Thursday, March 29, 2012

Natiruts Dub vs. Mad Professor (Free)

It's been a nice long while since I've mentioned Natiruts, and that's mainly because they don't make it easy for me to keep an eye on them. All the same, I like them enough to keep looking for that sweet Reggae bass and strong chilled vocals.

Just yesterday I decided to see if anything was new, and apparently they've recently released some re-made tracks by the amazing Dub producer, Mad Professor.

This is pretty different to the focused Reggae sound they usually provide. It's much more dubbed and experimental, so listen with an open mind.


Forgive inconveniences. You can find all the tracks here.

So what are you to expect? Well the first track, Raçaman Dub, shows you what you're in for. This might be a small shock if you're a Natiruts fan, but otherwise it's a generally tame sound. Here's the original, you'll notice the base of the song stays the same. The change is minimal, but enough to make or break it.

Next we've got Vento, Sol Dub, which starts off with some of that chill piano and just grazes it across the rest of the song. Super well produced. And for the curious, here's the original. The piano might be a bit more delicious.

Then we've got Fogueira de Desilusões. Unlike the previous two, this one is a lot more space-y than the original. Of Mad Professors work with Natiruts, Fogueira and Vento, Sol are my favorites.

Finishing the Professor's work is 1996. That one has a nice guitar riff intro but it's not the best version for me, I prefer the original way over the Dub version.

Of course these are all free. Just click the download button on the upper right while the song you want is on and it's yours. But if you prefer the originals, you can find them all on Raçaman.

Buy: CD

If you end up downloading some of those and feel like going for a bit more substance, this is the album you're probably gonna want. Their most recent release (2009) and it's full of a very basic but well done Reggae.

The Portuguese lyrics probably help make it magical. But honestly, no matter how great their sound is on this album, it just holds no grounds next to Nossa Missão. It continues to be some of my favorite work by them. It's laid back, relaxed and complex enough to make me keep listening. It's worth looking into if you like today's tracks or album.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meshuggah - Swarm

While maybe today's track isn't quite as repetitive as some other Meshugga pieces, it can still tear down at your nerves if you're not ready for what's coming. I'll prepare you.

The drums will be precise, they'll weave through the slower and darker guitar riffs that will compliment the heavy growling perfectly.

If the sound of a nervous breakdown combined with Satan's loving tender voice doesn't appeal to you, do yourself a favor and skip this post. I'll make it up to you.

Otherwise, enjoy.



If you're like me, you'll enjoy this sound on occasion. Something that starts innocent but quickly transitions into the steady sound of your thumping heart as you get chased around by a serial killer. It holds a similar to appeal to a good suspense film.

But then, this isn't really my area of expertise. All I look for when I hear this is that nostalgic feeling of hiding under the covers because there's a monster in the closet. I never really pay attention to whether or not the technical ability is shown off better on other albums, or if the bands chemistry has somehow improved. All I know is that I enjoy the feeling this track takes me through.

The rest of the album does a fine job of bringing up less-than-pleasant feelings as well.

Meshuggah's literal nightmare of an album, summarized
Buy: CD | CD+DVD | mp3 | Vinyl

Koloss is their most recent album, and it's as dark and creepy as the album cover. Repetitive riffs and heavy growling is already expected from the Swedish Metal band, so those of you who aren't new to them should know more or less what to expect.

Right from the beginning you get a shock that is I Am Colossus. No beating around the bush, you get what you pay for right off the bat. Canned I-want-to-smash-something with a repetitive riff that might make you want to huff around with your arms in standard gorilla position.

From there there's a few light transitions, like that of today's track Swarm, and right when you're about to get tired of constant anger and fear you get the end track. The Last Vigil is a bit of an obvious try for an ending, but it fits. Think of it as the funeral after the heart attack.

Personally, I wouldn't regularly come back to this album. A track here and there works fine, but I've heard angrier. What does stand out to me is the quick shot of adrenaline. It's an easy fix and a track could easily find itself at the end of my workout playlist, just begging me to sprint an extra mile.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Mars Volta - Zed And Two Naughts

It's becoming custom to say that today's track isn't for everyone. Today I emphasize it. Although the average TMV fan will most likely enjoy it.

