By, Alex McCulloughBBNG-III

Rating: 8/10

            BADBADNOTGOOD are a three piece neo-jazz/instrumental hip hop group from Toronto who have gained popularity in the last few years with their innovative hip hop covers and involvement with Tyler The Creator of Odd Future. Most of the group’s music is arranged with only a drum set, an upright bass, and an electric piano. As can be deduced from the title, III is the groups third album, and with it they take bring their signature jazz-hop style to interesting new levels.

The first thing that jumped out at me about this record when it came out last May is that it’s the first album to consist entirely of original music written by the group. BBNG grabbed the public’s attention with their catchy covers of songs like Nas’ “The World is Yours”, Tyler, The Creator’s “Bastard”, Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”, and even a Legend of Zelda medley, but it seems they are separating themselves from this habit, which I greatly respect. The group is made up of three very talented and creative musicians, and their talent shines through in this full album of original material.

The songs on this record sometimes aren’t quite as catchy as songs on their previous releases, but overall they form a cohesive set of fantastic improvising and arrangements. After the terrific opening track, “Triangle”, we get something we’ve never heard from BBNG before. “Can’t Leave the Night” is a high energy jam with a beat that would make any trap artist jealous. The song “CS60” follows this bass-heavy example giving us two of the most bangin’ songs that this group has ever put out.

The album also has plenty of the classic, smooth, jazzy jams that we’ve come to expect from BBNG. With tracks like “Kaleidoscope” and “Hedron”, the group gives us awesome, albeit more reserved material. On previous records, drummer Alexander Sowinski often plays with more ferocity than he does on this album. This results in songs that are less intense and more laid back, which isn’t always a bad or good thing. There are some points on this album where I’m left wanting more intensity, but overall I’m pretty well satisfied. With this album, BADBADNOTGOOD cement themselves as a band that can deliver consistently entertaining and creative music, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

FCC Violations: None

Favorite Tracks: “Can’t Leave the Night”, “Hedron”, “Kaleidoscope”

RIYL: Flying Lotus, Odd Future, MF Doom, Jazz

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