Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas II You

I love, love, LOVE Mariah Carey's original Merry Christmas album!  I discovered it only a few years ago, but I listen to it every Christmas.  "Miss You Most," "Jesus Born on This Day," and "Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child," are my faves.  So when I caught wind of her second Christmas album, I was more than anxious to hear.  And Merry Christmas II You (cute title) does not disappoint—I love it more than the first!  The Merry Christmas album features traditional Christmas music infused with gospel and pop. And although this latter album continues in that tradition with "The First Noel," and the remakes of "All I Want for Christmas is You" and "O Holy Night," Merry Christmas II You is steeped with jazz and soul!
There is nothing blatantly wrong with this album.  Most of the songs, especially "Christmas Time is in the Air," are classic, elegant, jazzy, and cinematic.  Merry Christmas II You contains a spruced up, equally infectious, but not incredibly different remix of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Carey's most popular song from the original album.  Other secular Christmas carols include a dance mix of "Auld Lang Syne," an R&B interpretation of "Here Comes Santa Claus," and her own Hip-Pop infused "Oh Santa!" (featured on her Macy's commercial).
While these songs are fine, they don't compare to the yet unmentioned others.  One of them is "Charlie Brown Christmas," in which Carey marries original lyrics with the beloved Charlie Brown theme song, producing a nostalgic tune that is appropriate for the season.  Another is "O Come All Ye Faithful," featuring her opera-singing mom, Patricia Carey.  Both beautiful and sentimental, their rendition remains true to the gospel essence of the hymn while incorporating Carey's style, along with her mother's.  
My favorite songs in this collection are original songs, “One Child” and “When Christmas Comes.”  "One Child" conveys the original and intended purpose of the Christmas season—to rejoice in the birth of Christ.  Carey, accompanied by a children's choir, appeals to my Christmas spirit as she urges me to "worship and adore Christ the Lord," and sing along.  And "When Christmas Comes" not only makes me want to sing—I want to move, I want to groove—this song is very smooth! It has soul in proportions comparable to Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas."
All in all, the quality of the music is superb.  It's obvious that Carey worked extra hard to prove her critics wrong, and she's convinced me that her vocals are still as powerful and as versatile as ever.  Not only is she vocally present, Carey and her producers were also conceptually creative.  For instance, bits and pieces of different Christmas carols are skillfully knit together, such as in "O Little Town of Bethlehem/ Little Drummer Boy Medley." As I think about it, Merry Christmas II You reminds me of a Christmas concert at the Met (grand and spectacular).  And the lush strings, signature Christmas sounds of bells and children, and Carey's cashmere vocals work together beautifully and take the listener on a sleigh-ride through Winter Wonderland!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kelly Price - "Tired"

I grew up on gospel rich and robust vocals in Southern black churches.  So when I hear a voice like Kelly Price's, in a song like "Tired"...(closes eyes and shakes head).  This truly reminds me of that type of music - it's straight from the soul of a person.  The emotion is audible.  And especially since this song doesn't have a traditional form, it is very much like a cry.  It's no secret that Kelly Price is immensely talented.  Her producer, Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell describes her as "one of those singers who can do anything with her voice."  So I am looking forward to listening to and marveling upon her upcoming album.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Faith Evans - Something About Faith

Do you ever wonder what funk mixed with jazz, sprinkled with techno, and smothered in hip-hop/soul sounds like?  Take a listen to Something About Faith, Faith Evans’ sixth studio album, and you will know.  Fifteen years after her debut album, Faith, Evans’ voice has maintained its cashmere softness and warmth.  And like her hits from the ‘90s, “Never Let You Go,” “I Love You,” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” the love songs on her new album continue to infuse my soul and melt my heart.  Whether she sings about having faith in love or having faith in God, self, or humanity, Evans proves that there really is something about faith.

The intro opens with shimmering synths, twinkling hi-hats, and sparkling chimes—sounds that are very similar to Evans’ voice.  While these instruments work on some tracks, on other songs, like “Baby Lay,” and “Can’t Stay Away,” the timbres clash with her sheer soprano vocals.    

