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New Release Tuesday

Royce Da 5’9 is back to help resurrect Hip-Hop music, one of my first loves.  His new CD album Street Hop has brought the creativeness and artistry back to this lyrical art form.

Ryan Montgomery also known as Royce Da 5’9 hails from the industrial automotive mecca, Detroit City and started rapping at the age of 18.  His rap style and lyrical approach is mainly influenced by Rass Kass and Redman.  In 1997 his manager introduced him to Eminem and the two formed a working relationship.

Royce Da 5′ 9 signed his first deal in 1998 with the label known as Tommy Boy Records and released his first album for them Rock City.  He left the label soon after and signed with Koch to release Rock City version 2 after his first album was heavily bootlegged.  In 2004, he released his second and most critically acclaimed album to date Death Is Certain.   Since then he has helped ghostwrite many lyrics for artists such as Jay-z, Dr. Dre & Eminem.  In 2005 he released his third solo album Independent’s Day, which did not reach the success his previous albums obtained.   After his release from jail in 2007, stemming from a DUI charge, he hit the studio hard and released material on various mix tapes.

Fast forward to October 20th, 2009 and the release of his 4th solo album Street Hop.  Now this album is fire people!  When I first heard this album I felt like I was 16 again listening to the pure essence of Hip Hop.  Royce Da 5’9 has teamed up with one the best producers in the game, DJ premier to produce engaging and illustrative songs.  The first single “Shake This”, produced by Premo shows raw emotion and talks about his struggles with alcoholism and his incarceration that have plagued him the past couple years.  His second single release labeled “Part of Me”, is an exotic love tale and unmistakably demonstrates his story telling skills.  The album is definitely a trip back to the Mecca of hip hop music.  I really enjoy almost every song on the album, but the cuts that portray the man behind the rapper are unquestionably the more intriguing ones.

If you love Hip-Hop and it’s art form this album is an essential one to have in your 2009 arsenal.

I couldn’t decide on just two tracks this week, so I leave you with one extra pick.

My top 3 songs are:

Shake This – Produced by DJ Premier

Part of Me – This music video is just as creative as the songwriting.  It’s definitely a treat and leaves you with an unexpected ending.

Something 2 Ride 2 – Produced by DJ Premier.  A vintage chill Hip-Hop song

I hope you enjoyed this weeks pick and please feel free to start a dialogue in our comments section!  I would love to talk to our readers and see what feedback they have to offer.

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TGIFTune

Awakening to a grey, cold, miserable NYC morning is always redeemed by remembering it’s FRIDAY! …and it’s time for TGIFTune!!

Maxwell ‘BLACKsummers’night’

Maxwell released BLACKsummers’night, his fourth studio album, earlier this summer. It’s been 8 years since Maxwell’s last CD was released, Now, which was met with less than favourable reviews. However, BLACKsummers’night, the first installment in a trilogy comeback, achieved universal acclaim and debuted at #1 in the Billboard top 200 chart.

Maxwell keeps true to his R&B and Neo Soul style with traditionalist arrangements. His subtle details provide change from the typical radio plays we’re so used to. They don’t grab; they’re not compressed for maximum brightness. Sometimes one recedes and another momentarily dominates — a horn line might burst through, or a kick drum completes the thought of a bassline. Maxwell adds his vocals to these elements by growing into the spaces above and around them.  Here are Maxwell’s first 2 singles from BLACKsummers’night.

Maxwell  ‘Pretty Wings’

Maxwell ‘Bad Things’

Hope you enjoyed them and have a great weekend!

Add our RSS feed to your list or be sure to check back next as we’re working on two brand spanking new pages plus an original feature we’re excited about, Steve Whitely’s (from Bang FM‘s (UK) New Music Show) podcast!

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New Release Tuesday

We have reached another Tuesday and you know what that means, new music that I review and introduce to our great readers.  Today’s pick is a Canadian singer and actor hailing from Burnaby, British Columbia.  His name is Michael Bublé and I’m really feeling his  music.  He offers that crooner style of singing, similar to the Rat Pack, with a modern twist.

His first singing gigs came at the age of 16 in various nightclubs.  Michael’s first break came when he met David Foster, a multi-Grammy Award winning producer and record executive at a wedding.  Foster became impressed with his voice and agreed to produce his debut album if Michael covered the $500,000 production cost in which he did.

Michael Buble’s self titled  cd debut album was released in 2003 and featured a variety of standards from different eras such as “Fever”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, “For Once in My Life”, “Moondance” and “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”.

Since then he went on to release his second and third albums, It’s Time, in 2005 and Call Me Irresponsible, in 2007, which sold 5 million worldwide.

