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>Finishing up my Spring semester was pretty time-consuming. And that’s my excuse for
not posting in over a month, but I have alot of stuff in the pipeline because there’s so much music i’ve listened to in the past month and have to share my reviewers for my loyal followers =)
So firstly I’m gonna do another Quick Update! A wrap up on some of the stand outs, but I promise I’m going to post more reviews, longer reviews too, really soon.
This is the album is where I caught my writer’s block. Trying to wrap my thoughts around MGMT’s sophomore outing “Congratulations” was a bit of a challenge and still to this day I can’t really think of the appropriate words to describe it. Much like their debut breakthrough, their second is also very different and very weird. While their first album was very “indie” in style – pretty dark and pretty dingy production – at least those songs had some catchiness to them. “Congratulations” strips the duo of anything that might be considered radio-friendly and gives listeners a true feast for the ears. This album and the debut both have heavy psychedelic influences; this outing softens the mood and is definitely a more calming relaxing album on the whole. “Lady DaDa’s Nightmare” is especially good, and it’s an trippy but laid back instrumental. However there are some major peppy moments, like “Brian Eno” and first single “Flash Delirium” which prevent the album from being a snooze-fest. Simply put, because this album isn’t simple, “Congratulations” is complex and totally entertaining, and a proper follow up album from a very creative group.
Truth be Told, I haven’t listened to the full album. I did one of those “listen to the 30 second clips on iTunes and download accordingly” thing I often do. I really enjoyed their 2008 album “Attack and Release” (produced by Danger Mouse), and was intrigued to hear this new album “Brothers” which is now their 6th album. Unfortunately, even though the sound of this album is a little more contemporary than their very Soulful output of the previous album, it leaves me feeling like this duo is a little “one-note” in their sound. The lyricism and vocal play were for the most part not oustanding, and some of the stuff is just a little dull to be honest. However there are some shining lights on this album, “Never Give You Up” is a gorgeous R&B throwback while “Too Afraid to Love You” and first single “Tighten Up” are great at matching their sound with with more contemporary techniques. I only listened to it once, and I feel like I may go back and listen at some point. So I may have to revise this later, but for now it’s just (and i hate it when i see this “word”) meh!
Another great release this year from one of my all time favorites, in Toni’s now 6th album “Pulse” the legendary Grammy winner tackles many styles that are invading the radio (Dance in “Make My Heart”, Snappy R&B in the superior “Lookin’ At Me”) but the heart of this album is centered in an area that made Braxton famous in the first place; authentic R&B slow jams and Pop Ballads. And this album makes one thing perfectly clear; Braxton has one of the best voices in the industry. 17 years after her debut, her voice is just as strong if not stronger. “Pulse” “Why Won’t You Love Me” prove this because they can stand with her greatest ballads “Unbreak My Heart” “Let it Flow” and “Breathe Again” as her Best, and it’s over a decade later.”Pulse” is more than a solid R&B/Pop album that will undoubtedly be ignored, but deserves recognition as one of Braxton’s best in her career. It shows she more than still has it, and that her voice can still span genres.
Kelis “Flesh Tone“
Please go check out my review on Full Blast Magazine. YES! I’m actually writing for an online magazine, I’ve evolved to the online magazine status, so let’s see how much further we can go after this!
B.o.B. seemed to have come from nowhere and attacked the singles charts with “Nothin’ on You” and “Airplanes”. I guess a little endorsement from T.I. and getting Eminem on the “Airplanes” remix (or the “Airplanes Part II) is more than enough to create some major buzz in the Hip Hop and Pop community, but strangely enough while really being Hip Hop B.o.B.’s debut “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” plays more like a Hip Hop/Alternative album spanning various different styles. Many a rapper has tried and failed at delivering a more eclectic album and it’s impressive that B.o.B. was able to do so while still making an album that feels like an album. And the guests, also from various different genres (Weezers’ lead singer Rivers Cuomo on one the albums best “Magic”, Paramore singer Hailey Williams on “Airplanes”, and Lupe Fiasco) contribute greatly to the material, but B.o.B. never gets really overshadowed which is a good thing. I’m not sure if he has any extraordinary skills when it comes to his lyrics or flow, but his musical influences and his versatility are something to be commended.