Articles

  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    23 juin 2013, 4h30m

    Link


    (Top)
    Little Mix
    The-Dream
    Chrisette Michele

    (Middle)
    Bruno Mars
    Justin Timberlake
    Kelly Rowland

    (Bottom)
    Mac Miller
    J. Cole

    I need to listen more to these CDs...

    Hawaiian-born soul singer Bruno Mars has come back with his sophomore full-length effort Unorthodox Jukebox last December and it's just as catchy and diverse as the successful predecessor, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. There are a plenty of well-written, smoothly sang pop/soul/reggae/new-wave songs all over the album, but for me, as an R&B fan, by far the most outstanding track is "Treasure," which sounds definitely like a dedication to the soul/funk music of early '80s (aka the "Off The Wall" era) and was just released as the third single from this album.

    JT is back in the music scene with his long-awaited third album The 20/20 Experience, after 7 years of absence from releasing an album. The lead track, "Suit & Tie," is a brass-led, partly-retro, smooth soul tune, but the entire album, mostly produced by Timbaland, J-Roc and Mr. Timberlake himself, covers a wider range of R&B/soul music and even has subtle similarities to the music of newer generation of artists, such as Frank Ocean and Miguel. This is a brilliant soul album, even though I think that almost all the tracks are a little too long in duration.
  • Albums I Purchased In The Final Few Months Of 2011

    7 jan. 2012, 15h41m

    Link


    (Left to right, top to bottom)
    The Saturdays
    Pixie Lott
    Parade

    Nicole Scherzinger
    Lady Gaga
    Dev

    Lil' Mo
    Mary J. Blige
    Kelly Rowland
    Goapele

    Boyz II Men
    Robin Thicke
    Anthony Hamilton
    Joe

    Mindless Behavior
    T-Pain
    Big Sean
    Drake

    Common
    Wale
    Mac Miller
    Childish Gambino

    Hope I'm going to enjoy as much good music this year as I did in the last!!

    T-Pain aka The King Of Autotune has delivered another classic. Having been postponed multiple times (Do you remember that "Reverse Cowgirl" song?) but finally released following the success of the latest single "5 O'Clock," rEVOLVEr is Pain's first full-length effort in three years and fourth overall, since 2008's critically-acclaimed third album, Thr33 Ringz. And like the predecessor, from club-banging hip-hop tracks to melancholy slow ballads, and even with energetic dance tracks this time around, this latest album successfully showcases T-Pain's great artistry and versatility in music, too. I love how he shows his sentimental side on such songs as "Sho-Time (Pleasure Thang)," "Drowing Again," "When I Come Home" and most notably, of course, "5 O'Clock" where the sadly whispering vocals of Lily Allen help much. And also, now that almost every pop/urban fan has been crazy about four-on-the-floor dance tracks, songs like "It's Not You (It's Me)" and "Turn All The Lights On" must be favorite for wider audiences.

    I don't really like it when an artist/label releases a "deluxe edition" album with some additional tracks only several months later since the release of the original album, but with that said, I'm happy to finally have an edition of Kelly Rowland's latest album, Here I Am, with "Forever & A Day," "What A Feeling" and the Diplo remix of "Motivation," all of which didn't make the original cut, included. Even though there are also some good R&B tracks like "Lay It On Me," "All Of The Night" and "Keep It Between Us," Kelly has recently been known for her great ability to make every dance track she sings a floor anthem and I'd like to hear more songs like "Commander," "Down For Whatever" and of course "When Love Takes Over" with her powerful, dynamic yet sensitive vocals.
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    29 oct. 2011, 6h05m

    Link


    (Standing back)
    Kara
    2NE1
    加藤ミリヤ (Kato Miliyah)

    (Top)
    Cobra Starship
    The Knux
    Lil Wayne
    J. Cole

    (Middle)
    Theophilus London
    Phonte
    The Cool Kids
    Jay-Z & Kanye West

