Saturday, September 13, 2014


Lights On

Two Weeks


Songs of the Day

Got the first four tracks on deck for today: "Preface," "Lights On," "Two Weeks," and "Hours."
"Preface" is a pretty dope way to start the record off.  The layered vocals have almost a gregorian chant feel to them, which is actually kind of eerie, and cool all the same.  There are so many textures and layers to the beat, it's a little hard to describe, but it builds nicely and definitely makes you pay attention.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  "Lights On" is the preview that I listened to on iTunes that made me try the record - it's super dope.  This track also has a very unique feel to it, I can't really compare this style to anything else.  It's electronic, but soulful, and definitely some hip hop elements.  Considering one of the genres listed for this album is "trip hop," it completely makes sense.  I love the hook "when I trust you we can do it with the lights on," especially how soft she's singing it, juxtaposed by how out all of the electronic elements are.  And that upright bass on the chorus though - awesome touch.  Arca produced this track, and I definitely want to check out more of their stuff after listening to this. Super dope all around. "Two Weeks" was the first single released off of this record, which makes sense - the structure of this song, while very electronic, seems to be the most "radio friendly" as it's not overly experimental.  That element of part of why I don't like this track as the previous, as I feel like I've kind of heard similar stylings before.  Funny little melodic reference to "All Out of Love" by Air Supply.  I'm also not crazy about her vocals on this one - they're a little thin.  The track is cool, I just wish it had a little more of the trip hop element that the previous one had.  "Hours" is pretty dope in some areas, but I think a lot of it tries a little too hard.  It's almost like there are too many elements for how bare it's trying to be, which might actually be the point.  I do love the hook "I could kiss you for hours," because I think we all know that feeling (or at least I would hope so).  Her voice is a little less produced on the verses on this track, which I like, and her airiness works well with the track.  I just feel as though the beat is exploring the whole time and never settles into its own thing, which I think the track could have benefited from.  But it's fairly cool otherwise.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Album Factoids


Released: Aug 6, 2014
Genre: PBR&B (hahahaha!), trip-hop
Label: Young Turks
Producers: FKA Twigs, Arca, Clams Casino, Cy An, Paul Epworth, Emile Haynie, Devonté Hynes, inc, Sampha, Tic

Week 96: FKA Twigs

So this week, I have decided to check out an artist that I am completely unfamiliar with - FKA Twigs.  I've seen her picture here and there (especially recently, as she's rumored to be dating Robert Pattinson), and her style seems sick, so why not?  Previewed some of the track on iTunes, and it seems pretty cool.  Always love diving into new shit.

This Week's Album...

Final Grade: B

Lyrically, Marvin sure did master the art of throwing shade with this record, and I love that about it. You never had to guess what emotions he was feeling during the creative process, because he let it all out on the table.  Sonically, the record has a nice flow to it, I just had to get passed the outdated synth (but that's what I get for being a part of this generation).  The reoccurring theme of "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" was a nice touch, and tied the whole record together very nicely.  "You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You," and "Falling In Love Again" were my favorite tracks on the record, ending the record on a high note.  There were some spots that seemed as though he had just put the song together for the sake of having something (more jam-like stuff), which brought the record down a bit for me, but that's yet another example of how Marvin really conveyed how he was feeling to the listener.  While this isn't my favorite Marvin record, it's still a solid one that I will certainly revisit. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Funky Space Reincarnation

You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You

Falling In Love Again

Songs of the Day

Finishing out the album today with the final five tracks: "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental)," "A Funky Space Reincarnation," "You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You," "Falling In Love Again," and "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You."