Another downfall of this album is its lack of cohesiveness.  While most songs are in the same sound world, others are clearly dislocated.  “Your Lover” sounds like the hybrid of a game-show theme song and a commercial jingle for an island vacation.  And the lyrics in “The Love in Me” present two non sequitur themes.  Evans first explains how “hood” and “real” she is and then invites the listener to “embrace the love in me.”  Even if the two themes do somehow fit together, the song title baffles me because it falsely signifies that this is a love song.  

I commend Evans for making music that is socially conscious, including “Real Things,” “Changes,” featuring gospel duo Mary Mary, and “Troubled World,” featuring gospel’s own Jessica Reedy and soulful songstress Kelly Price.  Even though the lyrics contain substance and truth, the music lacks depth and variation, making these songs unmemorable.    

And maybe it's my speakers, but many of the songs sound a bit incomplete, like biscuits without jam or Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce; they needed another flavor to enhance the sound.  Yes, room for improvement exists, but there is also a lot to love!  

In the case of many of these songs, this is feel-good music that makes you want to “get your back up off the wall!” exclaimed in “Party.”  And even though they have elements that are more contemporary, many of these songs resemble the rich and soulful 90’s R&B from my childhood.  Back in the day, beautiful, lush harmonies became Evans’ signature, and they are incorporated in pre-released singles, “Way You Move,” featuring Snoop Dogg, “Sunshine,” and “Gone Already.” 

But “Worth It” is my absolute favorite song.  It is the perfect combination of the smart instrumentation, cool groove, and “grown-and-sexy” vibe that enlivens each of these songs.  Music like this confirms that I’d much rather prefer to hear Evans sing about love and heartbreak than anything else. 

Another strong point of Something About Faith is the integration of music by Evans’ late husband, The Notorious B.I.G.  In “Can’t Stay Away,” featuring Keyshia Cole, she quotes lyrics from the hook of Biggie’s classic, “Hypnotize.”  And she does her own interpretation of his song, “Everyday Struggle.”  Biggie’s version hopelessly laments, “I don't wanna live no mo’. Sometimes I hear death knockin at my front do’. I'm livin everyday like a hustle—another drug to juggle. Another day another struggle.”  But Evans challenges listeners to keep the faith in her rendition, which features two rapped verses by Raekwon.  

All in all, Something About Faith impresses me.   This album is not perfect; nonetheless, many of its songs will enjoy ample playtime on my speakers.  Actually, I have already listened to most of the songs multiple times.  Something about Faith, the album and the singer, truly resonates with me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Faith Evans - Gone Already

Two words - CAN'T WAIT!!! Faith Evans is one of my favorite singers, and I'm super excited that she's finally coming out with a new album after 5 years!  Her first single, "Gone Already," from her sixth studio album, Something About Faith, showcases her shimmering voice and her undeniable talent. 

The song is on a more solemn note than I would expect for her first single in such a long time.  But I'm happy to know that she hasn't lost her touch.  Lady can still caress a melody and those keys were sounding nice!  I'm sure that Something About Faith will consist of music that I can really get into.  So I can't wait for October 5 - I'm expecting greatness.  This sad, but beautiful song encourages me to keep the faith!

Also, check out Faith Evans' "Way You Move," featuring Snoop Dogg - it has a smooth vibe, it's more upbeat and fun, and it's catchy!  Find it on my iPod on the sidebar >>>

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Concha Buika - Soledad

No, no comprendo español mucho.  Especially when it is sung.  But that's not going to stop me from wrapping my ears around the luscious sounds of Concha Buika's rendition of "Soledad" (originally by Chavela Vargas.  I don't understand many of the words, but I can sense the emotion behind each syllable.  The tone of her voice is like a wooden fire crackling and cinders glowing - sigh... Jason, one of my classmates stated that "Buika sounds like she's 120 years old!"  He's right!! (that's a good thing in this case.)  Her voice is so rich and sultry.  And it is full, so her songs don't need much instrumentation.

However, the jazz piano on this track fits like a key in a lock.  Well-loved jazz musician, Chucho Valdés, graces this song with his piano magic.  He waltzes with Buika's vocals - they move hand in hand and float atop the sound waves of pure soul!

