Forum Replies Created
April 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm #1201823885
Yeah JT gets my vote, too, mainly because he makes good albums. And he rarely releases a bad single. Bruno is the stronger vocalist and entertainer, but most of his music is straight up bad. I just can’t get into the cheesy, formulaic ballads and the faux funk songs.May 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm #372004
This album surprised the hell out of me. I’ve liked all of the pre-release songs anyway, but the album as a whole is really a strong piece of work front to back. I agree with Troy; there’s a deep personal feel to the album. The singing, lyrics, melody and instrumentation is gorgeous. The uptempo bangers like “You Don’t Know What to Do” are serious high moments, but it’s the quiet, introspective ballads like “Cry,” “Heavenly” and “Camouflage” that really pack a punch. My only complaint is that she could’ve cut a couple of the slower songs.
Still, it doesn’t matter how many copies this album sells or if it gets any awards nominations/wins. This might very well be one of the best and most consistent albums of MC’s career.
After listening to the album, I’m not surprised the reviews are so positive.February 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm #371967
I care very little about commercial success for my favorite artists. Most good music doesn’t see the upper regions of the Billboard charts.February 12, 2014 at 10:50 am #371962
I love “You’re Mine.” Great melody, vocals, production, etc. This will sound even better on repeated listens.
I’m digging the throwback R&B sound she’s going for with this album. It’s a shame this kind of music doesn’t get much traction nowadays.
Anyway, I’ve liked all of the singles released so far so I’ll purchase the album once it drops. May 6 is so far away; I hope the album isn’t delayed again. This could be a great summertime album.August 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm #371821
So the new album isn’t dropping until Spring of 2013? What are they thinking? I guess the fact that this single is obviously going to flop makes that decision make sense, but the strategy is bizarre. And don’t nobody give me that “teaser” BS. “Teaser” is industry lingo for “flop.” It’s a shame, because the dance mixes are great.
In the Spring of 2013, Mariah will likely be riding a wave of Idol buzz. But if the material sucks, the Idol buzz won’t do much for her sales. At this stage in her career, I don’t think Mariah and her team needs to worry about crossover pop hits. Just put out some hot material and let the chips fall. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Mariah to do what Sade, Maxwell and other industry vets have done in recent years—court the R&B market. That’ll help move albums. But she’ll need a big, hit R&B record to follow in that path. Her last album was strong overall, but it didn’t have a big “Pretty Wings” type single to get the R&B crowd excited.
Mariah’s days of getting Top 10 pop hits may be over, but I never say never. With the right track, she could find herself on top again.December 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm #368637
Robin Thicke Love After War
I applaud Robin for having better attempts of traditional r&b music compared to his contemporaries but this falls shorts to the impeccable Evolution of Robin Thicke and the solid Something Else.
What about Sex Therapy?December 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm #368635
EL CAMINO (2011) –
The Black Keys
The Black Keys’ 2010 breakthrough album, “Brothers,” was a
near masterpiece. So one would expect that their follow up would be a
disappointment. Fortunately, the Keys’ “El Camino,” their seventh studio album,
continues the duo’s remarkable album quality streak. The Keys tone down the
soul influences that they offered on their previous album and replace it with
more grit, garage funk and hooks. First single “Lonely Boy” is immediate and
radio ready as is “Dead and Gone,” the subsequent follow up.
The first half of the album isn’t quite as strong as the
second half, but you honestly won’t care by the time you get to the thumping “Sister,”
the groovy “Stop Stop” and the melodic “Nova Baby,” you won’t care. It only
helps that the album’s closer, “Mind Eraser,” is equally strong. One of the
MY SCORE: 92
TREASURES (2011) – Amy Winehouse
True, this is a quickie cash grab to exploit Winehouse’s
legacy, but producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi cobble together a pretty
terrific set of covers and original material. Original tracks “Our Day Will
Come” and “Like Smoke” (feat. Nas) are solid, but “Between the Cheats,” a
soulful ‘50s jukebox number, is the clear standout here. And Winehouse’s vocals
are heavenly on her cover of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” In addition, the
re-arrangement of “Valerie” is noteworthy. There are a few duds here, though. “Half
Time” is repetitive and dull while Winehouse’s cover of “A Song for You” falls
flat. Still, this is a noteworthy collection for Winehouse fans.
