Friday, September 12, 2008
The VMAs = If the budget gets anyless, next years ceremony will be held in my parking garage...and oddly enough it probably wouldnt suck as much as it did this year.
New Music = Solange's album is amazing and Nikka Costa has a brand new album coming out Pebble To a Pearl Oct 14, so make sure you snatch it...
Fashion Rocks = You know shit is bad when Rihanna gives a better lip sync vocal than Mariah Carey....BUT! i will not and i shall not hate on Beyonce and her damn good rendition of "At last"
Raphael Saadiq = An Amazing man, releasing an amazing album SEPTEMBER 16TH!!!!!
Now sit tight till next time, but in the meantime! make sure u check out the blogroll to the right and knock urselves out :-)
Friday, August 15, 2008
The Artist of the month!!!!!!! For this months choice, I went with Jamie Lidell, an artist that ive only known about for a few months, an artist one of you guys actually put me up on him (thanks Sarah Tone In!!!).
born September 18, 1973 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England) is a musician and soul singer. He also has a group with Cristian Vogel called Super Collider.
Lidell is known for layering tracks made with his voice into a microphones, performing the percussion and melody as a sequenced beatboxing one-man band. Then over his augmented voices, he sings soul-inspired songs.
What initially struck my fancy about Lidell was his AMAZING voice and style of music, which is very reminiscent of Jamiroquai at their funkiest. His song "figured my out" has became one of my favorite and is featured off of his latest album JIM, which is amazing, was released earlier this year to great reviews.
Check out Jamie on His MYSPACE to listen to a few more of his tracks, but remember where u heard about him first...HOLLA!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Al Green - Lay It Down
GENIUS, GENIUS, GENIUS...if this album doesn’t win album of the year at the grammys, it can only mean that the Grammys have it out for Al...or that u2 or the dixie chicks have new albums out...but in any capacity, this is a genius album, showcasing QuestLove’s GENIUS production, capturing a sound that’s so vintage and genuine..you’d think its an album of nothing but rare recordings from the 70s.
Janet Jackson - Discipline
This album hits HARD, from track 1 on through it’s solid, but much like other Janet albums, towards the middle and end it loses a bit of its steam for having certain tracks that could have been left on the cutting room floor. With tracks like “Feedback” and the horribly mismanaged “Luv,” this is a hot album .
Adele - 19
The debut album of 19 year old import Adele is nothing short of amazing. Now im not saying shes the white aretha franklin by any means, so fall back Estelle! But this is an album that touches on different genres from soul (thanks to adele’s BEAUTIFUL voice) to even folk, effortlessly. The production is fitting, the writing is genius and dammit...I dig it! The girl is truly talented.
Duffy - Rockferry
While being clumped into the same raft as Adele, as this seasons new Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, Duffy and Adele have something that the 2 others seem to lack at times...common sense... Atleast thats what I think until I see a tabloid of Adele with hot pink hair and duffy somewhere free basin’ to prove me otherwise.... but I digress... This album is a sultry throw back to the sounds of the 60s and 70s, which compliments Duffy’s airy, seductive voice to a T.
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Many have made the argument that this album doesn’t have as many stand out cuts like their last one, St Elsewhere, did. Now, I completely agree with that, because even in the gnarls barkley style of music, this album doesn’t have many tracks that people would coin “single worthy” ... BUT, this album in its own right is pretty damn phenomenal, the song “A Little Better” should put The Odd Couple in everyones top 10 list all on its own. The beauty of it all, this album is nothing more than expression...you just KNOW Danger mouse is not behind the boards wrecking his brain trying to figure out what sound will get them to number 1 on TRL., and I LOVE that about them.
Estelle - Shine
This album, so far this year, has been the biggest surprise for me, I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I do. Shine is across the board a GREAT effort by Estelle, with sounds, talents and influences coming in from every angle.
Mariah Carey - E=Mc2
This album has grown on me IMMENSELY....but still! The only reason why it did is because its MARIAH and I want to genuinely like this album and anything she does, lord knows if it was some run of the mill broad I probably would have used the cd as a coaster...but then again my argument for not liking it is because it ISN’T someone else singing this tart mess. I said it once and I’ll say it again...Mariah is ABOVE this crap she’s singing about today...Give me “Stay the night,” give me “Mine again,” hell, give me ANYTHING other than Rae rae and Mae mae.
Madonna - HardCandy
Now, I’ve never posted my opinion on this album until now, for the main reason is because at times I would feel so torn, its far from a horrible album..and not too far from a good album. I see where she tried to go and I think the intentions behind it was pure...LMAO @ me acting as if this madonna album Is a superman remake or some shit...but seriously, I think on paper this album was gonna be genius, but with uninspired beats from
Usher - Here I Stand
Here I stand, huh? Well I can tell you where his ass hasn’t been standing...in the top 10. This album is about as hot as a glacier. Now anyone that knows me knows im no Usher fan...BUT to say that I haven’t enjoyed a handful of songs from each of his albums would be a lie...I personally LOVED “throwback” from Confessions, along with others from that album....but this time around, the sequencing was HORRIBLE, track selections were baffling (why his song “that girl right there” feat Ludacris didn’t make the album, I still don’t know) and album length only made it that much more of a task to listen to the album as a whole.
Majority of the 106 n’ park line up
Im just clumping all this shit together, I don’t have the time nor the patience to go through those buffoons individually.
