Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NEW SOUNDS

MAXWELL



It's quite clear that Maxwell likes to take his time, After an eight-year gap between his 2001 release "Now" and 2009's "BLACKsummers'night", the neo-soul vocalist has finally returned with a follow-up. This sequel, "blackSUMMERS'night" arrives seven years later and is certainly worth the wait. With his reliably smooth voice,  Maxwell delivers more lovely ballads and inspirational songs on love and relationships. Despite the still quite striking forty-three year old artist calling this new collection "progressive soul" which is a merging of gospel, disco, rock and a touch of psychedelic pop, the album doesn't offer any real surprises or major shifts in sound, just his sensual, old-school, funk-driven vibe that made him a major player back in the '90's.

The first single, "Lake By The Ocean" has been riding high on top of the adult r&b chart and I'm sure there will be more to come.



BLOOD ORANGE


Dev Hynes, or as he's better known, Blood Orange, has been devoting much of his time of late working on music for several pop artists. Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, FKA Twigs, Florence and the Machine, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kylie Minogue are just a few of the artists that have benefited from the dynamic writing and producing talent of this thirty-year-old Brit. Now, he's ready to focus on himself with a third Blood Orange CD, "Freetown Sound". Far removed from the lightweight fizz of hit-making pop, this record explores the racial, sexual and political tensions happening in the world today. Adding to the quirky rhythms and hook-less tunes are a collection of eclectic guest performers ranging from the expected (Jepsen and Debbie Harry) and the unexpected (author, Ta-Nehisi Coates and slam poet, Ashlee Haze).

I love that a track now on this record, "Hadron Collider" (that features a long-absent, Nelly Furtado) was first released only as a promotional cassette tape last December and sold during his shows at the Apollo Theater. Have a listen:

"Hadron Collider" - Blood Orange & Nelly Furtado (2016) mp3

Fergie is once again back with some new music. Much like what happen with Gwen Stefani, Fergie dropped a song, "L.A. Love (La La)" way back in 2014 after a long absence from the scene but nobody was feeling much love for the tune.

After regrouping, the forty-one-year-old singer is giving it another try with a sexy little ditty called "M.I.L.F.$" (pronounced "MILF Money"). If you don't know what a M.I.L.F. is, well, let's just say it means someone that would enjoy an intimate encounter with a mature woman with children. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really feeling this song but I do love the music video. The colorful, hyper-sexual clip, directed by Colin Tilley, is littered with hot fashion models like Alessandra Ambrósio, Chrissy Teigen, Amber Valletta, Devon Aoki, Angela Lindvall as well musician, Ciara and the notorious, Kim Kardashian who all happen to be mothers. And model, Jon Kortajarena plays the milkman lusting after all these women. You must check this out:



Finally, here is that infamous video by Kanye West for his latest single, "Famous". Inspired by the painting, "Sleep" by Vincent Desiderio, the clip features notable figures like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Cosby, Taylor Swift, Rihanna (who provides vocals on the track), West, former girlfriend, Amber Rose and his wife, Kim Kardashian, all sleeping nude in a bed together (with the help of synthetic look-alike bodies). Personally I think all the outrage and shock about this video is much ado about nothing but take a look and see for yourself.  BE WARNED: NUDITY MAKES THIS NSFW:

ABSENT FACES IN POP MUSIC

I had read a interesting article recently in the Los Angeles Times about the difficulties of a new generation of Black female singers being...