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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ryan Leslie - Ryan Leslie

(((Rating: 3.5)))

Bangers: Diamond Girl, You're Fly, Valentine, How It Was Supposed to Be, I-R-I-N-A, Gibberish

R-Les aka Ryan Leslie aka the extraordinarily talented and skilled producer behind most of Cassie's music and of course his own. He is back with a long-long-overdue album rightly self-titled, Ryan Leslie. So allow me to introduce my review on an beautifully produced album...

Diamond Girl - The synths bang heavy here with Ryan's simple and infectious lyrics and head-bobbing music. Excellent first single material! "You're my diammmond girl"!

Addiction - No one does simplicity like Ryan Leslie and then creates an unforgettable beat. "I'm addicted to you..."! And indeed I am to this song. Fabulous is also featured here as he rides the beat like a pro!

You're Fly - You have to love how Ryan opens a track with his clever rhymes and then comes in singing with the beat following right behind. He speaks on friends turned friends with benefits. "Baby you're fly..."

Quicksand - This will definitely make your head move as do most of his songs. However it's the catchy hook that may be a better delivery throughout the song.

Valentine - The slap-back beat and quirky notes make this song absolutely lovable. Ryan sings in a perfect falsetto and then grooves into his more natural key towards the hook. "I know you're not my girlfriend, but I swear that I love you." Repeat. :)

Just Right - Something about this beat makes me think back to an old D'Angelo/Musiq track. Ryan talk/sings here and while the track isn't a fav, I wouldn't skip it either.

How It Was Supposed 2 Be - Very catchy, especially when the beat builds and is fully exposed. This is where a true fan, falls right back in love with Ryan's skill. "And I wonder if we'll ever find out how it was supposed to beeee baby" Repeat!

I-R-I-N-A - Ryan plays the piano very beautifully here and sings a mid-tempo ballad that you could definitely enjoy on a breezy day. "I wanna be your future, forget about your past..."! Repeat.

Out of the Blue - When you think the album can get any better, he gives us this song full of robotic synths and mellow beats. You feel his pain as he explores being left by his lover "out of the blue."

Shouldn't Have to Wait - Well produced. Well sang. He mixes melodies beautifully here as well. Any follower of his YouTube channel will hear the infamous mini-horn throughout the song.

Wanna Be Good - Mellow. Nice tempo. Classic Ryan rock to it. Definitely dance music. You may catch yourself singing the hook randomly, "I just wanna be good to you"!

Gibberish - Although, I cannot be sure of a word in this song, the melody and key Ryan, well auto tune, sings in is lovely. We hear the fav mini-horn again and fall in love with this odd but lovable song. This is definitely a favorite. " know I won't you right there...."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 - Jill Scott

(((Rating: 4)))

Bangers: Hate On Me, Crown Royal, Epiphany, Insomnia, All I

I know I'm late on this review (a year late) but this album couldn't have come sooner and at a better time when it was released in September 2007. It's the kind of album that you want to forget and then find again to be reminded of what real music and sincere lyrics, feel and sound like. In Vol. 3, Jill gives us what we need once again. On to the review...

Let It Be - I love the eery sounds and xylophone in this song. As Jill speaks on "whatever it is, let it be...". The drums remind you of a solo out of a marching band. I love the crispness of her voice.

The Real Thing - You will love the electric guitar loop in this song. Jill preaches in this one about being the real thing..."in stereo". Like Cleopatra Jones, she can set ya free and she is more than a toy for your satisfaction! Preach! This is a really liberating and empowering song for women.

Hate On Me - Horns. Horns. And more horns...This is truly one that speaks to the soul. Hate on haters cause Jill is definitely back on this one.

Come See Me - The horns glide in on this song perfectly with "passion and desire baby..." Jill seduces her lover as she beckons him to come see about her.
Crown Royal - Seductive and sensual. A joint that makes you want to see what the fuss is about, "crown royal on iceee". Repeatable and cutty list.

Epiphany - If ever sex were spoken word, these would be the words. Jill tells a story like no other to a basic drum beat. "He plows inside as if he's making beats..."

My Love - To every woman who has ever been baffled a mans decision in another woman. Jill speaks on being overlooked and even compares her love to the other woman's. "...didn't you know this or didn't you notice..."

Insomnia - The jazz-fusion sounds and melodies between Jill singing and speaking is perfect. She speaks on her man not wanting her and being turned "from a woman of substance" to pretty much a woman of desperation.

How It Make You Feel - How would a world less black women be? "No more chocolate kisses, no more nappy dug out everrrr...." This song speaks on it. Not a favorite but an interesting concept.

Only You - Mellow beat and almost ghostly sounds. Dark and deep as Jill speaks to a man who can only make her leave the key and never come back. "Only youuuuu...." Puts me in the mind of Sade's mystique and level of mellow. Repeatable.

Celibacy Blues - While the bass guitar in this song isn't very favorable, it gets the point across very well as Jill caresses notes wonderfully.

All I - Goodie-Two-Shoes meets Nasty Girl. Repeatable and cutty list acceptable. "Hope you want me in the same wayyy..."!

Wanna Be Loved - This is the anthem for ladies everywhere who "just wanna be loved like everybody else does". Feel good anthem.

Breathe - Good closer to the album as she speaks poetic melodies and spoken word. Not a fav.