With the first half of 08' behind us, all I can say Is that theres been good, and theres been bad...sadly enough when its been bad..its been BAAAAAAAAD..so I can only hope that upcoming releases from Brandy, LL Cool J (LMAO, right), Raphael Saadiq (YES LAWD!), Eryakah Badu, T.I., Missy Eliott and Robin Thicke can make up for the mistakes of Jan-Jun...Time shall only tell...but if I left out any albums and artist (which I kno for a fact I have).....just sit tight till the year end list! Ahem...maybe they will make my top 10...who knows.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Coppola had an early brush with fame when a demo she cut with Digable Planets
producer Michael Mangini during her freshman year at the State University of New
York landed her a record deal with Columbia Records. In 1997 the
19-year-old music composition major’s debut record “Chubacabra” earned radio and
MTV buzz with the cheeky, Neneh-Cherry-reminiscent lead single “Legend of a
Cowgirl” and her dynamic NYC persona was introduced to mainstream America.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
First up we have Ashanti with her song "Good Good" from The Declaration, which is in stores now.
I Personally LOVE the video, its colorful, its creative and its very different from anything on tv right NOW...im not saying its anything different than what we've seen in the past, but it plays off the song lovely, 2 thumbs up! plus i think its adorable how she has her boyfriend Nelly in the video, about time they realize they arent as important as Beyonce and Jay, so they cant play all coy about their relationship and shit...they betta whore their asses OUT...The actual album is VERY solid, if not her best since her debut...I just love when folks get it together, dont you?...so does this mean we have to stop calling her Ashitti now?
Next, its Mr. Blue Eyed soul himself, Robin Thicke and his song "Magic" from his album Somethin' Else, slated to hit stores Sep. 8th.
I am in LOVE with this song...the video tho? ehh *shrugs* I can take it or leave it..personally because I see eliments of Janet Jackson's "Feedback" and alil of Chris Brown's "Forever" in it...Not to say its a bad thing but...those elements werent working in the original videos so why in the hell would it work here? Dig the new direction and sound tho! WeRk it Robin...cant wait for the release you damn genius you!
Now last...and definately LEAST...Pretty Muthafuckin Ricky....
What in the bedazzled, technicolored dream coat, gay bonanza, magestic magician, type shit is THIS??? somewhere Chris Stokes is salivating, I just know it....This is so gay even Bravo would go..."a bit much?"....I can not and I will not...Im not even going to touch on them RUINING a classic, im just going to go lay down and try to get these images out of my head the best way I can....lawd that record deal coulda been put to some good use...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
"He wants me to do the whole thing this time around," Timbaland said
Monday during a visit to the MTV News office. "I'mma make it a classic too.
You better believe it. It'll be a monster! I always say this: You get a first single
from me, I'mma get you up to gold. And it's hard to get you up to gold in this day [and age]."
Now I don't know about you guys, but lately Timbaland's work has been...uninspiring, to say the least...but personally I've always preferred his work with Jay, so I'm actually excited about this news. Ive always LOVED what would come from a JayZ and Timbaland collabo (I never really cared when Jay would hook up with the neptunes)...Hopefully this will get Timbalands juices flowing, because when they are..he IS arguably a genius, and Jay will have an amazing album....but then again JayZ could have an album produced by a fucking arangatang and it would be good to me, so bring on the goodness, I say!
Hey hey readers, ive missed u lovely folks the month ive been gone...i figured since I've been MIA for awhile that i'll at least shed alil light on where the hell I've been... As you guys know, Rhythmicwords is the brainchild of me, Rhythmic..and is ran and operated solely by me...couldnt you tell by the half assery that takes place? anyhoo...these past few weeks have been very busy for me, as some of you know ive recently moved to Los Angeles...(HOLLER!)...and im also in school..im going to the Art institute of California - Hollywood...(DOUBLE HOLLER!)...and living on campus...(womp wompppp)...so that's where a good junk of my time as been devoted to, just making sure i was all packed up and all shipped out when the time called for it...So what does that mean? will RhythmicWords be shutting down?....the answer is HELL NO!...i got too much shit to say!!!! lol...so look forword to the typical write ups, a long with interviews, reviews and the "This year in music...so far" coming up! in the upcoming weeks...
I just wanted to shed alil light on what my situation has been the last few weeks....that is all
Monday, July 14, 2008
Blend the old-school R&B sound with a quirky hybrid of hip-hop and pop and you get Little Jackie, the creation of genre-defying singer-songwriter Imani Coppola and multi-instrumentalist Adam Pallin. With a nod to the soulful Motown rhythms of the past and a sneer to many of the social and cultural issues that consume the public today, Coppola has crafted an album of musical sugar and spice, filled with sweet, saccharine-tinged melodies and spicy, bold commentaries.
Now make sure you guys check out one of the songs from their debut album The Stoop, thats out NOW, entitled "Cryin for the Queen"...after you guys listen, take 1 good guess at who singer-songwriter Imani Coppala is talking about in the song...Your answer will be addressed when I upload the interview i was lucky enough to do with Imani later this week...and yes, shes as sassy over the phone as she is on the record.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
that is right readers (the few i still have left) IAM BACK! and ready to get back to the goodstuff!...atleast not today anyway lmao...hollerback tomorrow...im off to finish move my shit into my dorm and hopefully bond with my roomy...id hate to have to end up shankin someone, i so do....be cool till tomorrow folks...and hope uve missed me..ive missed yall....witcha no comment leavin asses...I KID, I KID! dont take me off the blogroll...hehe
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
You guys keep it cool while I try and do the same...its only gonna be a few days...a week and a half at most...maybe...but I shall return! and with great vengeance, so don't forget about lil ol me!!! ....now don't mind me, im off to go find myself...and preferably alcohol
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
If me calling one your favorite artist a talentless nymph, a bottom feeder, or a wolf in a lacefront only here to do Satan's work angers you to the point I happen to lose you as a reader, I'm sorry, but that's how I feel and all I can tell you is to go elsewhere. Since this is MY blog, these are MY views and they're not going to change by the disapproval of others... If i happen to write something and you strongly disagree or agree with my views, LET IT BE KNOWN! thats what the comment section IS FOR (because sometimes you guys open me up to some things, too)...but what it isn't for is flat out acts in creepyness and unecessary provocation. I WILL NOT have my comment sections looking like an episode of Jerry Springer, sorry. If you want all that, you can take that shit over yonder where its welcomed, cuz....I SHANT BE VICTIMIZED!
that is all :-)
Friday, June 13, 2008
The WONDERFUL Chante Moore was NICE enough to ring me up for a phone interview on Wednesday to talk about her new album Love The Woman, which is dropping June 17th. In the interview Chante discusses why she hasn't recorded a solo album since 2001, the collaborations on the album, along with who she wishes she could have collaborated with that she didnt get a chance to.
