New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh album by Erykah Badu

New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh album by Erykah Badu.


New Release Music Tuesday

The new year is starting to get revved up and is showing some promising new bands and music! This week has proven to be full of goodies with new music from Cold War Kids, The Editors, RJD2, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Missy Elliott and today’s new music pick Spoon!  I had the opportunity to work on this album (Transference) and really enjoyed it.

Spoon was formed in late 1993 in Austin, Texas and is composed of Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar); Jim Eno (drums); Rob Pope (bass) and Eric Harvey (keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals).

Spoons first recorded album debut came about in 1994 with the release of The Nefarious EP in May 1994. In 1995 the band signed with the well established indie label Matador Records and released their first LP Telephono in 1996. Their first album was met with mixed reviews and were often compared to the Pixies and Wire. Regardless of their comparisons the album showed forward signs of mixing post-funk with a fusion of pop.

They later went on to try their hand at one of the major lables Elektra releasing A Series of Sneaks. The album did not sell as expected and just four months into their new contract they were dropped and later picked up by Merge Records their current label. Much of their commercial success is attributed to Merge’s special attention and development of the band. They went on and released five studio albums with Merge and have appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and Last Call with Carson Daly, as well as the PBS show Austin City Limits. They have also appeared as musical guests on the popular weekly improv Saturday Night Live.

Fast forward to January 19th, 2010 with the start of a new decade and a new album Transference.
Spoon "Transference"
As in their last album “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” we saw the group experiment with hooks and mini horn sections, Transference also broadens the groups experimentation with more textures and moods. Transference begins with “Before Destruction”, a reflective slow-burner that’s more of a subdued prelude than a flashy entrance. The album’s single “Written in Reverse” offers a soulful rock sound, with vocals, guitars and keys barely out of alignment.

“Is Love Forever?”, a lively cut that bumps right into “The Mystery Zone”, a superior late-night delight that hits the same sweet spot as older gems like “Don’t You Evah” and “I Turn My Camera On”. As soon a that track ends suddenly, it’s like walking right into a wall before “Who Makes Your Money” has you wobbling along with Daniel in a concussed haze. The album tones down and moves along. All in all the album is best described as a big pile-up of unconventional creative decisions, which seems to work for me.

My Top two picks:

Written In Reverse:

Got Nuffin:

Stay tuned for next weeks pick!  Enjoy the music!


New Release Music Tuesday

Happy New Year to all my music enthusiast!  The start of the new year shows some promising upcoming new albums, but unfortunately there is no new music this week as the notable new releases starts next week.  This week I am revisiting a band that I didn’t get the chance to write about in my New Release Music Tuesday column last year.  Enjoy this weeks revisited pick from 2009.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an indie rock band that formed in New York City in 2000 and is  comprised of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase.  The band stays true to their NYC grind by naming their band after modern New York City vernacular.

Karen O and Brian Chase both attended Oberlin College in Ohio in the late ’90s, and met as students there.  Karen then moved to NYC to attend NYU and while in New York met Zinner in a local bar, where they formed an instant bond.   The two later formed an acoustic duo called “Unitard”, but then decided to go  electric after being inspired by Ohio’s avant-punk scene.  Chase joined the line-up after the drummer they initially recruited bowed out. In late 2001, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their self-titled debut EP, which they recorded with Boss Hog’s Jerry Teel on their own Shifty label. They also appeared at the highly rated South by Southwest festival in Houston, TX early that year.

Since its inception the band has recorded three studio albums; the first, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003. The second, Show Your Bones, was released in 2006 and was named the second best album of the year by NME. Their latest studio album, It’s Blitz!, was released on March 31, 2009.
Yeah Yeah Yeah's - It's Blitz

The album as a whole is impressive.  The single Zero transports the audience into a stimulating sea of electrical flare and is perhaps one of the band’s finest musical points in their career.  Heads Will Roll keeps the uptempo going with its dance feel and lyrics like “Off with your head, dance til your dead”.  With lyrics like that you definitely won’t stand in a club with a drink trying to look cute.  Skeletons is filled with monster distant drums and digital tears trickling all over it along with vocals which find Karen at her most astounding.

All in all the album is a solid  more polished YYY’s sound that is  more listener friendly than previous albums, and I can definitely see it reaching a broader audience.

