Saturday, 01 February 2014 16:20

"Little Darling" - Paper Cranes

One of my dilemnas is that I'm not always able to find information on the artists I stumble across. My guess is that if it's a dilemna for me, it's a bigger dilemna for them. How does an independent artists get his or her name out there (the universe) without major backing? There are scores AND SCORES of talented artists grinding out quality music that will get heard by very few people. (Just as there are wonderful writers who will never have a best-seller.)

All that brings me to Paper Cranes and their song "Little Darling." The song is a blend of folk and alternative with an emotional and soulful undercurrent. The lead singer's tenor beckons for a repeat listen as he admonishes his little darling how to save her soul. I compelled to believe he's referring to her emotional soul, not her spiritual one. 

And that's all I got for you. I don't know much about Paper Cranes. This is the first single from their second album, (wild guess there!) and they are from New Zealand.

But hey! My job is to point out the good music I hear. It's up to you to go out buy and support ... 

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 02:03

"Trampoline" - The Unlikely Candidate

The Unlikely Candidate and their "Trampoline" is a bouncing (no pun intended) happy-go-lucky rock song. It's rock ala Fall Out Boy (circa "From Under the Cork Tree") and like Fall Out, the song is a blend of pop/rock/and maybe a bit of punk.

It's a fun ditty with a catchy hook and a thoughtful message about owning your own happiness. Although, owning happiness is often easier said than done.

At the end of the day, and the end of the song, the Unlikely Candidate is wishing for a positive outlook. To tell the truth, how can you not have a positive outlook on life when you're bouncing on a trampoline? And this is a "Trampoline" worth jumping on. 

 

Published in Reviews
Friday, 03 January 2014 00:09

"Just Because" - Body Language

I've been sleeping, and I hate when I do that.

A few months ago, I heard "We Got Enough" by Body Language on SIRIUS radio. I thought, "Damn, cool song!" I bought it on iTunes, placed it on heavy rotation on the workout mix, and kept it moving.

People, I was sleeping. Because today I was out and about and heard "Just Because." And I realized, I really like this group. No, wait, hold it. I mean, I really REALLY DIG THIS GROUP. (Of course, you know that means I bought it.)

"Just Because" has this 80's retro soul-pop sound. As if Philp Oakley (the Human League) decided to do a duet with Five Starr, and then they all relocated from London to Brooklyn. The vocals (including the background), the groove, and the video make me smile. I've been hearing more soulful synth of late; this groups commands it better than most. 

You know how I feel about indie; it's overlooked and ignored. But this is great stuff. It deserves to be heard. And not "Just Because .." 

Published in Reviews
Thursday, 26 December 2013 17:41

"Feels Like Home"- Melissa Polinar

Melissa Polinar strums the guitar, her vocals are crystal clear,and her lyrics are introspective and thoughtful. She's akin to India Arie; her lyrics about growing, about positivity, and self-reflection are as important as the music itself.

On "Feels Like Home," she laments, "Tried using credit cards to fill my empty heart. And now, my wallet is empty ..."

On "Happy," she chooses to "live life and just be happy."

On "Never Change," she shows off some of the many colors of her voice. 

This is a fine collection of songs, served as well in a coffee shop as they would be over the radio. They are designed to make you feel warm and comfortable. And really, that's how home should feel. 

 

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00

"Light Up The Sky" - Remington

In "Light Up The Sky," Remington promises to "go hard." Why? Because its his job. Fortunately, he takes the job pretty damn seriously. Couched in what he calls "Groove Rock',"  this tune is bass heavy, edgy, with a dash of electronica. Its intent?  To "take it up a notch." 

And when you think about it, don't we all wanna take it up a notch? I mean, I do. 

Clearly, Remington is here to have fun, and to make people dance. To that end, he's provided a sweet radio-friendly groove. Expertly produced and excellently excecuted, this tune should be welcomed by anyone who enjoys a big dose of attitude in their pop music.