    (Bottom)
    Gordon Chambers
    Van Hunt
    Lalah Hathaway
    Brian McKnight

    I had never taken seriously the works of Kato Miliyah, a young female Japanese R&B singer-songwriter, as her music was not so bad but her subject matters seemed to be always about "the real life of school girls" or such and just boring to me. I, however, somehow tried her all-time greatest hits album, which was released in early August, and now I can say it was a good purchase. Above all, she's a really good singer with powerful vocals and not one among those "chaku-uta" singers who sing hooks for corny rap songs that are only usable for ringtones. And yes, the subject matters of her early materials are often about how real and independent she is as a girl, but the more recently, the more mature and profound she gets, and I can fully enjoy the better songs like "勇者たち," "Aitai," "X.O.X.O." and "BABY! BABY! BABY!" which sampled The Blue Hearts' hit "Linda Linda."

    I'm sorry I had never even heard of them, but this album from the band Cobra Starship is actually a fun listen. Obviously, they are a rock band that seems to play their instruments, but on this album that is contributed by producers/artists like Steve Mac, Ryan Tedder, Stargate, Kara Dioguardi and up-and-coming rappers Sabi and Mac Miller, they tried to do some pop/dance sounds. The resulted materials are something like "eurodance with an indie-pop twist" and in this current craze of the four-on-the-floor dance sound, it's just natural that this has become a worldwide hit.

    Very happy that The Cool Kids' first full-length album When Fish Ride Bicycles has finally seen the light of day. Even though what they did on this album is, practically, not really different from what they did on the first EP The Bake Sale, but with some unexpected yet significant contributions from artists/producers like Travis Barker, Ghostface, Bun B, Mayer Hawthrone and The Neptunes, this time around the music of Sir Michael Rocks & Chuck Inglish is yet more solid and better-crafted. ("Get Right," one of two songs produced by The Neptunes, gave Chad Hugo a songwriter credit and thus has a classic Neptunes flavor.)

    Gordon Chambers is a successful songwriter who wrote songs for artists like Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, Carl Thomas and Karina Pasian, and since 2005 with his excellent debut album Introducing..., has also been a recording artist in his own right. His music is always filled with beautiful melodies and soulful vocals with some pop appeal, and his latest album, third overall and first in four years, Sincere, is no difference. On this album, there are great R&B songs like "In The Band," "Love You Better," "Coming Back" and "In My Room" and also a cover of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," but at the same time, we can also enjoy more modern/crossover tracks like "I Can't Love You (If You Don't Love You)," "Lead Me (The Ocean)" and "In The Light." This is, again, a great addition to his versatile catalogue of songs.
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    24 jui. 2011, 12h50m

  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    26 juin 2011, 3h05m

    Link


    (Top)
    Rainbow
    After School
    f(x)
    Jay Park

    (Middle)
    Benny Benassi
    New Boyz
    倖田來未 (Koda Kumi)

    (Bottom)
    Lady Gaga
    Ledisi
    Jill Scott

    Should I write something about this album? International phenomenon Lady Gaga, who is now in our country at this very moment, released her highly-anticipated second full-length album Born This Way this May and it has reportedly sold 5 millions copies worldwide. Musically, as the lead singles had indicated, it's more like a heavy rock/new wave-influenced dance album than a R&B-oriented urban pop album like The Fame, and successfully reveals the more fierce yet profound side of Her Royal Gaganess. Two stadium rock songs, "Hair" and "The Edge Of Glory," where the late legend Clarence Clemons provides the saxophone solos, are my favourite, and there are also some standouts such as German-language dance track "Scheiße," uptempo electro-house "Heavy Metal Lover" and especially "The Queen," which is heavily influenced by The Queen, dedicated to the queen inside her, and followed by the song that features Brian May of The Queen on guitars.

