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Monday, August 24, 2009

Lady Love - LeToya Luckett

(((Rating: 3)))

Bangers: Lazy, Good to Me, Regret, Take Away Love, After Party, Tears

Letoya Luckett, back with her sophmore album Lady Love, reveals a more personal and sincere experience from bass-heavy thumping beats to extremely laid-back synths and playful hooks. Will we fall in love with this lady?

Lady Love - Heavy pop synths and charming vocals instantly boasts a certain playfulness. "Come here baby, hop in my Mercedes", she sings in a teasing way. Nice club banger.

She Aint Got - "Swing batter, batter, batter"! Very rock-n-roll influenced with heavy drums and synths makes this one fun and sexy as Letoya inquires about who's stealing her man. Nice 2nd single choice and dance number.

Not Anymore - While this is a mediocre RnB song, Letoyas' vocals and lyrics are very honest and sincere about encouraging women who are in less than great relationships to say "I don't want it anymore". Good first single to let her fan base know she's back and it leaves us longing for more.

Lazy - A nice mellow rhythm and catchy melodies makes this song quite enjoyable. Heavy drumming and layered vocals sing, "u gotta forgive me I know it might sound crazy but right now my hearts a little lazy...I don't feel like loving you no more". Nice!

Good to Me - Sensual. Laid-back. Dedicated to the "good man" as Letoya states in the song as she asks him, "just be goooood to me, cuz I don't think I'm asking too much". A nice piano loop plays in the background. Nice ode to any good man out there.

Over - Very nice simple RnB song about quitting a relationship based upon "what if's" and how she would leave him and it would be "overrrr".

Regret - Ludracis is featured here and a very welcome addition as well. "I made u cool, you wasn't that dude, until I started fuuucking with u" Letoya croons on top of an Underdogs/Tank produced melody of snap-beats, a piano, and low synths. "You must regret the day that u left me." YES! Repeat.

I Need A U - We see Letoya in a way we haven't seen her before. Very sexual and slow. Very nice bedroom song. " I need a u."

Take Away Love - Easily a favorite track here with a feature from Estelle. Very synth and drum-driven with a very mellow, ride out, slow trance sound. "If I take away love, if I take away us...would that be enough?" Repeat. Ryan Leslie shows his ass on this one.

After Party - Definitely a dance track as we see Letoya take a much needed and very welcomed direction as a whole on this song. This makes me want to get up out of my seat! "Keep it movin' to the after party...." YES!

Drained - Very upbeat song about heartbreak and breaking a relationship and being drained in it. Forgettable.

Tears - This sounds very Brandy-ish circa Afrodisiac. "When you find the right spot and take control...I want more and more and more." Very nice bedroom song.

Matter - Toya compares herself to her love interests' current woman that she plans to try and replace, of course. Another "She Don't". While the beat and melodies are nice, the song is a bit mediocre.

Love Rollercoaster - This one features rapper Mims, who is certainly very forgettable with his elementary rhymes on the track. Another mediocre R&B song about playing love games.

Don't Need U - Definitely a good anthem for women who have realized their worth and is now realizing that they no longer need a loser boyfriend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Turn Me Loose - Ledisi

(((Rating: 4.5)))

(((Bangers: Higher Than This, Alone, Love Never Changes, Say No, Goin' Thru Changes, I Need Love)))

Soul, funk and grace are words that can easily describe Ledisi's style and voice. Her vocal ability is matched only by a select few in the industry. She's a Grammy-nominated R&B/jazz songstress that seems to be determined to make it to the top with her 4th album "Turn Me Loose". So as we embark on this musical journey, I beg the question, is she still confined or has she been set loose? Let' go...

Runnin' - "I confess, I'm a mess..." Rock. Jazz. Fusion. Soul. Ledisi gives a very asserted introduction on how she wants to run and searches for freedom both vocally and physically. Nice introduction.

Everything Changes - The old-school kick drum beat and sample used here is a very new thing for Ledisi and a welcome change. "Everything changes..." She becomes very honest in speaking of change and independence.

Turn Me Loose - Very bluesy and southern inspired. It's reminiscent of an old juke joint with a modern twist. Naturally we notice here Ledisi has taken a different turn this time around. "Aint no use in trying to stay, if you gon' turn me loose."

Higher Than This - Ledisi croons gracefully in this instant R&B classic song. We hear a piano loop melody that lingers in the background with soft synths and a nice drum beat, as she asks, "what can be higher than this?"

Alone - Light-hearted to sincere to sensual synths, guitar riffs and kick drums make this song an undeniably catchy and honest song. Ledisi begs, "please say what's on your mind, so we don't waste time.../...please won't you tell me the truth instead of just leaving me alone." Repeat.

Love Never Changes - Instant vintage soul. Ledisi sings beautifully, "love it will never go, love even when you go, it never leaves, love never changes...". Gorgeous.

Please Stay - Entering a wah-wah guitar and funk. Ledisi chimes in, "you aint gotta go please stay with me" in her natural tone. This reminds of a family gathering song although she speaks of a love never leaving. "C'mon let's be real, you want me too."

Knockin' - Rock. Roll. Funk. Soul. Ledisi. She touches down and turns things loose here. If freedom was the goal, she reached it as she hollers soulfully, "I hear you knockin but you can't come in/I hear you knockin but you aint gon' win."

Say No - "C'mon we can do whatever you want...I'm not gonna say no, not tonight." I ab-soul-utely love this. Very rhythmic and free flowing. Excellent live concert song. Repeat.

Goin' thru Changes -Very melodic with its piano-driven sound. Very simple beat but Ledisi's voice is charming, gorgeous and honest. "I wish that I could stay, but staying, it confuses me more...I'm going thru changes." YES! Easily a favorite and excellent single choice. Repeat a few times.

I Need Love - Drama. Piano. Synths. Love. "Love, you said you'd never go away/ But you're gone and/I'm right back where I used to be/Wondering if you really work for me..." This song is outstanding and the dramatic synths, Ledisi's vocal layers and big drums make for an incredible experience. She kills it towards the bridge and if you were ever in doubt of her vocals, she proves herself here.

Trippin' - "You can do what you want, be how you be, but I gotta fall back baby, cause I aint trippin over you." This is the anthem for every woman who's fed up over a no-good man or his no-good ways. While not a favorite musically, the lyrics aren't too bad. Pass.

The Answer to Why - A nice calm ballad where Ledisi sings purely to soft guitar melodies and strings and a quiet drum. Not a favorite but beautifully sang.

Them Changes - Very rock n roll and motown-inspired. Ledisi sangs, and yes I mean sangs to trumpets and holds her own against guitar riffs and drums. "When my mind is going thru them changes/I'm about to commit a crime/Everytime you see me going somewhere/I'm going outta my mind."