April 14, 2016

Music REVIEW: "So Happy I Could Cry" by Charlie Love

Album: So Happy I Could Cry
Artist: Charlie Love
Label: LovMil Records
Format: CD & Digital Downloads

Charlie Love is a bluesman's Chicago bluesman. An amazing singer, guitarist, songwriter and all around showman who is a treat to see and experience. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this titan of a journeyman, google him and soak in his videos and sound links.

"So Happy I Could Cry" is a nice intro for the uninitiated and a return to the magic for those who has caught his show at festivals or blues venues around the world. The CD offers six wonderful blues selections full of the reflection, wry humor and solid blues that are so much a part of Mr Love's music. I particularly enjoyed "I Called Your Mama" and "She Put Me Out." Five of the songs are covers of well known blues tunes, demonstrating Mr Love's prowess in the genre, as he makes legendary tunes like Muddy Water's "Long Distance Call" and Chester Burnett's "Trouble" his own with his amazing vocal and guitar inter-play.

Five STARS
Highly Recommended

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/so-happy-i-could-cry/id415399037

December 11, 2015

MUSIC REVIEW: "Countdown To Revolution" by Synnika Lofton

TITLE: "Countdown To Revolution" (E.P.)
ARTIST: Synnika Lofton
LABEL: Guerrilla Ignition Recordings
FORM: Download & CD
WEBSITE: www.guerrillaignition.com

The late 1990's and early 2000s saw the rise of the return to coffeehouse culture along with a generation of socially conscious spoken-word and indie soul artists come of age as the keepers of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 70's. The members of this urban expressionist movement were able to succeed where other failed by cultivating and nurturing the younger generations of artists, furthering a 'new world Griot' tradition.

Synnika Lofton, multi-award-winning poet, entrepreneur, educator and keeper of this tradition, offers a highly relevant collection of selections on his E.P. "Countdown To Revolution", smoothly offering a frank and insightful assessment of the need for the Black Lives Matter, I Can't Breath!, and Justice or Else! movements.

Well crafted verse, with excellent guitar and vocal accompaniment creates a mood and tone of true urban soul, with such selections as "American Outlaw", my personal favorite from the album, "If I Die Before I Wake", "Leave a Light on For Me" and "Ready For A Solution".

My only criticisms of the project: Producer should have paid a little more attention to the mixing and mastering of the recording. While it's an excellent production, a little more attention to the dynamics of the instrumentation and hook singing against the voice. Also, I wish the project had more material on it. Just as you begin to get into it, it's over.

4 STARS: 

Highly Recommended

Link: to Purchase Download:

iTUNES
BANDCAMP




VIDEO: "American Outlaw"


November 23, 2015

MUSIC REVIEW: "But You Caint Use My Phone" by Eryka Badu

Album: But You Caint Use My Phone
Artist: Eryka Badu
Label: Motown
Format: CD, Digital Download

Okay, so this blog is supposed to be about organic soul and indie artists, but our first review is by a major label artist using electronica. In the case of Ms. Badu, her vocal and personal style is so creative and organic, let's face it: she gets a pass.

A poet and social commentator, here Ms Badu utilizes electronica to more deeply explore and emphasize the metaphor behind her album: the importance of electronics in interpersonal communication in the new age, where our cell phone become a reflective extension of ourselves... iPhones, Androids and (now out-dated) Black Berries. 

The rather random feeling of the album definitely gives it a life and spirit that one rarely finds in today's music and releases. I particularly enjoyed the cuts “Cel-U-Lar Device”, “Hello” and "I'll Call You Back". Also gotta love the P-Funk influenced cover art.

4 STARS
Highly Recommended

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/but-you-caint-use-my-phone/id1061192979
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