    Grammy Award-nominated R&B artist Ledisi has come back with her fifth studio album, Pieces Of Me, earlier this month and it has been quite successful both critically and commercially. The new album, which is led by the Chuck Harmony-produced title track, is by far the most "contemporary" album in Ledisi's career so far, and even though it also includes retro soul tracks like "BGTY" and her vocals on the entire album are superbly soulful and mature as always, this is one of those albums that the audience of younger R&B acts like Keyshia Cole and Jazmine Sullivan can relate to, too.

    f(x) is a Korean girl group that is best known for the successful mini album and its single "Nu Abo" and they just released their first full-length album 피노키오 (Danger) this April. The album, which contains a variety of dance/pop tunes like "빙그르 (Sweet Witches)," "Gangsta Boy" and "My Style" and also some ballads like "Beautiful Goodbye" and "So Into You," is after all a very fresh and cute piece of work that may put them on top of the whole thing. The only thing that I hate about this album is that they already released the repackaged version with four additional songs this month :(
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    9 mai 2011, 14h48m

    Link


    (Top)
    Bigbang
    4minute

    (Middle)
    Lee
    清水翔太
    安室奈美恵

    (Bottom)
    Musiq Soulchild
    Jennifer Lopez
    Katy B

    (Covers)
    Zo!
    Mýa
    Kelly Price

    Multi-million selling Japanese superstar Namie Amuro has moved towards the more urban-oriented direction in the past years and her latest release Checkmate! is a collection of her collaborative works, old and brand-new, with other singers, rappers and DJs from the Japanese R&B/Hip-Hop scene. Honestly speaking, this is not even half good as her recent studio albums like Play and Past<Future and includes some dull and boring cuts, but with that being said, this one gives you an opportunity to listen to Namie's vocals that you might have never heard before and also has such standout tracks as new song "make it happen" with K-pop girl group After School, "ROCK U" as a featured vocalist on Avex's ravex project, "BLACK DIAMOND" with respected R&B singer-songwriter Double, "Luvotomy" from m-flo's "loves" series and another version of "WANT ME, WANT ME" that features Verbal's rapping on the intro. Not all the collaborations work well, but at least you can definitely say that she and Verbal got some kind of chemistry.

    R&B/Neo-soul crooner Musiq Soulchild just released his sixth studio album, MusiqInTheMagiq, and simply put, it's more like a mainstream R&B album than the "neo-philly" soul music that he has been doing since day one. There are still soulful songs in his signature style like "Dowehaveto" and "Yes," but you can easily say that this is different, only after listening to the album's opener "Anything," a funky disco tune that features Swizz Beatz and is straight off of his #MonsterMondays, and following track "Single" which sounds like a Ne-Yo song from the vault. Likewise, "Lovecontract" is an enjoyable soul song, but yet it sounds purely like a '60s record and is quite different from what he did under the guidance of ATOJ. Furthermore, "Silver&gold" and "Waitingstill," two songs from the middle part both in a delightful mood, are so "straightforward" that those who haven't really liked his music and possibly even pop audiences would love. Again this is different, but I'd say I also love this side of him.

    In the past few years the music from J-Lo was getting more and more boring with each release and I, like probably most of you, thought that her musical career was completely over. I was right, until she managed to get backed up by the hottest producer out there RedOne and put out that shameless yet irresistible remake of the "Lambada" song with Pitbull. The highly-anticipated new album Love? also has contributions from other hot producers like Tricky Stewart & The-Dream, Danja, StarGate and D'Mile and is a fusion of dance, electro, pop and R&B that might put J-Lo in the same league as Ciara and Keri Hilson. Other than "On the Floor," "Invading My Mind" (also produced by RedOne and Lady Gaga), powerful pop song "Starting Over" and cute R&B banger "Take Care" which samples DeBarge's "I Like It" are three of the standout tracks.