My top two picks are:


Heads Will Roll:

Bonus Pick:


Alright folks.  I hope you enjoyed my revisited album pick of 2009!  It’s a great album filled with a wide range of emotions!  Stay tuned for next weeks  pick!

Happy New Year!


New Music Tuesday

For the first time in 15 years Cleveland’s most well known rap group is back and fresh with the release of their new album Uni5: The World’s Enemy.

Bone Thugs N Harmony was formed in the early 1990s, and originally consisted of four members: Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone. They recorded their first album, Faces Of Death in 1993.  After the addition of  Flesh-n-Bone the group headed to Los Angeles in search of famous producer and N.W.A. member Eazy-E.

In hopes of securing a record deal, the group was given an audition over the phone receiving an unfulfilled promise from Eazy-E to call them back. Discovering that Eazy-E was performing back in their hometown of Cleveland, the group took a charter bus back to their home turf to open Eazy-E’s show and they were then signed to Ruthless Records on the spot.

Known mostly for their fast and smooth flow, rather than lyricism, Bone’s style and technique can be described as harmonious, rapid-fire and hawkish. Their style could be best described as a web of high speed, melodic pace or slow, rhythmical pace.  They also tend to ride the beat that they’re rapping over.

Bone Thugs have released hip hop notable albums Creepin on ah Come Up, E 1999 Eternal and The Art of War with successful hit such as “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”, “1st of Da Month”, “Crossroads” and “Foe the Love of Money” to name a few.

Uni-5: The World’s Enemy is their latest release and offers the same fast, ride the beat flow as previous albums.  Their first single “See Me Shine” has a soulful R&B hook mixed in with a smooth flow riding over the beat.  The song features Lyfe Jennings singing the hook “They don’t wanna, they don’t wanna see me shine”. This song is definitely for all the haters out there.  The Game Ain’t Ready demonstrates the evolution of BTNH, combining the group’s trademark, machine-gun flow with an updated beat that lets you know they’ve spent some time not just reminiscing about the past, but on where they want their music to go in the future.

In the end – the album is good and longtime BTNH fans will not be disappointed.  Also, the possibility of the group gaining a whole new generation of fans is not out of the question as they have evolved to offer a more modern sound.

My top pick is:  See Me Shine:

Hope everyone enjoys the reunion of one hip hops notable rap acts!  Good to see them back with fresh new material!  Hope everyone enjoys the holidays and we’ll see you in the New Year!
Bone Thugs N Harmony

Make sure to check out other notable releases this week by

Mary J. Blige – Stronger With Each Tear

Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack – Definitely has some good new artists and songs

New Release Music Tuesday

We’re back!  A week has gone by and I am excited to bring yet another great band to you!

Animal Collective came to fruition by childhood friendships formed in  Baltimore, Maryland and is composed of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin, or Deacon as spelled on Strawberry Jam (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz).  The band members met in school and started recording together at a young age.  Lennox and Dibb went off to college in the Boston area while Portner and Weitz attended NYU in NYC.  In the summer of 1999 they would all meet back up again in Maryland to record material for the first release in 2000, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. After the release, Lennox and Dibb moved from Boston to NYC to record and the music became much more  collaborative in nature.

Since their first release they have gone on to release 8 studio albums.  My introduction to the group didn’t come until the release of their 7th studio album Strawberry Jam (2007) and later Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009).  Both albums were wonderfully arranged and offered a warm atmospheric feel to them.

In and effort to hold fans over until their next full album release they have decided to drop the EP Fall Be Kind.  The EP picks up right where they left off with intense pop chore, numerous harmonies and melodies with trance-like elements that are as hypnotic as they are eccentric.  The band seems to keep it’s unorthodox, enchantedly complex and unique sound while offering more friendly and simple vocals and general musicianship.

Although it is only an EP, the bands best moment could be on their strangely titled track “What Would I Want? Sky.” They have managed to take a brilliant Grateful Dead sample and evolve it into a song that probably has the most eclectic hooks and overall song.

If you like music and it’s various eclectic forms then you will truly like this EP!

My top two picks on the EP are:

On the Highway

I Think I Can

Animal Collective

Thanks for stopping by this week.  Enjoy the new tunes and make sure to check out other notable releases.

Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom

Robin Thicke – Sex Therapy

Shiny Toy Guns – Girls Le Disko


New Release Music Tuesday

Just two weeks after Rihanna’s anticipated  and successful release of Rated R comes the release of former hubby Chris Brown’s Graffitti.

Christopher Brown was (born May 5, 1989)  in the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia to Joyce Hawkins, a former day care center director, and Clinton Brown, a corrections officer at a local prison. He is the youngest child of the couple and one has older sister.  Although no-one in his family was related to music it was always around in Brown’s life.   He used to listen to soul albums that his parents had owned and eventually Brown began to show interest in the hip-hop scene.  He went through some personal problems at the time of his engaged interest in music, by  the physical abuse his mother endured at the hand of her boyfriend (we wondered where he got it from).

In 2005 his mother saw the vocal talent Chris had and began to shop him around to music labels where he had the chance to audition for then senior A&R executive Tina Davis (Island Def Jam).  Tina was impressed and eventually he was signed and officially made his recording debut in late 2005 with the self-titled album Chris Brown at the age of 16.

His  debut album featured the hit single “Run It!”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, making Brown the first male artist since Montell Jordan in 1995 to have his debut single top the charts. The album has sold over two million copies in the United States and was certified double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

He then went on to release his sophomore album Exclusive.   The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, selling 294,000 copies in its first week and has sold 1.9 million copies since, in the United States.

Now comes the release of his third album Graffiti which comes off the heels of his highly controversial troubles with Rihanna.  His first single of the album is “I Can Transform Ya”, and has peaked at 20 on the Billboard 100.  It is definitely a catchy song with its electro-fortified number that clicks, pops and buzzes, but would definitely not hold without featuring  Lil Wayne.  The only reference made to his troubles would be in the song “So Cold” which makes references as “…and I know I was deadly wrong, but if you see her ask if she will forgive me?”.   Chris Brown is a talented individual and I feel that he could have demonstrated it more on this album with one or two more ballads.  The ballad “Crawl” seemed a little flat to me.

Chris may have won the physical bout, but this time Rihanna has managed to give him a musical upper cut in the battle of the albums.

My Top two picks:

I Can Transform Ya:


Thanks to all my readers!  Please leave your thoughts and feedback as to whether Chris or Rihanna has a better overall album.  Stay tuned until week!


New Release Music Tuesday

Hello!  I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday filled with fun, food and Great music!  This week’s pick is a band that caught my interest back in 2005 with their single release “An Honest Mistake”.

The Bravery hails from New York and consists of  Sam Endicott (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael Zakarin (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Conway (keyboards, backing vocals), Mike Hindert (bass, backing vocals), and Anthony Burulcich (drums, backing vocals).  Their music is a blend of both post-punk revitalization and new wave.

The band’s early days climbing up the ranks to musical success started out by playing their first gig at the Stinger Club in Brooklyn in November of 2003.  They did all the grunt work labels would do by promoting their local shows, manufactured their own posters posters and by handing out 3 song samplers containing the songs “An Honest Mistake”, “No Brakes” and “Public Service Announcement” on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  The band also promoted themselves on the internet and were one of the first bands on MySpace to have a profile. Their MySpace profile pointed to the where the same 3 songs were available as downloadable MP3s.

After several months of headlining and selling out small clubs, the Bravery managed to book  a residency at the Lower East side club Arlene’s Grocery. The Bravery played every Thursday at 10pm in May 2004. Every show sold out and garnered the attention of many record labels.  On August 2004 they signed to Island Def Jam in the United States and Loog Records in the UK.

Since then they went on to release The Bravery (2005), The Sun and the Moon (2007), and their latest released today Stir the Blood (2009).

Their latest release Stir the Blood is a return to their synth-pop and  doubling down ’80s revival sound.   This album is definitely better than their sophomore album that flopped, but not breaking out the shadow of their debut album. I’m not the biggest fan of the new album with it’s disturbing lyrics and anger, but I have always liked that 80’s new wave pop rock sound!  I love the music but I think the lyrics on the album are a bit sketchy.  Enjoy my top two picks.

My top two picks are:

Sugar Pill – The video is cool!

Slow Poison:





  • 11,462 hits

Sonic Arts on Twitter