I'm so glad that Professor Ouellette had us listen to "Soledad" in class today; when I got home, I streamed all of her albums via Zune.  I marvelled at more songs from El Ultimo Trago, and I am now listening to "Love," from the album Mi niña Lola.  Do yourself a favor, and take a listen!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ne-Yo - One in a Million

Watch out Usher!! Ne-Yo's back!  You could check out his Michael Jackson-like track "Beautiful Monster," or you could listen the charming, "One in a Million," in which Mr. GQ pursues a lady who could obviously care less for him.  Ladies, Ne-Yo starts dancing in the streets!  Guess Ne-Yo snagged Columbus Short when Chris was becoming a gangsta! One thing I really like about this song is that Ne-Yo has maintained his artistry.  He has taken great care to perfect the lyrics, the music, and the performance.  Overall, he delivers.

R. Kelly - When a Woman Loves

This is old soul for real!
X Lyrics on point
X Vocals beyond compare
X Feel it in my soul
X Wholesome
You go R. Kelly!!

Chrisette Michele - I'm a Star

For the first few seconds of this song, I'm thinkin "yes, this is gonna be tough!" I was kinda wrong though.  This song is quite soft and sweet.  Is Chrisette going for a more pop feel on this upcoming album?  Well this new single, "I'm a Star," leads me to believe so.  The lyrics are cool and the music is nice.  Actually the song has some great musical elements - the intro, the "seen it, done it" part and her vocals, of course. But I'm expecting Chrisette to pour more soul into the mix on the other songs from her currently untitled album.

I REALLY hope Chrisette doesn't pull an Alicia Keys on us - by that I mean trade in her jazzy, gritty sound for a polished, more mainstream sound.  Her old world vocals are what captivated me - I first heard her sing the hook on Nas's "Can't Forget About You."  I was like, "Whoa!! Who's that singing?!"

I eventually listened to both of her studio albums.  I absolutely love all of the songs on Chrisette Michele's I Am, especially "Love is You," "Your Joy," "Like a Dream," and "Let's Rock."  I liked the majority of songs on Epiphany - "What You Do" is still stuck in my head.  Hopefully, she reverses her minimally declining track record with the upcoming album.

I recently saw Chrisette, along with Tamia, Mario, Salt, and Rick Ross, perform at Summerstage at Central Park on August 28, 2010.  Seeing and hearing...scratch that...EXPERIENCING Chrisette live is truly a delicacy.  Its yummy to the senses>>hearing her do all this crazy vocal work, seeing way she moves her hands, squints her eyes, bends down as she belts out - her mannerisms remind me of Etta James, whom she has studied.

Watching a lady with such prowess and passion is awe-inspiring.  I'm looking forward to hearing more from Chrisette and experiencing her in concert again.  I believe that she is a legend in the making.  As long as she keeps her focus and remains true to her soul [music].

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Willow Smith - Whip My Hair

Hmmm...well I'm a little puzzled. This 9 year old girl is talking about her haters while she should be playing with her barbies (or whatever celebrity kids play with), and she dresses like someone twice her age (and we wonder why so many perverts are out there). But this critique from here forth is strictly about the song!

The hook is repetitive but very catchy - it will probably be stuck in my head for a while =).  Willow isn't an AMAZING singer, at least not yet. But she's good...good enough, apparently, for Jay-Z to sign her to his Roc Nation label.  The first person who comes to mind when I hear this song is Rihanna.  Willow sounds very much like Rihanna, vocally.  And her fashion style is undoubtedly influenced by Rihanna as well.  But thankfully, Willow keeps it kid-friendly! The message of the song is be yourself despite what anyone says or thinks.  I'm impressed that this young lady seems to be so self-assured.  Her delivery is pretty convincing.  Will and Jada Smith are definitely raising some driven kids!  But is Willow actually talented? Listen to the song and decide for yourself.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lyfe Jennings - Statistics

Wow - must say I'm pleasantly surprised with Lyfe Jennings' single "Statistics."  I shouldn't be so surprised, because "Must be Nice" was of similar nature, in that it was distinct.  But I haven't listened to his other music, until now.  I guess I was expecting "Statistics" to be a song in which Jennings flaunts his money, cars, and women...I must listen to way too much Hip-Hop! =)  However, the album title track of his new album gives statistics regarding men.  For example, what percentage of men practice safe sex, grew up without a father, and have cheated on their mate. He is dropping knowledge to the ladies about the statistics of our prospects. The guys may be a bit averse to this song, but it's something to think about for the ladies. I must say, it's definately a breath of fresh air from the norm of male R&B.