    I wonder if audiences in the States still care about her, but regardless of that, R&B singer Mýa has been continuing to release her new material and having an ongoing musical career in Japan. Her latest effort, K.I.S.S. (short for Keep It Sexy & Simple), is the second release on Japanese independent label Manhattan Records and includes some iTunes top tracks like "Fabulous Life" and "Runnin' Back." The previous album Sugar & Spice was a kind of mess (as it contained both new and old songs and was thus too inconsistent) and I haven't expected much this time around either, but this one is actually much better than that both quality-wise and consistency-wise and not something that should be released exclusively only in our region. Lead singles are more pop-oriented, but there are also more mature and smooth R&B songs like "Fugitive of Love," "Love Me Some You" featuring Marques Houston, "Mr. Incredible" and "Sorry" which is produced by Carvin Haggins and Ivan Barias. Of course not her best and some songs seem like only fillers, but still this is an enjoyable record that all her fans should have a chance to somehow take a listen.
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    10 avr. 2011, 7h39m

    http://twitpic.com/4j2vgi


    (From left to right, top to bottom)
    E-40
    E-40
    Snoop Dogg

    Saigon
    Lupe Fiasco
    Far East Movement

    Marques Houston
    Chris Brown
    The Foreign Exchange

    Natasha Bedingfield
    Britney Spears
    Jessie J

    Kandi
    Marsha Ambrosius
    Jennifer Hudson

    British new comer Jessie J, who just released her debut album Who You Are, might be yet another one of those "young girls with retro soul swag," but as can be understood from the collaborations with the likes such as Dr. Luke, Oak (Knightwritaz), Labrinth (dubstep producer, for the remix of "Do It Like A Dude") and K-Gee (producer for girl band All Saints), she's also got a pop side and seems more like in the same league as Pixie Lott and, possibly, Melanie Fiona. Here on this debut set, from B.o.B-assisted "Price Tag" to self-penned folky ballad "Big White Room," uplifting funky pop "Abracadabra" to rockish power ballad "I Need This," hip-hop-influenced "Rainbow" to big-band jazz "Mamma Knows Best," Jessie successfully demonstrated her versatile musical prowess, without being erratic or inconsistent.

    Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson has made a strong comeback with her sophomore effort, I Remember Me, after the widely-reported tragedy in her family. Honestly I can't say how much her personal life affected her music this time around, but I think that this album has turned out to be much more emotional, consistent, enjoyable and convincing than the last one, where Jennifer sounded to me like just an auditionee showing off her singing skill on the various different types of songs. Although the typical ballads like "Believe," "Still Here" (Natasha Bedingfield cover) and -produced "I Got This" are of course great, I love even more the "disco queen" side of J-Hud on such tracks as "Everybody Needs Love" and "Don't Look Down," both of which were written and co-produced by Alicia Keys.

    Obviously Marques Houston had been off my radar for so many years that I didn't even know what kind of music he was doing lately, but I accidentally heard a track off of his latest album, Mattress Music, and got amazed by how it was smooth, beautiful and still unique. Songs like "Noize" which features a bed-noise sample, sad yet fantastic slow jam "He Ain't Me," '80s-esque "Explosion" and beautiful-flowing soft ballad "Waterfall" are all proof that MH is still doing good music and also that there's an irresistible chemistry between his voice and Auto-Tune. The guest appearances of two popular rappers, Rick Ross and Soulja Boy, added nothing here and might be misleading, but it must be just for marketing purposes and doesn't really matter because they don't get in the way of this beautiful package of slow jams.
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    11 fév. 2011, 14h08m

    http://twitpic.com/3ymrrq


    (Standing back)
    Girls' Generation
    T-ARA
    2NE1

    (Left)
    SHINee

    (Center)
    Taeyang (member of BIGBANG)
    SeungRi (member of BIGBANG)

    (Right)
    Bigbang
    GD&TOP (two members of BIGBANG)

    In comparison to any other "Albums I've Recently Purchased" entries ever posted by me, this one is actually exceptional, because all these CDs are of K-Pop music, of course performed by Korean performers, that I've become an ardent listener of only within the last month or two.

    Yes, just two months ago, the only K-Pop artists that I had ever listened to or heard of were KARA, Girls' Generation and S.E.S. (back in 1999!) and even I myself didn't expect that I would become such a K-Pop fan, but when I for some reason heard 4minute's bilingual debut album DIAMOND, which I later bought on iTunes, I actually loved their urban-oriented pop style and got eager to try more contemporary K-Pop music.