Like me, I ended up enjoying it very much.

If you are a fan though, you might wanna skip over today's track and head right for the end of the post. Trust me. This is the last track on the album and it really feels like a spoiler.

But for the rest of you, enjoy.


Now yes, I'm aware that this song is already heavily experienced by a large number of eager fans, but I think that was unfair. The song is so much better after hearing the whole album. The only reason this is the one I'm posting is because the label is being mean about showing songs off online.

All the same, the song has the album's general vibe. Maybe not spot on, and maybe a little more lyrically catchy than most tracks, but it's got the same essence in there.

If you're singing St. Christopher along by now, looking into the album would be a wise decision.

Cedric and Omar's new album artwork
Buy: CD | mp3

I'd like to be very clear with this next sentence, so I'm going to post it in bold. This not the best TMV album to start with. I'd recommend starting just about anywhere else for the general audience. Noctourniquet is a very developed album, great for fans but not as great for many newcomers.

So yes, if you're new to these guys stray away from it unless you're already used to a sensory overload (that's actually just mushed up genius). A fine example would be Dyslexicon. If you can enjoy that one, get this album at once and thank me later.

The firm ground here doesn't come from the duo I've grown to love. Cedric and Omar do an amazing job with the album, but the difference between an alright album and a great one is all thanks to Deantoni Parks for me. He can make some amazing sounds off his drum set, but when he caresses it (like on Lapochka) it's just stunning.

You can listen to the whole weird sci-fi Alt-Prog-Rock-Thing for free right now over at Rolling Stone. I'd give that a try if you're even remotely interested because it could go either way. Alternatively, if that link ever gets taken down you could always give a listen at Grooveshark. Thank me later.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Orchestra Harlow - Soy Sensacional

Translated to "I'm Sensational", today's Salsa track is just a chunk of a very long classic. A piece of a Latin opera that was written by Heny Álvarez and composed by Larry Harlow, but it's fine if those names mean nothing to you right now, you'll get it.

Since it was an opera you'll hear a whole orchestra. It ends up being a pretty decent piece of ear-candy. Give it a listen if the Spanish language suits you.


You can notice here on this track how right at the 18 second mark you switch from something slightly generic to something a bit more out there and talented. The instruments caress each other's sounds in a beautiful way.

But just listen to it yourself. This is soundtrack-of-my-childhood material so I may be a little biased.

In this song, you'll be hearing a deaf, blind, and mute child's thoughts on what he thinks of himself. Being sensational because he's amazing with congas. This comes surrounded by his father's disappointment, and is generally one of the happier areas in the piece. You'll notice with the wind instruments and the upbeat music. The rest of the album is still a great listen, though.

Album by Larry Harlow and Heny Alvarez. A salsa classic where Celia Cruz was first heard on Fania
Buy: mp3

This is a classic to the Salsa loving world for various reasons. It was the first Salsa opera, which makes it history. It was Celia Cruz's debut to Fania (Gracia Divina), from there she went on to be considered the Queen of Salsa. It was also common ground for many of the times greatest like Cheo Feliciano, Justo Betancourt, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, and Adalberto Santiago. And this is just naming the singers.

What we've got here is some fine talent, wonderfully strung together by Heny and Larry. And really, unless you're decently familiar with Larry Harlow (which not enough people are) you'd never expect a Jew to be this good at composing Salsa.

There are certain songs that stand out more than others. Eres un Varón and Mantecadito to name a couple, but the truth is the whole album is worth a listen, and if you liked today's track you really should. There's an interlude between every song, but the power of voice and an amazing orchestra will give off the feeling. You don't have to understand Spanish to enjoy the album.

Alternatively, though, the album was based off The Who's Tommy. If you'd like a very similar story in English/Rock, giving that a listen is a great idea. And if you haven't heard it before, I really hope that the only thing keeping you from listening is listening to Hommy first.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Heartilation

I wanted something fast paced and fun today, and I definitely got myself it. Maybe not quite as happy as I originally intended, but it works for me.

AJJ is a Folk-Punk band, and today's track will incline significantly more towards the Punk side. The pace will grab your attention, the lyrics will keep you there.

