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john legend “for the first time”

in a recent interview with xxl mag, john legend said that his new album love in the future is “his best album yet.”  while that’s something artists usually say near an album release date, i not only agree with him, but would also say that it’s the best album i’ve heard so far this year.

with kanye, dave tozer & legend taking the executive producer lead, john’s exquisite voice finds a home over production that you can tell was formed with painstaking care.  maybe the only bad thing about the 20-track project is that the interludes tease you and leave you wishing that they were stretched into full songs.  the album’s really that good.

but you don’t have to take my word for it.  give a listen to one of the bonus tracks, “for the first time” and let me know what you think.  you can also buy the full album here.

previously: video: john legend @ kean commencement 2011



valerie june “the hour”

it’s hard to pin down singer/songwriter valerie june‘s music to a single genre.  when you listen to her work, you might hear some country, some soul, some blues, and even some bluegrass, all of which echoes her tennesseean upbringing.  she herself describes her sound as “organic moonshine roots music”:

“Making music has been a journey. Just like a gardener starts gardening for the first time with no skills, you start making music and then you learn. With a little spark, a little moonshine, and a little magic, you make it happen. It took me a long time to work this raw and infertile soil so it would allow my seeds to flourish.”

get a taste of what’s she talking about in her new song “the hour”.  you’ll find the track on her latest studio album “pushin’ against a stone”.


alabama shakes “hang loose”

just listened to alabama shakes‘s grammy-nominated album boys & girls and i loved it.  brittany howard’s voice pulls you in by dancing over the songs with playful passion.  fellow bandmates zac cockrell, steve johnson & heath fogg follow suit while rocking the bass, drums, and guitar.  here’s their uplifting single “hang loose” (lyrics below).  if you haven’t already, check out the full album for yourself and let me know which song is your favorite:

Don’t worry sweet baby!
Don’t you ever worry ’bout a thing.
Put them worries on the shelf ‘n’ learn to love yourself
Don’t be your own worst enemy.

Hang loose, hang loose
Let the ocean worry ’bout bein’ blue.
Hang loose, hang loose.
Go with the tide and I’ma take care of you.

Come with me sweet darlin’.
I got a seat ya ticket for the plane.
We gonna fly to Waikiki, it’ll just be you ‘n’ me.
And we’ll let the sun melt our cares away.

Hang loose, hang loose.
Let the ocean worry ’bout bein’ blue.
Hang loose, hang loose.
Go with the tide and I’ma take care of you.

Alright, we gon’ be alright.
Alright, you’re gon’ be alright!

Hang loose.
Hang loose!
Hang loose.
Hang loose.


i listened to emeli sandé‘s music for the first time this week and thoroughly enjoyed it.  the overall quality of her voice and songs puts her up there with other top artists from across the pond (adele, amy winehouse, corinne bailey raemumford & sons, etc.).  here is emeli performing “clown” during her concert at london’s royal albert hall.  below you’ll find the lyrics. let me know what you think:

I guess it’s funnier from where you’re standing
Cause from over here I missed the joke
Clear the way for my crash landing
I’ve done it again
Another number for your notes

I’d be smiling if I wasn’t so desperate
I’d be patient if I had the time
I could stop and answer all of your questions
As soon as I find out
How I can move from the back of the line

I’ll be your clown
Behind the glass
Go ‘head and laugh
Cause it’s funny
I would too if I saw me
I’ll be your clown
On your favourite channel
My life’s a circus circus
Round in circles
I’m selling out tonight

I’d be less angry if it was my decision
And the money was just rolling in
If I had more than my ambition
I’ll have time for ‘Please’
I’ll have time for ‘Thank you’
As soon as I win


From a distance my choice is simple
From a distance I can entertain
So you can see me
I put make-up on my face
But there’s no way you can feel it
From so far away


video: emeli sandé “clown” (live)


r&b’s prodigal son has returned bearing gifts.  he premiered “another life” (above), “sugar daddy” and “the charade” (below) out in stockholm.  check them out and his performance of “chicken grease” after the jump.  do they make you excited to finally hear james river?  thanks to miss infookayplayer & rapradar.


d’angelo found the stage again


r.i.p. etta james

01/20/12 1 Comment

etta james lost her battle with leukemia today at age 73.  the soulful singer was most known for her timeless hit “at last” but listen to this playlist for a sampling of her other work:


1. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”

2. “I’d Rather Go Blind”

3. “Stop The Wedding”

4. “All I Could Do Is Cry”

5. “Sunday Kind Of Love”

6. “At Last”



53 years ago today, berry gordy, jr. borrowed $800 from his fam to launch motown records.  here are some artists that emerged from the initial investment.

the 2nd time i fell in love with jill scott was a few weeks ago at the white house’s evening of poetry.  her poems were aigh, but the personality she showed was something i’d want in a lady.  the 1st time she got me was years ago on a long walk.  it’s a funny shame that so many singers today can’t sing, but jill’s voice was heavensent.  in her latest single, miss scott is joined by the equally talented anthony hamilton for a cute duet that should bang at wedding receptions.

video: jill scott “so in love” f/ anthony hamilton

05/31/11 2 Comments

king “the story” ep


comprised of twins paris and amber strother and anita bias, king offers a chill sound that feels better than a spring picnic.  listen to their debut ep “the story” (written and produced by themselves) below.

1. “The Story”

2. “Supernatural”

3. “Hey”

for more info on the ladies, check our their official website.  also, you can watch the video for “the story” after the jump. (more…)

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