by The Weeknd: Just when I thought music could get no better with Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, challenged me and won. The first album of what is expected to be a trilogy has completely changed my music game. The Weeknd completed 9 tracks, some lasting more than 7 minutes, that remind me of the sexuality that Rick James and Marvin Gaye shared through music in the 70s and 80s. This is not popular music. This music is dark and sensual. If you ever have a “memory” while playing a song off the album, TRUST me – the memory will last forever and you will so kindly be reminded every time you hear the track. Every song on the album is a winner. Each track presents a different mood and vibe, but is still sexy to the core.
I’m always in support of my youngins. The Weeknd is 20 and he gets it. He released House of Balloons on his website a couple weeks ago. He gave away this beautifully crafted masterpiece for free, allowing it to spread organically. The Weeknd has taken word of mouth marketing to a different level. People are talking about his music via social networks but no one knows what the man looks like! He could resemble a monster and I don’t think anyone would care at this point. If you were to do a Google search for “The Weeknd” a month ago, you would have gotten the result: >Did you mean: The Weekend. Now, the page is filled with results of the artist’s mentions including his website, Twitter page, Wikipedia entry (YES! He has a Wiki entry now…He’s Official!), blog posts and mainstream news. If The Weeknd is getting this much love off his first mixtape, I can only imagine what the two follow-up albums will bring. Also coming from Ontario, The Weeknd may just be the R&B version of Drake. If so, the future of R&B will forever be changed. Download and listen to the album that will change your life
This is my favorite song on the album…today that is:
by Frank Ocean: R&B has had an interesting turn the last few weeks. My cd player fell in love with Frank Ocean. The singer, song-writer, producer has delivered exactly what the music scene is missing. The words to one of his tracks, We All Try, got me hooked the first time I listened. More than the normal song topics of dating girls, going to the club, and popping bottles, Nostalgia, Ultra covers the controversial topics of abortion, sinning, and the not-so real fairytale American Wedding.
The super-creative type goes beyond traditional R&B chords to sampling songs by The Eagles, Coldplay and MGMT. The best sample, in my opinion, is B*tches Talkin which features Radiohead’s Optimistic. Although only a interlude, the track should have been a complete single.
The beauty of this album is that you can play it from beginning to end and feel something new everytime you listen. There are songs that you may only like and end up loving. Then, there are the songs that you think are a little weird and you find yourself singing allllll day. With a mixture of sounds and talent that reminds me of Ryan Leslie, Frank Ocean has a long future ahead of him. Check out one of my favorite tracks, Songs for Women, below and you can download the full album here.
P.S. Frank Ocan can never become first name status. “Frank” sounds whack. It sound’s like the name of somebody’s uncle. Frank Ocean is better. Frank O is dope
by Adele: There has been a recent craze over Adele and I must admit, that I’m a member of her growing fan base! Although, I can say I have been an avid listener of 19, Adele’s debut album, since 2008! I love EVERYTHING about Adele and I don’t think there are any artists out like her. She has such a unique sound, creating a blend of jazz, soul, folk, and a little blues. Every time I hear her voice, she makes me overcome with emotion and a happy calmness, regardless of the good or bad memories that are on my mind. I even love that Adele is from the UK and not the US – bringing to light that such great talent hardly comes from the US.
Adele’s most recent album, 21, officially released yesterday in the US. I’ve had the album for about a week, but to be honest I have played #10 on RE-peat. That’s Rolling in the Deep for all of you without the cd. The album is a portrayal of the same soulful Adele, but with a richer sound and a matured voice. You can hear her heartbreak and troubles with love in every track. Shame to the man who did her wrong! But, I can say that he contributed to the creation of some of the best music that will forever be timeless.
I am encouraging everyone I know to get 21…and 19 while you are at it. Every note brings hope that there is a future in music. Real music that is. Check out the video for track #10 below…
It’s been a while since I’ve downloaded music. Yesterday, I did not download anything new, but rather downloaded albums that included songs that I’ve liked for months. Most of these artists have an indie rock, new wave, electronic, electropop feel. You would never find any of these artists on the radio unless they were featured on a track with Jay, Kanye, Lil Wayne or Drake. Yet, they are super talented! So, make sure you support these artists by downloading their music and/or attending their concerts or shows that may be in your local city.