Considering im a huge Chante fan and it was my very FIRST interview (so bare with me at moments lol) I think it went really well, if u dont then yanno...push stop? anyhoo...Make sure u all SUPPORT the album when it drops! but in the mean time u can hit up amazon.com to listen to clips of each track until My review next week.... now check out the interview below!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
(Disclaimer!!!!: This is a write about GOOD music...so u guys that thought "Dangerously In Love" by Beyonce was album of the decade, yall may wanna sit this one out..u may get a nose bleed from reading....)
I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting in the living room of my great-grandmothers house (nanna as we all affectionately call her) and skimming through the channels on tv looking for something to watch. Once I heard a melodic piano I was compelled to put the remote down and enjoy the visual and sonic masterpiece that was coming from the television. Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" from the bands third album Travelling Without Moving. The song went on to become a break out success for the group, earning them 4 MTV moon man, including one for Video of the year, and a Grammy award soon followed. The group is my favorite of all time and initially caused me to broaden my musical horizon outside of the R&B and Hip-Hop I was exposed to at the time.
Jamiroquai is commonly mistaken as being a solo artist rather than a group consisting of multiple members, that have changed like musical chairs frequently since the conception of the band back in the early 90's. Jay Kay, the lead vocalist, face and writer for the band has always been such a persona and figure in the funk world, hes commonly looked at AS Jamiroquai and has always been pushed to the forefront when it came to the videos and the overall image of the group (for those of you still scratching your heads, think...Sade...sorta). While I'm not intending for this post to be a history lesson on Jamiroquai, I do want to travel down a funk-memory lane and share with you my Top 3 albums from the groups discography (they have 6 studio albums all together) and I'm touching on some memorable tracks from each of my top albums. I hope jogging your memory on such an amazing band will make you break out their old albums, or better yet...purchase them, if you haven't, since they all have the potential to be the perfect soundtrack of anyones summer.
To make it easier for you all, every track I'll mention you can listen and/or watch the video for by simply clicking on the title...see, I got u ;-)
3. Travelling Without Moving
The spot for my 3rd favorite Jamiroquai album became a VERY tight race between 2 albums, Traveling without Moving (1996) and The Return of the Space Cowboy (1994). While I do believe that ROTSC was more so of an album lovers album, meaning every track flowed properly, the music was great and sequencing was completely up to par, I personally had to give the slight edge to TWM for memorable and classic material.
This album, the groups third, was a breakout success and put them on the radars of many, but with all that ASIDE and focusing exclusively on the material and music of the album, it was amazing. Ofcourse, "Virtual Insanity" must be mentioned if not for all the hype that was around then for the genius that is the song. One of the strongest songs on the album can arguably be "Everyday," the chill groove that sounds like it could have been apart of their first album Emergency On Planet Earth (1993). Gems like "Alright" and "Cosmic Girl" make up the albums first half and set the tone for the upbeat feel good vibe of the entire record, the tender and mellow piano and string masterpiece "Spend a Lifetime,"proved that this album was more than just a "worthy for the singles and nothing more" type of composition that many have painted it out to be and is considered the albums brightest moments.
Coming after the A Funk Odyssey(2001) album, which was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, Jamiroquai made a conscious decision to coexist the sounds of their early stuff with the genius work that appeared on AFO and on Synkronized (1999). When Soul inspired vocals, Funk influenced sound and Disco Tinged breakdowns all came together effortlessly, the result was their 2005 album Dynamite. It managed to be a full circle display of their career, grabbing sounds from each era, and came off completely diverse
Coming to a happy and beautiful Medium, the band eases the hearts of those shaken from AFO by giving them "Starchild," which is reminiscent of their older work, "When You Gonna Learn" to be exact, from the bands first album Emergency On Planet Earth (1993). The album's apex "Seven Days in Sunny June" teeters between the urban vintage sounds of motown and the smooth, transcending feel that the group has been known for and is the quintessensial summer song. "(Dont) Give Hate A Chance" packs a punch on both the speakers and in lyrical content.
1. A Funk Odyssey
Slightly less organic than their previous albums, this one is all about the fun and growth of the band, without coming off all over the place and slightly schizophrenic like on the 1999 Synkronized (although like the rest of you, I LOVED me some "Canned Heat").
The guys took the highlights from that album and evolved, polished and honed in on exactly what they intended to do initially; the result, a soul stirring, head nodding journey in funk and disco that may have been so advanced in its retro sound that it flew over many peoples heads. This is my favorite album by the guys because its simply FUN, fresh and at the time, and arguably still to this day, it was nothing else like it.
The album forced you to think outside of your narrow box of genres and preconceived notions of what a certain sound should be and made you simply love it or hate it, I chose to love it. The album was an almost natural progression that you expect from artist after years of doing a certain something. From the sensually seductive grooves of "Corner of the Earth" to the mellow jam "Little L," both perfectly contrasting to the funktastic album opener "Feel So Good," These tracks all make this album memorable and one of my favorites of all times. One of my favorite Jamiroquai songs tho is also on this album, "Love Foolosophy."
