Thursday, August 18, 2011

Songs of The Day

Otis:  And we have reached the first single of the album.  I didn't like this the first time I heard it, thought it was overrated, but it's getting better with more listens.  I'm sure everyone knows that this samples Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness," which is an excellent song.  Actually, it's excellence distracts me.  I find myself listening to Otis the whole time instead of Jay and Kanye.  I think they maybe should have cut his vocal sample out during the verses so that the guys could be more up front.  I think Kanye out-raps Jay on this one, his first verse is pretty great (for example, "luxury of rap, the hermes of verses" and "write my curses in cursive").  Jay's rhythm also doesn't seem as smooth as Kanye's.    I don't really get how the Otis sample fits contextually, seeing as the verses are just a big pissing contest, but I do appreciate the fact that they incorporated such a soulful song into a mainstream rap tune.  I hope that that will inspire its listeners to go check out who Otis is and the wonderful music he made.  But I must say, all I can think of when I hear this sample is...

Gotta Have It:  I like that "Otis" goes right into this track.  Another soul sample on this one with James Brown's "My Thang" - aight, aight, I can get down with that.  I would hope that all of Jay and Kanye's fans (and the rest of the world) listens to James Brown, but if they don't (psychos) I hope this will make them want to check him out.  I like the heaviness of this beat, it's pretty cool.  I like their flows on this one a lot, especially the kind of call-and-response thing they've got going on coming in with one liners on each others verses - makes it interesting.  Lyrically, this tune is pretty decent, not the best, but solid for a headbanger.  This might by my favorite so far...

New Day:  Ah yes, Nina Simone - what a lovely person to sample!  The beat to this is really chill, and the way they chop up Nina's "Feeling Good" sample is really cool and interesting.  I think the keys are a liiiittle too loud, but aside from that, this is a pretty solid beat.  I wish they wouldn't have added those stupid fake horns though, completely unnecessary.  I dig the message with this one - making a better life for your family, which is always a good thing.  I kind of feel like Jay falls in the background on this one, which is unfortunate, because his verse is pretty decent.  Dig the echo everything gets at the end, and that they really focus on the Nina sample.  The guitar added at the end doesn't work for me, should have kept it simple.  This also has the sample old-timey outro that "No Church in the Wild" had - I dig it.  Pretty solid tune.

Yay for a good day of songs!

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