quinta-feira, julho 30, 2009

1067. Aretha Franklin - A Natural Woman And Other Hits

Another gift, this is a decent little compilation that is commonly found for under $5. The problem with these things is that out of context songs can be not as informative as compared to when you hear them in an album form.

6 out of 10

quarta-feira, julho 29, 2009

1066. Nina Simone - The Essential Nina Simone

Another greatest hits disc that I received as a gift - and despite my lack of enthusiasm for the compilation format I must confess this is a good introduction to the singer songwriter. Mixing live tracks and outtakes with classic material Nina's voice is so distinct and powerful that soul takes a back seat to urgency and reason. Great stuff.

8 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 27, 2009

1065. Al Green - Let's Stay Together

A soul classic - "let's stay together" isn't Barry White's 'fuck me soul', but instead 'I can only ever love you soul' and with every track Al owns it.

8.2 out of 10

sexta-feira, julho 24, 2009

1064. Sam Cooke - Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963

What's great about this live disc is that the harlem square club sounds like a cozy place and Sam rips through all his hits like a true band leader - shouting out directions, making comments and taking charge.

8.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, julho 23, 2009

1063. Marvin Gaye - Motown Legends

I got this at circuit city ages ago - I mean back in the 90s for very cheap - I'm not sure why. As a greatest hits disc it's weak because it omits a lot of his biggest tracks. What is interesting is to hear Marvin go from a stapled R&B singer to an artist with a unique voice and vision.

6 out of 10

1062. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

What's so impressive about What's Going On is that it is probably the biggest protest record ever made - it also exudes hope, spirituality and love. I can't help but think that if I had heard it when it came out (with my adult ears) it would have had a greater impact on me.

8.7 out of 10

1061. Stevie Wonder - Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium Vol. 1 & 2

I got this because I remember my mom had it on tape - and of course because I like Stevie Wonder. Recently I've picked up a few LPs of his and it makes such a difference to hear songs in their original format and environment - the minute you package them in a greatest hits package you take all the back story and details out of the equation. I actually thought this was a proper release since normally I tend to stay away from greatest hits and pick up live discs instead.

7.1 out of 10

terça-feira, julho 21, 2009

1060. Jackson 5 - The Ultimate Collection

Baby Michael, much like baby Jesus, is pretty tough to resist. Not only was he cute but the little man had a hell of a voice. This best of captures a lot of those moments and the ones that still last are the tracks with young MJ at the helm. The end of the disc starts to go into the teen Michael Jackson 5 phase where he gave room to his brothers a bit more and they shed some of their classic soul sound for a more funk o matic take - I Am In Love - Pts. I & II is pretty funky and fun.

7.9 out of 10

1059. Michael Jackson - Thriller

The biggest selling album of all time - and my guess is that it will be forever since nobody buys albums anymore. What makes Thriller so great is simple: the songs. Every song on this is a winner. It also had timing on its side. The world was ready for a major pop icon - MTV was ready for a video icon and america was ready to embrace talent despite of race. Another key factor was the production - Quincy Jones, who is never given enough credit I think, produced the shit out of this record - making songs cut from various cloths feel as if they are all one from a single body of music.

9.7 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 20, 2009

1058. Michael Jackson - Off the Wall

So you see where this is going... The man who started it all... Off the Wall is a 70s R&B, Soul and Disco classic - hitting all the genres all the time. I got this remastered version a few years back and it just got ruined when Ellen was playing it in a yoga class in MJ's honor... thankfully I still have it on tape and vinyl...

7.4 out of 10

1057. Justin Timberlake - Justified

Laugh all you want. Sure the blog is called 'when I feel heavy metal' but there's room for everything here... JT follows the familiar path of former boy band star into solo icon, and in his debut he really channels all that he can from Michael Jackson so much that royalties should have been paid. Justified is a solid pop effort - clean, crisp and catchy. Hit play Chad, it's ok.

7.8 out of 10

1056 - Cee-Lo Green - Cee-Lo Green... Is The Soul Machine

Cee-Lo is pretty amazing. I first saw him on mTV Cribs and I remember thinking how I just want to hang and party with that guy... this disc packs it all in and places it in a stew of funk and soul. It ends with someone saying, "Damn Cee Lo what the fuck can't you do" to which he replies "Fuck around".

8.4 out of 10


Simple - rhythm and blues - sexy and funky.

1055. Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow

The only thing wrong with this cd is that it is at times a bit over produced and takes itself a moment or two too seriously... having said that it was easily one of the best hip hop albums that year.

8.2 out of 10

quarta-feira, julho 15, 2009

1054. Blackalicious - Nia

The debut reworks a few of the songs found on the previous ep. While it is a solid album I can't help but feel like the band is playing it safe on here.

6.9 out of 10

1053. Blackalicious - A2G [EP]

There's nothing like a great ep. This one explodes right out of the gate acting as a showpiece for the Gift of Gab. For anyone who disputes his talents, check this out, he's one of the greats.

8.2 out of 10

1052. Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence

The album has less of an impact than its predecessor - mainly because so many people guest on it that the tracks don't form a cohesive unit. Also, the previous lp had a deeper sense of urgency and tension - this lp sounds like someone is casually turning the dial and hanging out when a station is picked up.

6.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, julho 13, 2009

1051. Prefuse 73 - Extinguished

Outtakes that are still burning.

7.9 out of 10

quinta-feira, julho 09, 2009

1050. Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher

Prefuse 73 marry the best of electronic music and hip hop into one great cd that represents some of the best that 2003 had to offer. This sort of album made you feel optimistic about music, especially electronic music that often felt like it had a limited shelf life - but this clearly will sound on.

9 out of 10

terça-feira, julho 07, 2009

1049. Madvillain - Madvilliany

Madvillain is a collaboration between MF Doom and Madlib and it sounds as such. Some of Doom's beats sound pretty familiar and Madlib at times sounds like he is on auto-pilot, rhyming over the beats he was given. Still this duo is able to bring enough freshness to the genre.

7.6 out of 10