For those of you who may or may not remember the stylish and chic video for "Love Foolosophy", featuring Heidi Klum providing eye candy, you know i've got you, ENJOY!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Hailing from Toronto Canada, Jennie Laws is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, song-writer and composer. On her debut EP, Introducing Jennie Laws, she tickles the pallets of music lovers that are hungry for live instrumentation, delectable melodies and lyrics that relate to a wide variety of emotions.
Laws' lyrical gifts are evident on the song "You Choose," a song about taking control of the state of your life and being in a rut solely because you choose to be there, boasting on the chorus "That's how you choose to be...you don't want to be happy." Yes, the girls gifted with the pen.
Elsewhere on the Ep, Jennie shines vocally and showcases her amazing guitar skills on the personal favorite "I Just Wanna Be Close To You." The synth touched tune is reminiscent of any Neo-soul classic of the 90's (yanno, when it was cool to say Neo-soul) with a subtle conga to add a slight taste of Teena Marie into the mix to provide a head nodding groove to the beautiful track.
The EP's bonus track "I'm Falling" is probably the most daring, yet simple track out of the bunch. Sounding like it could have been recorded by Stevie Wonder during the Songs in the Key of Life sessions, Jennie manages to take a sound thats incredibly familiar and make it completely recognizable as being original and even better, hers. The overall sound of this album can't really be pegged since it effortlessly tiptoes across multiple genres and touches on various flavors that can only be categorized as jazz/soul/acoustic hybrids.
An EP, short for Extended Play, is a record that isn't typically long enough (usually 10 to 20 minutes long) to be considered a full blown LP, an album 30 to 80 minutes long. Jessie Laws manages to accomplish what many albums seldom do, in half the time, and that's capturing an audience, representing who she is, and doing it all with a strong sound that could easily overpower and overshadow her soft and sincere vocals, but it doesn't. Instead, each compliments the other because organically Jennie doesn't do anything that stretches or takes her out of her comfort zone, which is broad and wide enough as it is, since after all...She did Write, Produce and compose EVERY track on the album. If that isn't a BIG introduction, I dont know what is.
I give Introducing Jennie Laws a BONLINE TODAY!
Friday, June 6, 2008
That’s pretty difficult to say, only because of the record label at this point.
We started off with “Feedback” and the label and myself haven’t quite seen eye
to eye since the "Feedback" single so they’ve kind of basically stopped all
promotion. I’m trying to figure out a way to say this, but just to say it and to
be quite honest, they just stopped all promotion whatsoever on the album so I
don’t think you’re going to hear another single off this album.
Now aint THAT some shit. One of the stronger albums of the year is being treated like the bastard step child. What grinds my gears even more is the limitless opportunities she had with the Discipline album, these record execs don't know which way is up, let alone how to market an album and a LEGEND like Janet properly. The album was GREAT and she could have had MULTIPLE singles from it, branching from the dance heavy "2Nite" (recently heard in the new Sex and the City film) to the summery groove of "Whats your name." Im just livid at the fact Janet is always getting the short end of the stick while certain artist (im not gonna name names, today im gonna be nice) are allowed to get rereleases for less than steller albums. I don't know why im surprised really, I should have known nothing good would come from Island DefJam the way you heard more about Mariah's upcoming shit brick of an album during Janet's time to shine. I know it was all about business on their end, with Mariah coming off of the hugely successful Emancipation of MiMi and Janet coming off of the...well...20y.o....but DAMN! give the legend her props. I could see if the album was WACK and they were like "ehhh yea Janet..GO GET EM TIGER!", but its full of GREAT material! and she should have only gotten a great backing behind her. While Mariah got buildings and shit lit up in her honor, Janet was thrown on 106 n park, told to smile, giggle, and make shit happen...SHAMEFUL
Island Defjam...SHANT VICTIMIZE ME!
For my monthly Artist of the month features, Ive always broke it down into 2 categories so I could feature 2 seperate artist, an artist you already know, and an artist you NEED to know. Typically I feature the artist of the month you NEED to know, since they're either new or up and coming, but since Ive already had a feature, and an upcoming review on the horizon for this months artist you need to know, the incredibly talented Jennie Laws, this month I decided to reintroduce some of you to Miss Chante Moore, June's Artist of the month you already know. Heres a part of her official bio to take you back down memory lane of this amazing, and often horribly overlooked, vocalist...
Since arriving on the R&B music scene over 15 years ago via her sensual debut single "Love’s Taken Over," Chante Moore has flourished into an accomplished female favorite. Billboard singles like "It’s Alright," "This Time" and the top two smash "Chante’s Got a Man" helped put her name on a short list of artists known for consistency. After recording two duet projects with fellow R&B vocalist Kenny Lattimore (also her husband of six years) and achieving regard in the gospel world, the Grammy-nominated vocalist returns to the solo spotlight with her new CD, Love the Woman, due June 17th on Peak Records.
With collaborations from Raphael Saadiq, George Duke, Jamey Jaz and Warryn Campbell, im highly anticipating this release. Its been far too long since theres been an album of new Chante material thats..yanno...just her...(Love ya tho Kenny! honestly, I got the first 2 albums!)...For those of you who haven't heard Chante's first single "Ain't Suppose to be This Way" clicky clicky below to take a listen and check out upcoming tour dates to see if shes performing near you!
