New Music 2019
Song: Love Is A Battlefield
Artist: Luke Evans
Album: At Last (2019)
Do you remember the incredibly handsome & gorgeous Luke Evans? He’s the guy I think is probably best known for “Dracula, Untold (2014),” and “Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013).” I highly recommend both these movies, he’s a wonderful actor. He can practically play anything, and the movie winds up being a hit. Well!!!!! Let me tell you guys something! Not sure if any of my readers know about it, or have even been paying attention. This hunk of a man just came out with his first single a couple of days ago.
Actor Turned Singer? Hmmmm.
To be honest, I’m still feeling my way through his album. I guess if I’m taking this long to figure out whether I like it or not, it’s probably all that. Yet, it’s also true that I’ve only been familiar with him as an actor; so it could be an issue of trying to adjust. Immediately I’ve noticed that he’s got quite a bit of covers on his new album.
You know, now that I think about it… I think the one thing that appears to be throwing me off is the style of music on the album itself. Personally, without knowing anything about Luke’s tastes in music genres, I would have imagined his album would have been closer to either modern rock or pop music. However, after listening to his album, it definitely has a movie soundtrack feel to it. I’m not sure if this is the type of music he’s into, or this is what he was musically trained in.
The Album Has A Soundtrack Feel To It!
His cover of Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” sounds pretty good though. I honestly never thought that it could be possible that a man would pull that off! Thank goodness he changed the tempo of the cover; I think it would have sounded really bad (given the texture of his voice) trying to keep up with the way Pat Benatar sang it.
My least favorite on this album is his cover of Etta James’s hit “At Last.” You know, in my opinion, this is a very delicate song. Not everyone can sing this song, it’s very difficult. I didn’t even liked the way Beyoncé sang it!! Sorry gay people, I’m over 50, it should be expected that I’m not gonna like many redoes made by much younger artists. For real, he should have left this song alone. This album is definitely an acquired taste. It’s not a bad album, on the other hand, a certain crowd will gravitate toward this album. I have a funny feeling I’m gonna enjoy him more as an actor than a singer. One thing’s for sure, if his album flops, he has his acting career to fallback on.
Song: Best Part
Artist: Marcus Johnson
Album: Ballads: In My Voice (2019)
This is a wonderful piece I’ve heard not too long ago. “Best Part” is actually an instrumental cover of a song from a Canadian brotha by the name of Daniel Caesar, and an American female artist that goes by the name of H.E.R. (Gabriella Wilson). I love both versions actually. The original song hit double platinum, and reached #1 on the R&B category. I know you’ll love Marcus’s version, it is the perfect easy listening piece to start your morning off mellow, with some hot coffee.
Song: Perfect Match
Artist: Lauryn Hill
Album: A Perfect Match (2019)
Genre: Hip Hop
Wow guys!! Maybe I was totally oblivious, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything new (or major) from Lauryn, since her iconic 1998 album called “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)!” Ever since that scandal broke out, about her stealing music for “The Miseducation” album, if you haven’t heard about it, you can read it in this Rolling Stones article, despite albums released after that, it kind of felt she was missing in action. I was hoping her daughter wasn’t gonna follow her footsteps, but so far, so good (I guess). “A Perfect Match” is released as a single. She doesn’t come hard like she did on her first album, but the essence of what she represented back in the day, still there. It’s a sweet romantic love song, and I think it really works for her voice. All the tones, tempos, and inflections we heard on her first and only iconic album is undoubtedly present in this song. Only difference is that it’s more laid back.Battery Heated Jackets, Hoodies, and Gloves
Artist: Erykah Badu
Album: Tempted (2019)
When it comes to Erykah’s outward appearance, man, this is one weird lady!!! I swear, sometimes I think Erykah is like a Black version of Björk. Erykah is definitely eccentric. However, she threw down jams back in the day that later on became iconic. Along with James Poyser, Erykah has recently released a cover of a song called “Tempted.” It was originally written and performed by a group called “Squeeze” in 1981. This was was my only favorite song from the group. It’s interesting that Erykah chose to do this song song, since the group never had any top 100 hits. But then again, it’s safe to say that this would be expected of Erykah, because she doesn’t copycat and do what everybody else does. I like the way she did this song, it caught me off guard. 😄
Song: Strangers On The Street
Artist: Mamas Gun
Album: Golden Days (2019)
Genre: Blue-Eyed Soul
If you love the sound of classic Blue-Eyed Soul music, then I highly recommend that you take a listen to this entire album. This sh*t is GOOD! “Mamas Gun,” is a five member band from London. They’ve formed about 10 years ago, and has performed all around the world. If I am not mistaken, this is their 4th album so far, and I am really loving it. There seems to be two release dates, 2018 & 2019. I think it’s safe to assume 2019 is the digital release. Andy Platts, the lead singer of the band, has an amazing voice. It was almost like listening to a younger version of Paul McCartney. In fact, when I listened to the band’s first album, “Routes To Riches (20019),” There is a song on there called “Finger On It,” which almost felt like I was listening to a funk/rock version of a new Beetles of sorts.
