The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

What’s in my Earbuds: New Music

on March 31, 2010

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!

13 responses to “What’s in my Earbuds: New Music

  1. I love There Goes My Baby. That’s my joint. I think Usher DID lose his trust but he slowly but surely climbing back into my musical heart. I think Trey Songz is singing to the kids and I have never gone wild over Ne-yo. Usher is catering to the adult audience. He’s had 3 solid songs from the album already. I think he’s just getting started. Erykah went in. I love that damn video. I’m jamming to her right now.

  2. Erika says:

    Two things:

    1) I am literally afraid to play through Raheem’s CD. The iPod keeps catching the interludes on random, but I’m afraid of the entire CD. ‘Cause if it sucks, it’s gonna ruin TLE for me. There’s a handful of Raheem songs I get with now – “Marathon,” “Text Messages,” and that “Night and Day” remake he did to name a few – but, man.. I might not be able to hang. LOL

    2) I can’t believe you listened to the entire Usher. I feel like I need to put money on your q-tips… help get any remains of that trash out of your ears. LOLOL But all jokes aside, to watch an artist that talented produce really mature music only to regress like that… not only is it disingenuous, but it disconnects him from the thing his fans loved the most about it. Big sigh.

    I just got that Badu today. I refuse to discuss her booty. Just know that I’m going vegan, and it may or may not have anything to do with that. LOL!

  3. Ms.Minx says:

    Loving the Erykah songs I’ve heard so far, but I haven’t sat down and listened to the whole thing yet. This weekend I will sit and listen to ALL the music on my computer I’ve downloaded and haven’t had a chance to listen to yet, including Monica & Usher 😉
    As for Raheem, I’m loving his misxtape sooo much still, I gotta let that love die down before I listen to the new one, lol.

    And Ursh is suckin’ right now, smh. I don’t anticipate Daddy’s Home & Lil’ freak growing on me anytime soon, but we’ll see, lol!

  4. SoleFood says:

    This was a solid read. Your ear is golden however, I totally disagree with your evauation of love songs–the true to life relationship album. The rest of this is gospel. Early!

  5. MilanRouge says:

    Okay I knew there was something new I didn’t have. That new Raheem…can you send me that? LOL! I agree with your sentiment on all of these (except for Ursher…haven’t listened yet but I will). Monica has a solid album I just wish she had more songs on it! Believing In Me is EVERYTHANG! I still love Everything To Me and Love All Over Me.

    I’ve been vibing to Erykah lately and I love her cd. All the songs you listed are indeed favorites.

    Haven’t heard great things about Usher at all but i’m going to listen with an open mind. LOL!

    Great post.
    Happy Anniversary. 😉

  6. Crooky says:

    OK…there has been a LOT of releases as you mentioned. Here are my opinions:

    1) R. DeVaughn – Now see, I wasn’t feeling the mixtapes as much as you, but I do like TLAWM. I have Cornell West’s interludes still on my iPod, but the more I think about it, they might have to get the boot. Favorites are “Bulletproof”, “I Don’t Care”, “BOB”, “Fragile”.

    2) Monica – Sooooooo glad to have her back. I love SS! I was in a Monica mood this AM on my commute, so I started off with her 1st album, Miss Thing (I personally think TBIM was her best). Favorites on this album are “Still Standing”, “Everything to Me”, “Love All Over Me”, “Believing In Me

    3)Usher – Well, it’s definitely not my favorite CD by him. I just want him to mature some more in his music. Leave the “nastiness” to Tremaine ya know? Thirty ain’t the new twenty for Ursh (so sincur about that). Favorites are “There Goes My Baby”, “Lil Freak” (yeah it’s my guilty pleasure), and “Okay”. I must say that I simply despise “OMG” (although the dance routine on AI last night was kinda nice).

    4) Erykah – Right brain music!! NA1 was left brain, so I didn’t get into it as much. This CD is such a BANGER to me…I was into it after the 1st listen. Favorites are “Out My Mind Just in Time”, “Fall In Love (Your Funeral)”, “Window Seat”, “Turn Me Away”.

    I would throw in a comment about Luda’s release, but I haven’t paid much attention to it. #kanyeshrug

  7. Reecie says:

    Thanks everyone for the feedback! exactly Crooky! Usher is trying to be Tremaine and its not working–GROWN MAN MUSIC is in order! I really think Ne-Yo should write him a song. I know I kinda come across as a NeYo stan which I’m SO NOT, but he writes beautiful ballads. Usher needed a “Here I Stand” on this CD. maybe had a duet like the old days with Monica…I mean so much more he couldve done.

    I haven’t even heard the Luda yet…

  8. SoleFood says:

    I recant this portion of my previous comment:

    I totally disagree with your evauation of love songs–the true to life relationship album.

    {Reecie Note: referring to the Confessions album, not the Here I Stand album. we had a miscommunication but figured it out :-)}

  9. Tunde says:

    good reviews.

    i still haven’t listened to raheem devaughn, usher or monica but i am digging erykah. i would agree with you on the favorite tracks that you listed. for some reason i’m not excited to even hear usher *shrug* i do need to get that raheem. i am a fan so i’m should be ashamed that i haven’t listened yet.

  10. Donald says:

    OK….I just read this. Here are my thoughts:

    Usher – I heard this and was SORELY disappointed. Why? I’m not sure, because of the 4 tracks he dropped as singles, I really only like 1 (There Goes My Baby). But Okay, that’s my JOINT! I think that this cd was too much mainstream pop for me…like it gave me vibes of old school N’Sync.

    Raheem: I like it. The interludes weren’t all that crunk, and it definitely wasn’t any types of LBTM or TLE, but I like it. Especially since he continues to disappoint me on the mixtapes.

    Monica and Erykah: haven’t heard them yet…but I’m gonna get into them soon enuff.

  11. kleankut says:

    I can only acount for two of these cd seeing as how i’m not a r&b fan. I support Raheem b/c he is good artist and from muryland!! i hae had both the cd adn the bonus cd on my desktop for 3 weeks now and only listened to it once, from what i heard it was good, still prefer his most recent mixtape, smh. But i’ll give it a solid listen this weekend.

    As for Ms. Badu i love it!! which is rare coming from me. I feel like she picked up where Mama’s Gun left off. No fillers, live band and straight to the point. Out of My Mind is the unoffical Green Eyes Pt 2 in my opinion, has that i loved you/still want you/will do anything for you vibe that she captured in Green eyes.

    As for the rest of the cd’s listed i have no interest in hearing lol

  12. str8lovanochasa says:

    *clapping* i love your reviews…i must admit that i’m quite behind on current music and shan’t ever catch up! glad i have you to keep me up-to-date! (;

  13. That Raheem is nice! You can tell that he was going for a mix between Marvin’s, “What’s Going On,” and “Let’s Get It On!” LOL. If you take out the Cornel West interludes, it’s actually a pretty good listen w/out skipping a track.

    I haven’t listened to the new Erykah, but I’ll preview some tracks.

    Ursha Raymond has fallen off. Here I Stand was horrible IMO. I think this latest release has a few good songs, but I haven’t listened to the whole CD. That OMG song has gotten slammed by bloggers. I think that song is for the kids though. He’s just trying to have something for everyone. The jury is still out on the CD.

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