Single and Listening


July 2009 Second Edition

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date

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all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

3 month-end sorta’ quickies.  Two title tracks; all debut singles for new projects.

Nelly Furtado “Manos Al Aire” Released:  June 29, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  Mi Plan
Nelly F. doing her Spanish ‘thang.  Not bad.  Not bad.  Love the sped-up fast singing sections.  And, to be able to do that in another language…  Though, Portuguese may be similar.  Lyrically, not so simple, either.  This is not the “Hands Up” booty-shaking song it could’ve been, but it works much better this way.

Boys Like Girls “Love Drunk” Released:  July 7, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  Love Drunk ♫♪
Me likes.  Hey, isn’t that Ashley Tisdale in the video?  Uhhh, not that I know about the tween set.  Back to the song.  Some good punk pop boy band stuff.

Shakira “She Wolf” Released:  July 21, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  She Wolf ♫♪
Can’t help but think of “Thriller” for the imagery.  Don’t love it right off the bat.  Yet, it’s very Shakira-esque even though it’s electro.  Catchy?  Yes.  Dance floor ready?  Yes.  Classic?  Not sure yet.

July 2009 First Edition

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date

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all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

2 quickies and 1 quickie-and-a-half.

Mario featuring Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett “Break Up”
Released:  April 28, 2009 From Forthcoming Release:  And Then There Was Me
D.O.A.  D.O.A.  Please.  Blends where it should stand out. Chorus is catchy.

Ocean’s 7 “Vegas Baby” Released:  July 27, 2009
From Debut Release:  3000 & 9 Shit ♫♪
This is a super-team of R&B-ers and hip-hoppers. The blueprint goes without saying. Works as a novelty song.  Not sure if there’s longevity there.  Guess I should listen to the mixtape, huh?  Actually, this sounds like a perfect soundtrack song for some film.  And, I’m not being facetious. The recurring loop is the best thing about it.

Panic! At The Disco “New Perspective” Released:  July 28, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  Jennifer’s Body Soundtrack ♫♪
Not horrible.  Not spectacular.  Doesn’t pop, though. But, I like the effect at the end.

Here’s June 2009’s Second Edition.

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date

♫♪

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all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

This time I review 3 divos.  Okay, I’ll admit, I’m a little late on the come-up on a couple of these, but this year’s BET Awards turned me on to some things and these are the songs I wanted to review today.

Kid Cudi “Day ‘N’ Nite” Released:  February 8, 2008
From Previous ReleaseA Kid Named Kudi and
Forthcoming Release:  Man on the Moon:  End of Day
Infectious beat and infectious chorus.  At first, those lyrics seem a little too straightforward, but then something happens and the cadence hypnotizes you like a snake charmer.  Definitely, a sing- and dance-along song.  A refreshing change in hip hop subject matter that reflect depth and another point-of-view.
 
Maxwell “Pretty Wings” Released:  April 28, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  BLACKsummers’night
I first heard Maxwell perform this at the 2009 BET Awards with a great introduction by Jamie Foxx.  Of course it took on a different life as it was one of many tributes to Michael Jackson that night, but the song stands on its own two “wings.”  And, it floats weightlessly into the air as ecstasy-laden R&B.  I don’t think Maxwell has ever been christened the prince or king of anything, but maybe he needs to be. This is the type of soul that makes you want to dance out of your shell. I wasn’t paying attention to Maxwell before, but I am now.

Jay-Z “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” Released:  June 23, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  The Blueprint3  
It’s what you’ve come to expect from Jay.  It’s at his level.  And, that’s above average for sure.  Doesn’t change the game, though, as much as make an, arguably, necessary statement against Auto-Tune.  The interpolation of “Goodbye” works well enough, but seems obvious.  The live jazz instrumentation is the highlight and the intended antithesis to Auto-Tune.

I owe you two of these a month.  Should be getting one tomorrow, too.  Would like to spread them out more, but just been so busy, lately.Single and Listening

 Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date

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all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

 I review 4 divas this time around. 

Paulina Rubio “Causa y Efecto” Released:  March 30, 2009
From Latest Release:  Gran City Pop ♫♪
For a song from an album called Gran City Pop, I’d expect more of a distinguishable pop sound.  Maybe this is what Spanish pop sounds like.  First listen, I wasn’t really feeling it.  Second listen, I can tell it’s a Paulina song.  Suits her style.  Third listen, I can see myself singing along, head-nodding to my right, and air-tapping my right foot over left.  A capable effort, but it doesn’t blow me away.

