Ian Walker

Ian is a passionate writer capable of handling both a steady stream of news reporting and regular editorial coverage. His interests range from Beyoncé to Street Fighter, making him a versatile addition to any workforce focused on the entertainment industry.

A sampling of the album reviews I wrote for AbsolutePunk (now defunct).

AbsolutePunk

Lil B - I'm Gay

Musically, I'm Gay is a cohesive collection of elegantly produced tracks, aided by Lil B's competent delivery and lyricism. While his flow may be shaky at times, he jumps from track to track with a surprising amount of confidence and emotion. Samples are pulled from an eclectic group of influences, ranging from the soulful bridge of Eric Benet's "Lost in Time" and Joe Hisaishi's famous composition "One Summer's Day" from the Studio Ghibli classic Spirited Away. Even with such an impressive range of sources, I'm Gay rarely falters in the transition between songs. Each and every track stands strong on its own, but still flow gently into each other with ease.
AbsolutePunk

Beyoncé - 4

What really stands out on 4 is just how insanely anomalous it is. It's an eclectic mix of dance hits, club jams, and introspective ballads, spun together with a poppy giddiness that pays tribute to the best of the 80s without coming off as parodic. “I Miss You” and bonus track “Schoolin' Life” both showcase opposite sides of that magnificent decade's musical spectrum. The former is a stripped down track carried mostly by a hollow beat and dismal synthesizers, allowing Knowles and her morosely beautiful voice center stage. Written in collaboration with Odd Future artist Frank Ocean, the lyrics are a mixture of hopeful longing and loneliness, and Knowles delivers a believable performance effortlessly. The latter picks up the pace, peppered liberally with old-school horns and crashes. Knowles details her experiences growing up, but parallels can be drawn to the maturation she's going through on this very album. More than any song, "Schoolin' Life" literally oozes confidence, providing an endearing edge to an already catchy track.
AbsolutePunk

Tyler, The Creator - Goblin

Like Tyler, his latest creation is a bit of a paradox. The same oppressive beats and synthesizers that made Bastard compelling can be found in Goblin, but unfortunately don't make the same impact as the first time around. While it remains solid and enjoyable, Tyler's production has done little in the way of evolving from album to album. Fortunately, glimpses of the future can be found in some of the tracks like diamonds in the rough. The largest of these is the instrumental “AU79,” a piece that combines Tyler's signature minimalist approach with light, atmospheric harmonies obviously influenced by The Neptunes. While it's near the end and passes almost in the blink of an eye, this instrumental is the most recognizable example of growth Tyler has made since Bastard was released, and offers a taste of what he might unleash on subsequent albums.