Chante Moore - Ain't Suppose to Be This Way
Second link incase the first one doesnt work: By clicking here
CHANTE MOORE TOUR WITH NORMAN BROWN
April 26... City Of Lights Festival... Las Vegas, NV
May 18 ...Hyatt Newporter... Newport Beach, CA
May 24 ...Benaryoa Hall... Seattle, WA
June 16 ...Chene Park... Detroit, MI
July 20 ...Oceanside Pier Amphitheater... Oceanside, CA
Sept. 19 ...Hyatt Newporter... Newport Beach, CA
Sept. 21 ...Thornton Winery... Temecula, CA
Thursday, June 5, 2008
To celebrate the top 10 debut of the BRILLIANT Lay It Down album, I decided for this weeks Throwback Thursday I'd roll with the soulful Al Green. In 1972 he released one of my favorite albums of all time Im Still Inlove With You, which Rollingstone ranked at number 285 on their list of 500 greatest albums of ALL time. One of my favorite tracks from the classic album was the track "Im Glad Your Mine." From the amazing intro with the drums to the subtle strings, it automatically became a favorite of mine before I could even appreciate what it was I was listening to....now sit back and ENJOY
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Along with the DL announcement, more performers have been added onto the line up for the award show....
"Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Kanye West and Young Jeezy Will Join Previously Announced Performers Usher, Lil Wayne and Nelly for 'The Hottest Ticket on Television'Legendary R&B Icon Al Green to Receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award and Celebrated Producer/Arranger/Composer Quincy Jones Set for BET's Humanitarian Award."
Cant wait to see the Kanye performance...as far as the rest, blah!....Youve seen one Alicia Keys performance, you've seen them all...Chris brown, how many times can you see him vogue on stage in something shiny? and I could give two rusty pennys about Young Jeezy.
Here I Stand = Selling 433,000 copies in 1 week
E=Mc2 = Selling 463,000 copies in 1 week
So this officially makes Usher the SECOND biggest debut of the year behind Mariah Carey, and with releases from Coldplay and Lil Wayne on the Horizon, I doubt he will get too comfy at the SECOND position...Now do u think he'll STFU now that he doesn't have the bragging rights he had during the 'Confessions' era when he was the biggest douche that u could imagine?...OOOH or better yet crawl under a rock? just wondering.
Oh but wait, lets go down the laundry list to see who ELSE in the urban music circle has debuted with a bigger bang than Usher in the last few months...just yanno...for funsies...
Mary J. Blige - Growin Pains = 630,000
Alicia Keys - As I Am = 740,000
Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Lovesounds* = 684,000
My point in all of this? I just don't like the nigga *shrugs*....OH! and congratulations must go to Al Green for debuting at number 9 on the Billboard charts, his highest charting album EVER, according to Billboard.com.
*I know this album came out back in '06....I'm just being a bitch :-)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This past weekend I decided to enjoy a drink and one of my favorite albums of all time, Erykah Badu's Mamas Gun. I've been an Erykah fan since I first heard the vintage bass of "On and On" bumping through the speakers of my mom's old entertainment set, and from that point on I was HOOKED. When I sat down and treated myself to the genius that was the entire Baduizm album, I thought that there was no way it could get any better. I was proven wrong 3 years later when Erykah dropped Mamas Gun to the masses in the fall of 2000.
Mama's Gun is probably one of the most creative, inspirational, amazing, and daring albums of the past decade, all without coming off as pretentious, trite and forced...which is a very hard thing to do when it comes to making an album that connects to listeners on all levels, those seeking lyrical satisfaction, to those seeking musical pleasure, and the few who are still yearning for substance and meaning all at the same time.
With contributions from James Poyser and the late J. Dilla, Mamas Gun was crafted to become one of the most organic and innovative works of that time, which is funny considering that Badu herself was perceived as anything BUT during this time. No longer being looked at as the deep soul siren, she was discovered as being some what a fraud with foax dreads and a background that was a far cry from the Philly movement that began to take place at the time, or at least began to come to prominence, she was a bit farther down south...try Texas. With all of the mumbo jumbo aside, the material spoke for itself, it spoke for Erykah and testified exactly how genius this woman was, regardless of how high her headwraps were and how many fist she threw in the air.
Much more eclectic and experimental than its predecessor Baduizm, this album explored different sounds to accommodate the different lyrical content that Erykah allowed her pen to venture in. From the typical relationship ups and downs, to the new territory of self-esteem and injustice within the African American community, when it came to the authorities, Mama's Gun cohesively and effectively takes you on a journey. I've always appreciated this album much more than Baduizm for the simple fact that its an album that's not forced to be anything but what it is. It would have been easy coming off her her multiple Grammy wins, for the Baduizm album, with something exactly the same, that consisted of soulful retro sounds and head nodding grooves. Instead of keeping the same formula, or breaking it completely, she added to the already rich and refreshing sound. If it ain't broke, why not make it make it better? From the first sounds of the rock influenced "Penitentiary Philosophy" to the jazzy album version of "Bag Lady" (which I prefer to the single version btw) this album effortlessly glided across genres and melodic moods, yet keeping you in the same mind frame to appreciate each track equally.
All of the material on the album arguably leads up to the dramatic and emotionally touching conclusion of the album, its pinnacle, the masterpiece "Green Eyes." The near 10 minute track is split into 3 sections, the first "Movement 1 (denial)," being more of a vintage sound with piano work from James Poyser, it has Erykah sounding as if she were a blues singer from the era when Ella and Billie reigned supreme. In the second part of the song, "acceptance," the song gets more of a heavier jazz backing and develops a stronger thump thanks to the brilliance that is ?uestlove on the drums. The third and final section of the song features Erykah at her most vulnerable and collected, after laying everything bare in the "acceptance" portion of the song, it shows the conflicting thoughts of someone going through a tumultuous relationship perfectly. The piano workings of James Poyser and hypnotic horns leaves you wondering why there aren't more albums like this one.
