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The Best Albums From July According To PlayGround

A detailed overview of the ten top ranking albums of the month

We go over the ten best albums of July according to PlayGround staff (including one reissue): the stuff that stands out from the rest and which we want to share with you.

Like every month, we organised the material reviewed in the past month and ranked them, according to the preferences of the PlayGround staff. July is over, so here go the ten best LPs (and reissues) of the past thirty-one days.

10. Fay: “Din” (Time No Place)

Fay Davis-Jeffers, singer of post-rock band Pit Er Pat, takes a break and ventures out on her own (or better said, with her drummer), exploring a creative space in which R&B, art-pop and minimalistic experimental music meet. New, different, and sexy.

9. Passion Pit: “Gossamer” (Columbia)

Passion Pit sound more epic and overproduced than usual, but, at the same time, they deliver a set of songs that could mean a breakthrough to the masses, without losing their classic features. Electronic pop to mark this year by.

Review

8. Gatekeeper: “Exo” (Hippos In Tanks)

They have abandoned their tendencies towards EBM and the more grotesque 80s sound, entering fearlessly into early-90s psychedelic techno. The Chicago duo Gatekeeper condense stirred-up techno, bubbling acid, and cyberdelics in their much-anticipated debut LP.

Review

Listen:

7. Beak>: “>>” (Invada Records)

Geoff Barrow reactivates his Kraut-rock machine and delivers a second album that sounds a bit more reverential than 2009's “Beak>”, but also much more inspired, liquid and motorised. A step ahead on the parallel path that goes beyond Portishead.

Review

6. Purity Ring: “Shrines” (4AD)

The duo Purity Ring blends various recent genres – from chillwave to suspenseful pop, and from witch house to lethargic R&B – to come up with a brew that sounds like fresh, cheerful, very modern pop. So modern that we don’t know where it’s headed yet, but for now it is intriguing and interesting.

Review

5. Gareth Williams & Mary Currie: “Flaming Tunes” (Blackest Ever Black)

A forgotten title, released on cassette almost 30 years ago, is resurfacing on vinyl, thanks to Blackest Ever Black. What it holds is experimental folk, funeral pop, field recordings, and electro-acoustic ballads. A treasure worth digging up.

Review

4. Nas: “Life Is Good” (Def Jam)

Nas' fans always expect a new “Illmatic”. “Life Is Good” isn't a continuation of that legendary album, but it is the best the rapper has recorded in the last 15 years: a showcase of lyrical talent, soulful beats and love, after his breakup with Kelis.

Review

4. Nas: “Life Is Good” (Def Jam)

Nas' fans always expect a new “Illmatic”. “Life Is Good” isn't a continuation of that legendary album, but it is the best the rapper has recorded in the last 15 years: a showcase of lyrical talent, soulful beats and love, after his breakup with Kelis.

Review

2. Dirty Projectors: “Swing Lo Magellan” (Domino)

After a baroque pop masterpiece, the marvellous “Bitte Orca”, Dirty Projectors come back with a new album that is equally inspired, but ridden of layers and complexities. Arty pop, yes, but freer, tastier, with no strings attached.

Review

1. Frank Ocean: “Channel Orange” (Def Jam)

His first official album (and on a major label) is better than his 2011 mixtape on every level: more mature, more sensual, more honest, perfectly composed, lyrically rich, and exciting from start to finish. Frank Ocean is the cream of present R&B.

Review

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