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Sunday October 26th 2014

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Ears & Fingers 5/1/14

Future-Honest
When an artist invites Kanye West to make a cameo on their album and makes him an afterthought who merely seems to flow along with the song’s script, one would be remiss to ignore the fact that this artist is demanding respect. However, on his new album, “Honest,” Future does just this to West and some other notable hip-hop names. Drake, Pharell, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T and the aforementioned West are all backburners to Future’s moment of prominence. This isn’t just arrogance though, nor is he unable to back up his alpha-male tendencies. Future is one of the greatest hook masters in the business, as was on full display on his 2012 debut “Pluto,” but he knew that he needed to keep his output fresh and show that he has more layers than previously assumed.

Starting very early on the album, namely on the second song ‘T-shirt,’ Future has a sense of urgency that’s unmatched in a good portion of hip-hop. He talks about his past and how real he remains with a tone that is intended to make you believe him. It almost feels like he’s screaming at some points, which made me wonder what he’s afraid of. My questions were answered. Deeper in the album on a track called ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears,’ Future explains why this moment, this experience, this album are so important to him and how hard he is trying to connect who he is now with who he was before. He doesn’t want to lose his past. After all, it’s what he had to do in the past that led him to this moment. I think most of us would be afraid of losing who we are when we’re put on a pedestal. Future is one of the hardest working cats in hip-hop, and while this album is not all high points, it is filled to the brim with hooks and heart, and in the end those are what count. “Honest” is out now via Epic Records.

If You Haven’t Heard: Duck Sauce
Duck Sauce are a neo-disco duo from Canada who make tracks to try and catch the ear of club DJs. Not exactly the normal fodder for my attention, but these guys caught me in a big way. Their music is infectious as all get out, and they honestly just don’t care. While the two may be making serious hooks, there is nothing serious about Duck Sauce. The duo has been releasing singles and EPs for some time and making a name for themselves with hilariously amazing music videos. Just a couple of weeks ago, Duck Sauce released their debut full length, “Quack,” to the world, along with the video for lead single ‘NRG,’ starring comedian Jon C. Daly. I’m not going to lie to you, the album is quite long, as these tracks were made to be played in clubs, but it’s still very enjoyable. I highly recommend giving it a spin, maybe while doing something else. “Quack” is out now via Fool’s Gold Records

Song of the Week: Of Montreal-Jigsaw Puzzle
Last week as part of Record Store Day, Of Montreal released a few things, as is normal for them. Among them was a new track called “Jigsaw Puzzle.” This song was originally recorded during the sessions for last year’s “Lousy with Sylvianbriar” and would fit right in with the freewheeling vibe on that album. Check out this track on their Soundcloud page and go watch them at Vinyl Music Hall this Monday. It’s always a good time.

Want more from IN’s resident music critic? Check out Jason’s April Playlist on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/benedictsred/playlist/2ACaY8zSmvxyts2SZGnbfy