Plus it's only 2 minutes long, it's not hard to listen to.


When I first heard this song I couldn't stop replaying it. Granted, it was just a guitar and a double bass, so the magic in that video was pretty strong. That video is a big part of their success, so if they really are new to you, give it a watch.

The studio version still has its details in its favor. The shorter time makes it more "Punk", the feel is a bit angrier so it better suits that mood, as opposed to the melancholic feel of the live The Train Tracks version. It's all up to your taste.

But then, they've got a whole other side to them that needs exploring. If you liked the lyrics for today's track, you should give Can't Maintain a listen.

AJJ
Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

There's only a few electric songs like today's, so if that sound played a heavy role in winning you over you might wanna give a listen to something more acoustic sounding, like Truckers Are the Blood. If that works, the album might just be for you.

Don't take what they do too seriously though. It takes an open mind to enjoy masterpieces like Kazoo Sonata in C Major. My suggestion is you take it as the beauty it is and laugh it out. I may have just ruined a chunk of the album for you though, so, sorry and stuff.

And if you're still not won over, and about to criticize them, I'd give We Didn't Come Here to Rock. It's for you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thievery Corporation - A Gentle Dissolve

Relaxing tunes today. Background music to some, soundtrack-to-life for people like me, and overall just a simple listen.

For those of you who haven't heard of Thievery Corporation, they're mainly into Down Tempo and other slow Electronic genres like Dub or Lounge.

If you're in the mood for it, give them a listen.


Random trumpets in there, a simple bass line guiding all those lovely instruments across. It's great, the title really speaks for the song. It's a bit short but whatever, it's the ending track.

No, there are no vocals on this track. Don't hold that against them if you're new to their sound though. They're very capable of adding great vocalists into their vibe, and they'll show it off on this album.

Buy: CD | mp3

The Cosmic Gate is a great album because it's varied while maintaining a steady pace that pretty much tells your mind to keep calm. It's okay because some of the songs are a bit over the top, and there are others that would get monotonous for some. They worked fine for me, but I'm not everybody, you'll understand when you listen.

I don't know how far I could recommend the album. It's got a little bit for everyone, but it's definitely a listen for a selected set of people. It's got Dub tracks like Wires and Watchtowers, but it's still mainly for an audience that will enjoy Marching the Hate Machines.

If you can dig what I've been linking, you should definitely listen to the album. There's enough influences in there to make anyone's head turn, but the base of it is what's gonna make you stay. It needs to be listened to to be understood.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bumblefoot - Children of Sierra Leone

I was in the mood for something really relaxing today. Maybe too relaxing. Bask in the sun and and enjoy the smell of peace and love as some gentle bass-lines run down your spine. However, it proved being far too difficult to listen to, which upset me.

To suit my angrier mood, I've made today's post a bit darker. Bumblefoot is more than capable of such a song. Not too hard but still dark and sinister.

If you're not sure who he is, Ron "Bumblefoot" Tahl is currently one of Guns N' Roses' lead guitarists.

Give the song a listen.


It doesn't take much knowledge on the subject to understand why the song sounds like such a violent downward spiral, but if you're completely lost you might want to Google it.

See those riffs? Consistently heavy, twisted, and sharp. The sounds he pulls out of his guitar sound crude alone, but he places them together in such a way that makes sense. This noisy music suits my frustrated emotions almost perfectly.

In my case, it's bitter-sweet. I have here one song that suits me well right now, but the whole album doesn't sit still. It ranges from creepy to aggressive to happy and weird. Right now, it's not my cup of tea, but usually it's a great listen.

Buy: CD | mp3

The album is good. For me at least. I use it as a balance when listening to Rock all day. A lot of more recent bands don't find the need for a guitar solo any more (and it hurts me) but this album is full of them. Nothing too incredible, but the riffs aren't monotonous and the solos are fun to listen to.

If I wanted something over the edge I'd listen to one of those bands, but if I just want something in between more vocal listens, Bumblefoot is the way to go. This album just happens to be the one I have, but he's generally a decent listen.