This album was rare, being a sophomore effort that showed the epitome of growth on every front from the artist (something that's unseen now a days). Everyone knows my feelings on Erykah's Latest effort and I feel the way I do so strongly because I know what shes done, and what shes capable of doing. This is arguably one of the BEST albums of the past decade, and if I have to wait until 2010 for Erykah to rise back onto her mix of retro soul and funk thrown, than so be it. Settling for anything else from a woman that's displayed perfection would be less than civalized.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Heres the Pussycat Dolls performing their first single "When I Grow Up" produced by Darkchild. Now normally I wouldn't give 2 dirty cotton swabs about these broads, but im too damn busy dancing to this song to worry about alla that...I LOVE this track! Darkchild has definately did the damn thing with this production, its absolutely sickening. The girls have definately stepped it up (as if they had anywhere else but up to go) judging from the extensive choreography and live vocals...but how PRECIOUS is it that they ALL have mics? knowin damn well only 1 is turned on...too cute
Head on over to Rap-UP to listen to the song in HQ in its entirety.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Three years since his last LP, Soul music veteran Al Green has a new release upon the horizon, the return to form opus, Lay It Down. Being an undeniable legend, respect is automatically given to him, and many that have paved the way like he has, but unlike many others, Mr. Green is no longer coasting on memories of hits that have been, he's trying to make you remember WHY he is a legend, by making music that is reminiscent of his legendary sound.
Coming to prominence in a time that saw other Soul Mavens like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Curtis Mayfield, Al always had a sound that was very clockable as his own, a heavily soul rooted sound with gospel influences that would provide a transcendent feel to anyone listening, plus the heavenly voice that seemed to glide over every harmony and melody effortlessly, always helped.
Unlike many artist that experienced a surge of success in the 60s and 70s that try and make a print in the fickled, fluctuating music market now, Al decides to stick to what he knows best, and that's soul. Nothing from concentrate or particularly geared toward the sound of today can be heard on this album, and that's a GOOD thing. Nothing hurts my soul more than a legendary singer collaborating with an artist out now because its "cool" or because its "what the kids are doing" It diminishes their credibility, confuses hardcore fans, makes them look ridiculous, and is just plain SAD (The Isley Brothers, anyone?)
This time around, Al bravely chose to collaborate with the drummer/producer/mastermind of the world famous The Roots band, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, and rightfully so. The production genius has found his way, more so lately, behind the sound board for other artist outside of the Roots camp and has captured eras and sounds from the past effortlessly. On his reworked Pharrell Out My Mind album, he turns the production upside down and captures the sounds of 80's Michael Jackson and Prince as if he were in the studio with them during those golden years. Other recent notables from ?uest have been his work with Common, D'Angelo and most recently with Erykah Badu on the apex of her Amerykahn Promise album with "Telephone". ?uest didn't disappoint when it came to working with Al; Lay It Down jogs the memory of classic Al G-reen recordings, yet breathes new life into a sound that has desperately been needed in today's music.
The title track "Lay It Down" opens up the album and foreshadows the raw and pure soul that will be displayed in tracks to come with help from the gritty gospel voiced Anthony Hamilton doing background. This duo shows up again on the song "You've got the love I need" and showcases the beautiful juxtaposition between Al's angelical voice and Anthony's unapologetic textured coos. The light and breezy "Just for me" lays smack dab between both 'Lay' and 'You've got' so it provides a nice cool down before your forced to catch a groove with the latter's bass egging you on to get out of your seat. The beautiful horns in "Take your time" featuring Corrine Bailey Rae is reason enough to give this man an Grammy, the back and forth between Rae and Green is so smooth and effortless it takes you back to a time when Male and Female collaborations were common and refreshing with the Marvins and Tammies and Roberta and Donnys. The shining moment, more so than the countless others, on this album has to be the John Legend collabo on "Stay with Me (By the Sea)," the track gives the genius sound of earlier Al works a rejuvenation of sorts and shows how a person's signature sound of the past can be modified to the now, Stevie and Aretha take notes.
With fads coming and going, manufactured artist rising to dominance, and vocadors replacing live instruments, soul has been desperately needed to water the dehydrated music industry. If Al gets his way, he won't only quench the thirst of real music lovers, but will drown out all the crap while he's at it. The result of an amazing and timeless talent with genius production, suitable collaborations and the need to make GOOD music, rather than the need to make NOW music, is one of the most soulful albums in recent years and definately the best this year so far.
I give Lay it Down an A+
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I know alot of you janet fans are giving this whole tour hooplah the BIG side eye, since she was supposed to go out for the 20 y.o album but never did, but this time I think its all legit.
Tickets go on sale June 7th and lawd knows im gonna get mines, especially if shes gonna be looking as fierce as she does in this promo pic. (I love janet, lawd KNOWS I DO, but if i have to see her dance in one more pair of parachute pants and bug stomping boots, im gonna fucking SCREAM I swear) You dont know WHEN this heffa goin back out on the road again so make you guys get the tickets while theyre hot!
Now enjoy a clip of Janet on Ellen the other day cuttin a rug to Rhythm Nation.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I've been a fan of the Neptunes work for literally years, ever since I first heard "When This Feeling" by Swv, I knew this sound was new to me, I knew I wanted to hear more of it and I knew I LOVED it. The neptunes worked through out the early to mid 90s with artist like Swv and Blackstreet, but it wasn't until 1998 when the song "Superthug" by N.O.R.E dropped that everyone flocked to that sound, a sound that would later be coined the "Neptune sound." A spacey, futuristic, synthesized, slightly weird, and at times heavily percussed, sound bombarded the air waves in the summer of 98 and more notably the following year with the debut of 99's most buzzworthy artist, Kelis. With the hype around their sound grew, the bar and level of creativity was raised imensly as more high profiled acts sought out for the neptune sound, Jay-Z and Mystikal all experienced great success with first singles created by Chad and Pharrel, soon EVERYONE sought them out, hell even the Backstreet boys and Sade had them a neptune remix!
