Archive for the ‘On Loop’ Category

onLoop 11.03.10

Posted: November 3, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop

N.E.R.D. – “Hypnotize U” – 2010
God in Heaven, this is some funky shit!

I first heard this about six weeks ago. Maybe it was my incredibly manic schedule at the time (hence the prolonged radio silence), but I didn’t really warm to it, despite my excitement at the production credit. Yes, this is the long-awaited reteaming of the Neps and Daft Punk, almost a decade after the spacey, dream-like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” remix back in ’01. The drums thump hard, yet are so synthetic in sound, it’s like being throttled with a foam bat.  The synths are dreamy yet ’80s yet Euro. Pharrell makes the best use of his amateurish falsetto since “Frontin'”, finally meeting his full potential as Rick James’ super-freak heir apparent. (more…)

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onLoop 9.20.10: Late-to-the-Party edition

Posted: September 20, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
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Here we have a selection of uptempo cuts I’ve been feeling lately. Like I said a while back, I’ve been kinda busy. So these cuts are probably pretty old to you, but the fact is, this post should’ve come out like six weeks ago. Sue me. (more…)

onLoop 7.7.10

Posted: July 7, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
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Zo!, Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington, Big Pooh – “This Could Be the Night” – 2010
Zo!, recently signed to Foreign Exchange’s new music imprint, ushers us into summer with this seriously feel-good cut featuring Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington, and Rapper Big Pooh. I heard this a while back, but it only recently infiltrated my brain. Now I walk through NYC with a smile/bounce combo that could get me killed.

Must be the heatwave.

Kelly Rowland – “Each Other” – 2010
Sure, “Commander” is both the lead single and her declaration to the world that she finally wants to be a solo artist, but quite frankly I could take it or leave it. Now, when I got my ears on “Each Other”, I knew she had found her groove. It’s quite simply the sexiest thing Kelly Rowland has ever done.

Must be the heatwave.

OnLoop 6.1.10

Posted: June 1, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
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In recent years, we’ve seen a pattern of Soul artists finding a more pronounced Hip-Hop edge in their music. While I’m beginning to wonder if I’m still much of a huge Hip-Hop fan, I love when it provides the foundation of a Soul track. (more…)

Hands Tied – Toni Braxton – 2010
I heard this a month or two ago and I wasn’t impressed. Perhaps I was just distracted by the video — a pedestrian offering in which the smokin-hot Braxton (along with her relevance-chasing haircut) tries her hand at a number of female-video staples: the gentleman’s club performer (exemplified by this En Vogue classic), the “Classy Stripper,”  the moving Liebovitz portrait. She looks incredible, but it’s still a ho-hum affair.

So when the album finally got its release this past Tuesday, I figured I’d give it a shot. I recently discovered a soft spot for Toni B. It goes beyond my cliched support for the talented underdog. You see, for me, unless you’re Minnie Riperton or Mariah Carey, your high notes as a female vocalist really don’t impress me.  But if you’re able to go low, and do it right — like Braxton, Anita Baker, and Carey again (Shakira used to be on that list, but her freakish “AutoTune-Unplugged” voice has started grating on my nerves) — you have a special place in my heart.

Toni Braxton has never been someone I looked to for full-album satisfaction, so the fact that Pulse ain’t doin’ shit doesn’t particularly surprise me. Plus, I never got the impression she had full label backing, anyway. Still, no matter how abysmal it is as a cohesive entity, every album she’s put out has had some serious burners — from “Just Be A Man About It” to “Talking in His Sleep” to “Trippin'”

So as I browsed the album for halfway-decent shit worth a download, I realized “Hands Tied” is literally the strongest thing on there. It’s a smoldering, Oak-produced cut with a vocal performance reminiscent of her Babyface-assisted heyday, and a guitar-wail undercurrent that marries her “Trippin'” and Usher’s “You Got it Bad” to brilliant effect.

If the rest of the album had half as much kick, it wouldn’t have flatlined.

OnLoop 4.29.10

Posted: April 29, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop
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Gone Baby Don’t Be Long – E. Badu – 2010
The greatest thing on Nu Amerykah Part II. And there’s a lot that’s great about it. May 25. Got my tickets.

Bulletproof – Raheem Devaughn (feat. Ludacris) – 2010
Ludacris is only allowed one great song a year — maybe two. And it’s often someone else’s record. This is no exception. Raheem channels (and samples) Curtis Mayfield on this standout from his sickest album yet.

Wishing on a Star – Beyonce (cover) – 2004
I should know better, but I don’t. Damn Pandora.