Take Care is an unbelievably plush album. Not only are the soundscapes on the album orchestral, ethereal, but the tone of the album is equally emotionally indulgent, Drake adopting the position of a somewhat world-weary player. The tone is set unmistakably with the opening track, Over My Dead Body, a piano-chord rich number. Drake boasts of his success, detailing a sense of disaffection in equal measure: “I was drinking at the Palms last night/ Ended up losing everything that I came with,” he raps, before adding, “Feel like I been here before, huh/ Still got ten years to go, huh.” It’s a tone that stays throughout. Even whilst he’s boasting of his lyricism, his album success, on tracks like Headlines and Crew Love, there’s a note of mournfulness, of predictability, about this game. The Weeknd’s verses on Crew Love is a particularly wistful, ethereal addition.
With the release of many rap albums lately, it is easy to forget what the game is missing. The Southern sound is the most distinctive around and adding to that sound is the new release from the eight member crew Boss Hogg Outlawz. They are back to add Serve and Collect Vol. III to their series repertoire. The group, led by Houston’s own Slim Thug, brings their Texas flavor to tell you how they do in the H-town. The album is filled with the South’s signature style of laid back beats and rhymes that spit the reality of everyday life as they know it in the hood.
To say that this album was a long time coming would be an understatement. Glasses Malone’s debut album, Beach Cruiser, was originally scheduled to come out in 2006; however numerous setbacks and label changes kept the album from seeing the day of light; until now. Finding a home at Suburban Noize Records, Malone has finally released the album to masses, who are anxious to see how it would turn out. So, was it worth the wait? Well, that’s going to depend what you’re looking for.
Being an indie artist can’t be an easy job in today’s society. You can’t go more than 2 feet without meeting someone who’s a rapper and has a mixtape to hand you. The overflow of talentless emcees makes it that harder to see the few who have potential. Trying to standout about the crowd of mediocrity is Wem. His DJ Ill Will assisted mixtape Unexpected sets out to show that Wem is something different for what you’ve heard already.
Jill Scott’s latest album, The Light Of The Sun, is a refreshing and introspective volume of work that ultimately encourages listeners to let their inner light shine through. This fourth studio album of the Neo-Soul songstress is a follow up to her Gold certified and 2007 Grammy nominated album The Real Thing.
The Light Of The Sun provides us with Scott’s own perspective on aspects of love and self worth in a positive light. On the track Blessed, Jill reveals to listeners that her son is her world and that her music career comes secondary. She exhibits to us to her lyrical flow as she raps with gratitude about the joyous blessings she’s received in her life. Alternatively, she croons with sincerity about an indecisive heart undergoing emotional turmoil on the sultry track So Gone. The song alludes to her trying to escape from an unhealthy relationship, but a strong physical attraction makes it a difficult task.
On the ballad Hear My Call, Jill Scott pleads for her broken heart to be mended and for the strength to overcome fears of being hurt in love and to trust again. The acoustic piano and almost theatrical like deliverance makes this a powerful and moving song. Scott remains to be the positive and empowering woman that we all know and admire. This is apparent on the track Rolling Hills, where she addresses female listeners in a collective manner. The importance of women knowing their worth and embracing their power is the key message conveyed on this jazzy, soulful tune.
Throughout the album, Jill Scott remains consistent with engaging listeners with her seemingly effortless, stunning vocals and her eloquent spoken words. Wholeheartedly, Jill Scott’s The Light Of The Sun is an expression of herself, her vulnerabilities, triumphs and lessons learned.
Standout Tracks: “Blessed”, “So Gone”, “Hear My Call”
2. So In Love ft. Anthony Hamilton
3. Shame ft. Eve & The A Group
4. All Cried Out ft. Doug E. Fresh
5. Le BOOM Vent Suite
6. So Gone (What My Mind Says) ft. Paul Wall
7. Hear My Call
8. Some Other Time
10. Making You Wait
11. Until Then (I Imagine)
12. Missing You
13. When I Wake Up
15. Rolling Hills
It’s been over 3 years since we heard anything from these guys but time seemed to give way to an album that will make you fall in love with them all over again. Jagged Edge or affectionately know as J.E. is back with their new album The Remedy, which will help you fix all of your needs. The group’s smooth voices give way to an album full of songs that almost tell a love story from beginning to end.
The album begins with a sweet prelude simply titled Intro. It’s seems to give you a sneak peak as what’s to come and leads right to the next single Love On You, which has almost the exact same melody. On the song Baby, Jagged Edge samples the song Happy by Surface, but replace the word with baby. It is a clever way to make the song their own and keep the beat almost exactly the same as the original track. Flow Through My Veins is the latest single from the album and is one of the tracks that reminds you of the first time you heard a Jagged Edge song. It’s a true love song.
The only up-tempo track, Lipstick, features a verse from Rick Ross, which is a fun track that is the only break from the slow jams that are on the rest of the album. The next couple of songs, Space Ships, Let’s Make Love, and When The Bed Shakes, are more of the same love songs. They do a good job here with keeping you in the mood and keep those slow jams coming.
Although we all know that singing about love is Jagged Edge’s specialty — it could have been nice to have a couple of those dance tracks in the album just to break up some of those love songs. It would have given the album a well-rounded feel. The guys do a good job with harmonizing and blending theirs voices together, which is why we love these guys so much.
All in all, I think Jagged Edge has a hit on their hands and most certainly need more credit than they are given. The Remedy is something to throw on, on the late night tip to set things off or cool things down.
Standout Tracks: “Flow Through My Veins”, “Lipstick”, “When The Bed Shakes”
2. Love On You
4. Flow Through My Veins
5. My Girl
6. I Need A Woman
7. Lipstick ft Rick Ross
8. Space Ship
9. Lay You Down
10. Let’s Make Love
11. When The Bed Shakes
12. Mr. Wrong