As years went by, it seemed that the Neptunes began to pigeon hole themselves, producing repetitive and uninspired tunes that seemed to serve only one purpose, to give the artist seeking them out that "Neptunes sound," a sound that peaked in 2002, and nothing more. I guess my beef with the boys is that they have moments of genius (Kelis' first 2 albums along with all of the N*E*R*D recordings and things of that nature) and other times it just seems like they dont give a shit, and that aslong as its a Neptunes beat its gold!.
If a song has a clear purpose and executes that purpose well, its a cool with me. "Hot In Herre" was nothing more than a club banger intended to get chicks dancing on random objects as if there were snakes on their backs...mission accomplished...high five to them, while on the other hand certain songs actually stirred up actual emotions, like 702's "I still love you" and Mary's "Steal Away," but when theres just a song thats worthless and really serves no purpose on an album other than giving the artist bragging rights as having a neptune track, thats where my gears get grinded, and thats how its been the last few years.
For every In Search Of theres an The Neptunes Presents...Clones, and I get it, there has to be a balance, not everyone can have a good day all the time, especially when your in high demand. Theres always gonna be a big chance that out of all 4563463456 tracks produced that theres gonna be a few duds. I much rather they pace themselves and pick their collaborations wisely, because much like my friend QH over at the QHblend stated, its all about the quality rather than the quantity. I much rather hear 1 AMAZING neptune produced track on every other artist's album instead of hearing an ok to mediocre neptune track every 8th track of EVERY urban album. With that said I leave it up to you guys, what do you think? Should the Neptunes be given the permanent side eye? or has recent production for Kenna, Madonna and the new N*E*R*D "Everybody Nose" remix restored a little faith in the dynamic duo?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Now this song was originally featured on Maroon 5's sophomore album Soon Before Long and Being a big fan of Adam and the gang, I liked it, much like the album as a whole. Did I love the song? not really, did I love the follow up to their amazing debut Songs About Jane as much as the SAJ album itself? not so much... but did I like both, the song and the album A LOT, u bet ya...But now that the song has been reworked with, everyones favorite light skinned gal of the moment, Rihanna (since theres 1 every few years or so) The song is slated to be featured on not only Maroon 5's re release but also the rerelease for Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad . I must say this extra kick and sass is JUST what i think the song lacked, like many of the songs from SBL, they were all great but at times often felt like they fell flat and made u wonder what else could have been added to the song to really make them POP. The video is amazing the new embellishments are genius in my opinion, and dare I say it..this makes me like Rihanna and actually buy what she's peddling, now am I going as far to say that shes a credible artist that exudes creativity and is anything special? no..but will I roll my eyes slightly less when I hear her on the radio, sure.
but ALLLLLLLL I kno! is that on the Maroon 5 rerelease, their Mark Ronson remix to "Wake Up Call" featuring Mary J Blige BETTER be on that bitch...thats all I KNO....ugh how amazing would that video been? Mary rockin out, bouncin up and down, wig flyin to and fro...ugh I need a glass of water just thinkin of that hotness.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
For May's artist im going with the up and coming soul siren Duffy. My lovely sister in blogging Tha Connoisseur initially asked me about my thoughts on this artist a few weeks ago, so this month I decided to bring back my thoughs regarding the Rhythmic Artist of the month. Hailing from Wales, this singer-songwriter is considered one of the Amy-ish new comers storming onto the scene from the U.K, with her heavily soul influenced sound and a big voice that shes not afraid to use. I initially became aware of Duffy over a month ago when a friend of mine linked me her "Mercy" video when she was MSN's artist of the week, and not too long later I listened to "Warwick Avenue" after that it was a WRAP. The voice, the style, the production, all of it screamed throw back 60's to me, when genres weren't so clearly defined and artist intentions for a sound were more organic and less contrived to be so this or that, and I loved every minute of it. After listening to her entire album, she had me sold on what she was selling and I believe she has a great future ahead of her.
Now before the comparisons come into play and people begin to make up their minds about her for all the wrong reasons, give her a thorough listen! without taking into account all of the static and praise surrounding her from the Mtv's and the Vh1's of America (because its become so fun to hate on the "next best thing" hasn't it?) and unfair comparisons (not to Amy Winehouse or Estelle, but to a more logical yet lazy Dusty Springfield comparison) One of the things I hate when it comes to a new TALENTED artist is when people say "I don't like him/her because he/she isn't nowhere near as good as _____". Now...I always think..."Who the fuck asked that?" but I digress, Duffy is a talent that should be given a try and if after a good listen she still doesn't float your boat, so be it.
Now check out Duffys video for "Mercy" and then head over to Iamduffy.com to get better acquainted.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
"I love Timbaland's music for example but I would never work with people like that because everyone else is doing it already."
And I know thats right! FINALLY, someone that gets it!..following whats hot right now WILL NOT work for you in the long run. Getting a particular producer or artist on your record simply because there's hype surrounding him/her doesn't always mean it will work for you! Lord knows Maroon 5 activated my side eye somethin TERRIBLE throwin Rihanna on one of their songs for their upcoming rerelease, all I could think about was the robot from Lost in Space when I heard that news, DANGER!!. I think its safe to say that there will be no T-Pain, Akon, Justin Timberlake or Neptunes collaborations coming up on the new Christina Aguilera album, and for that i say AMEN! now if only Christina could have tapped Mariah on the shoulder and put her ass up on some game.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
With an All Star cast of producers and collaborators that include John Legend, Will.i.am, Wyclef Jean, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West and Cee—Lo Whats the result? Arguably the best R&B/HipHop album of the year so far. While Estelle is aided with a bevy of popular producers you can still tell that the essence of who she is as an artist is still apparent in the music. The Mark Ronson produced "Magnificent," featuring Kardinal Offishall, doesn't sound like anything left on the cutting room floor from a Amy Winehouse or a Lily Allen session, it has, what i can only assume to be Estelle, written all over it. The track has a refreshingly Reggae flavor to it, which one can only assume Mariah Carey tried to attempt on her song "Cruise Control" but ended up failing miserably.