MY SCORE: 80
UNDUN (2011) – The Roots
The Roots are still fine musicians and Black Thought is
still one of the best rappers (and lyricists) in the game. But besides “Kool On”
(feat. P.O.R.N.) and a few other nice grooves, this set of songs is painfully
underwhelming. The material just isn’t that interesting or memorable.
MY SCORE: 50November 10, 2011 at 10:37 am #368625
CEREMONIALS (2011) – Florence + the Machine
What a difference a few years make. While Florence + the Machine’s debut has some promising material on it, the overall album was disappointing due to the inconsistence. However, this sophomore effort shows impressive artistic growth. Flo’s voice is impeccable, the lyrics are original and introspective, the production is memorable and the melodies are strong. First single “What the Water Gave Me” isn’t immediately accessible, but it’s a grower. Album standouts include the haunting “Seven Devils” and the epic “Never Let Me Go.” Unlike Flo’s debut, this one is very consistent. The only flaw is that the latter half of the album isn’t as strong as the first half. With that said, the latter half of the album is still strong in its own right.
MY SCORE: 94October 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm #368623
STRONGER (2011) – Kelly Clarkson
What a pleasant surprise. Killer vocals, some nice tongue in cheek lyrics and some addictive choruses make this one of the year’s better pop albums. I wish Clarkson could hook up with some producers who could really give her a fresh sound, but otherwise, there’s some solid material on this new album.
First single “Mr. Know It All” is passable, but there are far better songs here. “Let Me Down” is an arena ready rocker; “Dark Side” features a nice melody and excellent vocals while bonus cut “Why Don’t You Try” has Clarkson channeling ’60s Aretha over gospel tinged production. And “You Can’t Win” contains some of Clarkson’s funniest lyrics. Most of the bonus cuts and original album closer “Breaking Your Heart” are disposable, but fortunately, the good material here far outweighs the bad.
MY SCORE: 81October 20, 2011 at 11:10 am #368619
EVANESCENCE (2011) – Evanescence
Evanescence haven’t released an album in five years, but you wouldn’t tell judging from their latest album. They pick up exactly where they left off and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Amy Lee is the only original member left in the group and that probably has stagnated the group. First single “What You Want” is catchy but lacks impact and urgency and that pretty much describes subsequent album cuts like “Made of Stone” and “The Other Side.”
With that said, there’s some strong stuff here. The album’s centerpiece, “Lost In Paradise,” is a moody, affecting piano ballad. And album closer “Swimming Home” is equally solid. Evanescence could be a great band if Amy Lee evolves musically and incorporates more tunes like the latter two.
MY SCORE: 68October 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #368615
DUETS 2 (2011) – Tony Bennett
It’s hard to disagree with anyone who accuses Tony Bennett of making albums that are merely safe, M.O.R. cover songs. However, Bennett’s latest set of easy listening tunes is easily his strongest album in years thanks to the fresh production and inspired collaborations.
Bennett’s duets with his female comrades contain the best material here. At 85, Bennett’s voice is still in top form and most of his collaborators have little trouble keeping up. Bennett’s chemistry with Gaga is well played on “The Lady Is A Tramp.” Aretha gives her best vocal in years on “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” and Bennett’s producers give him some gorgeous arrangements and worthy partners on several cuts including “Blue Velvet” (with the always reliable kd lang), “Speak Low” (with Norah Jones), album standout “Who Can I Turn to” (with a ravishing vocal from Queen Latifah) and “It Had to Be You” (with a surprisingly versatile Carrie Underwood). Bennett and Faith Hill even bring something fresh to “The Way You Look Tonight.” And Bennett and Mariah Carey bring the album to a nice close with “When Do the Bells Ring For Me.” And of course “Body and Soul,” the second single with Amy Winehouse, packs a powerful punch.
The only missteps are the album are the duets with the younger male artists. John Mayer, Michael Buble and Josh Groban are dull and forgettable on “One for My Baby,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “This Is All I Ask.” The older male artists, Willie Nelson (“On the Sunny Side of the Street”) and Andrea Bocelli (“Stranger in Paradise”) have zero trouble keeping up with Bennett. Despite those missteps, this is one of the year’s better albums.
MY SCORE: 85