The songs are pretty varied but if you wanna sum up the album real quick, listen to Top of the World and Guitars SUCK. He can drag a bit, you'll notice, but it's real talent. Possibly worth your while.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hundred Waters - Boreal

I don't even know why it took me so long to post this. Today's sounds are gonna be some beautiful Progressive-Folk-Tronica thing, I can't even explain it. It comes complete with sweet and tender female vocals over simplistically composed music.

Grooveshark shoved this under my nose, and I failed to acknowledge it at first. I thought it would be no different than other music Grooveshark promoted. Good stuff, but not anything I'd write about.

Oh sweet ear candy, was I wrong. This is music to relax with, Nicole Miglis, the vocalist (who I may be writing about in a future because her solo stuff is pretty decent) just blends into the music. Her voice won't suit everyone, but those who can appreciate it will have their ears rewarded.

It's a beautiful sound. Enjoy it.


Maybe I over hyped it. Maybe it's not as simple as you were expecting. Maybe I was just biased because I heard the whole album and it's a magical thing. What I do know for sure is that this song left a firm impression on me, and that for some reason I thought it'd be the best first song I could share with you guys.

Oh and, if Soundcloud for some reason isn't working for you (and it should!) here's a Grooveshark link.

With Boreal you should notice that these guys can switch a song up several times and keep the momentum going. They don't let things get bland, and the same applies for the album.

Buy: Digital | CD | Vinyl

It's got that awesome sound  where you can tell that it's all done by the same people, but the essence to pretty much every song is different than the last. It takes an entire listen to realize it, but these guys really put their hearts into their music. It shows.

When a vinyl costs a mere $15 and the band states themselves that what they look for is making music live, it's kinda hard not to love them in every way shape and form. At least for me, as a music admirer.

If you want to give them a listen for yourself, their entire album is currently streaming free on their website. In the event that that gets taken down though, you could always try your hand at the album on Grooveshark. It's worth a listen; if you liked today's song you'll probably love the album.

Oh, I almost forgot that if you like Me & Anodyne, the song is free. Grab it here while it's being offered!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eumir Deodato - September 13

Some of  my awesome followers will already know who Deodato is, and will have an idea of the quality that you're about to hear. Others not only don't know his name, but won't be fond of the speed and style of his Jazz. It's okay.

Today's track is some fairly upbeat stuff. It's full of talent and was co-written by Billy Cobham. If you don't know who that is, just.. he's a great drummer. Give the song a listen.


I love how it starts off slow and just works its way into something great. It really does sound like a jam session, and that's the nice fresh sound that's gonna keep you there at the beginning until it evolves.

The fact that all the instruments end up doing a damn fine job of being excellent is what I love here. The guitar, the percussion, the flute, bass, and of course Deodato's own piano all make this a nice well-rounded piece and a perfect way to end an album.

Of course, this guy successfully mastered his entrance too. I won't believe any of you who say you haven't heard Strauss' classic (literally) Also sprach Zarathrusta, so I'll just assume you know the song while I tell you that Deodato starts off the album with his own jazzed out version. It was one of his most successful singles.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

Prelude is a fine listen. It has its slow Elevator-Music tendencies (Carly & Carole), but even then the musicians show their talents perfectly. Rarely ever over-done, and always classy.

It's a great album to leave on during a day where you don't have anything in particular to do. Great soundtrack-of-your-life music, you'll see. It'll be wonderful cheesiness and you'll thank me for it later.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Adrenaline Mob - Undaunted

Yesterday was the release of Adrenaline Mob's first full length album. I'd heard a few songs from last year's EP and had an idea of where they were going, but I had slightly higher hopes.

If you haven't heard of them yet and you like your hard rock, I won't kill it for your ears and just let you listen to the song. What's in store is some decent Hard Rock that might make you want to smash something.

Give it a shot.


I heard this right at the beginning and I thought it was a great way to start. Hopefully not the best track on the album but at this point it's got my attention and that's exactly what I wanted from it.

I was starting to get pumped too, this track was motivating enough. I'd already heard the next one as it's on the EP, but Psychosane continued to get me in the mood to jump up and while sporting a mean face. So far so good.

Now I'm not gonna say either of those songs are the best of the album, but after hearing the rest of Omertá I was a little disappointed.

