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CD Reviews

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL Rock Out On 'PLECTRUMELECTRUM'

October 6th, 2014 2:25pm EDT
Plectrumelectrum
One of the best parts of September 30, 2014 was the fact that The Purple One, aka Prince returned. Not only did he bestow upon the music world a highly anticipated solo album in Art Official Age, but he also delivered a second set with 3RDEYEGIRL entitled PLECTRUMELECTRUM (say what?). While PLECTRUMELECTRUM is the less buzzed about set of the two, don’t let it discourage you – there’s plenty to dig about PLECTRUMELECTRUM besides its daring title!

“Wow” opens PLECTRUMELECTRUM sensationally. Rather than being set in common time, “Wow” is in six-eight meter, giving it something of a blues...
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Tony Lucca's New Album Is On The Way: Check Out Our Early Review!

October 6th, 2014 12:15pm EDT
Tony Lucca
There is no such thing as a bad Tony Lucca record.

As we enjoy the latest season of The Voice, it's worth remembering that the show introduced us to some tremendous unheralded performers, one of the best being Lucca. His two most recent EPs, With the Whole World Watching and Drawing Board, hinted at musical growth and versatility from the Detroit native, but the question was always when would we get to hear a full album?

The answer is January, and we're telling you now so that you can mark your calendars. We had the opportunity for an early listen to his upcoming record, simply titled To...
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Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'

October 1st, 2014 7:04am EDT
Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'
Calling Prince ‘orthodox’ or ‘traditional’ would be nothing short of an insult; a big-time middle finger. Throughout his lengthy, innovative career, Prince has always pushed the boundaries, fusing rock, pop, and R&B (among other genres). Additionally, Prince’s promotional strategies have been as unique as his style and albums. Once more affiliated with Warner Bros, Prince drops not just one album, but two – Art Official Age and PLECTRUMELECTRUM with 3rdeyegirl.

Despite issuing two albums, Prince’s solo album, Art Official Age, earns the most buzz. Over its course, Art Official Age is d...
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Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'

September 29th, 2014 3:45pm EDT
Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'
At 50, Lenny Kravitz has been around for a minute – a ‘lengthy’ minute to be exact. Even though Kravitz’s heyday has passed, age truly “ain’t nothing but a number” on his exhilarating new album, Strut. Arriving three-years after sensation LP Black and White America, Kravitz’s consistency and energy are nothing short of magnificent.

Strut opens ferociously with standout single “Sex,” which is an incredibly funky, attention-getting record. “Got that feelin’ coming over me / sex, sex, sex,” Kravitz sings enthusiastically on the catchy, rocking chorus.

Kravitz remains on autopilot o...
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Review: Jennifer Hudson's Vocals Remain Impressive On ‘JHUD’

September 24th, 2014 12:30pm EDT
Jennifer Hudson
How many people would’ve predicted that a big-voiced R&B diva like Jennifer Hudson would release a dance R&B album? The better question might be, who would’ve guessed someone as remarkably talented as Jennifer Hudson would’ve only made seventh place on American Idol, let alone been voted off at all? Don’t shed tears for Hudson, as her entertainment career has easily atoned for an untimely exit on Idol – namely in the form of an Academy Award (Dreamgirls) and Grammy (for Best R&B album for Jennifer Hudson).

Now on album three, the established R&B chanteuse, who’s dropped two gold albums, ...
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Review: Barbra Streisand Sounds Amazing On 'Partners'

September 22nd, 2014 7:20pm EDT
Barbra Streisand - Partners
Nothing better than getting “a little help from friends” right? That’s exactly what veteran entertainer Barbra Streisand does on her latest studio album, Partners. Why go it alone when you can enlist the likes of Michael Bublé, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Joel on your album? Covering classics she popularized (such as “The Way We Were”) as well as classic vocal standards, Partners is a truly beautiful effort with Streisand herself sounding truly amazing. 72 – she can’t be!

Partners opens stunningly with standard “It Had To Be You” with Michael Bublé serving as Streisand's partner in c...
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Review: After Many Delays Chris Brown's 'X' Is Stronger Than Expected

September 18th, 2014 3:30pm EDT
Chris Brown - X
What’s a deadly disease that damages a musician’s career? The correct answer is the delayed album. Sure, controversy does the same (Chris Brown might know something about that), but the delayed album can be truly devastating. Brown’s sixth studio album X has been delayed several times. That said, even at its most imperfect, X is better than previous LP Fortune. Not only was Fortune filled with curse words, it also incited curse words…

"X" opens the effort mysteriously, gradually evolving into electro-R&B. It sports repetition and gimmickry commonplace to contemporary R&B and pop. Eve...
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Review: Jhené Aiko Maintains Poise On 'Souled Out'

September 15th, 2014 2:27pm EDT
Review: Jhené Aiko Maintains Poise On 'Souled Out'
Jhené Aiko definitely takes a different approach than many female R&B artists. Rather than delivering big, dramatic vocals, Aiko takes a cool, calm, and more poised approach. This contrast sets her apart, but at times, also leaves the listener desiring Aiko to push just a bit more. Still, her first full-length album for Def Jam has plenty to offer, showcasing Aiko’s tremendous artistic potential.

“She was born in limbo,” sings Aiko, “With the need to be as simple / as her makers and the made up things she dreamed.” “Limbo Limbo Limbo” kicks off the contemporary, alt-R&B affair uniquel...
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Review: Lecrae Delivers Prudent, Inspiring Messages on 'Anomaly'

September 10th, 2014 11:45am EDT
Review: Lecrae Delivers Prudent, Inspiring Messages on 'Anomaly'
Hip-hop and religion seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. That’s not speculating upon religious or nonreligious stance of rappers, but rather church and rap seem to have little in common. Few rappers spread spiritual messages through their music – most are spitting about hook ups, the club, and the cash flow. Likewise, ministers aren’t exactly raving over the secular themes hip-hop artists thrive upon.

That brings in Lecrae. An MC with nothing short of an impressive flow, rather than spit about his come-up in the secular sense, Lecrae always has ‘the man upstairs’ and a higher...
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Music Review: 'Nick & Knight' Is Better Than Expected

September 8th, 2014 6:30pm EDT
Nick & Knight
Had collaboration between boy bands/ members of boy bands occurred say 15 years ago, the buzz would’ve been ‘off the charts’ – nothing short of tremendous. Sure, there’s a following currently for Nick Carter and Jordan Knight as members of their respective boy bands, but it’s a bit more low-key. Even so, Nick & Knight actually deserves more notoriety than it’s receiving.

“One More Time” opens Nick & Knight with incredible energy. Bursting with enthusiasm, “One More Time” benefits from its sunny major key as well as a gargantuan chorus. The soulful rhythmic guitar plays a vital role i...
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