His new album labeled Crazy Love also has Michael singing standards with some additions of modern songs.   His first single off the album, “Haven’t Met You Yet” was released in August and offers a feel good happy vibe.  The album displays a wide range of musical sounds and influences from electric guitars to big band jazz and retro soul and blues.  I’m really feeling this guys voice and his fresh au-courant style to the works of classic singers.

My top two standout album cuts:

“Haven’t Met You Yet” – Yes, I love the single and it’s catchiness!

“You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You”

Enjoy this weeks pick and remember that music is good for the soul!  Don’t hesitate to give us your feedback in the comments section.
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Money Mondays

What a weekend! Friday night was an all English affair in NYC for me. It started off nicely with a win in my Friday night Football (Soccer for our American friends) league and then continued with seeing the almighty Happy Mondays at the Roseland Ballroom. I walked in just as Shaun Ryder started to belt out the first lines to Loose Fit while he stood still under the psychedelic style lighting covering the stage. Happy Mondays are a notorious part of the Manchester music scene. Alongside The Stone Roses in the mid 80’s, the Happy Mondays created a new trend of music using indie pop guitar with a rhythmic style that owed much to house music, funk, and northern soul. With many of their tracks being remixed by popular Dj’s and their 3rd studio album Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches produced by Paul Oakenfold in 1990 it emphasized the dance/rave influence within the band.

The Happy Mondays and  Shaun Ryder came to a rocky end when Shaun’s drug addictions to cocaine and heroin got the best of him. There was also a dispute between record labels which prevented the band from recording for more than 6 years.

Shaun, Bez and the rest of the Happy Mondays finally reunited and recorded Uncle Dysfunktional in 2007 and are now zig zagging across the States with tour performances that would make any band proud!

Their story in part is shown in the cult favourite film 24 Hour Party People.

‘You’re twisting my melons man’ – Shaun Ryder, legend!
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TGIFTune

It’s Friday and the weekend is here! This one is going to be extra special as I’m off to see the legendary ‘Madchester’ crew the Happy Mondays!! Shaun, Bez and gang are taking to the stage at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. I’ll be posting a full review on Monday so be sure to check back!

In the meantime here’s a top band to get you grooving out of the shackles of the office:

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. Fat Freddy’s Drop have been playing their brand of soulful dub reggae for over 10 years, and in their home country have already gone multi platium with their debut album Based On A True Story. Their new album Dr. Boon Digger & The BW carries on that sound. Long winding jam sessions with a sparse easy-going feel that are so soulful you’ll be grooving away in no time. They have a wonderful way of building up the track from just a bassline to a funk jam with blasting horns, squeeling guitar and the ever present Bill Wethers-esque vocals of lead singer Dallas Tamaira. Stand out track from the new album has to be The Camel featuring the great Alice Russel (Quantic) on vocals:

Have a wicked weekend and don’t forget to check out Big Al’s 2 Cents. See you all on Monday!
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New Release Tuesday

Many people say that I am a laid back  and chill out person, so it’s fitting to write about one of my favorite French pop duo’s AIRLove 2 is AIR’s sixth album release since their debut album in 1998 – Moon Safari.

The group consists of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel.  Many people classify the groups music as Electronica, which is heavily influenced by the synthesizer sounds of the late 70’s and early 80’s.  Other influences include psychedelic rock such as Pink Floyd and Eurodance (Space).

Being the first time Dunckel and Godin have produced their own album, Love 2 has managed to stay consistent with their chill out, synth pop beats and melodies.  The new album’s sound is equipped with some strings, spaced out synths here and a few fuzzed-out guitars and basslines there.  It is definitely a tantalizing, tranquil and  down-tempo masterwork.  Love 2 is such an amiable album to pop in as a needed escape from the real world.

My top cuts on the album are:

Sing Sang Sung – This video is definitely a psychedelic treat!

So Light Is Her Footfall

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TGIFTune

The grind of the week is almost finished and we’ll be leaving you with some hot music to get you bouncing into your weekend.

K’Naan

K’Naan’s album Troubadour came out in February this year and has been in my CD player constantly.  The whole record is brilliant: conscious lyrics, catchy hooks, funky bass lines and features a variety of genres to make it stand out not just in the hip hop world but in the music world in general.

If you haven’t heard of K’naan already – by the end of the year you will have. My predictions are he’ll storm the Grammys 2010 – he deserves to! There’s a lot to K’Naan’s history, from his childhood in Somalia to moving to Toronto as a refugee and learning English by listening to Nas and Rakim rap albums to recording Troubadour in Bob Marley’s studio in Jamacia. Check out an early interview:

K’naan is currently touring the US with Lenny Kravitz.

It is so hard to choose one track on a varied album, but check out “Waving Flag” (very heartfelt pop song with a strong message); “America” (feat Mos Def and Charlie 2na) and my pick below “T.I.A.”:

Also on a slight side note, there have been recent reports that problems in Somalia are worse now then they have ever been (http://www.newsweek.com/id/215489)

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