The Washington Post

Critic’s Notebook: Flying Lotus; La Mecanica Popular; Sevyn Streeter

Notable recordings from the world of pop music.

He’s not Beyonce-famous, but Flying Lotus dropped a surprise album last week, too. (Photo by Timothy Saccenti.)

WARNING: Songs streaming below contain explicit lyrics.

Flying Lotus

His oozing talent may never lift him to Beyoncé levels, but this intrepid L.A. producer dropped a water balloon on us last week, too.

With a proper Flying Lotus album due out next year, “Ideas+drafts+loops” appeared out of nowhere last week — and for free — with Earl Sweatshirt and the Underachievers rapping over a sketchbook of twitchy electronic rhythms while kindred L.A. voyager Thundercat helps re-upholster Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” with gentle, jazzy melodies.

La Mecanica Popular

Imagine your favorite salsa band trying to play a gig over the sugary gurgle of an ’80s video arcade and you’re getting close to the sound of “La Paz del Freak,” the enchanting new album from this psychedelic salsa troupe ascending out of New York City.

Sevyn Streeter

The R&B songwriter’s debut EP, “Call Me Crazy, But…,” is terrific and terse. But its strongest moments deliver some serious whiplash.

First, check out “B.A.N.S.,” an unflinching screed against domestic abuse. Then cue up “It Won’t Stop,” a levitating slow jam dominating radio waves with the help of a puzzling duet partner: Chris Brown. Allow your head to stop spinning. Then seek out the earlier, superior version of “It Won’t Stop” — the one that finds Streeter getting the job done on her own.

Chris Richards is The Washington Post's pop music critic. He has recently written about Adele's sadness, Kendrick Lamar's fury, Young Thug's genius and T-Pain's vulnerability.



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Philip Kennicott · December 17, 2013