Although I added Evolver to the list of albums I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this year, I admit I was a bit nervous after hearing “Green Light.” Unlike some, I didn’t despise the song but it left me a bit unsettled as to where you were going with this project. Our relationship was gonna be in trouble if this album was underwhelming.
One thing I can say about you as an artist is that you are certainly an evolver. With each album you have tried to create a different sound. Sometimes it worked, other times not. I have to applaud the effort. So many artists play it safe, particularly when their first album is so successful. Be prepared, many fans will hate on this album because they want you to return to your soul roots and stay there.
Although I can honestly say that there were no skips for me, a few of the songs did sound similar. I also would have liked the sound of more live instruments. I’m looking forward to seeing you on tour backed by a band. I think I’ll fall completely in love with a few of these tracks when I hear the words set to some live instrumentation.
Let’s get to a few of the songs that I have on repeat.
First, let’s just get the unpleasantness out of the way. The whole album has leaked. It happens. Moving on.
Before the entire album leak, I loved the tracks that were previewed on the music sites like “Good Morning” and “Quickly.”
“Good Morning”should please your stans from Get Lifted. It’s easy like Sunday morning and just as sweet. I tell you, if I had you crooning that in my ear every time I opened my eyes, I just might become a morning person.
Surprisingly, you and Brandy are the perfect combination on “Quickly.” I have a love/hate relationship with her voice but she really shines here with just the right amount of urgency that the song requires. You may just be single-handedly responsible for reviving her career. Folks are checking for her again. I like the sentiment of the song as well, Country is warring, leaders lying; I know we just met but can you love me quickly. Call me mushy but it works for me.
If I was forced to pick one track on the album as a favorite, there’s just something about “I Love, You Love.” The song is simply beautiful without all of the fancy production of some of the other tracks. I can envision this live – just you and the guitar man.
I am also really feeling the two island-flavored tracks on this album. I’m an Caribbean girl at heart so you and Estelle teaming up on “No Other Love” will be in constant rotation on my IPOD when I need a mental escape. As if it couldn’t get any better, you and Buju Banton on the bonus track, “Can’t Be My Lover” takes me right back to that hot summer night two years ago in Jamaica at Reggae Sumfest.
Other stand out tracks for me are “This Time,” which somewhat reminds me of “Ordinary People.” Again, I’d like to see this performed live with just a single spotlight on you and the piano. I could have done without whatever that machine is in the background. It competes with the beauty of your voice at times and you struggle to win.
“Take Me Away” reminds me of Bobby Valentino’s sexy summer anthem from a few years back, “Slow Down.” This is the perfect “club-about-to-close-seal-the-deal” song.Take me away from here…take me somewhere where love is like breathing. I don’t care where we go ‘long as I’m there with youuuuu.” Indeed.
These days, I’m not a huge fan of rap guest appearances. Often, it’s just not needed. However, Dre and Kanye are welcome additions on “Green Light” and “It’s Over.” (sidebar: There’s no way I will be pressing play on Kanye’s album if the whole thing is going to sound like that. It was okay for sixteen bars but anymore than that, I have to vote hell no.) Nice to see Teddy Riley remixing “It’s Over,” which is another bonus track. I boogied on down to both versions.
Johnny, I know you’ll get some static on this album but even if I have to stand alone, I’m letting you know that it will get much play in my stereo. After hearing this album, I must catch you and Raphael Saadiq on tour. Great live performances of most of these tracks will likely be what it takes to get this on my top albums of 2008 list.
I am long overdue. I have a backlog of albums to purchase but there are also some upcoming releases that I also need to get my hands on.
I’m also compiling this list because either I don’t know where to look or there are very few sites that have updated release info all in one place without me having to scan through genres I have no interest in.
This list contains albums I’m anticipating so it still won’t be comprehensive. I hope it can serve as a reference for soul and real hip hop music lovers out there. I don’t need to be the only out there eating PB&J!
As folks wander in and drop some gems I may have overlooked in the comment section, I will likely update this. I’ll likely make a page for it right up there at the top so you can locate it quickly.
Let me know whether you plan to high tail it to the store and get any of these. Or let me know your thoughts about what we can expect from any of these artists. Will I be jamming it or slamming it?
I was kind of ambivalent about Hurricane (with the exception of “Pretty Baby”) but I have been feeling the cuts I’ve heard from Eric Benet’s latest album. He also is a very entertaining interview!
Take a listen to “Hunger,” the second single from Love and Life.
Kenny is too fly on that album cover! I’ve always been a fan of his sound. I look forward to seeing what he can bring to the remakes of some timeless classics. He dares to touch Donny, Marvin, Otis, Stevie, and Aretha all on one album?! Well rock on Kennywith your bad self! “Starship” is one of my favorite songs so I’m anxious to see what he does with that one in particular.