Buy: CD | mp3

It's still a decent album, but after the first few songs it starts getting a little predictable, a little cheesy. I hoped otherwise, though. I hoped that the following song, Indifferent, was just the slow track on the album. That was followed by the album's actual slow track, All On The Line.

At this point I was hoping for a roller coaster effect. Starts off strong, slows down, then speeds back up into something I can really sink my teeth into. And I mean no offense to the first two songs, but they were just teasers to me. They were hope for something more, so I really needed that pick-me-up and it never came.

Now it's cool that a lot of review sites are saying the album is great and that what  they're doing is amazing, but I'm not a reviewer, I just write my opinion. My opinion for Omertá is that it's just a little too much like other Hard Rock albums.

I seriously think the only reason people are praising this is because of the all-star line-up. While I acknowledge that their talents are obvious here, I don't think their creations are all that stunning. It's a fun album, but it's not even trying to get me to listen twice.

By all means though, if you enjoyed any of the songs I linked to today you should give the album a chance. I just think it falls short.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mieka Pauley - Wreck (Free Download)

A little while ago I posted a song featuring Mieka Pauley, and not to my surprise a few of you really enjoyed her sound. She's got a nice smooth voice that's still strong enough to dominate the overall sound.

Now, normally I'm not a huge fan of vocals on their own, but in Mieka's case I make an exception.

It's currently free if you like it, so give it a listen.


It's not every day you hear a song through the eyes of the home-wrecker. Not that it hasn't been done, but it's always been risky. Especially if it's the song you're gonna be sharing with the world for free.

Would I say this is the best track to share in order to gain exposure? Definitely not. But then, I also haven't heard the rest of the album. However it does show a decent amount of her talents and build expectation for the album, which probably balances everything out.

Personally, I really like how she went about it. There's nothing difficult about the lyrics, but using the right words can make a dark song much more sensible. "Can't stand it, you took this all for granted" is probably what turned the lyrics from fair to pretty decent in my eyes, specifically because it might squeeze a little lemon juice into some bruises.


It's hard to listen to just one song and step up and say the album is going to be worth it, but if I were to judge I'd say it would be. Putting this song out as as early as it is gives me hope for quality production alongside her sultry voice.

If you need a reference point, check out her Bandcamp page. Her first album was released late 2007, and since then she has released an EP. I hear great improvement from album to EP, so it's safe for me to expect at least as good a quality as her From The Mouth Of Paris EP. I hope for better.

I won't know for sure until the album comes out later in June, but that doesn't mean you have to wait. If you pledge to her music (here) you'll get exclusive footage, mp3's, blog posts, and news (details!). A pledge starts at $10 and includes the eventual digital download.

She's already gotten to 149% of her initial goal, though. All the same her charismatic and fairly unprofessional video might still make you reach for the wallet. You've been warned.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Maria Gadú - Escudos

I was feeling for some sweet vocals. Nothing over the top, but no lack of talent either. I decided to go with Maria Gadú.

I always love featuring these fresh sounding Portuguese voices. Today's MPB track will smoothly work its way into your ears. It's got a certain type of soul in it, and the music is a mix between refreshing and modernized.

The Youtube link cuts off a few seconds early, so the main source today will be Grooveshark. If it doesn't work, check the Youtube link right under it!

Escudos by Maria Gadu on Grooveshark

Some of you might notice this is either based on/covering, a Red Hot Chili Peppers track. The original is Road Trippin, an excellent song if you haven't heard it before.

Maybe it's a bit over the top for you. Maybe you don't like versions that are missing an ending, and maybe you'd like to see how awesome Maria sounds live. Just her and her guitar on the same song. You might wanna check that out.

If you're looking for more along the lines of what you've just heard, maybe the album isn't the way to go. If you enjoy her voice though, go out of your way to find it.

Buy: CD | mp3

No exceptions on her voice, it's solid all throughout. She can hold a note just fine, and she can carry emotion through a song if necessary. Voice alone? Makes for a great listen.

The overall content to me is "interesting". By no means bad, but over half of the album has this slightly unnatural happy feel to it. Maybe it's not being able to perfectly understand the lyrics, but a lot of it had the same sound I'd expect from cheery kids' music. Though granted, with much better musical background.

