Posted in music

New Music Saturday!

It’s Saturday so that means more new music has been released this weekend. Here are a list of a few new releases I’m loving at the moment.

1. Zayn – Fingers

It’s been a while since Zayn has released new music and it’s clear that in his time away he has spent it perfecting his sound. This R&B vibe song is about a failed love that has affected Zayn from using his fingers properly to message. It is clear in the song further on that the the fingers are used as a metaphors for his heart as he sings “Cause my fingers ain’t broken, but my heart is”. I’m a fan of this song and I hope his next album is filled with more songs like this.

2. CE – On & On

CE debuts another sensual track this time in the form of his new single “On & On”. I feel this song could be the song that demonstrates his versatility, uniqueness. and huge potential. The catchy hook “on and on” is a standout line throughout the song that hopefully people will be singing for a while. Personally I’ve had this song on repeat since its release and while you’re at it, check out the video too!

3. Brent Faiyaz – Lost (EP)

Someone introduced me to Brent’s music a couple years ago and I am forever grateful. Brent has just released a new EP called ‘Lost’ and it is everything I expected and more. My favourite songs have to be;

-‘Came Right Back‘; Standout line for me is “Why do I feel cursed if I’m so blessed now?” he sings in the second verse. I get the impression Brent is talking about the downfalls of his success in this song but I mostly like how his voice just has you gripped throughout.

– ‘Trust’; The best thing about this song are the adlibs. Brent uses his inner thoughts as backing vocals which you can hear throughout. You get the impression the song is him thinking out loud and questioning himself which I feel is a unique way of portraying a song.

-‘Target on My Chest’; The beat on this song is great and the way Brent transitions to singing from rapping is the best part too. The middle of the song cuts to some kind of instrument solo possibly from a brass instrument which further reiterates the feeling Brent’s songs can put you in. As a listener you feel invested in whatever he is singing.

Have a listen to the EP below:

Posted in music

New Music: Album Review: Usher – “A”

Ok, so Usher is considered one of the best artists of my generation and his infamous “Confessions” album has gone down in history as one of the best R&B album of the 20th century. (Personally one of my favourite albums of all time). It’s hard when you peak so well to follow up with work anywhere as close.

This new album called “A” is a collaborative album with American record producer Zaytoven. Zaytoven famously won a grammy for his collaboration in Usher’s ‘Raymond V Raymond’ album so it is clear the pair usually make good music. This album features only 8 songs (I say “only” due to the fact there seems to be a trend with artists releasing longer albums at the moment).

Overall, the album contains a few good songs and it is clear that Usher has changed his singing style as the album sounds like a different version of him. I do prefer the older version of Usher which is more of him hitting high notes and less of the rapping but times change.

My favourite songs are:

Stay At Home Ft. Future (1) – The first song on the album, I like the beat and Future’s feature (haha) is great.

ATA (2)- This is the second song on the album and I like the way Usher sings the chorus with his use of wordplay.

She Ain’t Tell Ya (6)-  This beat in this song sounds like a remixed version of ‘Lovers and Friends’ (2004) released by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Usher and Ludacris. I have not been able to confirm if it is the same beat but it definitely gives me a nostalgic feel. This is possibly my favourite song on the album. The song seems to be Usher explaining his side of a situation with a woman explaining all the things she has supposedly left out in her version. He starts the song off by singing “Today I’m’ma tell you my side, I hurt you, you hurt me, even exchange” implying they both have done something bad to each other. The irony and juxtaposition in this song is that Usher will say something to stand up for himself like “She ain’t tell you she was motivating me” and “She ain’t tell you I boost her self-esteem did she?” but then go on to sing things like “She ain’t tell ya I paid for her body yeah” and “And she ain’t tell you how I flaunt her up in karats”. He goes from expressing positives and how she influenced him in a positive way and vice versa to then describing her in a materialistic way. To indicate he paid for her body and express how he showered her in diamonds is quite egotistical, gives the impression she is easily bought. I do however like the contrast in the song, Usher plays the role very well and it would be great to hear a female singer or rapper do their own version of the song.

Have a listen below.