    And after searching and researching through the list of the popular K-Pop artists of today, I found out that even though not all of them are doing music of my taste, there are some cool artists whose music is yet more R&B-influenced and more sophisticated and whom I thus could easily become a fan of, such as BIGBANG and its members on their own solo projects. Especially, SOL aka Taeyang is really a great artist that deserves more attention from not only K-Pop listeners but also R&B ones.

  • Best R&B Albums of 2010

    30 déc. 2010, 18h23m

    On the very last day of the year, I finally finished my fifth straight "Best R&B Albums" list. Now I don't feel like saying much here to explain it, because I would like you to just check out my list, and then it will sure be my brief statement of what I love about R&B music and what I love R&B music for. At least, the year 2010 was again so abundant with the new R&B releases that I fully enjoyed it and hope you did too.


    10. All About You (Jeremih)
    I think that this is like a singer's answer to the success of those rappers with melancholic, introspective styles such as Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Drake. Some cuts on this album are off the point and even sound like fillers to me, but the subtle beauty of such songs as "I Like," "X's & O's", "Take Off," "Waiter/The 5 Senses," "Sleepers" and "Love Don't Change" are just irresistible. Also, just as on the previous (debut) album by Jeremih, producer Mick Schultz is single-handedly responsible for the entire sound production and he did a great job again here.

    9. Still Standing (Monica)
    Yes, she's still standing! As not a single album from her ever disappointed me, Monica's latest effort Still Standing has again turned out to be a rich, strong and consistent one. Mainly based on beautiful, emotional ballads like "One In A Lifetime," "Superman," "Love All Over Me" and "Believing In Me," but the album is also given a good variety from Ludacris-assisted majestic tune "Still Standing" to retro-soul classic "Everything To Me" and '80s-influenced funky track "If You Were My Man," which were both produced by Missy Elliott and co-written by Jazmine Sullivan. If only it were extended with a few more songs, though I think that all the songs are nicely put together.

    8. Stronger With Each Tear (Mary J. Blige)
    This entry is quite exceptional, because Stronger With Each Tear was actually released in December of 2009, but it was too late to be chosen to my last year's list and nevertheless it is too good to be ranked nowhere, so I decided to award it right here and now. Even though some of the songs are average or/and mediocre, the whole album is well-produced, and of course well-performed, and have a great variety throughout from rugged hip-hop soul "Tonight" to melancholic soulful ballad "Color." It's just incredible that after almost two decades in the industry and countless hits and awards, MJB can still manage to bring out a strong, relevant album like this one.

    7. I Still Believe (Lyfe Jennings)
    Even though Lyfe 268-192 was already great at its release and has been a classic of our time, I also love how Lyfe Jennings' music gets sophisticated with every release of his. On his latest effort I Still Believe, Lyfe successfully showcases his established skills in songwriting and productions, not to metion his gritty but touching vocals and positive lyrics. If you've been out of touch with Lyfe's music for some time, try this and then you must be surprised at how his melodies have become sublime and polished, on such songs as "It Coulda Been Worse" and "I Still Believe."

    6. Another Round (Jaheim)
    Real talented R&B singer Jaheim has put out another masterpiece and this time around he's offering more variety on it than on any of his previous works. Songs like synth-laden "Another Round," directly retro "Impossible" and smooth, up-tempo "Her" are pleasant surprises, but don't worry, there are also KayGee-branded, sample-heavy "Ain't Leavin Without You" as well as sweet soul ballads like "Till It Happens To You," "In My Hands" and "Finding My Way Back." Except "Ain't Leavin Without You," Another Round lacks somewhat in the familiar chemistry of Jaheim's soulful vocals and Flavor Unit-style hip-hop beats, but it's still a great R&B album all thanks to his great soul singing.

