Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) [ft Ledisi]

Move Love (ft KING)

Ah Yeah (ft Music Soulchild & Chrisette Michele)

Songs of the Day

Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) [ft. Ledisi]:  Love the backbeat on this one - it's nice and laid back.  This groove, and the lyrics ("just give me the sunshine with your smile") fit perfectly with this rainy weather - giving me a nice pick-me-up.  The tone of Ledisi's voice works really well with the what Glasper and the Experiment are playing.  I love that all of the songs allow Glasper to have improvisational freedom, without clouding the other artists.  Great harmonies, courtesy of Ledisi.  Great minimal futuristic sounds in the back - gotta dig the subtlety.  Dig the gradually fade out to the solo "okay."  The ending spoken piece is on point.  This is exactly how I feel about the music industry today, and it is more than refreshing to hear it put into the atmosphere, especially putting it on the album itself. Solid, solid.

Move Love (ft KING):  So stoked to hear KING on this track.  The founder and keys player, Paris Strother, was the person to show me around Berklee when I first visited, and it's so great to see her doing such great things.  That being said, this may be my favorite track on the album.  The groove on this is oh so solid, down to the little snaps (holdin it down, no doubt).  The breakdown is really what gets me - I wasn't expecting to go to such a slow meter, but it makes it that much funkier.  And it still stays solid when it picks up.  The vocal harmonies add great body to everything, and gives the groove a "floaty" feeling that keeps my attention.  Yes.

Ah Yeah (ft Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele):  Man, I feel like I haven't heard anything from Musiq in a minute!  Oh so tasty!  First of all, the opening vocal harmonies got me hooked - love the tone, movement, placement, everything about them.  Second,  the opening line "I think beauty's overrated" kind of makes me weak.  I find the melody of it, and the way he sings it really enchanting, especially with that nice pause afterward.  I actually like that opening 30 seconds probably more than the song as a whole, but the whole song is still really good.  I've never heard of Chrisette Michele before, but she's got a good voice.  A tad breathy for my taste, but I think it works with the tune.  Great solo at the end.  Dig it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lift Off (ft Shafiq Husayn & Mic Check)

Afro Bule (ft Erykah Badu)

Cherish the Day (ft Layla Hathaway)

Always Shine (ft Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)

Songs of the Day

Lift Off (ft Shafiq Husayn & Mic Check):  Damn, this is such a great way to start this album off.  Such a great groove provided by the Experiment - it's smooth, sulty, funky, and futuristic, and done oh so well.  The transitions from A to B are great as well, they bleed right into one another.  Great spoken word by Shafiq Husayn - his voice is so smooth and calm, it makes you feel so relaxed.  I love the modulations Glasper throws in at towards the end.  Man, this mic check is on point - gotta love hearing the voices of those featured on the album before getting to their song.  Of course it starts and ends with Miss Badu, 'cause she's the queen, and because her song is next.

Afro Blue (ft Erykah Badu):  So this is becoming one of my favorite Badu tracks, and that has so much to do with the groove on this one.  This sounds like where music used to, and needs to be, and it makes me so happy.  Erykah's voice goes with this smooth groove so perfectly, like peas in a pod.  Love the addition of the flute in this - makes for a very sweet, open feel.  I also love that Glasper isn't afraid to do his own thing behind the melody, and the simplicity in Erykah's vocals gives him the perfect forum to do that.  Love how the beat loops at the end.  This song is perfect.

Cherish the Day (ft Layla Hathaway):  I got the chance to see Miss Hathaway perform at the Roots pre-grammy jam in Los Angeles, and she was incredible.  She was recently at my school, and I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to see her perform again...especially after hearing this song (a Sadé cover).  There is a great eeriness to both her voice and the groove that is so funkily appealing.  I'm not sure that any of that made sense, but it's how I like to describe it.  Layla's low tone really shines in front of this groove, and it's making me feel lovely.  Love the addition of the doubled vocals on the melodica - they really work great together, and that's a difficult thing to pull off.  Sweet ending solo.  The gradual breakdown at the end is executed really well, and gives the listener a chance to listen to all parts of the groove.

Always Shine (ft Lupe Fiasco & Bilal):  Thank you, Robert Glasper for giving Lupe Fiasco a chance to redeem himself from that ass that was L.A.S.E.R.S., because that was just not up to Fiasco par.  Thankfully, this is!  How I missed you, Lupe!!  And the fact that Bilal is on this just takes it one step further.  In terms of grooves, this is probably my least favorite of the day, but I still love it.  The experiment is solid.  I love the intensity Bilal's voice brings - it's an automatic build in the song.  Solid stuff.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Album Factoids

Black Radio

Genre: Jazz/Soul/Hip-Hop
Released: February 28th, 2012 (today - hollerrrr)
Label: Blue Note

Week 69: Robert Glasper

Man, oh man am I excited to review this album!  So much buzz has been surrounding it for so long now, the anticipation was getting kind of crazy!  I've seen Glasper perform 3 times now (and each time has been utter insanity), but I've never listened too closely to any of his albums, so I'm really excited to get a taste of that.  The features on this are kind of ridiculous - lehgooooo!

This Weeks Album...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Final Grade: A

This is such a solid, and classic rock album.  Glad to have finally gotten in a good Jimi fix - it was needed.  But man, The Experience...they were most definitely experienced.  Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell (still can't get over that name) seriously vibe with Jimi, and I love how collective they sound together.  For just a trio, they really hold their shit down.  Classic tracks on this from start to finish.  Diiiiig.