Anyone who has read anything I have ever posted is well aware that I am definitely more of a country music fan than I am any other genre but let’s face it: country music is in a bit of a drought of creativity and stuck in a sonic rut about 8 times of 10. Recently, I’ve been listening to a variety of new, progressive R&B tinged music that even has some EDM influences in some cases. Who are some of these people? The epics that are Katy B, Jessie Ware, Sky Ferreira and Solange Knowles. All have their pluses and all stand in contrast to the batch of musicians who are currently dominating. Where as much of the artist who are topping the charts are thriving off of in-your-face beats and breakdowns with lyrics that are typically about partying in the typical way or a heartbreak these four are treading new waters to reach excellent results! Not saying the others are making completely worthless music, personally I admire Kesha for her manipulative abilities and Taylor Swift has made some of the best mainstream pop in recent memory with her new album, but these four are quite simply a different beast.
Aaliyah - “Enough Said” (feat. Drake)
Produced by Noah “40” Shebib
I love Aaliyah, I think she is one of the most artistically significant singers of the last two decades. Although I am not sure if I am on board with another posthumous album, I am definitely intrigued and must admit it is nice to hear her silky voice on some new tracks. Too bad she is unlikely to regain commercial success though, she’d easily make radio a little more interesting again.
Source: SoundCloud / FUTURESOUND / BGR
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I know it is still summer of 2012 but 2013 is already shaping up to be an interesting year for music. In particular are three album releases expected for early next year by some of country music’s finest talents. The three are Matraca Berg, Pistol Annies, and LeAnn Rimes. I am sure I will do follow up posts with each of these three in detail, but the thought that they will all be kicking off the year with new music is incredible.
Matraca has finished the album and is going to release in early spring following the UK release this fall.
LeAnn is said to be aiming for a February release of Spitfire with a single coming in November
Pistol Annies are said to be entering the studio to record the follow up to their stellar Hell on Heels debut this fall, supposedly with three albums worth of songs to record.
On a side note singer/songwriter Lissie is said to be aiming for a March release of her sophomore album that follows 2010’s Catching a Tiger
Hellooo 2012! Helloooo new record! Helllooo COOTER! This is bound to be a very fun and fulfilling year. I am setting forth on a few journeys. The first journey is a personal one that took much December 2011 self-reflection. This year, I want to truly understand and speak my truth, see God in all of those I encounter, and spread love daily in both big and small ways.In the last year, I have come to terms with my “Dharma” … my true purpose and reason for my skill set… I believe it is to spread joy in creative and playful ways. I am a lover— lover of life, a lover of people, a lover of the now moment, a lover of creative inspiration, a lover of discovery and a lover of connection with my fellow man. I believe that there is an exchange of love that happens between an artist and their audience. The artist gives of himself, his insights, his sense of humor, his well-honed craft, his energy lovingly and purely to his audience. His audience responds with applause, laughter, cheers and/or their energy and love back to him. It’s a beautiful exchange of love. I am so blessed to have this exchange and the audience to share my deepest being with. But with it comes a responsibility on my part. I must be truthful. I must reveal things about myself, in my music or as an actor, that can be scary. I must be real. I must be open. I must be present… and I must be my true self. You must see purely who I am. I am what I am. I am flawed and broken and a work in progress. I do not have white doves flying out of my ass. I am no better or worse than anyone else. I have a personal obligation to make this earth more joyful than I arrived here, and I intend to do that.
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Quite possibly the greatest debut album to ever be released, Matraca Berg (best known for writing hits like “Strawberry Wine” and “You and Tequila”) possesses a beautiful alto voice that simply flows over the witty lyrics that she writes. For example, her up tempos like “The Things You Left Undone” and “I Must Have Been Crazy” incorporate eccentric performances over aggressive instrumentation and production reminiscent of the incredible Pam Tillis hit “Maybe It Was Memphis”which is always good thing. Although those are there it is not limited to that, it also includes beautiful ballads like “Alice in the Looking Glass” with its sweet, calm reflective story of a woman working in a hair parlor and “Calico Plains” a song of a sister who looked up to her sister so much that when her dreams got derailed she took them on as her own, it was the first of three songs inspired by her grandpa’s farm and is just as beautiful as its much lauded sisters.
More remarkable is a track entitled “You Are the Storm” that has her emotional vocals pour over a storm like production with beautiful, insightful lyrics of being unable to help the one you love because they are tormenting them self. With that said, the greatest track is the incomparable title track, later covered by Trisha Yearwood, with it’s sparse, airy instrumentation that allows her vocals to stand center stage on the gorgeous melancholy lyrics about being stood up and refusing to admit to not only herself but the moon by staying and waiting late into the night.
A statement of the greatness of this album is how many artist have in fact covered the tracks ranging from Trisha and Pam to the legendary Linda Ronstadt. As for those who will result to iTunes to purchase this wonderful CD will also find a track called “It’s Easy to Tell” that showcases Matraca’s stellar range on a track originally released as the first single to an unreleased album called Bittersweet Surrender.
Finally, like Kevin at Country Universe said with Lee Ann Womack’s There’s More Where That Came From this album is so great it’s flaws are almost impossible to find.
I am adding a new feature that will update at least once a week about and album I deem essential that will include a rating out of five stars and a review (that will vary in length based on what I have to say). Included on this list will rang from Bluegrass to Rock and Mainstream to Indie artist such as Dierks Bentley and Fleetwood Mac and Shania Twain and Matraca Berg.
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BC Jean singing “Narcissistic Boy” and oh my lordy is she awesome. She wrote “If I Were A Boy” (sung by Reba McEntire and Beyonce) and now just wow this is a song that deserves heavy rotation on radio! If you see this please re-blog to get the word out! Also, what do you think?
I’d sure hate to break down here, nothing up ahead or in the rear view mirror, out in the middle of nowhere knowing, I’m in trouble if these wheels stop rolling, God help me keep me moving some how don’t let me start wishing I was with her now, I made it this far without crying a single tear, I’d sure hate to break down here
Not sure if I’m feeling this one.. Its a decent lyric that in her typical desperate, pleading theme with her Cry album overproduction, and she is definitely going for the type of come back that Sara Evans did with “A Little Bit Stronger” which is good except Sara had the better song. Guess I’ll have to wait until tonight to see if she can persuade me further with her live performance because as of right now I would rate this a C+ which is the worse of the Shania, Sara, Faith comeback series (with Sara being the only truly impressive one).
Faith Hill - “Come Home” [New Single]
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