Now I'm listening to another song from the album Statistics, "It Could've Been Worse."  Again, I'm so impressed that Jennings chooses to sing about matters that actually matter.  He begins the song with, "Embrace your struggle, 'cause no matter what, it could've been worse." This is so true - I'm automatically putting a heart by this song.  From what I'm hearing so far, the tracks aren't too complex, as far as instrumentation/ arrangement.  You can tell that the vocals are the focal point of the songs.  And the vocals are so raw and genuine - "Done Cryin" is a good example of how a simple song can be so beautiful.  (The Deluxe Edition includes an acoustic version of this song which is so good to just vibe to.) 

Statistics is a compilation of real life issues, love, and spirituality.  Lyfe Jennings makes it so very personal with "I Still Believe" and especially,"Learn from This," and "If Tomorrow Never Comes."  He truly open his heart and soul to his audience.  I would recommend giving this album a good listen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

John Legend, The Roots, etc... - WAKE UP

So, using musical talents for the advancement of a people/ nation is, undoubtedly, important.  "Wake Up," a collabo by John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona, and Common (whom I love!) is the type of song that we all need to hear.  Sadly, songs with a "stand up, be about something positive, make a change" messages aren't the most popular.  But these are exactly the types of songs that should be on replay, both in our heads and on the radio/ iPod/ TV.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monica - Love All Over Me

If you know me, you know that I am so in love with Monica's album Still Standing.  So of course, I'm posting this video.  The song is beautiful (and the guy is too)!!

Janelle Monae - Tight Rope (Wondamix)

Check this!!! I like this version MUCH better than the original! The verses are sick!! Jajaja - love it!!

Soul Seekers - It's All God

Been looking for some new, fresh, smooth gospel?  Something you can vibe to?  Music to uplift you? So have I.  Look what I found:

Friday, June 4, 2010

On Meeting Wynton Marsalis and JLCO

Thanks to my cousin Shaun and his connection, Marcus Printup, who is a jazz trumpeter and member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), I was able to sit in on a rehearsal of the JALC big band, led by jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. Along with meeting such an extraordinary and well-loved musician as Marsalis, I also met the overly talented band members, including trombonist Chris Crenshaw, drummer Ali Jackson, and pianist Dan Nimmer. These guys sounded so amazing rehearsing the witty, reminiscent, and pleasant composition by Marsalis. Although I am no jazz expert, I know and appreciate good, soulful music when I hear it. The musicians had sound advice and fun experiences to share with my aspiring jazz trumpeter cousin. But as a music student, I also benefited from all they had to say, which was don't shy away from dreams that you are serious about; seize opportunities and stay working hard.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Distant Relatives - Nas & Damian Marley

EMPOWERING, UPLIFTING, EPIC! - I haven't heard an album as conscious, aware, and penetrating since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  For me, Distant Relatives is a gem of great worth and beauty.  Socially and soulfully provocative, the lyrics inspire action and change in Africa and the Black Community.  Each track features either a killer beat, soul-pleasing instrumentation, and/ or the fusion of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and African music.  The album concept was also well thought and thoroughly developed. (Click here for the JUICY details, video interviews and more!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alicia Keys - Unthinkable

This video is stellar -- very unexpected --  offers a totally new perspective to the song.  And I LOVE it! Enough said:

Plus, I've been wanting Drake to drop a verse on this track, and FINALLY!!!! The official remix!
Stepping out from the background into the spotlight, Drake makes this incredibly infectious (in a great way of course) song even better:

And here's the behind-the-scenes stuff (I love seeing what goes on behind the scenes, so cool that she shared this!):

Finally, Drake speaks about his experience working with the ultra-talented Alicia Keys.  I had no idea he wrote the song, I like him more now!  The story is very interesting (I want a recording session with Alicia now!):

