Friday, August 12, 2011

Loving You Is Killing Me

Good Things

listen to Good Things on Grooveshark

Songs Of The Day

Loving You Is Killing Me:  This is a pretty catchy groove.  The pace of the bass and drums contrasts the keys chords, that only come in on the one.  I feel like there could be a little more pick up in the chorus, I was waiting for a bigger build that didn't really happen.  The single chord bridge is ok, but I think something more creative could have been used.  There is a good build proceeding that section though, which I think was definitely a necessity.  Slow breakdown is pretty cool too.  Although, I think the groove goes on a little too long, I'm bored with it by the end.  Aloe sounds decent, but it also seems like an odd range of his voice.  He's still doing his thing though.

Good Things:  Sweet soul groove to this one.  It's got a happy feel to it, which is appropriate to the title.  Solid story line lyrically - you had him, left him, want him back, but he's happier without you.  That's salty.    I think the echo between the two guitar lines is very sweet, adds a nice feel.  Nice horns addition.  This is another tune where I'm not completely convinced by Aloe.  The majority of the song, he sounds comfortable, but towards the end where he's trying to belt his lines and move up in his register, it seems slightly uneasy.  His voice doesn't feel supported.  I think that's something he has to work on.  But, that being said, I still do think this is a sweet song.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Miss Fortune

Life So Hard

Take Me Back

Femme Fatale

Songs Of The Day

Miss Fortune:  This has a pretty funky groove to it.  I love the dynamic of the horns - they sound really tight and work really well with the groove.  Guitar riff is pretty sweet too.  I was totally surprised that it dropped into a reggae groove for the verses, but I am definitely not complaining.  The two grooves are so different, but work really well together, and that was cool to hear. The bridge is pretty sweet.  I dig the distance in it, which is made more apparent whenever the single note on the piano comes in.  Aloe sounds pretty decent on this one.  The combination of the simplicity of the melody, and the range that it is in fits well with his voice.  This style of song suits his raspiness.  "Miss Fortune" is a clever title, and lyrically this song is pretty solid.    Pretty cool tune.

Life So Hard:  This groove is very sexy.  I can definitely get down with it.  There's a nice weight to it that I like.  The strings addition is tastefully done - thumbs up.  It's nice to hear Aloe experimenting with his upper register.  Although, it sounds like he's not as comfortable in his upper register as he is wtih his middle/lower, but he can still work it, so it's all good.  Dig the guitar solo.  Solid.

Take Me Back:  Pretty cool groove on this one.  It kind of sounds like it belongs in a british spy movie or something, but funkier.  That extra funk is mainly thanks to a pretty sweet bass line.  The string addition is nice, works well.  Aloe's got a nice texture to his voice on this one, this is another tune that suits him well.  I love the "if I die before I wake" vamp - it's got a cool feel to it.  Sweet tune (minus his final note).

Femme Fatale:  So, this song confuses me a little bit.  It's got a dark opening groove that I really like.  The way it mellows out in the verse is pretty awesome too, definitely really solid.  But then, the chorus comes.  Ok, now this song is about a "femme fatale"  which is a seductress who leads you into "compromising or dangerous" situations.  Now, this chorus does not sound very compromising or dangerous.  The verses, yea, chorus, not so much.  "See the way she walks, hear the way she talks, she's a femme fatale."  I just don't hear that kind of seduction going on with this groove.  It throws me off.  I like the chorus groove, I just don't think it fits with the initial groove or the subject of the song.  I also don't think Aloe sounds that great on this one, he doesn't sound comfortable.  Song should have kept the dark groove the whole time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Need a Dollar

Green Lights

Hey Brother

Songs of The Day

I Need a Dollar:  And so we begin!  And with a cool tune!  I've actually heard this song before, but I'm not sure where.  A movie, or commercial, or something along that road.  Regardless, this is a pretty sweet tune.  I love that the beat has a kind of hip hop feel to it (which is probably thanks to the rhythm of the keys) while still being a soul groove.  The horns in the bridge that carry into the second verse are very nice, add a nice touch to the song.  I like the grime to Aloe's voice, it's kind of Bill Withers-esque - good, good.  Very chill, definitely something to bump in the car.  And who doesn't need a dollar?  Dig it.

Green Lights:  This groove has a very light, summer-like feel to it that I find very sweet.  Definitely a nice soul groove.  Another nice horn addition on this one as well in the second verse.  I do find the organ to be a little monotonous, I think it would have been better if it wasn't always present.  His voice doesn't seem as powerful, or nice on this track as the previous, but that actually seems to be part of the appeal of it all.  I like the simple message the song gives.  Not as strong as the opener, but still a sweet song. 

Hey Brother:  I like that this tune starts out with Aloe solo before the funky groove comes in.  Nice to hear some funkiness goin on - the guitar is definitely a large factor in that.  Nice, tight horn section, definitely enhances the feel of the groove.  That being said, I don't think that Aloe's voice is strong enough for this groove - they don't seem to fit.  This is such a hard hitting groove, and his voice seems a little too soft for it.  It sounds like he's being overpowered, which sucks, because with the proper vocals, this song would be a banger.  I also wish that it didn't end on such cliché hits, I think it should have faded.  Funky groove, but lackluster vocals.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Album Factoids

Good Things

Released: September 28, 2010
Genre: Soul
Label: Stones Throw
Producer: Truth+Soul

Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III

Week 45: Aloe Blacc

This week's album is a suggestion from my friend Stefan (who happens to be in an awesome funk band called Bubonik Funk that yall should most definitely check out) and boy oh boy am I excited.  I'd never heard of Blacc prior to his suggestion, so I'm excited to listen to something with fresh ears.  From what I've heard, he sounds right up my alley, so this should turn out to be a good week.

This Weeks Album...

mmm, I'm in need for some soul :)

FInal Grade: C

Man, I did not get into this album as much as I was hoping.  Really, it's saving grace was it's beats, but even those were sub-par.  I'd heard so much about how great Curren$y was... maybe I picked the wrong album?  I wasn't very impressed by him lyrically, or by his flow.  He's tone sometimes was too arrogant for me to be able to get into the song, and sometime it just seemed kind of off.  Lots of weed songs - which anyone who knows me knows that that's one of my favorite topics - and they all pretty much said the same thing.  I've heard it before, and I've heard it done better - I think that's my biggest issue.  This isn't going to permanently keep me away from Curren$y, but I'm not gonna be rushing to listen to the rest of his collection.

Chilled Coughphee ft Devin the Dude

Address ft Stalley

Life Under the Scope

Songs of The Day

Chilled Coughphee ft Devin the Dude:  This has a pretty chill beat - it's got a nice old school feel that I like.  Aside from that, nothing really grabs me.  I'm reading these lyrics hoping a line will pop out at me as being super witty and creative, but nothin is happening.  I must say that I prefer Curren$y's verse on this to Devin the Dude's, but the recording quality seems kind of low.  Lyrically, this has already happened on this album and with other rappers.

Address ft Stalley:  I like this beat.  It's got a distant feel to it - which is mainly thanks to the vocal sample - that I find interesting.  Surprise, I like the hook on this one - "ain't nothin change but the address" - it's simple, but it gets the point of the song across.  Get it?  He's the same dude as he was back in the day!  That's nothing new lyrically, but it's a simple hook that I like.  Okay lyrically. 

Life Under the Scope:  This is a pretty good beat, although, I would like it better if the electronic sample that comes in during the chorus wasn't there.  I also wish the claps didn't have the echo/distant effect on them, doesn't really fit with the feel of the beat in my opinion.  It's definitely a good closing beat though.  I really, really wish I liked this album more though...