There have been a lot of new releases lately. So many that they all kinda got away from me. I had to make a conscious effort to really listen in order to give some serious feedback. A few peeps have been asking me for reviews of various artists so I figure I could write a comprehensive post of all that I’ve been listening to lately to get a feel for what to check for. Now mind you a few of these have not passed the “whip test” yet so maybe things will change–riding in the car is always necessary for me to get a real feel for the music.
As you all may remember I was pretty disappointed with musical releases in 2009. While Jay Z and Wale grew on, even the Trey Songz is a bit more tolerable (still prefer Anticipation or his older cds) the rest of the big projects from my favorite artists that I anticipated for 2009 were a bust for me. yeah.
first up, my babe Raheem’s The Love & War Masterpeace. He came strong with the Mr. February x March Madness mixtape and it got me exciteable for the new project. Well. First off let me say all the interludes with Cornel West grated on my nerves! grrr. Too much talking. I love the poetry of Malik Yusef, so that I didn’t mind, but Cornell just got to me after awhile. I was like enough already.
Standout tracks to me are: B.O.B., Microphone, Mr. Right, Fragile, I Don’t Care. and of course I love Bulletproof. I feel the same way about it as I did when Love Behind the Melody first came out: this is NOT as good as the previous release! hmph. But LBTM had lots of secret gems I didn’t really get to feeling initially because I was so caught up in comparisons. I know I shouldn’t do that, but I do feel The Love Experience is a classic. Its really hard to top.
Next is Monica’s Still Standing. I wanted this sooooo bad! I love Mo and since Amerie disappointed me BIG TIME last year, I just felt another jinx in my spirit. Its too good to be true…this CD is gonna suck! I was pleasantly surprised. It really doesn’t suck, and I’m so glad my gut feeling was wrong. “Everything to Me” is my favorite song right now. Really crept up on me, like WOW. I can’t stop singing it and I have not grown tired of it yet, no matter how many times I hear it on the radio. This CD is a lot more solid than The Makings of Me and After the Storm. My favorite is The Boy is Mine, and nostalgia makes it hard for a new CD to ever top an older one for me (see the two next artists for a further examples) but this one is really REALLY good. Standout songs are: One in a Lifetime, Superman, Believing in Me (lawd this song!) and Love all Over Me.
Ms. Badu, Ms. Badu. You had the internets going NUTS with all that junk in the trunk! so funny just a week ago I was quoting Booty and I even mentioned in my post on theme songs, she wasn’t toting like she is now when she wrote that song…but boy is she now! Anyway, not gonna dwell on her ass–on to the music. I LOVE Baduizm and as I posted last week, Mama’s Gun is my favorite. I also enjoy Live. The memories make it hard for me to love newer music because the old stuff…well there’s a HISTORY. Its like an old lover…they do you SO right, its so familiar. Why get used to someone new when you have the comfort of old? I digress. The music matured with me, so it’ll always be sentimental. Having said that, as Ms. Badu stated on 106 & Park yesterday (yes I watch daily, don’t judge me) where pt. 1 was the more conscious, political side of her brain, pt. 2 is the more romantic, emotional side. I dig that. Standout tracks are: 20 Feet Tall, Out My Mind, Gone Baby, Turn Me Away (Get Munny), Fall in Love (Your Funeral) and my favorite–way before the the video Window Seat.
whew, and lastly, Usher. *sigh* where do I begin? Have I blogged about how much I used to adore him? Well if not its worthy of its own post. His first two cd’s were soundtracks to my teenage love affairs (one with Mr. Raymond himself–in my mind). His first cd, with cuts like “I’ll Make it Right”, “The Many Ways”, “Can U Get With It”, “Think of You” were bangers. This 14 year old, like Monica with a voice waaay too mature for his age with lyrics just as grown. My Way is my favorite. Confessions was when he peaked musically, with breakup songs (Throwback being a favorite), sexy songs (Can U Handle It, That’s What It’s Made For), fun songs (Yeah, Bad Girl–a personal anthem) AND love songs–the true to life relationship album really worked for him…THEN. Raymond vs. Raymond, not so much.
I agree that those that say Usher may just have lost his touch. In my opinion, two artists that have eclipsed him musically–Trey Songz and Ne-Yo. They dropped solo debuts after Confessions and have been on a roll ever since–both are better at doing what they do right now than Usher is! Ne Yo has the sappy romantic songs LOCKED UP as far as mainstream R&B to me, and is vocally as strong. Trey is sanging folks out of their panties (granted most are under 25) about neighbors knowing his name and inventing sex. Even though Ush had me excited on the remix for a minute…its a damn shame when your own music isn’t that good. Anyway, the standout is There Goes My Baby. I love this song! its exactly how I want him to sound in 2010. Others I like so far are Okay and Mars vs. Venus. Lil Freak and Daddy’s Home grew on me also. His voice is still amazing and I love it. *sigh* I’ll work on this CD some more, perhaps it will grow on me.
so there it is, what I have been bumpin! what do you think of my standout track choices–agree? disagree? not feeling the albums? loving them? let me know!