Thursday, April 22, 2010

B.o.B. - debut album in stores April 27

If the singles are representative of the album, B.o.B's debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, will be infused with wit and originality.  So support musicians who go against the norm of sex and obscenity and instead, rely on talent and ingenuity.  Buy the ablum Tuesday, April 27 - and look for my review ^_^.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Common ft. Mary J. Blige - Come Close

No, I haven't been blogging lately :( I've been XTRA busy with school work - non stop.  And I haven't heard any new music that has sparked my interest lately.  However, I am looking forward to Janelle Monae's album release in May.  And I will review Nas and Damien Marley's new album ^_^.  But for now, I'm gonna post an older video that I think is really cute - Common's "Come Close." Love the content of this song and the creativity of the video.  And I LOVE COMMON!! Wish a guy would do all this for me...Can't wait to see him starring in his new movie, Just Wright (in theaters in May).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mary J. Blige ft. Jay Sean - Each Tear

Here is an inspiring song that teaches us to grow from each tear we cry and each hardship we face.  MJB and Jay Sean (British singer/ rapper/ producer/ beatboxer of Young Money) deliver this message with beautiful, soul-driven vocals.  And although this R&B diva's sound is definitely more pop, who can deny that Mary's songs have passion and soul?  This song will lift your spirits if you are feeling low.

(The video is a little dull.  I like the video to tell a story, act as a short film/ visual representation of the song.  Maybe I expect to much sometimes.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Erykah Badu - "Window Seat" Video

“They who play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups – less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual...”

As an onlooker, I would probably be a little disturbed seeing Erykah Badu strip nude in front of me without warning or consent.  But as a viewer of the video, I am intrigued.  Granted, I did my research on the controversy and reasoning behind the video.  So I fully appreciate the message Erykah wants to display.  But could she have acheived the same message in a different way?  Maybe, maybe not.  In any case, I think that the method in her madness is respectable if not admirable.  She is not afraid of going to extremes to make a bold and insightful statement.  I am in awe of this video's visual simplicity, but internal complexity. Erykah Badu peels away the exterior layers (literally) to reveal the truth about herself and others.  No matter how uncomfortable it makes us, the truth expressed through this video is illustrated in a clever and profound way. Read the juicy details.

What really happened?

Well, Badu was filming the video to her new single, "Window Seat," from her newly released album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh.  The setting is Badu's hometown, Dallas, Texas - downtown, Elm Street, Dealey Plaza, approaching the site of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.  Erykah and her posse do not have city permits to film at this location, but she isn't afraid of a little guerrilla filming!  In a single-take video, Erykah is filmed removing her clothing...Read more

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, & Alicia Keys - Our Dreams

Sadly, I just heard this song for the first time today. I was driving through Rockland, NY, 
enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. And then this song started to play on Hot 97. 
I was suddenly reminded why I love music soooo 
much! Plus, I'm starting to feel that summertime high! Even though we have a while 
until summer, the weather is oh so nice (like this song)! 
Reminds me of cruising through town on a bright and pleasant day, listening to old 
music, new music, music that speaks to your soul. Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, New 
Edition ... ^_^. Like so many, this song speaks for itself. The lyrics are full of wisdom 
and inspiration. And we can never hear its message too many times - 
"don't give up on your 
dreams!" I know that other songs with this same theme have 
encouraged me to keep moving forward - keep reaching upward. And "Our Dreams," 
sampling Michael Jackson's "We're Almost There," is a song that I will def be listening 
to again!
BTW - Looking forward to the video

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Dear readers,

I miss you!! I haven't been blogging this week b/c my internet access sux!!  But next week, I will def have lots to write about! So come back for all the juice on Erykah Badu and Usher.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monica - Still Standing

Monica took my ears to a whole new level!  I absolutely LOVE this album.  I have listened to it THREE times in ONE day!! Yes, it's that delicious.  When a singer can share so much of their soul in their songs, the music becomes personal, and that makes the listening experience unforgettable.  I seriously don't want to stop singing these songs!  Haven't felt this way since Songs in A Minor by Alicia Keys and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  Still Standing deserves a standing ovation - Monica stayed true to her fans, to her faith, and to herself.  Which is more than many of today's R&B and Hip-Hop musicians can say.  So kudos to my girl!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Melba Moore vs. Janelle Monae

