Reviews (75)

Thursday, 25 September 2014 23:29

Sober - Nayah

Nayah is back with her new single solo. And it would seem that the relationship that she craved on her last single has gone awry. Because tonight, she's drowning in a bottle of moscato because she "hates being sober."

Nayah is daring to become Dallas's pop princess with a steady output of radio-friendly singles that deserve some radio attention. 

She hasn't strayed from her formula here; and that's a good thing. Her voice still recalls Rihanna but also sounds uniquely Nayah. The song has a strong emotional center that becomes more affective as the song continues. 

Nayah sings that "you never gave enough ..." But she is giving every time she takes the mic. Nayah loves the music, and it's crystal clear.

I'm late. I'll be the first to admit that. I'm very late. But I stumbled across this song, and I DIG it. And the video, it's like watching "Charlie's Angels" meets "The Six Million Dollar Man" meets "Hart to Hart." In other words, GREATEST VIDEO EVER.

Okay, okay, that may be a bit of overkill. But I dig the song, and I really dig the video. I mean, I woke up singing this song this morning. Which led me to scour youtube for other songs and Amazon for the CD (which I'm still yet to find).

It also motivated this post. Thanks Flight Faclities. I'm tweeting ...

Saturday, 17 May 2014 15:53

"Sunny Day" - Christopher Blake

Christopher Blake released his album and we had the opportunity to listen to 2 cuts: "Falling Into Your Arms" and the lead single "Sunny Day."

"Falling in Your Arms" shows a smoky and tender side of Christopher Blake. It holds the eerie, nostalgic reality that we all face when once sweet love turns sour – or, at least, stale. The concept alluded to in "Falling" is that of a song being a retaliation weapon or an artful touche to an old lover. As such, the song and its theme are compelling. Christopher does a responsible job in marrying the lyric, vocal delivery, and musical arrangement in a way that helps one feel his pain, longing, and (oh so subtle) revenge.

While I enjoyed "Falling," I didn't enjoy "Sunny Day" quite as much. "Sunny Day" attempts to leverage the good feelings of carefree living. It underscores a hope that the world-at-large should experience such good feelings. And while the musical score – the bouncy track – (guest rap intact) succeed at conveying happiness, I wanted more from Christopher. I was hoping for a better display of his vocal chops – more range, more clarity, more expression. Unfortunately, they aren't there. Consequently the song sounds more like an attempt to score a hit than an expression of Chris's soul.

Had it been up to me, "Falling" would've been Chris's lead single. It shines far longer than his "Sunny Day."

Special Contribution by Tony Johnson

Thursday, 01 May 2014 14:14

"Why Did You Leave" - DaLYC

I was sifting through recent Twitter followers and came across "Why Did You Leave" by DaLYC. It's a trio driven, mid-tempo groove, bereft with enough runs for an Olympic track. It also has a 90's throwback feel; it sounds a bit like something Shai or Jagged Edge would've done. I mean that as a compliment. They exhibit range and vocal talent: Listen to "Sick and Tired" and you'll find it to be both dramatic and soulful. 

While all the vocalists on the track are credible artists, it's the voice of the tenor/baritone (starts in second stanza) that adds the soul to this R&B ditty. The background vocals give the song more depth and layers as well, and, the emotional crescendo at the end is greatly appreciated.

My final comment is that this is "grown folks" music; it's R&B adult contemporary. And that's a refreshing change from most of the overly sexual lyrics (and techniques) provided by most youthful R&B artists nowadays.

 

Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:36

"It's There"- Arika Kane

Independent artist Arika Kane serves up a warm love song on her latest single "It's There." As duet with Brian McKnight, it's a lush arrangement, a POP song over a R&B structure.

Arika Kane has made lots of in-roads into the music scene. She's charted on Billboard and Amazon and has been featured on VH1, to name but a few. There's no doubt that coupling with Brian McKnight can only serve to further her cause. As a matter-of-fact, the song reminded me of another piano Pop/R&B love song McKnight did early in his career - "Love Is" with Vanessa Williams. It was a pretty song that hit the top ten on the POP charts.

As sweet as "It's There" is, I prefer when Ms Kane is doing something that is decidedly more R&B and has more "flava." Her song "Here with Me," is a great example.

So here's my suggestion: after you give "It's There" a listen, check out YouTube for her amazing tribute to Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat." You'll like it. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 23:50

"Closer" - Thief

I've got one complaint about this song. It's too damn short!

