New Music 2019
Artist: Ragan Whiteside
Album: Reminiscing (2019)
Oh, my goodness, so many good artists, and so little time to write about them! Yo, I don’t know if my readers have ever heard of Ragan Whiteside before; but she’s one of the best female flutists I’ve heard in a like time. I mean, she’s a badass bitch boooooyyyyyy! You know, come to think of it, relatively speaking, there aren’t that many female instrumentalists out here (yet a lone a flutist). I’m not quite sure if this is something females are usually not particularly interest in, or perhaps this is one of the few genres that are still male dominated. I guess I’ll have to research that one. Not really sure, but I think it’s an interesting topic.
She’s Kind Of A Chaka Khan Look-A-like!
I really do encourage that you research her music. Well, not too long a go last year she released a single called “Reminiscing.” It happens to be an instrumental cover version of one of my most favorite seventies songs by the Little River Band, from their 1978 album “Sleeper Catcher.” After all these years I still love listening to that song. Anyway, Ragan did a beautiful job with this piece. She added a new modern take on a very old classic. I love her above album cover too! It kind of reminds me of those old 60’s album covers with various artists on them. Question, why did almost all of those types of albums had to have both women (usually with high skirts) and cars on it? It was the oddest thing. 🤣
I’m not sure where her rendition of “Reminiscing” landed on the charts (or if it did), but I don’t care because I love it. However I do know she came out with another recent single called “Jam It (2019),” that made the top ten jazz category. It sounds ok. But check out “Corey’s Bob (2017),” and “Mystic Vibrations (2017).” Both are on her album called “Treblemaker.”
Artist: Tom Gaebel
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Ok guys…… The voice of today’s artist doesn’t exactly set me on fire. However, at the same time, I’m open minded enough to recognize that the song was put together very well. I find this song enjoyable. The almost Anthony DiNozzo Junior look-a-like (almost in swagger as well), hot tamale is from Germany, and has been around for a little more than 10 years. Although they’ve categorized him as “jazz,” or “contemporary jazz,” in my opinion, he more so borderlines “music standards,’ or Broadway sounds. This is the first time (I believe) I’ve listened to a singer where German is his native tongue, singing in English. I’m impressed. He’s got a sizable discography, very impressive for that genre. You know it’s strange, if I didn’t know his name or anything, and I just heard him on the radio, I would have sworn it was Classic IV. I must have a serious music passion, when I can relate almost any person, voice, or situation with a song. I’m pathetic… Yet, funny….. 🤣 I guess it’s inevitable that I would be that kind of person.
But, guys… Seriously…. Sometimes it can be a problem when a song reminds you of another song, and you can’t remember, and you’re still trying to remember for weeks! 😂 I know I’m not the only one. But guys….. My Puerto Rican readers, tell me that the background instruments to this song “You Make Me Feel” doesn’t remind you of Bimbo Jet’s old classic El Bimbo?!?! 😜 I had the disco version growing up, and I played the shit out of that song. Another one that just kept ringing in my head like a darn commercial jingle. LOL. Although Bimbo Jet was actually French, it was huge in the Spanish community. Anyway, Tom’s music isn’t the kind of music I would gravitate to everyday. But, I did save this song to my library. If you like Broadway type music, go right ahead and look him up. By the way, the song was mixed by Dim Zach & Yannis. I’ve heard a lot of Dim Zach’s work, and he’s pretty talented in my opinion.
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.”