    5. Lost In Time (Eric Benét)
    Eric Benét did it again. He came back with critically-acclaimed Love & Life in 2008, and this November, he's again back with his latest effort Lost In Time, which is filled with '70s-influenced soul/funk tunes and has his silky yet strong singing all over it. As Benét's successful career started with the duet hits like "Spend My Life With You" with Tamia and "Georgy Porgy" with Faith Evans, this album features some great duet songs, such as The Best Of My Love-esque "Feel Good" again with Evans, The O'Jays-influenced "Paid" with original O'Jay Eddie Levert and horn-ladden funky disco tune "Good Life" with Grammy-nominated soul songstress Ledisi, too. This album is also notable in that you can exactly tell what kind of music has an influence on each song, and you may love it or hate it, but nevertheless one thing about this album is undeniable; the music is great.

    4. Love Me Back (Jazmine Sullivan)
    Jazmine Sullivan, who made her debut with the incredible masterpiece Fearless two years ago, is now back with her sophomore effort Love Me Back, and if you are a fan of the '90s R&B music, you must have already been crazy about its lead single, "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)," which was produced by none other than Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and has a pure hip-hop soul vibe. Some may compain about the direction of the entire album because it's not really inclined to the hip-hop soul revival, but with the variety of songs from retro soul ballads like "10 Seconds" and "Excuse Me" to Prince-influenced-The-Dream-influenced "Don't Make Me Wait" and Ne-Yo-assisted "U Get on My Nerves," this album is well-balanced to bring out and make the most of Jazmine's excellent vocals and songwriting.

    3. The ArchAndroid (Janelle Monáe)
    The story of the last android standing is going on and on and on. Two years ago, with the re-release of her debut EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite, Classical Wondafunk artist Janelle Monáe stirred up much anticipation for the full-length release, and this time around with The ArchAndroid, she just delivered to live up to the expectations. The music is rather based on alternative, funk, punk and indie pop than straight R&B or urban pop, but we all should praise and appreciate her for doing something different and more importantly, for doing it very well. If you are not familiar with Monáe's music, just check out "Come Alive (War Of The Roses)" and then you can imagine what she sounds like and how good she is about it.

    2. Passion, Pain & Pleasure (Trey Songz)
    Only after a year since the release of 2009's successful Ready album, Trey Songz has already put out his newest one in 2010, and in this era of delays and cancellations of high-profile releases, that alone can be a proof of how much Trey's music is appreciated and anticipated. And the vocal and musical richness of Passion, Pain & Pleasure just deserves it. The whole album is definitely highlighted by the Mario Winans-produced, Ryuichi Sakamoto-sampled, passionate R&B track "Can't Be Friends," but the rest, including sensual slow jam "Massage," sad ballad "Love Faces," good old R&B tune "Please Return My Call," dirty-south club banger "Bottoms Up" featuring Harajuku Barbie and even rock-styled "Blind," are great, too. Trey's vocals are fresh, expressive, emotional and lively as always, while there's no autotune, eurodance or any kind of meaningless commercial crossovers anywhere on the album, and that's why it proudly ranks here at No. 2.

    1. Love Letter (R. Kelly)
    I actually hate exaggerated claims like calling any and every veteran artist "king" or "queen" just for being a veteran, but I must crown him with the title of "King of R&B" and I swear it's no exaggeration. Unlike some relatively unsuccessful previous albums of his, this time around on the newest one, R. Kelly single-handedly produced and wrote all the materials and it's one of the most '60s/'70s-soul influenced record ever from him, but yet the most amazing and notable thing about Love Letter is about his most underrated talent; singing. Kelly obviously got his Sam Cooke on over the leading single "When A Woman Loves" and some other songs on this album, but of course it's far beyond just impersonating and resulted to prove that he's without doubt one of the greatest singers of our time, or even of the entire popular music history. There are also some obvious influences from soul legends like Stevie Wonder ("Just Like That"), Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell ("Love Is") and Michael Jackson ("Not Feelin' The Love"), but then this is definitely something that nobody but R. Kelly can do and a big achivement not only for his career but also for the whole R&B world. Mr. Kelly, I got your card and it did touch my heart.