The reprise of "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental)" is the same groove as the first, and while it has "Instrumental" in the title, a single vocal line goes on throughout the track.  It's mainly "ooos," with the occasional chorus.  This song represents the theme of the entire album, which is why it comes up on the record three times.  Love that the sax goes in.  Still a solid groove, but seeing as it's the second time around, I think they could have made it shorter than 6 minutes. "A Funky Space Reincarnation," which happens to be the longest track on the record, is also the oddest.  It's definitely a cool groove, quite funky indeed, but the future/space talk seems out of place with the rest of the record.  On its own, it's dope, I just think it's pretty random.  If anything, it's maybe Marvin's idea of he and Anna meeting each other again, but reincarnated, and in space (2073 or 2084, to be specific).  This is another track that could be cut back a few minutes, I was good at about the 6 minute mark.  Especially once it starts getting into the outdated synth outro, those sounds are not my steeze (can't completely blame them, it was all so new).  I'm confused, but I can get down with it. "You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You," is one of my favorite tracks on the record.  This groove seems to hit the right balance between the style of the time, while incorporating the new synth stuff without sounding annoying.  I also enjoy this chorus the most of any on the record, "she said 'you can leave, but it's going to cost you -" it makes you think his ex-wife really did say that to him (even if she didn't it did cost him, and in the form of this record) - and the groove is killin too.  The layering of vocals has a nice effect to it that works well with the groove.  And you gotta love some good chorus clave.  Really solid groove, me gusta mucho.   The record's ending on a pretty solid note thanks to the previous track and "Falling In Love Again." This is another dope track, and I'm glad it stayed upbeat.  The synth balance isn't as great as "You Can Leave," but everything else about it is pretty solid.  Love me some good background vocals, which this certainly has, and I love that the sax line goes with them as well.  This track might be the biggest piece of shade thrown by Mr. Gaye, as he closes the record by saying that he is "falling in love again," aka "here you go, and I don't need you anyway."  At least he's happy, which is probably why this groove is so up, and funky.  This track gets you moving the most of any, and I definitely can get down with that.  I dig, I dig.  And we close the record with a third and final reprise of "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You," but at only 44 seconds.  Really, it's just the chorus.  A good final statement to the record.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Is That Enough

Everybody Needs Love

Time to Get It Together


Anna's Song

Songs of the Day

Gonna do 5 songs today, so it's tracks 5-9 on deck: "Is That Enough," "Everybody Needs Love," "Time to Get It Together," "Sparrow," and "Anna's Song."

"Is That Enough" has such a late 70s/beginning-to-transition-into-the-80s-vibe from the jump that it's almost comical, but that's the extra critical part of me.  The groove, once it gets goin, is actually very cool - it's chill, while still having a nice back beat, and a relaxed funky feel that I dig.  Marvin sounds good vocally, but I don't know if he's just low in the mix or something, but I can't really understand the majority of the things that he's saying.  That does happen in his songs every now and then ("Got to Give It Up," anyone?), so maybe he's just mad relaxed on this track.  I feel like I should be chillin on my bed, smoking a joint to this jam, which is a positive comment coming from myself.  "Why do I gotta pay attorney fees/this is a joke/I gotta smoke" - ha!  Gaye's got jokes!  The song both lyrically and sonically sound like a jam, like everyone's just kinda riffing and doing their own thing.  It comes together well though, so it's not a problem.  Solid jam.  "Everybody Needs Love" is the same groove as the opener/title track "Here, My Dear," which is rather chill, so I'm down with it.  Lyrically, it's essentially listing all the people that need love, which as you can tell by the title, is everybody (and particularly Marvin at this given time).  I need some love too, Marvin.  Chillin tune.  Now, "Time to Get It Together" has the kind of synth sound that I get down with - hollerrr.  I like that this song is a little more upbeat than the previous ones - it gets you movin, gets you groovin.  This is another one that sounds more like a jam than anything else.  You can kind of tell that he was just putting things together to have something to put out to give to his soon-to-be ex-wife.  "I've been racing against time/tryin best to find my way" - aren't we all, Marvin.  The groove is cool, but there's not much lyrically to go crazy about.  It's also pretty short.  Nothing amazing, but I can get down with it.  Now, "Sparrow" is a groove that I can def get down with.  That bass - mmmmmm!  It's laid back, but still has a groove that makes you move, which I'm down with.  The bass and percussion sound really good together, and then the sax doin its own thing in the back is a really nice touch.  It's a simple groove, but sometimes the simple ones are the most affective.  Dig.  "Anna's Song" has a cool groove to it, kind of stantard 70s feel.  The synth sounds are a little weird, but they didn't know about all that back then, so I can't be too mad.  Nothing about this song really captures me, I got distracted a number of times listening to it.  The shade is pretty funny though, but that's the whole album.  I guess I was expecting more from the track named after the woman this album is for.  Eh.