Thief has decided to stand up to a poor-excuse-for-a-lover in the song "Closer." So they tell her, "I'm too tired with watching you ... fuck me over."

It all sounds like an epiphany - a "it hit me like a ton of bricks, you've been mistreating me all along" moment. You know, the straw that broke the camel's back, the enough is enough, the "if I stay here I'ma catch a case" moment. 

Thief clearly had a moment. It wasn't a good one, and they put it to a song. Get ready for a ride of tight vocals and a great beat that could as easily have a radio edit as it could have tons of remixes. While it's electronica and destined for some club play, it deserves a lot more. 

Heard the song; bought the song.

Like I said, my only beef is that the song is too friggin' short. But sometimes - especially when it comes to telling someone to fuck off - less is actually much more. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 23:17

"Stay with Me" Sam Smith

Blue-eyed soul - it's a term that's used to describe white artists who embody the rich spirit of R&B vocals. And many have appropriately been given the moniker over the years - Teena Marie (RIP), Lisa Stansfield, Annie Lennox, and Hall & Oates, to name but a few. More recently Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Ed Sheeran have all shown their ability to master the soulful sounds of rhythm and blues. Add to that list Sam Smith.

The way Sam Smith weaves in and out of falsetto is impressive. Perhaps even more impressive is that he seems to have the same amount of power in his higher and lower register. His voice is rich, colorful, but not showy. He breathes life into his songs.

"Stay with Me" is nothing short of beautiful sadness. It's a poignant song about needing love from someone, even when the love isn't returned. The song is gospel - choir in tact - and the arrangement is plush ... and moving. The song is a emotional knockout.

I've been waiting for a full length album from Sam Smith since I heard his vocals on Disclosure's UK hit "Latch." Sounds like the wait is almost over, and based on what I've heard so far, the product will be well worth it. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014 15:30

"Going Down" - Spider Rockets

New Jersey based group Spider Rockets have released their first video: "Going Down," it's the lead single from their upcoming album Bitten.

"Going Down" is old-fashion rock-and-roll: gutteral vocals, raging guitars, drummer in full throttle, attitude for days, and sexual innuendo.

Speaking of innuendo, I listened to "Going Down" about an half dozen times in a row. I'd hate to think that I'm slow on the uptake but I did want to make sure that "going down" was exactly what I thought it was.

My verdict? Considering that the lead singer, Helena Cos, rants, "Push just a little farther, drop it in much deeper ..." I'm thinking that - before the night is through - someone is going down. And I think that we'd all agree that going down is almost always a good thinig ... 

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 16:05

"Giving It All" - Bondax

I'm a little late on this. I will admit. NEVERTHELESS, I bought the single and its in heavy rotation on my iPod. 

To my chagrin, I can't tell you much about the duo behind this buoyant single. But what you need to know is that "Giving It All" is electronica-dance single aided and abetted by a soulful lead vocalist. By the time she sings, "I think I love you," you'll probably be in love with the song. You'll also be dancing across your floor. (Or nodding yuur head, for those "cooler" types among us.)

I hate when a great song goes unnoticed. Especially considering how much lousy stuff gets played on the radio. But quality usually rises to the top. Here's to hoping Bondax and songs like these will get the airplay it deserves ...

(And don't forget to check out the remixes ...)

Saturday, 22 March 2014 03:03

Last Kings - IAMNAYAH

I'm not sure how Nayah does it. The girl is in school full time, she recently released a video directed by Dallas video auteur Jeff Adair,  she's endeavoring to make a name for herself in the music scene, and now she's finished another song: Last Kings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nayah has a vocal quality akin to Rihanna. And her sister - Nayah's not Rihanna's - wisely writes songs that feature and compliment Nayah's voice and vocal style extremely well. Kudos to both of them for creating songs so radio-friendly. 

In this love song, Nayah proclaims, "If you put me on a pedastal, please, promise you'll never let me go."

A word to the wise: Having the object of your affection put you on a pedastal can feel damn good. But it hurts like hell, if they ever take you off that pedestal. But hey! I'm jaded and I'm not going to spoil the fun here. LOL

The song is nice addition to Nayah's growing repetoire of songs, and along with "BLVD" is one of my personal favorites from her.

Nayah is searching for her Last King on this song. When she finds him, I'm sure he'll claim her as his Last Queen.

(See ... I do have a romantic side in this old soul!)

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