Reheating leftovers of the week...
Time for another round-up of jams that had me catching feelings this week --- from new kids hitting (or re-hitting) the block, to old standbys returning to fine form.
1. Better - Chrisette Michele
While it was either here nor there for me in concerns with Chrisette Michele's recently released mixtape, Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Representation (a mixed bag, though the Robert Glasper assisted, "Pray Me Well" and the glorious "Rich Hipster" have been getting multiple spins), I'm now finding myself raising an excited eyebrow over her return thanks to a little song simply called, "Better". Michele has posed 2013 as the target year for her fourth album, and its title track is the first inkling towards what is to come. Sounding quite like the solid n' soul stirring material that was present on her 2007 debut, I Am, "Better" is a melodic mid-tempo that highlights Miss Chrisette's regal voice and has her back in good standing after such past fumbles (looking at you 2010's Let Freedom Reign...). The track is currently being spotlighted on the Motown Music Sampler Vol. 1 compilation, which is an introduction of sorts for the legendary label who are in the middle of revamping their artist roster and overall appeal. Nice.
2. Lady Colour - Troumaca
Out of left field --- that's how I like to be surprised by music. To fit that bill is Troumaca, an outfit out of Birhmingham, England who isn't your typical indie-soul act, but still drop a mean and lean meditative synth machine called "Lady Colour" that is about as vivid as you can imagine. From their upcoming Virgin Island EP (which will bubble up to the surface this coming January), the fivesome give me a vibe of akin to fellow fave Briton acts like Keane and Friendly Fires, as they evoke blistering good material that echoes and enchants long after. Why be typical when you can be left of center, right? This is the first time that I'm getting to sample them, and I'm really liking what I'm hearing and can't wait to sample more.
3. Back To Love - Bilal
Just a week ago I was singing the praises of Bilal getting to 'too high' on that Stevie Wonder re-birth and now we're here with "Back To Love" --- the newness from the Philly gent that we all pretty much were wanting. Inspired by the paintings of legendary eccentric Salvador Dali, Bilal's upcoming, A Love Surreal is to be yet another feast for the ears, featuring guest spots from Robert Glasper and those trio of ladies known as KING. "Back To Love" is not the oblong quirkiness that was housed on Airtight's Revenge, but is more aligned to the soulful struts he introduced himself with on his First Born Second 2001 debut.
4. Love and War - Tamar
People sort of forget that Tamar can actually carry a tune, and that her self-titled 2000 solo debut (and the one n' only album she has of post date) was quite boss, raft with solid and memorable R&B tracks. Yep, you read that right, it was memorable and "Money Can't Buy You Love" is my jam and I'll defend it till kingdom come, so excuuuse you. So tuning into the steamy "Love and War" the brand-new single that is geared to take Tamar's solo career out of dormancy. I have to say that the Braxton-ite roars a mighty good case here. Some are saying "Love and War" sounds like a long-lost cousin of Keyshia Cole's "Trust And Believe", and I hear it, but let's just do an exercise in virtue --- Tamar has got Ms. Cole beat with this honest to goodness R&B surprise. Could it be that I'm actually anticipating a Tamar Braxton album for next year? You bet.com
5. Aaliyah - Katy B (feat. Jessie Ware and Geeneus)
This is quite the curiosity. It Brit femme fatales of the moment, Katy B and Jessie Ware get all philosophical on "Aaliyah", a tribute piece that really isn't a tribute...but then kind-sorta of is. For all you analyzing nerds out there, Katy B and Jessie Ware are kind of miffed that "Aaliyah" has got her mitts on their man, thus they both lament some kind of a "The Boy Is Mine"-love-pentagon-Twilight Zone-thing-a-ma-jig. To dig deeper, it seems as if the two have grown tired of their guy listening/fantasizing about "Aaliyah" when she is (obviously) not in tangible existence. Hmm...I wonder if the dude in question is none other than Drake, you know creepy-Aaliyah-stalker Drake? Okay, I need to stop being a Sherlock Homegirl and just enjoy this pretty kick ass Euro-House revival track and hop on the sweet deal to snag Miss B's Danger EP, which is available to download for just a mere e-mail address at her official page.