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Cassette City (Bonus Track Version)

Lushlife

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Album Review

Cassette City is a self-consciously fresh affair, full of care: Lushlife drops gully slang alongside guest spots by members of Deerhoof, Vampire Weekend, and Ariel Pink, everything meted out in perfect measure so as not to overbear. The track transitions, drum drops, and fleeting verses all seem labored over, everything meticulous, each hit perfect. Thing is, it works. Despite a host of reasons to pocket the record snootily into post-backpack "hipster rap," the record defies any but the sternest listener's dislike. Because, really, it's a lot of fun, perfectly so, even if Lushlife's trans-genre SMiLE-meets-Illmatic aspirations were achieved first (and with blinding success) by Edan on Beauty and the Beat. Tracks like the "Meridian Sound" trio echo postmillennial electronic indie acts like Manitoba and the Cinematic Orchestra, but merge without a hiccup into decidedly throwback headnodders like "Another Word for Paradise" and "Daylight into Me." Strangely, this synthesis of indie and boom-bap influences yields something unambitiously genial, a record with neither highs nor lows, just a big crowd-pleasing medium.

Cassette City (Bonus Track Version), Lushlife
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