The Tape Deck: UncomfortableStyloBossMeltPartyBlip

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm proposing that I bring this back. Highlighting just six songs this time around...

1. The Uncomfortable Truth - Nneka: Newcomer (well to Stateside shores) Nneka has recently released her third disc, Concrete Jungle, a fusion of Reggae, Hip-Hop, Soul and Folk that quenches the thirst for raw unabridged talent. Infused with a clopping percussive backdrop and elongated brass licks leading single, "The Uncomfortable Truth" brings back the elements of social conscious cuts from the 70's, fresh for the 21st Century mind. Nneka is getting lip service as the next Lauryn Hill, so we best watch this space. Read my write up about this new kid on the music block at Koffee Mag Online.

2. Stylo - Gorillaz (ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack): This song gets better with each listen, serious. Next to Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" and Goldfrapp's "Rocket", this has risen to be one of my favorite slices to emerge out of 2010, and to think the year just started. Bobby Womack's voice does have some dust on it, and in essence it works on this somber cyber crawl.

3. The Boss - Diana Ross: As a self-proclaimed "Sometimey Diana Ross Fan", I don't attest to knowing overtly everything the diva has put out, (which is ALOT) but I can say that I do massively enjoy a Diana track whenever I'm under the spell to pull out the Diana albums I do own. I'm more in favor for Miss Ross' dance cuts, especially around the late 70's and early 80's, because I usually find her ballads a bit too sappy for my taste. Thus, 1979's "The Boss" fits like a sleek black formal glove, with rhinestones on the trim, it's elegant yet down right well...bossy. Ashford & Simpson give Ross a disco delight that is meant for singing into a hairbrush. 

4. Melt - Melanie C. : Out of all the Spices solo projects, Melanie C (aka Sporty Spice) is possibly my favorite Spice to fend out into the spotlight alone. Sure, I have a candy coated appreciation for Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) because her 60's pop revival style a la Lulu is appreciated. Yet, Melanie C has some impressive sound slices and usually people don't even know or care to even listen, possibly because they "fear" her solo sound came straight from the Book of Spice Girls, which it doesn't. Her 1999 debut, Northern Star is exquisite from start to finish, and her follow-up, 2003's Reason is just as delightful. The Guy Chambers produced, "Melt" is a light and poignant track with a sweeping musical arrangement that is quite refreshing to hear.

5. Party Lights - France Joli: Lordy, this song is massively Cheez-It's with slices of mozzarella and Munster melted on it. And yes, I love it. France Joli to me is the Teena Marie lite, she has a voice yet was subjected to disco and power pop numbers once the 80's rolled in. Though she never really capitalized on her monster 1979 hit, "Come To Me", she had some decent cuts there after. Witch Of Love, aside from the terrible title (and the outfits), has some nice little ditties and "Party Lights" is one of them. It's pre-Lionel Ritchie "Dancing On The Ceiling" and in a sense it's battery is more charged. And to think George Duke produced and wrote this.

6. Daykeeper - The Foreign Exchange: Since the Grammys, I've been revisiting some of the nominees that I favored to win, and one of the noms is The Foreign Exchange. Though I jumped on the FE bandwagon late (so 2009 and late), I have hitched a ride and have become immensely engaged with their fantastic 2008 soundscape, Leave It All Behind. The opener "Daykeeper" really transcends as being the finest slice on a massively perfect record. The elegant shift of tempo changes is the main attraction, not to mention the vocal trade-offs of Phonte and Muhsinah. In all, this track is award-winning. Yes, I'm quite bitter that they lost and India.Arie won for a freaking Sade cover...if I ruled the world...

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