Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Lenny Kravitz - Black and White America

That’s the sound of a man satisfied.

Since watching the teaser on YouTube, which showed 90 seconds of Lenny Kravitz (with sole collaborator Craig Ross) build the bass-and-synth masterwork “Superlove”, I knew I had to hear the full song. Slightly cheesy lyrics aside, it’s well worth the wait. And now, having finally sated that six-month hunger, we can finally assess Black and White America as a complete album.

Lenny Kravitz isn’t an album artist. Then again, he isn’t much of a singles artist either. And if the critics are to be believed, he isn’t Rock, and he’s not quite Soul. Born biracial into the strictly segregated American record industry, where Black equals Soul/R&B and White for some reason equals Rock n’ Roll, he’s been forced to exist in a strange nether region between the two worlds. Yes, he’s kinda like Saffronia that way



Something About Faith… That Grinds My Gears

Posted: October 31, 2010 by RA in Music
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Faith Evans is a talented singer. And songwriter. The woman can wail like none other, and is responsible for some classic party and Pop songs that we’ll remember for years to come. She was also at the center of the most sensational story in all Hip-Hop canon, as the wife of one third of its holy trinity and the alleged lover of another.

She also is a colossal tease. And kind of a hypocrite.  She spends entirely too much time explaining she technically isn’t Biggie’s widow (the two had separated at the time of his death), and she’s been remarried for over a decade. But then she peppers every other song with a winking Biggie reference that seems to stake her claim to her former position in Hip-Hop royalty. (more…)

So, I resisted the urge to join the chorus of keystrokes reacting to Prince’s declaration that the internet is “over.” Whenever an artist makes such a statement, America –public and punditry alike — reverts to a childlike state of literalism, unable to imagine a meaning deeper than the very words on the page. It serves their overall purpose of mocking them as crotchety old men confused and frightened by the internet, unable to end the reign of Auto-Tune.

Forget the fact that Prince Rogers Nelson (or “the baddest motherfucker to slip on a pair of size 6 heels” to you) pioneered the practice of distributing music and connecting with fans via the web. Forget that he won a Webby for that shit. Forget that, at 5’2″ and in eyeliner, he’ll take your girl with a single raised eyebrow. Yeah, forget all that. He’s just an old geezer afraid of teh internetz.



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…)


Dwele (Andwele Gardner, if you nasty) is one of the most influential voices in Hip-Hop today — an especially notable accomplishment, considering he’s a Neo-Soul singer. And I say this not just because he’s one of my favorite artists. From Common to Kanye to Foxy, when you want a great voice on a Hip-Hop track, Dwele has become that artist you hope is available. Why? He’s part of a growing crop of Soul artists with styles firmly rooted in Hip-Hop. Yes, he’s absolutely brilliant on Quiet Storm cuts with folks like Boney James(!!), but he’s at his best on the songs that hint at his past as an MC. Luckily, that’s 80% of his catalog. I expect nothing less of his latest offering, W.ants W.orld W.omen, slated for a June release. 

I’m excited. You should be too. Here are 5 reasons why: 


Following the the brilliant Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase EP, Janelle Monáe is set to return this Tuesday with The ArchAndroid, intended as Suites II and III of her Metropolis saga.

I’m excited. You should be too. Here are 5 reasons why: (more…)