Reviews (75)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 23:52

"The Famous Nile Earls" - Imhotepshakur

"The Famous Nile Earls" is both melodic and retro. The vibe is percussion and guitar, and the sound is beguiling. The music could easily be the background for a Shaft lovemaking scene or an intimate dinner with friends. It's a dreamy song that should be accompanied with a glass of wine or heard on a solo-road trip while one reflects on the meaning of life. It's serene, it's sexy, it's scintillating. The song well illustrates the power of the instrumental. 

Friday, 06 December 2013 20:55

"Show 'em What You Got" - Bobby Electric

On "Show Em What You Got" Bobby Electric promises that this is your chance to "get up and do your dance." 

To encourage that feat, Electric provides a serious "hip hop" sound intended to make move. And he hits the spot seemingly effortlessly. The beat is ... well ... it's electric, and the chant of the chorus (and other portions of the song) propel the song forward.

"You got one chance," he repeats. Thanks Bobby for providing this chance. Ya don't wanna miss it. Do what you want. Do it freestyle, Do ya thang. Whateva it is, make sure ya dance. 

 

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 ... 

"Sun is  Shining" is a 1971 reggae song originally recorded by Bob Marley. You probably knew that. You also probably know that it's been remixed multiple times. A remixed version actually topped the dance charts back in 99.

The song has been remixed again. This time by Jeff Rose - again as a dance tune - for the Global Fund. The Global Fund is an organization that invests money in saving lives, specifically against malaria,TB, and AIDS.

I like their cause. Sometimes here (in our first world mindset) we take so much for granted. It's easy to forget the plight of others. And while I can't guarantee it, I like their claims to hold themselves to a high accountability and responsibility. I mean, shouldn't we  all do that?

So where's the review, you're asking? I'm rambling on about good causes, remixes, and dance tunes, but I haven't said a damn thang about the song. Well look, I wanted to hate it.  I groaned when I saw it. Seriously, must we continue to defile Bob Marley tunes? But actually, I liked it a lot. Now I gotta be honest, I'm an old softie for a good cause. But that's not to take anything away from the song. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. Not to mention, as I said, their cause is more than worthy, and that alone makes the single (and the album) worth purchasing.

Sunday, 01 December 2013 21:35

"Without Your Love" - Bang, You're Dead

Reverbnation describes Bang, You're Dead as "electronica/soul." Those are two genres that don't seem quite compatible. Yet, in their song "Without Your Love," the group pulls off the marriage of these two sounds quite nimbly.

Lead singer Jes Hudak is soulful (ala Elle Goulding), and her voice is both haunting and ethereal over a beat provided by her partner-in-crime DJ Quickie Mart. There is a yearning to the vocals that makes the song emotionally insistent, perhaps sad, but not melancholy. And the beat never overwhelmes the song. 

My suggestion: explore "Electronica/Soul" with Bang, You're Dead. Diversity is a good thing, and they've produced a quality sound and a quality song. I can dig it. As a matter-of-fact, it's going on my iTunes.

 

 

Saturday, 30 November 2013 15:43

"Alright" - Bryan Popin ft. Tamela Mann

On "Alright," the latest single from Bryan Popin, he takes us to church. The big voice, the choir, the applause, the praise and worship all rolled into a song that beckons to the root of gospel; it's as inspirational as it is soulful. 

Lyrically the song is about getting through, about being alright, with the help of Jesus. And it's his guest vocalist, Tamela Mann, that provides the emotional center and soul-stirring inspiration that makes us believe it's gonna be alright.

This is one of those songs that calls for hand-waving in church or for the church clap. As a matter-of-fact, it made me want to get up and go to church tomorrow. And that's something I rarely do. This is a stellar performance from both Popin and Mann.

 

Friday, 29 November 2013 23:05

"Success" - Young Rado ft. L Hussle

Young Rado tweeted "Listen to my song." So I listened. I mean, that's what I do. I listen to music. 

I'm glad he tweeted me. "Success" featuring L. Hussle is a refreshing change from much of the rap that fills my mailbox. Rather than bragging about success; the artists are encouraging others to be successful.

"Stay focused, and get motivated. Hang around people that's gettin' elevated." I gotta say, that's some damn good advice.

Above and beyond the positive lyrics, the production is tight and the artists exchange lead smoothly. 

In a genre that rife with self-congratulatory songs, it's nice to hear an artist who's content to stay humble and uplift others.

Monday, 25 November 2013 22:41

"Anyday" - Alexis Jones

As evidenced by Youtube, Alexis Jones is on her grind writing and singing songs. A song she recently uploaded but that hasn't got the number of views it deserves is her song called "Anyday."

"Anyday" is sleek and sexy, ripe for late night "Quiet Storms," and R&B adult-contemporary. She reminded me a bit of LeToya in this song as she vacillated between sensual and sexual.  I listened to the song again and again (which is kinda how I review songs). And every time I heard it, I liked it more and more.

Here's to hoping that Alexis Jones will find her fan base "any day." Good songs and good artists deserve to be heard. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013 22:40

"Cookies and Cream" - Noelle Bean

Noelle Bean's bio describes her as a cross between Taylor Swift, Lily Allen, and Colbie Caillat. While there is something about the tone of Noelle's voice that, at times, invokes Lily Allen. I've never heard Colbie quite as fun or as sassy (can I use that word?) as Noelle sounds here.

As for Taylor Swift, I typically turn off the radio when she comes on. So I can't weigh in on that comparison. 

So ... I was on reverbnation today - the home of the unsigned artist - searching for good music to review. About an hour into my search, I stumbled across Noelle's delicious "Cookie and Cream." In the song she sings, "Hot chocola-ta and butterscotch," it's 100% playful and 100% pop. 

By the time the song was over, and I had started to listen to her song "Cops and Robbers," not only had I heard Lily Allen, I had heard some Duffy, and maybe even a little Fiona. All three of those ladies share a brand of soulful pop, and Noelle well-deserves to be in their company. 

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 ... 

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