On The Record


Cowboy Carter
By Beyoncé

Stepping into a familiar pair of boots (cowboy ones to be precise) is Houston born-and-raised Beyoncé, presenting an exploration of country music-inspired songs on her eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter. Also referred to as ‘Act II: Cowboy Carter’, the project is the second instalment in a planned trilogy of albums.
Though seemingly a country album on the surface, the music delivered here more accurately encompasses a diverse range of musical genres spanning blues, soul, rock and roll, pop, hip hop, R&B, funk and folk.
The opener American Requiiem is a bold country-rock opera that serves as a grand introduction kicking off the project. Next up, the classic Beatles’ track retitled as Blackbiird, takes flight with stunning vocals from Beyoncé that then further soars with gorgeous intricate harmonies and background vocals from upcoming Black country singers, an easy personal favourite!
While, 16 Carriages narrates the story of lost innocence and sacrifice as a young performer entering the music business, the smooth and breezy groove on Bodyguard is a fun bop. On the reimagined Dolly Parton classic Jolene, Beyoncé opts for a more confrontational approach.
The album offers a lot of great moments with exciting features, stirring storytelling and moving vocals throughout.


Only God Was Above Us
By Vampire Weekend

American indie rockers, Vampire Weekend, make a triumphant return sounding their creative and quirky best on fifth studio album – Only God Was Above Us.
Longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid returns on production; with former band member Rostam Batmanglij, a key contributor to the band’s earlier sound, helping with production as well.
Lead singer Ezra Koenig’s voice softly breaks the silence on first track Ice Cream Piano before the production ramps up to a manic splendour halfway through the track. The soothing refrain of “Untrue, unkind and unnatural” sung alongside the deep reverberating upright bass arpeggios on Classical, stay stuck on your mind.
The layered metaphors and imagery combine flawlessly with the stuttering drums and stunning production on the choruses of Capricorn.
The buoyant vibrancy of the classical piano and the catchy guitar section on Connect and Prep-School Gangsters are notable standouts that are worth the replay. And the instrumentation, especially the harp strings, make Gen-X Cops another superb track.
Only God Was Above Us wonderfully blends elements from previous popular projects and builds upon them with fresh engaging songwriting, catchy melodies and entrancingly impressive arrangements. Definitely worth a listen!