Not to mention, she’s from the City of Brotherly Love and you already know how much I stan for all things Philly. Reminiscent of the buzz around Chrisette Michele, this is surely one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. As if she needed her rising star to soar any faster, she is opening for Maxwell on some (if not all) of his tour dates. Probably the quickest selling ticket ever for an artist who hasn’t released an album in years and one who has yet to drop one. Soul Bounce has been stanning for Jazmine for months now. If you’re behind, get into this.
The Internets are on edge waiting to see what Common delivers on Invincible Summer. It’s been described as “clubby,” which is not what I want to hear from him. However, I’m willing to give it a chance (although Bilal is M.I.A). Santogold makes an appearance, which I’m feeling. No album art has surfaced just yet (unless I’ve missed it). Meantime, I’m very content to stare at his beautiful mug in photos like the one above.
Two albums with cover controversy being released on the same day? Will that be the conversation or will we stick to the music?
Let me first say that I do hope the woman whose body this actually is or the graphic artist who did this photoshop job were well-paid for what is actually a beautiful album cover. I’m very much looking forward to an album full of JHud’s powerhouse vocals. I’m not blown away by the admittedly catchy “Spotlight.” I suppose I favor her ballads. I must also admit that I’m more excited about the next time I get to see her on the big screen.
At the end of the day, all I care about is the music. I’m definitely feeling “Magic.” I already know all I need to know because he’s opening for Mary J. Blige. He also gives good interview. The Evolution of Robin Thicke still gets play on the ‘pod two years later and I have the same high hopes for this album. I like the cover but I’m a tad disappointed that it is so reminiscent of The Evolution. Hey, I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
When I first saw this album cover, I swore they had stolen it from my BFF’s wedding album. This is exactly how the set up for the ceremony looked. If I wasn’t so lazy, I would post the pics side by side.
As you know, I love all things Philly soul. I have loved Kindred’smusic since they arrived on the scene with Surrender To Love. I still get all gushy inside whenever they perform “Stars.” I feel the same about the first single, “House of Love.” I have supported both their albums and will continue to do so. After all, they got mouths to feed! I look forward to The Arrival in stores on the 21st of October.
Our relationship has been a little shaky since I ran (not walked) to the store to cop “Once Again,” as soon as Best Buy opened on the day it was released.
I ONLY LIKED ONE SONG ON THE WHOLE COTDAMN ALBUM!
You’ve started trying to make it up to me by giving me Estelle. “Stay With Me” is my favorite song on Al Green’s “Lay It Down.” So I agreed to go to counseling.
Then you dropped “Green Light” and performed another new track, “If You’re Out There” from Evolver at the Democratic National Convention. So I let you back in.
The agony! How much longer can “Vivrant Thing” wait for this album? Especially after he was one of the main reasons my bells got ROCKED by real hip hop this summer. I guess the good thing about this date is that I would have something to console me on the drive down to the Carolinas/ATL should the PAIN ticket steal this election.
Anthony Hamilton, who has cleaned up very nicely I must say, will drop a new album called The Point of It All. Well Anthony, after I completely fell in love with Coming From Where I’m From, you
After two strikes, I still can’t quit you!
I guess you got that magic. Even if I’m not loving what he’s singing, I’m loving the sound of him singing it.
“Cool,” with David Banneris aiight. I like the sentiment. I could have done without Banner though.
Other releases I’m keeping an eye out for are:
Beyonce’s double album I Am….Sasha Fierce is due out on November 18th. I should have quit her after the mess that was B’Day but I’m hoping for another Dangerously In Love. Actually I guess I did since I only own Dangerously In Love. *shrugs* She’s doing two movies though so this may be another rushed H.A.M. Let me stop before her stans find their way in here. I’m not dealing with that shit.
After hearing the singles released so far, I see that I am not going to get my Dangerously In Love.
Sometime in June, September 23, November 11, December 9
Well, since the “Invincible Summer” has come and gone, our boy Common needed a new title. I can get with Universal Mind Control, which is also the title of his first single. I’m not especially moved by the video– <girly moment> outside of the fact that he is looking muy deliciouso. </girly moment> After being bamboozled and let astray several times this year, the word in the streets is that we’ll have a product in our hands by November the NEXT millennium.
India Arie (Testimony Vol 2: Love & Politics)
Maysa (Metamorphosis on October 14)
Janelle Monae (Suite 1: The Chase)
Maxwell (Black Summer’s Night)
Brandy (she sounds hot on John Legend’s “Quickly” so I’ll add her to the list. New album, Human, on shelves 12/9 but will likely be leaked a month before)
After January 1st, I will be keeping vigil for albums from D’Angelo and N’Dambi, and India Arie which are all scheduled to drop in the early part of the year…we hope, wish and pray.