There are exceptions though. Today's track and another of my favorites Altar Particular (a combination of Bossa Nova guitar and violin), but for the most part there's a bit of an extra happy sound that's just a little weird for me. Still very talented, but it's a sound that goes on for over half an album. If you can really enjoy Dona Cila, look into the album.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SOJA - Mentality

It's this modern Reggae stuff that's been keeping the genre alive. The sounds are a bit more intricate, thanks to better knowledge on how these artists handle their instruments. The only regret I might have is the lyrical content. The genre has gone a long way musically, but it's taken some steps backwards when it comes to the lyrics.

Today's SOJA piece proves all of this together. It's an excellent listen for the general Reggae fan.

Give it a shot.


I call this a fun song. The trumpets are light and airy, the bass is playing along, and the lyrics are serious enough while being easy to sing back with. The American accent is gonna be a matter of opinion. It makes little difference to me, personally.

Now I may have just taken a swing at the lyrical quality of modern Reggae, but it goes well noticed that this is not all that true for today's track. I can't say much for a lot of the other tracks, but SOJA definitely prove they can be great writers.

Buy: CD | mp3 + Booklet

As a whole album, Strength to Survive is an interesting listen. I'd rather call it Alt-Reggae or something, just because I'm a bit old fashioned with this genre. Honestly, it's just a genre transition going on right before our eyes.

The Alt comes up with the mix of ballad-y vocals mixed with electronic influences. Hear out the music in Let You Go, and while you're at it listen to the cool vocal glitch in there. The song is totally different to today's.

Even though these sappy "Alt" songs make up for a lot of the album, the music quality never really withers down. If today's track and Let You Go are alright by you, giving the album a listen is a good idea.

If however you're like me and you prefer your Reggae raw, it might be wise to stay away from it. It's still got quite a few decent songs though, so maybe giving it a listen and being aware of what you're getting into.. or just listening to an older album. Your call.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mongo Santamaría - Longoito

Anybody who's payed much attention to me and these posts should know by now that I deeply value bass and percussion in my music. Today's work of genius might not have much of a bass line, but the percussion will be top notch at its early best.

Mongo will be on the congas, for those of you who don't know him, so his Cuban flair might be a bit of an obvious sound.

Today's track will feature some female vocals and I don't know who they belong to. This was way before my time, and apparently my musical knowledge has limits (I'm rather shocked myself). Just know that she sounds tribal and the music fits.


I mean she sounds awesome, the blend here is perfect. It's simple music with a chant, it sounds right. It sounds like we should all be hurdled around a fire right now, dancing to this as we celebrate life.

Ok, maybe it doesn't go that far, but it's definitely music for your mind to wander with.

Maybe a little creepy for some, and maybe it won't have enough substance for others. To all of those, all I can say is make sure you stay away from the album.

Buy: CD | mp3

Afro Roots is definitely an album for a selected audience. Those of you who can hear the intricate drum-work in minimalist music and be happy will probably enjoy it. The rest of you might just be disappointed.

Though technically the album falls under Latin Jazz, I think it's best to consider this just 'Percussion'. There's a few songs that exceed that, most notably Afro Blue (which was composed by Mongo, but made famous by Coltrane and others). I guess Afro-Cuban would suit the album genre better.

If you liked today's song, if you like Afro Blue, or more importantly if you like Mazacote or Timbales y Bongo (which only features Tito Puente, that's all), it'd probably do you good to give this one a listen.

I'll just warn you that aside from the percussion, the music can get a bit dull and repetitive. It's mainly for the percussive inclined.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ana Tijoux with Solo Di Medina - Oulala

I wrote about Tijoux a little while ago. The problem (and charm) is how addicting she can be. It's great at first but it's a bit of a nagging feeling later on. Especially if you have to write about music on a weekly basis.

Today's song will be a little different though. The French-Chilean female rapper will show off her French side, a rare sight, and make rhymes weave together in a language that all too beautifully fits her style. She'll bring Solo Di Medina along for the ride, and it's gonna work.

Give it a listen.


