Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Week of Music Thus Far!

Today was one of those days, that I must say arrived with much excitement. The new releases of some awesome material by artists Robin Thicke, The Roots, The Black Keys, and the late Amy Winehouse truly set my day in motion for some musical consumption that really made today AMAZING! So let us begin, shall we?

The first album on the list is Robin Thicke's fifth record, "Love After War". The first track on the album is really poppie and has a great head bobbing groove while maintaining that soulful style that has defined Robin as a true R&B sensation. His duo with Lil' Wayne on "Pretty Lil' Heart" is the first single on the album that wets fan's appetite for this new masterpiece. "Love After War" really offers a relevant message that is focused on hope and perseverance in the midst of hard times. There is no doubt that Robin maintains the integrity of soul music. I my opinion Robin Thicke is the modern day Marvin Gay, bringing raw emotion, sensuality, and magnificent metaphorical storytelling that set R&B in motion. This is a must have album, so do yourself the favor and get it. Moving on...

...While driving to work yesterday I was informed by one of West Palm's local radio personalities, that The Black Keys were releasing another album. With a Grammy under the duo's belt for their third album "Brothers", the Black Keys managed to bring a fuller sound to their increasing Alternative Rock approach to music. "El Camino" encompasses strong blue-grass and classic rock influences that clearly distinguish the groups very eclectic approach to song writing. You can hear the intense Zeppelin influence in "Little Black Submarine" to heavy Stevie Ray Blues guitar riffs throughout the albums entirety.  For me I wish nothing but further success for these guys and hope that "El Camino" brings another Grammy their way this year. Another must for your collection.

The Roots have another album? YES AND IT IS AWESOME! ?uestlove, Black Thought and the gang are back and bringing their uncanny musical approach to Hip-Hop in full motion with their new release "Undun". I don't know if it is the guys time on Jimmy Fallon or what, but The Roots are on a roll and doing it well. This album (like all the other Roots LP's) maintains the true story telling approach that Hip-Hop was intended to provide listener with. There is no question that The Roots continue to offer a breath of fresh air in music. "Undun" offers a great fusion of neo-soul and old-school hip-hop that will make you begging for more. Another must for you collection in my opinion.

Finally, we remember the late great Amy Winehouse. The idea that she is no longer with us due to her own inner demons silenced by her addiction, has left the music world a little short. Comprised of unreleased material, "Hidden Treasures" offers a very clear vision of the late singer's appreciation for Soul, Reggae, and old school jazz vocal styles of legends like Ella Fitzgerald and many more. With the help of Winehouse's family, "Hidden Treasures" offers greater insight to the artist's desire for hope, perseverance, and progress so needed in recovery/life. This is how Amy should be remembered.

Unlike past posts, these selections were bought outright. I knew they would be great, however if you are following "The Down Beat" and are interested in hearing these amazing albums before investing in them yourself, be sure to connect with Spotify to get a taste.