Published in Reviews

I don't know much about the Swag Geeks. But I wish I did. Because on their song "Love Me Right" they've fashioned an bouncy fusion of pop, jazz, R&B, and big band.

The song is driven by the vocals of Brooke Pennington who's intonation is Beyoncesque. The song is fast, fun, and infectious. It's groovy; a song that even Cab Calloway would've approved of. 

I love music, and I love discovering new music. Original music. Good music. And this song is all three. Not to mention, Geeks who claim to have swag? Forreal? Ya gotta like that idea ... 

Published in Reviews
Sunday, 24 November 2013 00:25

"BLVD" - IAMNAYAH

Like Rihanna in a Calvin Harris song, IAMNAYAH owns the BLVD. In the song, she promises to "go hard," and that she does. The melody begins with her singing with a piano. But that belies  what the song will become - a throbbing dance song with a catchy hook and an ingratiating beat. Thirty seconds into the song, you'll be nodding your head. Sixty seconds into the song, you'll feel compelled to move.

IAMNAYAH is calliing 'all her rebels' to get in trouble with her on the boulevard. While I"m not a rebel, if she keeps dropping songs like this, I may need to go find this BLVD.

Well ... maybe I am a little rebellious ... 

Published in Reviews
Friday, 08 November 2013 02:33

"Stay the Night" - Zedd ft. Haley

Russian born deejay Zedd's third single from his album "Clarity" is called "Stay the Night." It features Haley from Paramore on vocals and is a prime example of the progressive house that Zedd is becoming known for. 

I like it. The hook is simple and catchy and the beat ... well it's house. So you know what the beat is going to be like. House is a genre of music that most people really like or really don't like.

I can't say that I like the song as much as I did "Spectrum." But I do enjoy it more than the title track "Clarity." In any and all cases, it's apparent that Zedd knows how to rock a house beat. (Can I say rock and house in the same sentence?) Furthermore, since he's producing for Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber, my guess is that he's got quite a career ahead of him. 

Published in Reviews
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 03:37

"How I Feel" - Flo Rida

Flo Rida, the sample king, is back with his latest song "How I Feel." And like most of his ditties, it contains an interpolation of someone else's song. Yes, he has done it again.  He has remixed Nina Simone and her classic "Feeling Good" with a song of his own. I gotta say, I was immediately irritated. The sample seems to desecrate the song. Nina's song is about freedom, hope, liberty. Flo's song is about excess, cash, and bling. Geez! Times like this I wonder, is sampling a display of creativity or a lack of it? But that's another blog. 

Regardless of how I feel about Flo Rida's endless samples, he has managed to turn them into hits. He sampled Brenda Russell in "I Cry," he sampled Dead of Alive in "Right Round," and Etta James in "Good Feeling." All those songs went multi-platinum. So maybe Flo's motto is, "if it ain't broke, why fix it?

As for me, I was gritting my teeth through most of "How I Feel." But I have to admit that the beat was somewhat ingratiating and by the time I got over the sacrilege of  including Nina in this song, I began to tap my foot to the tune. I'm guessing that was somewhere around the 2.17 mark of a 2.50 minute song ...

Published in Reviews
Sunday, 03 November 2013 20:49

"Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga ft R Kelly

There comes a time in one's life when he or she gets to say, "I never thought I'd live to see the day." When I heard that Lady Gaga and R Kelly had done a duet, I thought my time was nigh. But then I realized: this isn't a surprise, this is destiny. Lady Gaga and R Kelly have proven that they march to the beat of their own drummer. So why not let these two talented and freaky folks (and I mean freaky in the kindest sense) sing a song together?

Ultimately, though, the song isn't freaky and doesn't say a lot new. Lady Gaga is giving her body but not her mind. And R Kelly welcomes those terms - in the back of da club. Where they are also taking shots, I think.

It's a forgettably lukewarm affair driven by earnest vocals and weak lyrics.

Meh.

I gave it a listen. Then gave it one more. But the truth is, I'd have to have on my Poker Face to pretend that I really liked this song. 

Published in Reviews
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