Critical Circuit #8 – June 24, 2022


After sending three great original films to Disney Plus, Pixar is back in theaters with a movie that sounds perfectly suited for Disney Plus. This is not to say Lightyear is a bad movie, I actually found myself entertained throughout, but it is certainly lacking the emotional core we have come to expect from Pixar. The premise is already a bit of a hard sell, acting as the 1995 film that Andy saw and loved in Toy Story. The concept could work if the actual product felt at all like a 90s kids movie but instead tries to act more like a generic modern blockbuster with Toy Story references sprinkled in. Luckily, as expected from Pixar, this is still visually impressive with a fun enough story to keep most families entertained. I am sure this will play much better when people decide to catch up with it on Dinsey Plus later this summer. 

Bartees Strange – Farm to Table

One of the biggest omissions on my Best Albums of 2020 list was Bartees Strange’s exceptional debut record Live Forever. It is a lively, creative project that rightfully put enough eyes on Strange to get him signed to 4AD and work with bigger producers for his follow-up. The results are what I was hoping for, a version of Bartees Strange that is grander and cleaner than his previous record with all the same charm. Whether it’s the braggadocio of  “Cosigns” or intimacy of “Tours,” Strange demands attention and proves to be one of indie rock’s most electric upcoming talents. Look no further than “Wretched,” with its soaring instrumentation and passionate vocals, there is no track better suited for alternative radio this summer. If Farm to Table proves anything, not only did Bartees Strange have room for growth but there is still so much potential for him to continue to get better. This album might be great, but I have a feeling he has even more in store for us. 

Logic – Vinyl Days

Believe it or not we are now at our second album since Logic’s “retirement” in 2020. There are easy jokes to make with that but if I am being honest, this is exactly where Logic should be with his career now. Despite his flaws, Logic is at his best when he is making music he is passionate about and on Vinyl Days he genuinely sounds excited about what he is creating. Over the course of 30 tracks, filled with star-studded interludes, Logic raps over creative samples and partners up with artists that compliment his style wonderfully. While the record can feel a bit insular, referencing much of Logic’s past works and history, fans of the rapper will find this to be a special release with more than enough material to be satisfied until the next release. 

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