widely acclaimed</a> trio of self-released mix tapes in 2011, 23-year-old Toronto singer, songwriter, and producer Abel Tesfaye doesn&rsquo;t disappoint on his first full studio album, unless you&rsquo;re unwilling to indulge his quiet, moody, mid-tempo introspection. This can be solipsistic and ugly at times&mdash;one gets the feeling his occasional outburst of sexist anger is a little too real&mdash;but desperation, loneliness, and ennui can be like that, and with his ear for alternately lulling and alienating soundscapes and a powerful voice that can wow in its falsetto, he&rsquo;s mining this ground much more effectively than anyone else today, including his mentor Drake, who makes the lone guest appearance.</p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 3 stars.</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Drake.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Drake, <em>Nothing Was the Same </em>(Universal Republic)</strong></p><p>And speaking of Canadian rapper, songwriter, and actor Aubrey Drake Graham, the problems on his much-anticipated third studio album, once again largely produced by frequent collaborator Noah &ldquo;40&rdquo; Shebib, aren&rsquo;t musical, though as on album number two, <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/album-review-drake-thank-me-later-and-bert-jansch-tonight">Thank Me Later</a> </em>(2011), all of those languid mid-tempo grooves, somber synthesizers, and moody washes of sound can be too much of a downer if you&rsquo;re not in the mood to brood (and they still don&rsquo;t top Kanye West&rsquo;s pioneering effort in this mode, <em><a href="http://www.jimdero.com/News2008/KanyeWest808sHeartbreak.htm">808s &amp; Heartbreak</a></em>). The failure here is lyrical: It just isn&rsquo;t fun to hear the dude continually whining about the burdens of fame, in between settling scores with old crushes who didn&rsquo;t appreciate his genius and beauty enough when they had the chance. And what&rsquo;s more, it&rsquo;s pretty hard to accept when, even if he didn&rsquo;t succeed in music, he already had a career thanks to <em>Degrassi: The Next Generation.</em></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 1.5 stars.</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1FranzFerdinand.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Franz Ferdinand, <em>Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions </em>(Domino)</strong></p><p>Blame the lack of excitement about the fourth album from the Scottish quartet on the long wait since its last release&mdash;it&rsquo;s been more than four years since <em><a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2009/01/franz_ferdinand_tonight_franz.html">Tonight: Franz Ferdinand</a></em>&mdash;and, after a decade as a band, the utter lack of the shiny lure of the new. But the group once again delivers an irresistible, energizing, and stylish set that is as good as dance-rock gets, and as smart and witty, too. Tear yourself away from the dance floor long enough to really listen to what bandleader Alex Kapranos is singing about and you&rsquo;ll hear the musical chronicle of an existential crisis&mdash;what the songwriter has called &ldquo;a cynic&rsquo;s search for optimism and the skeptic&rsquo;s search for a manual.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 3.5 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong>@JimDeRogatis</strong></a><strong> <em>or join me on </em></strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><em><strong>Facebook</strong></em></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-09/rim-shots-weeknd-drake-and-franz-ferdinand-108736