by Timbaland ft. every artist under the sun: When I realized that I missed the release date of Shock Value 2, I was uber excited to get the sequel of the original Shock Value. However, when I pressed play this morning I began to wonder what happened?!? I love Timbaland and his usual collaborations with Nelly Furtado, Justin TImberlake, and Keri Hilson but I don’t know what happened this time around. He has those usual suspects, but everybody else is just random and it sounds like Timbaland’s secret sauce has lost the ingredients.! The only memorable tracks are Carry Out and Say Something. The rest are wiggity wiggity whack! Timbaland + Miley Cirus? That says enough! It seems like Timbaland is chasing mainstream money instead of staying true to himself. I think Timbaland needs to call up Magoo or Missy to remind himself of what “Timbaland the artist” sounds like. Or, he can stick to producing and get off the tracks! Luckily, there is one track that I can play off the album. How ironic that it’s the second single – after the first didn’t do too good…
by DJ Z-Trip and DJ P: It’s hard for me to fathom that DJ AM passed away three months ago! It seems like yesterday I wrote a post after his passing professing my favor for his mixtapes with Travis Barker. One of my readers, aa, made a comment stating that I should listen to this mixtape because it was similar to DJ AM’s mixtapes that mix different genres. The stories behind the DJ Z-Trip and this mixtape are pretty cool. DJ Z-Trip is a founder of the mashup movement, which literally transformed the way people mixed and blended music. There were only 1000 copies of the mixtape released, but it spread like wildfire online. This was around 2001 so I can imagine it was right around the peak of Napster and Limewire. The timing also explains why I’m just now finding out about this. In 2001, I was too busy singing “Pop” by N Sync to worry about anybody else. You remember…Sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about what’s the deal with this pop life and when is it gonna fade out. You don’t remember??? Nevermind.
Back to the mixtape. I’ve listened to Uneasy Listening twice today and it’s ok. There is undeniable talent there that mixed every genre of music you can imagine and you can never tell when a song starts and when it ends. Yet, it was created in the late 90s and there are songs that included that I’ve never heard before. I think the inclusion of songs that I’m familiar with is what I liked most about AM’s mashups. I’m interested to hear more from DJ Z-Trip. On his website, he has a whole page dedicated to his work that you can download. I’ll be downloading some of this over the next few days, as well as Neil Armstrong’s Bittersweet, which was another suggestion from aa.
Today, there are not many albums that released that I’m interested in. I only know of Forevery in a Dayby Day 26. My boyfriend has constantly been reminding me to get Round 2 by J. Holiday, whom I saw in the airport a few weeks ago, and I finally decided to get the album which was released on March 2.
Going off of first listens, Forever in a Day is very nice. The album is definitely a more mature sound than their first self-titled album. I have listened to the album from beginning to end several times, which is always a good sign! However, I can tell Que has some influence in taking some of the songs mainstream as he stated he wanted to do so via Making the Band. What makes me mad is when artists feature an artist on their song, i.e. T-pain on Day 26’s Shawty What’s Up, the track ends up sounding like the featured artist’s song vs. the original artist’s song! While the song is one that will play in the club, it’s not ‘Day 26′ to me. Same goes for Need That that features Jermaine Dupri. The true ‘Day 26′ songs are great and these are my favorite that have been on repeat already: Think of Me, Bipolar …BOMB!…but the beginning beat sounds very similar to something I’ve heard before- Man in Your Life by Joe Thomas, Girlfriend, and Then There’s You. Whichever member of the group said Willie is not the leader of the group must be trying to save face. That man’s voice leads and dominates most of the album!
On to the next. J. Holiday’s attempt at a second album is ok. The ballads are alright and there are several tracks I like such asLights Go Out, Make that Sound, and Fly. I LOVE Wrong Lover mostly because I heard this song prior, but there are no songs that I listen to and get chills. I can envision myself listening to this album for every bit of two weeks. His first album was much better in my opinion and it makes me wonder if the problem is that he was given the wrong songs. I’m not saying that J. is the next Marvin Gaye by any means, but it seems as though if artists are not 150% marketable their labels do not give them the pick of the crop of in reference to songs and their production is only mediocre. I think he has a great voice, but he needs to be given more exposure with better a better song choice. When is the industry going to change?
I have been getting the urge to blog a lot lately. I haven’t been focused on listening to new music like I used to so I felt the need to download some albums. I spent part of my day today looking to see what I have been missing out on and these are the albums that I got: Ryan Leslie’s self-titled album, In a Perfect World by Keri Hilson,Love vs. Moneyby The-Dream, In My Radioby Musiq Soulchild,It’s Not Me, It’s Youby Lily Allen, and All I Ever Wanted by Kelly Clarkson. I’m glad I have some new tunes to listen to this week. I’ll keep you updated on which albums I love, hate, and recommend you getting.