While the comparisons to Lauryn Hill have been made (simply because both are black females that are talented vocalist as well as lyricist) Estelle makes a name all her own, doing things musically that have been lacking in the R&b genre for awhile, which is, STAYING TRUE TO THE GENRE! On songs like the remarkably soulful throwback "Pretty Please (love me)," and the Aretha Franklin sampled "More than Friends" she reminds everyone why the term Rhythm and Blues was coined for the genre in the first place. At the same time shes effortlessly able to take outside influences and make it work to her advantage (instead of merely doing it for the sake of being different) like on the smooth Caribbean tinged "Come Over."
Estelles skills as an MC are just as good as her ability with the harmonies. Her lyrical flair shines (no pun intended) on the feisty "Wait a Minute," which cleverly samples "I Put a Spell on you" and allows Estelle to dish about how she simply wants to keep company with a man for his..talents... and that anything else he can keep to himself by saying "You say I aint right but you keep comin back cuz this girl is tight,You aint spendin the night, uh uh after were done here its back to the wife." On the Wyclef produced "So Much Out the Way"she perfectly balances both the gritty rhyme spitting Estelle during the verses while the delicate songbird Estelle comes out during the chorus in a perfect music cohabitational kind of way.
With the recent onslaught of successful female U.K. acts, one can only think how Estelle will compare with the other ladies. To be quite fair and honest, Estelle is unlike any artist to recently rise from the U.K. musical rise, or any artist in America for that matter. She effortlessly marries the sweet softness of R&B/soul with HipHop and provides a vivid juxtaposition between the genres that makes you fall in love with them all over again; when was the last time you can say an artist did that? and no, the shit Tpain does DOESN'T quality. If this album is any indication of what Estelle is capable of, given the right support behind her, she will be one import that will be around for quite awhile and I will gladly take her with open arms.
I give Shine an A
Agree with me? let me know! if u absolutely disagree and think im on something? let me kno that too! hit up the comment section and share!!!!...remember, sharing is caring!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Rediscovering a Cd can seem like Christmas day (say when u come across an album like Brandy's debut) but often times it can seem like a cruel joke and often makes you wonder why the album is in your collection in the first place (Dangerously In love, i see you) But luckily, its more common for me to come across an album and fall back inlove with it, or even more so than before. I played with this idea back in October with my Faith Evans post, that people seemed to enjoy, but now i decided to make it a fixture here at RhythmicWords and call it Back in RhythmicRotation and share with you what I've recently pulled out of the collection to nod my head to.
Back in 2001 when I first heard the soulful sassiness of "Heard it All Before" my interest were immediately sparked by not only the fresh sound but the sweet texture of the voice behind it and I soon became amazed by radios eagerness to play and its push behind the record (oh how those days have come and GONE). Sunshine Anderson came onto the scene sounding like nothing at the time and providing a quite pleasant and DESPERATELY needed departure from the overflow and resurgence of pop music that came at the time. Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, and Destiny's Child all came out with some of their most successful albums of their career during this time (and arguably their most POP influenced music), but all I could do was focus on the little soul engine that could.
Sunshine became a break out hit and experienced an amazing amount of success from her first single alone, WITHOUT the annoying endorsements from prominent hiphop figures that force feed us broads left and right now a days, and WITH nothing more but pure talent. "Heard it All Before became a top 20 hit on the billboard 100 and her album Your Woman debuted at number 5 on the billboard top 200 album chart and went on to sell 750, 000 copies.
Better than the neck rolling, finger snapping women's anthem that was "Heard it all before" was the overall album Your Woman. Produced entirely by former SoulLife A&R Vice President Mike City (Brandy, Dwele, Carl Thomas), the album flawless from track 1 to 18 with interludes that didnt stop the flow or interrupt the feel and vibe of the record. The production paired Sunshine's amazingly raw voice (a voice that I don't think was used at full church, soul SANGIN potential) with beautiful melodies and polished arrangements that were displayed on some favorites of mine like the smooth "Lunch or Dinner," the sweet and endearing "Being Away," and the simply beautiful "Last Night", which just so happened to feature a little known Anthony Hamilton ( I think Sunshine's voice complimented Anthony's like no other duet, he's done since, has). One of the most memorable and stand out tracks is the amazing "A Little Sunshine," if your not yet in the mood to step outside and enjoy the sun beaming down on your face and the birds a chirpin in your ear than take one listen to that track and your spring will officially start off on a good note for its the quentisential "Go out and smell the roses, then fall in love with somebody" song.
This album can definitely be put on the shelf and keep company with other albums that are considered some of the better R&B albums of the past 10 years, it was nothing but the R&B/Soul in its PUREST form, it didn't try to be anything else but and came off organic and cohesive, a true album lover's album that could put you INTO the mood to listen to it. With some albums for you to really appreciate it, or even want to listen to it, you already have to be in a certain mood or mind frame; Your Woman is an album that will have you nodding your head and tapping your foot whether you intended to listen to the moody melancholy of old Mary, the vocal supremecy of Faith or the uptempo activity of Janet, and thats an album I intend to revisit more often.
Heard it All Before