Holy sh*t!!! Give me a minute while I try to compose myself! ………… She’s got a new album called “She’s Back!” Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Dionne Warwick, but somehow, she’s the last old school artist that I would ever expect to come out with a new album! I have to tell you that, I am impressed with just the mere fact that she dared to come out with a new album, despite the significant shift in music culture. I’m scared of her! I mean, does any of her original fans realize just how old she is? Dionne is now 78 years of age! This is someone who truly has music in her blood.
Kudos For Dionne!
Now, I have to be honest, although, overall I think this is a really, really good album (considering this stage in her music career); but I also have mixed feelings about this album. While I do appreciate a producers stance on needing to keep music new, fresh, and relevant for veteran vocal artists. But I think there comes a time where, certain types of music may not be for everyone. Especially a 78 year old artist. But, then again, this is the legendary Dionne Warwick! Who the hell is going to turn down a chance to produce an album for her? I’ll say one thing, she got a number of heavy hitters doing duets with her on this project. Brian McKnight, Musiq Soulchild, and Kenny Latimore.
First, I guess it would be easier for me to go grew a few of the songs I do like from this double CD set. Yup! You read right, a double CD set! Let’s start with her cover of “How Can You Keep The Music Playing,” a duet with Kevon Edmonds). I liked the way they did this, but at the same time, it works because the melody and background music is a beautiful composition. But I don’t think the duet was a good pair. If the song was done A Capella, it would have sounded horrible. I loved how she rebooted her classic “Deja Vu,” duet with Krayzie Bone. Modern feel, yet it was still Dionne. I also love “Forever In My Heart,” duet with Brian McKnight. I hope this becomes a hit, because I think this is more Dionne’s speed. I think my favorite song in this double album is “You Really Started Something.”
She’s got more reboots of her old songs that I think sound really good. She’s even rebooted her old song “Do You Know The Way To San Jose.” She even has Celia Cruz voice on the track. I didn’t understand that at all, it just seemed like such a random thing to do. For the most part, I liked the album, but at the same time, I can’t avoid the feeling like this project was designed in away that she can keep up with the tempos, rather than a fierce music veteran and “here’s my new album.”
It’s been a long time since I was able to say, I truly “love this entire album.” I’m now able to say that this morning! There’s an old artist I’ve discovered a couple of days ago named Carlton Jumel Smith; and he has a phenomenal new album out! Musically speaking this guy has got it going on! His voice, his rhythm, this entire album is perfect! When I examine his background music, his style reminds me a lot of my favorite independent artist Curtis Harding. You have no idea how much I love this style of music. I wish more people would be open to listening to it.
According to some articles I’ve read, Carlton has been making music for well over 40 years. It appears he’s been the jack of all trades. He has his own label, and performed a lot of house and techno music. Which probably means it’s more than likely I’ve already heard his work, and I just don’t remember. He also worked with a few bands singing lead. But this album is shocking, in the sense that most people don’t just switch to entirely different genres, and do well. That’s like Barbra Streisand deciding she now want to try her hand in hip hop! Very risky thing to do these days.
Is it possible that because he’s from Harlem, NYC he was able to easily transition from one genre to a genre completely different? Who knows? The first song that got my attention was “Woman You Made Me.” In my opinion, this is the best kind of romance music. Why? The lyrics are genuine, and it’s not all about a quest of getting in her pants. Another song I want you to check out is called “I’d Better.” This song has lyrics you just don’t hear, even back in the day. In essence, he sings about being so impressed with someone of quality, that he decides to make positive changes in his self to win the interest of that person. Love the rhythm to this song. When you get a chance, check out his new album “1634 Lexington Avenue.”
This very talented gentlemen is jazz musician David Garfield (man… He has a strong Steven Seagal look about him, doesn’t he?). I wasn’t really familiar with his work to be honest. I recently discovered him sometime early this year. He released an absolutely amazing jazz cover of The Police’s 1978 “Roxanne.” Wow! Wow! I love it! This reinterpretation is amazing in so many ways. First, I think when you redo a song that was incredibly popular and successful, people subconsciously expect that song to somewhat sound close to the original (in my opinion). I just think that’s something inherent in most humans.
Second, he just didn’t cover the song, he changed the way our minds interprets the song entirely. David basically took his version of “Roxanne,” a song that was in essence about a man in love with a hooker, and made that song sexy with his jazz style. I think that’s deep 🤣. Now, it appears he’s a pure instrumentalist, so I’m not really sure who exactly the lead singer of this song. There were several people involved on this single release. If I find out, I’ll update this post. Now, I have to be honest, other than his Roxanne cover, I wasn’t too impressed with his music. That’s not to say he isn’t talented, he is.. It’s just not enough to cause me to save in a playlist (other than Roxanne).