PUTS are a rap duo who singlehandedly brought the golden-age, 1990s sound into the present. Everything about them sounds dated - the beats, the flows, the party-up lyrics. But that's the beauty of them, too...crystallizing a moment in time when LA was the hip-hop center of the world and even Tupac was rapping about enjoying sunsets. This is what hip-hop, at least at one point in time, was meant to be: relaxed yet focused, raw yet happy, pure yet universal. At this point, OST is 6 years old, but it hits me the same way it did when I was lighting Js in the high school parking lot. And I still maintain that the beat for "Montego Slay" is one of the best ever made.
Before this dropped, Phoenix was one of many dime-a-dozen French electropop bands to ride the wave of hysteria that followed Air's "Moon Safari". And then in 2006, Phoenix did something totally unexpected: they tried to make a Strokes album. And failed. Miserably.
The result, though, is an album of accidental genius. As much as they tried to bury their crack-addictive hooks under distorted guitar and half-baked production, the melodies shine through. This is a pop album with just enough edge, just enough rough to make the smooth work. You will hum this shit for months, I guarantee.
"Long Distance Call"