Since I won’t be able to write formal reviews for all of the albums on my most anticipated list, here are some thoughts on the ones I’ve listened to thus far.
Eric Benet’s Love and Life: I may stand alone in this but this album just didn’t do it for me. Admittedly, I have only listened once. The only song that grabbed me is “You’re the Only One.” I feel that song like I felt his first two albums. Eventually, I’ll get around to taking another listen and maybe I’ll feel differently. For now, I have to give it a FAIL.
Kenny Lattimore’s Timeless:I wrote a full review for this one.
Raphael Saadiq’s The Way I See It:Love, love, love this album. Although there are one or two tracks that I skip, overall, it was everything I hoped it would be. I’m strongly considering seeing him on tour along with John Legend. Now that I’ve got the album in hand, it makes me want to see his stage show even more.
Jazmine Sullivan’s Fearless:Again, I may stand alone here but this album just didn’t live up to my expectations. I compare all the hype surrounding the release of Fearless to Chrisette Michele’sI Am last year. Chrissy delivered ten times over. Every track on her album was bananas. Jazmine…not so much. Her voice sounds phenomenal but I’m not thrilled with the material.Unlike everybody and their Momma’s Momma, I am not that enamored with “Bust Your Windows.” I expect more from her next time around. Her voice is too great to waste on bad music.
Too lazy to change the graphic. We know that Common’sUniversal Mind Control will be released the day after never.
Joe, your tomfoolery does affect my purchase of your album. Hell, I couldn’t even be bothered to bootleg it. Harsh? My tolerance for grown ass men acting ignorant is at negative zero right now. Check with me later.
Ledisi’s It’s Christmas: I have the album but am waiting on the holiday season to give it a first spin. I have a closed door office at work so it will be on repeat loudly throughout December. I’m sure it will work as Scrooge-repellent.
Jennifer Hudson: I put her album on the back burner after hearing so many bad reviews. At this point, I can’t even listen because I couldn’t be objective. I don’t think I could say anything bad about it. I know, doesn’t make sense. Hey, no one ever said I was a real journalist or anything.
Robin Thicke’s Something Else:I loved this album. He didn’t depart much from his signature style but it worked for me. No skips at all.
Foreign Exchange’s Leave It All Behind: This album is a sure thing to make my list of top albums of 2008. Another album where every single track just blew me away. Often I put it on when I’m leaving work and want to literally leave it all behind. I already have my ticket in hand to see them when they come to DC in a few weeks. I’ll do a longer review then with videos, once I come down from my high that is.
Kindred’s The Arrival: It really hurts my heart to say this but after one listen, I wasn’t feeling the love. I attended a listening party where they appeared to promote the album a few weeks ago and you just gotta love them as a couple. I know that has nothing to do with the music. However, it’s not always easy for me to separate the two (post coming on that later). I’m hoping that a live performance will make the album grow on me.
Raphael took the stage in front of a packed house who were eagerly awaiting his arrival. I was just in from Barbados and had to go to work the next day but I was beyond hyped to finally see the sound I’ve been in love with for years live and in stereo. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Raphael, Tony Toni Tone, or Lucy Pearl in concert.
I’ll admit, my love affair with Raphael Saadiq didn’t start until the release of the second Tony Toni Tone album, The Revival in 1990 and . By then, I had acquired my little pink boom box and would let my tape rock til my tape popped. It’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite off that one. So many classics. “Just Me and You” will probably always hold a special place in my heart because of my undying love for “Boyz in the Hood.”
Check out the live performance of “Just Me and You,” and “Ask of You” (his first solo song in 1995 for the Higher Learning soundtrack – damn I’m old). You finally learn what the correct words for the chorus really are. You know you been mumbling some mess for the past eighteen years!
Our relationship was cemented with the next two releases, Sons of Soul and House of Music. Talk about albums full of songs that were often playing on the soundtrack to my life. I bet you remember just what was going on in your life when “Anniversary” and “It Never Rains In Southern California” were coming though your speakers in 1993. I was a senior in high school and was sure wishing some boy would “pay for the rest of my day!” Victoria sure wouldn’t be no secret! Yup, I was fast back then.
I’m ashamed to admit that I was late to the party when Raphael embarked on asolo career. When he released Instant Vintage in 2002, I was fresh out of graduate school and pretty much brain dead. When I finally got my hands on it, it was another one in constant rotation. Even today, from the time I press play, I can just let her rip. Not one single song on there I don’t like. Instant vintage indeed.
Check out what I consider one of the highlights of the evening, Skyy, Can You Feel Me.Talk about being “wide open.”
Now four years after the release of Ray Ray, which I only got my hands on in the last year or so, I was excited when I read over at SoulBounce that he was coming back with an ode to the classic soul sounds of the 60s, which I like to call the music our parents grinded to under the red lights at those basement parties. I am a huge fan of the Motown sound…done correctly.
From the first listen of “Love That Girl,” I was caught up in the rapture. I think you’ll feel the same after watching the live performance. I found his look and the choreography to be beautifully authentic. I think the Temps would vote yes.
I think the Chi-Lites might not even mind him borrowing their song title. Check out his live performance “Oh Girl.”
To my delight, he gave us a preview of a few songs from the new album I hadn’t heard before:
As you can see, we got a “top notch” performance from Raphael as well as his super talented background singers and band. He blended in old and new music perfectly. If you watch the videos, you’re surely see (and hear!) that there was never a lull in the crowd’s energy. We were mesmerized from the moment he took the stage.
I just got my hand on The Way I See It last night and am anxiously trying to make room in my schedule to really sit down and spend some time with it in anticipation of trying to bang out one of my first album reviews. I’ve heard mixed results from my Twitter fam. Feel free to speak your mind on the album and his live performance if you’ve been so lucky.
We’re fortunate to have him back in the DC area later this month to celebrate MN8’s 7th Anniversary. I’m sitting this one out unfortunately. I blame him. I’ll be thinking of him while I’m getting tipsy out at the Virginia Wine Festival.
According to his myspace calendar, he will grace Philly, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville with his presence over the next few weeks.
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.