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Hi.

Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.

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Cass McCombs - Mangy Love

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Mangy Love is Cass McCombs’ 8th album in an interesting and quite diverse back catalogue. In the past, as with albums like the scrappy Catacombs or the baroque WIT’S END, he has found one particular style and stuck with it for the album’s length. This changed with his last album, 2013’s Big Wheel And Others, a sprawling 85 minute jumble of things which had plenty to enjoy, but was unfocused and just too much. Mangy Love continues in that style, flipping about all over the rock sphere to different styles and sounds, but this time it only last 60 minutes and the quality level over the 12 tracks is unfalteringly superb.

This may come from Cass’ laidback approach throughout the album, which allows his humour and humility to shine through more than ever. On the first track he’s sitting back and looking at all the horrors of the world (the KKK, women being murdered, rivers of blood) and simply wafts it away with the dismissive repetition of the song’s title “Bum Bum Bum.” Then he can flip straight into utter comedy on the next track, “Rancid Girl,” which takes a crusty guitar swagger and uses it to paint the titular character with phrases like “Got rancid skin and a rancid blouse / you got the disposition of a dirty bomb mixed with Minnie Mouse.” Then a couple of tracks later he’s dueting with the wonderful Angel Olsen on one of the most emotional tracks of the year, “Opposite House.” He doesn’t just flick between comedic and serious, he can get lost in the in between too, gliding across landscapes in the utterly carefree “Low Flyin’ Bird,” shimmering into nothingness on the Pink Floyd-y "It," or winding down in reflection on the closing “I’m A Shoe.”

It’s really a marvel that Mangy Love can encapsulate so many different modes and moods, but still give us a clearer picture than ever of who Cass McCombs is. I’d recommend this album to anyone who likes any kind of guitar music, they’re sure to find something lovable about it.

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Below you can see my top 50 albums of the year list.

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

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