Posted in music

“They don’t make them like this anymore”. (Album) – Mario

I have always been an avid music lover and every month I will try and give you a review from an old album that I still love. Back in the days when physical copies of CDs were the only way to play music and albums were really important.

This month’s entry is from US R&B singer Mario and his album “Turning Point” which was released in 2004.

Mario became well known for his 2002 song “Just a Friend” featured on his first album and which is also added here.

My favourite tracks on this album have to be:

18: This is the first track on the album and I feel it was very necessary to start off the project. Most people would still see Mario as the young boy in his “Just a Friend” song and so this intro track reminds us that’s he’s “grown up”.

Stand out Line:Next time y’all underestimate me (Don’t do that)”

Let Me Love You: Classic throwback. This song was so big when it came out and rightly so and is still probably Mario’s biggest hit. The song, which was written by Ne-Yo had a beautiful sentiment behind it and I’m sure everyone remembers the baggy clothes Mario wore in the video! The song is based in Mario pleading with a woman to leave her unhappy relationship and be with him as he would treat her like the Queen she is.

Stand out Line: “You’re a dime plus 99 and it’s a shame, don’t even know what you’re worth”

Couldn’t say No: The tone of the album changes with this song as we start to see Mario isn’t as innocent as we think. This song is Mario asking for forgiveness and trying to explain why he cheated on his girl (“Couldn’t say No”). The production on this song is really good too.

Stand out Line: “I got bad news that I gotta break to you. I know you gonna act a fool but I gotta let her know”.

Boom: This song features Juvenile and from the first few seconds you can tell how upbeat the song is going to be. This song for me embodies a classic early 00’s song. Listening to it now, you can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. There are many references to lyrics from old 90s songs too which help.

Stand out Line:Represent yo town” (When the beat changes and he names some places)

How Could You: This song is like the opposite of “Couldn’t Say No”. We get the impression his girl has cheated on him and here he sings about hurt. The songs feels like a typical R&B song with the slow melody, the frequent harmonies and Mario singing his heart out.

Stand out Line:How could you put him on to the Ghetto Kama Sutra??”

Girl I Need: The song featuring Cham has a reggae feel that fits so well. Mario sings about the qualities he wants in a potential girl and with his harmonies make this song one of my favourites. Cham’s verse is also a great addition.

Stand out Line:I need a girl that smart (and really intelligent) a girl with heart somebody who dont take no shit”

Here I Go Again: This song is about Mario who keeps going back to an ex despite the negative things she does. He begins to question his strength seeing as he keeps going back to the stress and aggro. Probably a very relatable situation with some people.

Stand out Line:Am I crazy? Have I lost myself? Is this a sin?”

Nikes Fresh Out The Box: Here Mario compares his woman to a fresh pair of Nike Air Forces! Sneakerheads will see the connection..the idea that he will treat her as something precious like he does with his trainers. I’ve yet to hear an analogy like this and it is quite a compliment to compare a woman to something he cares about the most. The sentiment reminds me of a different version of metaphysical poetry where lovers are compared to unusual objects.

Stand out Line: “I see her, I want her, Got to have her like (Nikes fresh out the box)”

Like Me Real Hard: I love the vulnerability in this song. Mario is singing as a man who has suffered heartbreak in the past and is trying to convince a woman he likes, who also has suffered, that she should take a risk with him. He encourages her to take it slow explains that he does not want to rush into anything serious. I like how he sings about reassuring the woman who is obviously having doubts.

Stand out Line: “We’ve been broken by love and we both need time to heal”

C’Mon: This song is such a feel good song from the beginning to the end. The production is also great.

Stand out Line:Where did you come from, I wanna thank your moms for bringin’ u into this life, and makin u my type”

Posted in music

Throwback Thursday (UK Style)

British R&B singer Angel released his debut studio album entitled ‘About Time’ in 2013. One of my favourite songs on the album is called “Blown Away” and it features Nigerian superstar Wizkid.

The song is based on the first feeling you get when you fall for someone; “I’m getting this feeling
That I’m falling in love with you”. Angels beautiful sensual voice and Wizkid’s Nigerian vibes mix so well. My favourite lines; “When you appear my heart starts racing. Whirlwind but I’m in the same place”. That wonderful feeling of love you get when you find the person meant for you is beautiful.