Who takes the cake?
Melba Moore performing "Love's Comin' at Ya" or Janelle Monae performing "Tightrope?"
Inspiration can be such a lovely thing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alicia Keys - Freedom Tour @ NYC's Madison Square Garden March 17, 2010

Wow! Mmm hmmm! Amazing!
Alicia Keys' concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City was all of that and more!  Jermaine Paul, Melanie Fiona, and Robin Thicke opened for Alicia.  And Beyonce, Swizz Beatz, and Jay-Z made special appearances.  The audience was live, the music was beautiful, and the spirit was free!  This was my first major concert - and sharing it with Alicia Keys in New York City made it an unforgettable experience! Click here to read the juicy details!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rip the Runway

Fashion meets Hip Hop and R&B on BET's Rip the Runway.  I think it's great that black designers get to rip the runway - so, I watched, and here's what I have to say:

 Love the dress (Gavin Douglas) but what's up with the face?!


Bruno Mars' (& B.o.B's) performance was great! That voice - OMG!

Janelle Monae's style was so Chanel - I like!! Check her footwork though!! 

Tracy Reese's dresses were so cute!

I loved a lot about this show actually (surprisingly) LoL:  
Nicki Minaj in black & white - I'd totally wear that (and her British accent - I had one earlier today.)
The chained/ spider web vest was undoubtedly hot!
Aaliyah impersonator - HA!!
Did u see that bike?! This is the most hood fashion show ever - LOVE IT!!
I didn't love everything though - ohhhh nooooo!

This is a fashion show boo! Get it together! Where's your posture?!

Let's get my girl some shoes that fit please!

Your stylist MUST be fired - immediately!!

Of course, there was more to hate:  
Trina singing and lookin a HOT mess!  
Some of the models were so stiff and un-model like.

Check out more from BET's Rip the Runway 2010 on:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Estelle - Freak ma'am.  I just think that with all the STD's, HIV, teenage pregnancies...I'm just saying!! The world could use a few less freaks. Celebrities, especially musicians, should be conscious of the messages they send. Yes, this is a fun dance track.  And the video was interesting to say the least.  But is this a song that young, easily influential people should be hearing and then acting on?  I mean, come on - enough of that...on to the next one!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Erykah Badu - Window Seat

So, there's no denying that Erykah Badu is one of a kind.  Check out her ensemble and that signature hat.  And the raw vocals - gotta love her!! So "Window Seat" makes me just wanna get away.  I think the song is evoking and sincere.  Not unlike Erykah.  This song has a very human element - at times we want to escape, but not long after, we want to be near.  The chorus sings,
So can I get a window seat
Don’t want nobody next to me
I just want a ticket outta town
A look around
And a safe touch down
Window seat
Don’t want nobody next to me
I just want a chance to fly
A chance to cry
And a long bye bye

I like this song, because you can interpret it literally or figuratively.  Both ways are fun and effective.  I feel so relaxed now - Lol.  Can't wait to check out the new album, New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ankh on March 30.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monica - Everything to Me (Single)

OMG!! Love, love, LOVE this song! (I give it 5 Stars *****) If you watched Monica's reality series, Still Standing,  you know that Monica fought really hard to make this song her lead single.  It even seemed that she gave up.  But I'm glad that the war was not lost.  Because this song is full of soul and class - which is exactly what I love about the song.  That girl sang this song from her heart...I mean all the riffs and vocal range work were spectacular.  Monica really made this song her own.  Still singing it in my head ^_^ but listen for yourself!

Not only is the song great - the video is pretty cute as well.  The first thing I notice is the Alexander McQueen dress she's's blazin amazin!! Lol - its hot! I really like videos that tell a story - they keep me intrigued.  And this one did not disappoint.  (In the video, she takes a crazy lady to court for stalking her man...who came up with this treatment?!)  She pushed the stalker on a couch?! Monica - you are more hood than that girl! I'm a bit confused - her man didn't seem to mind the stalker, is it just me???  I thought the video could have been more closely related to the song, but I still liked it - especially the fashion =).

