Reviews (75)

Monday, 18 November 2013 21:59

"Believe" - Rachel Marie

Rachel Marie has two songs available on Soundcloud. Her single "High" and the R&B infused gospel song "Believe." 

I've choosen to review "Believe" - it's sweet, sincere, and sung effortlessly. Over beat that's intent on making you groove to its sound, Marie declares her belief in a Higher Power. It's the type of song meant to be bring spirituality to a wide audience, and cater to those who prefer Mary Mary to the more traditional gospel songs.

"Believe" me, Marie has nailed it. Favoring lower tones, and careful not to oversing, she embues afffection for faith and an affirmation for God. She's done a great job - I played the song five times in a row - and she should be proud of her work here. 

Kaskade, Tiesto, and Haley? Need I say more? It's Saturday evening and here's another one of my favorite electronica songs. It's a shame that these classics are relegated to clubs ...

Give the song a listen. You'll be singing along to the romantic hook before it's even finished. Or you'll be dancing across your living room floor. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:36

"Our Freedom" - Trylogi

"Our Freedom" by Trylogi is not about our freedom. It's about the sacrifices that have been made to attain and retain that freedom. It's a song of deep appreciation meant to honor the men and women who leave family and friends to fight for liberty.

The three ladies of Trylogi exchange lead vocals on a song that reminds us that freedom isn't alway free, and thus they are compelled to thank these soldiers "for the way they keep us safe."

While the song kicks off with a bit of  a rap/spoken-word-prose, at its heart, it's a country song. Country music has a uniquely American heritage. And the group seeks to honor America, its heritage, and its freedom in their tune.

Just as the song is a touching tribute, the video is as well. The group says "thank you" face-to-face, and the soldiers beam in appreciation.

Never should someone's sacrifice be taken for granted. And in this song, Trylogi reminds us how true that statement is. 

 

Friday, 15 November 2013 01:42

"Gettin' It" - the Bodega Brovas

I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, the video to the Bodega Brovas' song "Gettin' It" or the song itself. And I mean that as a compliment.

"Gettin It" is about getting respect, attention, and an audience. And if this song is a measure, then the trio deserves all three. Armed with some witty word play and more than a few cultural references, the Bodega Brovas aren't afraid to make their feelings known. 'Like a 30 year old virgin, they are tired of getting jerked ...' so it's time for action, they wont' be held down anymore, they are ready to carry the torch. 

The song is an anthem for any group that's toiled underground and has been trying fiercely to get it. Get on. Get noticed. Get Paid.

All this against the backdrop of a tongue-in-cheek highly spirited and humorous video. That's artistry - taking yourself seriously but not too seriously. The Bodega Brovas are "Gettin' It," and you should too ...

Thursday, 14 November 2013 02:17

"Look Me In My Eyes" - Lil YG Rilla

"Look Me In My Eyes" is Lil YG Rilla's request. If you do so, you'll find him baring his soul as he reflects on who he is and where came from.

The tale isn't a happy one, unless you consider the fact that Rilla has the talent and the depth to share his story a happy ending. Even if so, the trials along the way are not to be forgotten.  

Rilla borders on instrospection when he states he hustles because hustling is the only game he knows. He recounts getting his first gun at fifteen. He bemoans the friends he's lost to the game. And he questions why all his "niggas gettin' sent to prison."

A friend of mine was standing beside me as I played it. He said, "that's some real shit." True. A sad reality for too many bruthas. But Lil YG ain't bragging. He's just sharing his truth.

Lil YG Rilla. He invites us to look into his eyes. Yet, in this tale, he's taken the time to look into his own. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 16:28

"Disco Queen" - Ishi

I'm always amazed at the amount of musical talent that exists. The strange thing is where it exists. It's not always at the top of the charts. Sometimes the best musicians are the ones who are grinding, day-in-day-out, without a major label.

You can add Ishi to the list. Recently selected as the Best Electronic Act in Dallas, Ishi is releasing soulful funky house - the kind you groove and move to.

Let's take "Disco Queen" as an example. While no one would call Ishi "dancers," the song makes you wanna dance. Actually, it makes you wanna find your Disco Queen (or King) and, as Ishi puts it, "collide to the rhythm of the night." Give it a listen and you'll understand why their music has been described as kinetic!

The song is another example of great electronca. So an ode to Ishi and a Disco Queen (whoever theirs and yours may be).

Mine was Donna Summer - may she rest in peace.

Monday, 11 November 2013 22:03

"Crazy Love" - Klass Money ft. Leila Capri

They say that men give love to have sex and women give sex to get love. The line between those two ideas are blended and blurred on Klass Money's sex-driven "Crazy Love."

What could've descended into another song about a rapper's sexual prowess - those songs are a dime a dozen - melts into a song where the making love leads to falling in love. 

Songs like this don't work without a strong hook and a pretty voice to sing it. Fortunately, "Crazy Love" has both. Featured artist Leila Capri rises to the occasion and serenades (sounding a bit like Amerie). 

The production values are strong and the rhymes are nice.

 Lots of songs like this come my way. This one is one of my favorites.

 

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." 

 

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