 Paula Abdul “I’m Just Here for the Music” Released:  May 5, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  TBD
Sounds like Britney pop when it’s done right.  Jay-Z has proclaimed the death of Auto-Tune, but this song was released before that proclamation.  Perhaps, this is a nice last breath on the dance floor.  I can see it burning up the clubs.  A simple and repetitive beat might be its only downfall.  For that reason it needs a layered and complicated remix to really funk things up.  But, overall, it seems to work.

Amerie “Why R U”
Released:  June 15, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  In Love & War
Love the hip hopped-out intro.  Amerie exhibits some pipes providing some nice layers and colors.  The call-out chorus works and pays clever tribute to “1 Thing.”  Some nice elements that don’t quite find their way to fitting perfectly together, but work well enough.

Mariah Carey “Obsessed” Released:  June 16, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel ♫♪
Not bad, but I think MC is at a point in her career where the era makes the artist and the artist no longer makes the era ala’ Cher who had a disco hit and then 80s soft rock hits and then techno, etc.  Mariah may stay with the urban/R&B/pop genres more, though, as those are her areas.  A couple of lines of clever wordplay make it worthwhile and the spoken intro works.  It’s a grower; I’d play it more than once.  A slow burner, not spontaneous combustion.

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date 

♫♪

♫♫

♫♫♪

all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

3 quickies.

Rob Thomas “Her Diamonds” Released:  April 27, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  cradlesong ♫♪1/2
I like it.  Can see it becoming a bit of a mini-anthem.  Charming with a folk quality and a bit of fireside spiritual.  A slow-burning grower kind-of-song.

Kristinia DeBarge “Goodbye” Released:  April 28, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  TBD ♫♪
Even the interpolation of the 1969 Steam classic “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” into the chorus doesn’t save it.  It’s  satisfactory overall, but from a DeBarge, I’d expect more.

Bat For Lashes “Pearl’s Dream” Released:  May 28, 2009
From Latest Release:  Two Suns
I already mentioned this was a favorite in our Just Picked Up feature here.  The choruses are sweet and the double-meanings fun.  And, I swear that under beat is the Pussycat Doll’s “Don’t Cha.”  Even, if it isn’t, it reminds me of it and makes me like it even more.  Mash-up anyone?

Single Reviews by Release Date

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♫♫

♫♫♪

all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

Incubus “Black Heart Inertia” Released:  April 2, 2009
From Forthcoming Release:  Monuments and Melodies ♫♪
It’s mellow and mellow is genius sometimes, but this just needs a little extra “oomph.” Just a little bit, now.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s almost there.  Melodious stanzas and an effortless chorus make up for anything that’s lacking, though.

Kate Voegele “99 Times” Released:  April 14, 2009
From Latest Release:  A Fine Mess ♫♪
A capable delivery of a pop-rock number.  Nothing I haven’t heard before, but it is catchy, you’d want to sing along, and there’s a certain attitude conveyed that I like.

Ida Maria “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”
Released:  May 26, 2009 From Debut Release:  Fortress Around My Heart ♫♪
A fresh retro feel.  Repetitive, but fun.  A funny subject that’s equally relatable.

Single and Listening

Single Reviews by Release Date

♫♪

♫♫

♫♫♪

all over the place

carries a tune

part of the chorus

featured soloist

conducting the choir

Plain White T’s “1, 2, 3, 4” Released:  December 2008
From Latest Release:  Big Bad World ♫♫
This is sweet melodious ear- and heart-candy that makes me want create a fantasy dreamscape to escape into with the one (if there were one).  The strings tug at your nobler sentiments.

Jesse McCartney “Leavin’” Released:  March 10, 2008
From Latest Release:  Departure ♫♫
Okay.  So, who has this young white boy singing like a grown black man?  Sounds good, though.  Let me research who produced it to see who put the soul on him.  Ah, Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, so there you go.  It’s a hot track.  One of those I would put on repeat and listen to all day long.

Asher Roth “Be By Myself” Released:  April 30, 2009
From Latest Release:  Asleep in the Bread Isle ♫♪
So, let’s get the comparison to Eminem out of the way.  When he’s the only one at his level that has come before, it’s going to be there.  And, Roth’s delivery echoes his style though his content maybe somewhat different.  Not a bad song.  I’m not blow away and it’s not something I haven’t ever heard before.  The talent is obvious and the potential is there.  Wonder if he’s the white version of Kid ‘n Play and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince?  You know the regular, humorous high school kid rapper as opposed to the hardcore street-smart MC.  Guess time will tell.

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