Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields appear on “Erasure,” and Dave Bazan of Pedro the Lion appears on “Cloud of Hate.” But those musicians aren’t bringing any apparent influence from their own projects to those; they’re pleasantly tuneful, functionally anonymous voices backing McCaughan on the choruses. But the album doesn’t slow down until rousing midtempo closer “Black Thread,” one of two songs with a touch of acoustic guitar buried under the roar of amps. On. Drake complains about groupies spending too long on their phones, while Future describes that feeling when you mix Adderalls and Percocets in the club, then wonder why you can’t get your mind right. Editor's Rating. What a time to be alive — and being “alive,” as Future and Drake define it, involves having way too many feelings about way too many strippers for way too many sleepless nights. The Young Thug shoutout-turned-producer-tag, “Metro Boomin want You can scoff at that as a minor skill if you want, but let’s check Tom Walker’s bank balance in 18 months’ time and see who’s laughing then. Yet both guys get confessional about the struggle. It would be hard to argue that the winner of this year’s best British breakthrough Brit award is anything other than a very 2019 kind of pop star, and not merely because his route to success was bolstered by regular appearances on that noted barometer of public taste Love Island. Another is his vastly more expansive production style. Superchunk’s 11th album is the sound of McCaughan a year later, still mustering wit and defiance after a 2017 that was every bit as depressing as 2016, if not more so. And as far as subject matter goes, “Republicans suck” is about as evergreen as any love song. What a Time to Be Alive, like any album that feeds on current events, stands the risk of aging poorly. He also has a distinct hint of Sheeran’s willingness to step into musical areas that common decency has long declared off limits, safe in the knowledge that public taste seldom chimes with what rock critics decree permissible: while Sheeran lucratively dabbled in Oirish fiddle-de-dee on Galway Girl, Walker’s song Blessings sounds suspiciously like white reggae. The way What a Time to Be Alive zooms by, there are songs you might blink and miss if McCaughan weren’t writing some of the most sharply worded lyrics of his career. The 73-second “Cloud of Hate” and the 96-second “Lost My Brain” are the two shortest originals in the Superchunk discography. Drake & Future - What A Time To Be Alive (Review): What a time to be Metro Boomin’. The highlight: “Plastic Bag,” a gallant tribute to the stripper who just scooped their hearts off the floor, in the same plastic bag where she stashes their loot. Two of the album’s most pointed songs, “I Got Cut” and “Break the Glass,” debuted last year as the A-sides of 7-inches that raised proceeds for Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center, respectively, with rabble-rousing ‘70s and ‘80s hardcore covers on the B-sides. Two of the hottest MCs in rap team up for a quick mixtape without slowing their roll, ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 20: Future and Drake perform at the Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash Block Show at Philips Arena on June 20, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Torres Describes Harrowing 48 Hours Trying to Return Home, The Viral Countdown: The Race to React to COVID-19, The Cost of Coronavirus: How Young Guv Ended Up Stranded. Tom Walker accepts the award for best British breakthrough at this year’s Brit awards, 20 February 2019. Superchunk have played the occasional benefit show and supported political causes, but their activism is more overt and motivated than ever. Sign up for our newsletter. But ultimately, it’s not too different from other Superchunk albums where McCaughan’s songs gained emotional weight from the circumstances surrounding the recording, from the breakup that fueled 1993’s Foolish to the death of a friend that hung over 2013’s I Hate Music. But above all else, Wurster is one of the best rock drummers alive, possessed with an irrepressible sense of forward motion essential to Superchunk’s speedy, trebly sound.