Anyway, I would advise listening to the song without watching the video.  That way, you can close your eyes, focus on that beautiful voice, and concentrate on the heartsung lyricsCan't wait for Monica's album Still Standing to drop on March 23!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mariah Carey ft. Nicki Minaj - Up Out My Face (Remix)

So, I'm a fan of Mariah Carey (some of my fave music is MC in the 90's doin her thing with Jermaine Dupri and other Hip-Hop it!!).  And I haven't really listened to much of Nicki Minaj's music.  But despite some explicit content and differences of opinion, I really admire her style, her prowess, and her presence on a track.  Just saw this video (I'm a little late as =) but I'm getting better) and I LOVED it! Nicki has proclaimed herself as "Barbie" and everybody already knows that Mariah personifies "Barbie," so this collabo was totally appropiate.  The song is hot all on its own.  And watching the video was fun, because I got to see the chemistry between the two ladies.  I could tell that they were genuinely having a great time (they laughed a lot and were able to feed off of each others energy).  I guess I'm a little biased-I love shopping, make-up, hair & nails, and a guy that's on my level-so the video def spoke to me.  Watch it for yourself-it's HOT!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Off the Record - Alicia Keys

I just have to say that I am really happy with Alicia Keys' latest album, The Element of Freedom!!  After hearing Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys, I was a huge fan of Alicia (The Unplugged album/ DVD was fabulous as well).  But As I Am was a big disappointment to me, because the album didn't represent Alicia as the artist that I had grown to love and admire.  The soul and personal connection was eradicated - and I was left with something totally...ugh!! I don't even like thinking about that album.  But thank you thank you THANK YOU Alicia for The Element of Freedom!  She claimed her freedom to give her true fans some of that good, intimate music that we haven't heard in a while.  I listened to it while riding the 1 train downtown to 66th and uptown to 137th, and while walking through the concrete jungle.  My head was bobbing the whole time, and my heart was happy!  Can't wait to see Alicia in concert at Madison Square Garden on March 17!! So excited - will be my first concert at the Garden =)  Well, I'm signing off! Keeping Up With the Kardashians is on ^_^

Friday, February 19, 2010

Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom

Artist:                                        Album:
Alicia Keys                                The Element of Freedom 

Feels really good/ Reflective/ Soulful/ Headbob =)  

Transition/ Growth:
-2   -1      0      1    2
bad change-no change-good change 

Album Concept:                        Performance:
*****                            *****
4 out of 5 stars                                 4 out of 5 stars
Production:                              Songwriting:
*****                           *****
4 out of 5 stars                                                    4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Songs:
This Bed
That's How Strong My Love Is
How It Feels to Fly
Unthinkable (I'm Ready)
Put it in a Love Song
Empire State of Mind Pt II 

Least Favorite Songs: 
Love is Blind
Doesn't Mean Anything             

 Overall Rating:
 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chris Brown - Graffiti

Click Here for the Video/ Full Album Review

Artist:                             Album:
Chris Brown                   Graffiti

Mellow/ Headbob

Transition/ Growth:
-2    -1     0     1    2
bad change-no change-good change

Album Concept:         Performance:         
*****      *****    
3 of 5 stars                                   3 of 5 stars                          
Production:               Songwriting:
*****      ***** 
3 of 5 stars                                   3 of 5 stars 

Favorite Songs:
Take My Time
So Cold
I Can Transform Ya

Least Favorite Songs:
Pass Out
Fallin' Down

Overall Rating:
3 of 5 stars

Monday, January 11, 2010


Well, here I am.  In front of my computer thinking of what to say.  I must admit that I have tried blogging a few times before, but I never stay committed.  This time WILL be different.  I've decided to blog about what I love--soulful music.  I'm talking about music that lingers in your mind long after you listen to it.  I'm so in love with my music catalog, which contains lots of 90's Hip-Hop and R&B.  But as a music technology major, I really need to know what's happening in music today.  So I am going to listen to current/ recently released albums and blog about my experience.  Stay tuned!

Until next time...