    10 best albums:
    1. Love Letter (R. Kelly)
    2. Passion, Pain & Pleasure (Trey Songz)
    3. The ArchAndroid (Janelle Monáe)
    4. Love Me Back (Jazmine Sullivan)
    5. Lost In Time (Eric Benét)
    6. Another Round (Jaheim)
    7. I Still Believe (Lyfe Jennings)
    8. Stronger With Each Tear (Mary J. Blige)
    9. Still Standing (Monica)
    10. All About You (Jeremih)


    Honorable mentions:
    Good Things (Aloe Blacc)
    New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh (Erykah Badu)
    Calling All Hearts (Keyshia Cole)
    Libra Scale (Ne-Yo)
    Ollusion (Omarion)
    The Love & War MasterPeace (Raheem DeVaughn)
    Soldier of Love (Sade)
    Now or Never (Tank)
    Pulse (Toni Braxton)
    Raymond v Raymond (Usher)


    I hate that I have to close this post by writing something like this, but I have been deeply saddened by the untimely passing of the Queen Of Ivory Soul, Teena Marie, on the 26th of this month. Not only was she a legendary great artist with a bunch of soul/funk classics, her latest album Congo Square, which was just released in June of 2009, was so modern and excellent that we just also lost a relevant talent. The successful career of Teena Marie was a simple proof that R&B is a universal language and I will eternally embrace what she has achieved. Rest in peace, Lady T...
  • Albums I've Recently Purchased

    12 déc. 2010, 5h59m

    http://twitpic.com/3f5351


    (Standing back)
    Eric Benét
    Michael Jackson
    Roll Deep

    (Top)
    Jazmine Sullivan
    Chrisette Michele
    Sunshine Anderson

    (Middle)
    Curren$y
    Kanye West
    Charlie Wilson

    (Bottom)
    Black Eyed Peas
    Nicki Minaj
    Ke$ha

    Jazmine Sullivan, who made her debut with the incredible masterpiece Fearless two years ago, is now back with her sophomore effort Love Me Back, and if you are a fan of the '90s R&B music, you must have already been crazy about its lead single, "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)," which was produced by none other than Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and has a pure vibe. Some may compain about the direction of the entire album because it's not really inclined to the hip-hop soul revival, but with the variety of songs from retro soul ballads like "10 Seconds" and "Excuse Me" to Prince-influenced-The-Dream-influenced "Don't Make Me Wait" and Ne-Yo-assisted "U Get on My Nerves," this album is well-balanced to bring out and make the most of Jazmine's excellent vocals and songwriting.

    And if you are a fan of the '90s R&B music, you should also try The Sun Shines Again, the new album from singer Sunshine Anderson, who's best known for the hit "Heard It All Before" back in the year 2001. Sunshine departed from Papa Knowles' Music World Entertainment label, where she released her previous album in 2006, and has been signed to The Verve Forecast to release this new one, but you don't have to worry, she don't randomly try to do jazz here but again got huge contributions from veteran producer Mike City to deliver a strong, authentic modern soul classic.

    And yet another one, Chrisette Michele's third effort Let Freedom Reign, makes me feel as if it were '90s again, but in a quite different way, because the whole of it was produced by only one producer, Ne-Yo's sidekick Chuck Harmony, without any exception or even co-producer at all. I don't know if he can be Babyface, DeVante Swing or Foster & McElroy of our time in the near future, but at least, his sounds on this CD are varied enough, like pop-R&B banger "I'm A Star," Eurodance-oriented "So Cool," funky R&B groove "I'm Your Life" and sad piano ballad "If Nobody Sang Along," to make a solid R&B album. You should judge by yourself if some of these new sounds fit well to Chrisette's soulful subtle vocals, though...

    I've recently changed my mind on Black Eyed Peas' music. Yes, they have gone a long way of changing their style and some people must have missed their past styles on Bridging the Gap, Elephunk and/or Monkey Business, but with that being said, with The E.N.D and this latest offering The Beginning, they have obviously attempted to make out electro-pop dance music with a faint flavor of hip-hop and limited guest features, and the new style has been quite good and fitted well, I must admit. Also, I love how they, especially on several tracks off of this new album, consider their vocals and rapping as just a part of the sound productions, like some sort of techno/electronica music.