Timothe Davis

Timothe Davis


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Sunday, 10 November 2013 17:48

"Yacila" - Mayta

Mayta recently won Best Tejano Act as the 25th Dallas Observer Music Awards. But one listen to the song "Yacila" and you quickly realize that the word "tejano" is much too restrictive to describe Mayta's sound. "Yacila" is immistakably Latin -infused and influenced - but from which country, who's to say? The group seems to have created a fusion of carribbean, latin, and a bit of funk in this offering. But that describes "Yacila," one of the songs on their EP "Antropofago." Give "Bruja" a listen and suddenly their Latin sound has a rock edge.

So kudos to Mayta for the win. But trust and know that Mayta has more to offer than tejano music. This group has a sound of its own, and that sound defies labeling. 

 

It's Saturday, and the throwback joint of the week is "Superman" by Black Coffee and featuring South African artist Bucie.

"Superman" is a fine example of downtempo house. It's too fast for a slow dance and too slow for a fast dance. But it's just the right tempo for a chill get-together with friends and lovers. (Or maybe both. At the same time, of course!)

I don't know much about Bucie,  save the fact that she dropped a song last year called "Get Over it." It was also house and it got a very mild reception on YouTube. Not to say it's not a good song. It is. But "Superman" is better. 

So if you're chillin' tonight and in the mood for some cool grooves, check out the remix. It goes down nice, easy, and smooth, like a good downtempo song should do. Better yet, call someone over and let he/she/them enjoy it with you. 

I had never thought of Norah Jones as soulful. And maybe that was my mistake. I'll own it. But in 2008 she laid down the sexy and soulful hook on Q-Tip's "Life is Better" and I was forced to rethink Ms. Jones.

Norah continues to prove how soulful she is in this coupling with Grammy Award winning pianist Robert Glasper. The beauty of Glasper's playing and the vibe of Jones' voice creates a scintillating tune that makes you want to turn the lights low and chill. It's a delicious song that you could easily replay again and again. And again.

It's only weakness is that it's capped by some Wayne Brady shtick. The lines are pretty funny but they seem out of place on the song. And I hate when I love a song but can't include it on my iPod playlist because the artist has opted to include needless chatter at the end of the song.

In this case, the sin is almost forgivable. This song is so good, I think I might be able to "Let It Ride." 

 

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. 

Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:19

"Full Frequency" - Sean Paul

If someone put a gun to my head, I couldn't name any reggae artists (outside the Marley family) that have had a consistently strong career in the US. I certainly don't want someone testing that theory, I'm just sayin'.

Reggae artists of varying quality have taken the R&B charts - and sometimes the POP charts too -  by storm, only to disappear after one or two albums. Sometimes after only one or two singles.

Sean Paul, who has a new album "Full Frequency" coming out soon, is on that list. In 2002 and 2005, Sean Paul had multi platinum albums, propelled to the top by hits like "Temperature" and "Get Busy." (I liked 'em both.) And then, as it goes with reggae artists, he fell off the charts.

Did he stop recording? Nah, he's released a couple albums since. But neither sold anywhere near the previous two releases. And most of us couldn't name any songs from them.

Sean is back at it again. And this time he has artists like 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Prince Royce, and Damien Marley to help him. Rappers aside, he sounds just like he did in 2005 - the last time he charted on the POP or R&B charts. On the other hand, at the rate we seem to bore of reggae artists, that may not be a good thing. If you like reggae and you like Sean Paul, give it a listen. These days I prefer Gyptian.

Not all the songs are available. But best bet, thus far: "Turn It Up."

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 ...

Sunday, 03 November 2013 22:04

"Come A Little Closer" - Cage the Elephant

While the song was released in August, their album was released last month. So (at least in my mind), it seems appropriate to review "Come A Little Closer."

The song is melancholy rock with a dash of punk. Perhaps as close as you can get to crooning in this genre. And I gotta tell ya, I dig this song. I won't ramble on. As we've already discussed, the song is 3 months old. You've heard it already. I guess the only thing I will add is that it's the standout track on their album "Melophobia." While I'm totally into the song, I always wonder: Is the fact that the first song is also the best song on the album a good thing or a bad thing?

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. 

Saturday, 02 November 2013 18:37

"Breakfast Can Wait" - Prince

Ever since Prince found religion (or religion found him), he has toned down his lyrics and his antics. So there is something amusingly perverse in hearing his falsetto croon, "I'm not trying to make you blush ... breakfast can wait."

Really? Making us blush is what Prince did best for the first twenty years of his career.

In any case, "Breakfast Can Wait" is simply suggestive, and it's wicked fun. When the object of Prince's affection asks if she was loud last night, he replies, "Loud? Yea. Quite."

This is the type of breakfast that deserves a second and third helping. 

Now if only I knew why Dave Chappelle adorned the song cover ... 

Friday, 25 October 2013 20:30

Marty A. Johnson

Marty A. Johnson” – he’s not a household name. But with thirty thousand followers on Twitter and a talk show that has expanded to NYC and LA, it won’t be long before he becomes one.

Marty comes from humble beginnings. He admits his roots in Connecticut were dysfunctional, his family was poor, drugs were rampant, and he could never find where he fit. He escaped to North Carolina not just for a reluctant-trip to college but for normalcy.

Those beginnings have made him a complex character – he has an easy laugh but a sharp tongue, generous to his friends but suspicious of strangers, ready to make the next move but concerned where it will take him.

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