They remain encouraging reminders of what a hip-hop album can be to the world. Taking singer-songwriter Omar Apollo’s lead, Miller settles into a soul-adjacent groove on “High Hopes,” and experimental producer Yves Tumor leaves his fingerprints all over the glitchy, distorted “Reanimate.” Throughout, the album’s collaborations come off less as inventive genre-bending and more like a hesitation to commit to a genre. On “Mermaids Dreams,” Annie’s voice is bent and distorted, beckoning like a siren from beneath waves of reverb, and her recollections of fleeting physical ecstasy on “In Heaven” are accompanied by mournful, tentatively plucked guitars. : All Songs Considered A young hip-hop fan finally listens to a classic album that's four years older than he is. The riffs on “Tristessa” are some of the most efficient the Pumpkins have ever crafted. Roosevelt, New York is a beautiful social experiment gone awry. The nightmare of “Caught, Can We Get a Witness?” had become the hard reality. Who knew how far it could go. Against a backdrop of hopelessness brought about by personal heartbreak and global disasters, the album is an act of self-preservation. The music is built around an Isaac Hayes piano sample, but ‘Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic’, taken from ‘Hot Buttered Soul’, loses all of its playful, funky charm, and in the hands of the Bomb Squad it becomes claustrophobic, harrowing and haunting. Some people heard the album and got involved in radical politics. Veirs looks to paintings and sculptures for guidance and solace at key points on My Echo. Serpentine Prison, Berninger’s solo debut, is likely to spark a similar debate. The songs leap from genre to genre, sonically tied together by their connections to the past: “The Streets Where I Belong” suggests the small-town tributes of Springsteen as sung by an anonymous dream-pop chanteuse, while the poetic “Corridors of Time” and the deceptively jovial “It’s Finally Over” channel classic pop modes like doo-wop and ‘50s girl groups. “Set the Ray to Jerry” is that principle in practice, as a two-note guitar riff and constantly rumbling snares come together with Corgan’s plain, passionate declaratives (“I want you” and “I need you”) to form a lucid, seductive nighttime jam. Still, you couldn’t find a campus library cavernous enough to annotate “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” in which Kanye attempts to satirically undercut his supposedly self-deprecating biographical exorcism and ends up in a deep confusion, or the swooping drama queenery of “Flashing Lights,” in which he compares his media experience to what it must’ve felt like to be “Katrina with no FEMA.” Eric Henderson, After a series of micro-evolutions, 808s & Heartbreak marked Kanye’s first hard pivot away from his soul-sample-heavy brand of hip-hop. “And Rush Management at the time was also working with groups like Biohazard and Slayer as well. Such authenticity is an anomaly on the album. Looking back at the emotional exhibitionism that defines the rapper’s work, it’s starkly clear how much of himself he’s put into it. Pioneered by their predecessors and labelmates 2NE1, this dark streak—the “black” referenced by the group’s name—manifests itself in the quartet’s hard-hitting choreography, edgy fashion, and braggadocious verses. Both follow the Bomb Squad’s blueprint to production, and show how Public Enemy is not a band you want to piss off. We had musicians like Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee… the Phil Spector of hip-hop. Which isn’t to say the genre isn’t going places: After releasing her own sophomore album, Kala, the industry already wants to anoint M.I.A. “Fight the Power” manages to cram over a dozen different samples into five minutes of shockingly smooth funk. Only for the elder Shocklee, it was an inspiration that existed somewhere between the record player at his family home and the parties he rocked in high school growing up in Roosevelt, Long Island. De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising and the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique added a playful, psychedelic charm to the proceedings. When the songs take on added flourishes, like the lush brass arrangement that appears halfway through “Take Me Out of Town” or the string solos that punctuate key moments in “Collar of Your Shirt,” they swell organically with the rest of the arrangements. They weren't nihilistic, and their noise wasn't the roar of the broken or powerless. And when I wrote ‘Bring the Noise,’ I wanted to convey there was no bias between the music forms. After that, how do we [make] these records feel like a band is playing?”.