No, I don't know what this song is about. If you have the insight or the lyrics somewhere, let me know?

It doesn't really matter much to me though, I jut think French Rap sounds amazing. That beat is put together all too well, and Solo's voice shines right through in the chorus.

Oh and just listen to the Jazz influences in there. This track makes me happy inside, with all its Jazzy Trip-Hop-y goodness.

It's that positive relaxed sound that makes me love it. And the pure beauty that comes with the French, but let's ignore that for a second and focus on that chill beat. It's got a feel that half the album pulls off perfectly.

Buy: CD | mp3

Tracks like Crisis de un MC (Crisis of an MC) will show you the similarities, but it'll also have a few extremely catchy songs like the title track, 1977.

Amazing production behind her rhymes aside, half of it is too lyric based for any other language speaking audiences. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but her latest album, La Bala, will sound better to the rest of the world.

1977 is more diverse though. Take your pick, give it a listen if you can, but between the links placed here and maybe an additional Dub based song (Avaricia) you should have a nice feel of what you'd be getting yourself into.

Note: At the time of my writing this her official website is allowing a free listen to the entire 1977 album, as well as allowing a free download of her Elefant mixtape. Check it out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Country Girl

When I first heard this Old-Time Bluegrass-Country-Blues-(BlahAmazing!!) band perform their version of Blue Cantrell's Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!), I may have gotten a little over-excited with the ear candy. I haven't followed them too closely since, but I've had my eye on them.

A few days ago they released an album and I gave it a listen. Something that hasn't changed is my love for Rhiannon Giddens' voice, so naturally there will be lots of it on today's track.

Give it a listen.


This one's got a lot of sounds that wouldn't ordinarily be for just anyone, but the way they combine their sounds is as unique  as it is interesting. Plus there's her voice. It's just so smooth, so firm.

The song is everything I expected from the album. It incorporates fresh "new" sounds like the beat boxing and Rhiannon's amazing voice, and combining it with the classic Southern-American sounds, the banjo and general Bluegrass/Folk feel.

Buy: CD | mp3, + Booklet, + Deluxe | Vinyl

Obviously the album has at least 1 track that is exactly what I was hoping for. Sadly, only half of the rest of the album agrees with me. But that's because only half the album features Rhiannon's beautiful voice, which is most of the reason why I like these guys in the first place.

I still knew it was coming, I've heard some of their previous work, but I guess I expected something different. I don't know.

If you can get by Booble-De-Bum-Bum, then I highly recommend checking out the album. If you just really love Rhiannon's voice against the Chocolate Drops' blend of music, I'd also recommend giving it a listen. Just, maybe not as highly.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Monkees - Writing Wrongs

It was a bit sad yesterday when I found out Davy Jones passed away. I mean, I wouldn't say I'm still a Monkees fan, but there was a point in my childhood when I realized the only reason I liked Smash Mouth was because of The Monkees.

I've since grown to like more mature works, but just like Barney, these guys and Davy have a soft spot with me.

Today's track definitely isn't your typical Monkees song, it's a bit more serious with the music, the lyrics, and overall delivery. Give it a listen.

Writing Wrongs by The Monkees on Grooveshark

What I really love is how by 1:40 we get an instrumental side that isn't all that common with this group. The piano is going somewhere, the drums keeping a steady pace, I'd call it a watered down Pink Floyd sound. Fairly watered down.

I could have picked an easier song. Daydream Believer, a classic that can be found on the same album was a sure way to get you readers and googlers happy. I don't want that though. I'd rather show that this was a diverse group with plenty of hidden gems, even if that means showing people the darker track they won't all like.

Luckily for me, the album isn't all that dark, and it's got its strong points.

Buy:  mp3

It's got some classics, it's got the happy songs and it's got the songs that show off full potential like today's. It's a well rounded album that marks a lot for the group.

If you're a young one out there hearing about Davy Jones and wondering why people are talking about an ugly pirate, giving The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees a listen is in your best interest.

Or maybe you're a bit older and won't mind the trip down memory lane.

To the new comers though, they're basically The Jonas Brothers of the mid 60's. But more talented, and surely you've heard their songs before because they're just that classic.

R.I.P. Davy Jones

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