Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Alright...this isn't exactly new, but if you have been too busy trying to make a dollar to hear 'I Need A Dollar' then you really are missing incredible music at your expense. This American soul sensation has delivered arguably the best song so far this year. With his trademark, instant vintage soul that appeals to the modern mainstream. With lavishing lyrics like "I had some good old buddy his names is whiskey and wine/(hey hey)/and for my good old buddy I spent my last dime/(hey hey)/my wine is good to me it helps me pass the time/and my good old buddy whiskey keeps me warmer than the sunshine" it's no wonder this man is lapping up the praise, coast to coast, from the radio to the underground. The appeal of this song is like with any great records; it's something we can relate to male or female, young or old. Blacc's positive take on the struggle to survive is as motivational and as inspiring as old soul records from the likes of Sam Cooke ('Chain Gang') and Marvin Gaye ('What's Going On') and this rare quality is what will put Aloe in the exclusive elite company of the greats. If he continues to drop classics like this then dollars won't be a worry for him anymore. Time to pay up the respect. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 28 May 2011
Folks are talking about this singer soul. Josephine may just be the best new artist right now. For years shes been building up an incredible reputation as a soul singer wise beyond her years. From the release of 'One Princess of Cheetham Hill' to supporting Paolo Nutini this versatile, Manchester born singer is primed to take on the U.K. and whoever else in the world of music is listening. With a highly anticipated, long-awaited album in the works Jo has already blessed us with two E.P.'s over the last 12 months from the hauntingly beautiful 'I Think It Was Love' to this years 'A Freak A'. What these releases have given our ears is refreshing sincere soul, mixed with the foundations of folk music. Both Nina Simone and Bob Dylan would be proud.
Every track Jo has released via itunes or performed live at a variety of venues has been some real music from a genuine voice but the song 'I Think It Was Love' really shows this singers ability to craft a song that has both integrity and the ability to be a hit. You won't hear a more beautiful love song right now and you won't find anyone else in the U.K. right now with this much heart and soul. Duffy, Adele and Corrine Bailey Rae better listen up. Josephine lights up the speakers and engages the listeners with her evoking voice and lyrics. Northern soul has found a new sound. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
It's always tragic writing a post like this, but especially today. A day where we lost one of the realest poets and writers ever. Gil Scott-Heron has died at age 62. This bluesology poet and musician died in New York and the exact causes are unknown, so instead of focusing on the negative let's celebrate the life of the man who helped the birth of hip-hop. Inspiring many people like Kanye West (who has referenced and sampled him in his works). Some of your favourite rappers may not be around today if it wasn't for this gifted genius of a man. Still this poet was bigger then hip-hop. With his hit album in the 70's 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' Heron started his own one and last year had a renaissance with the release of a new album. The critically acclaimed 'I'm New Here' was also one of our top ten albums of 2010. A master in his craft and way with words Gil was also an incredible novelist penning the excellent crime/detective thriller 'The Vulture' in all it's dynamic, dark depth. Like all good storytellers tonight it won't be the same as we sleep tonight, but still just like last year Gil Scott-Heron awoke the pros of poetry and just like he did in his whole life, he really said something. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 27 May 2011
Currently Miss Jones is helping Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi and Jack White craft a classic in 'Rome', so for this weeks 'Album Select Of The Week' let's take a look at one of Norah Jones finest records. Now every one of her platinum plaque albums are perfect and obviously the best is her classic, diamond debut 'Come Away With Me' but let's pop her latest work 'The Fall' in the player. Partly a break-up record and all a change of heart in Norah's style (she even cut her hair into a beautiful bob) this different stroke from Jones was a master craft. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, all the legends went electric in their time so it's only right that this eclectic, best of our generation singer followed suit and put the lid on her beautiful piano for a few tracks. From the quirky, lead, lead strong single 'Chasing Pirates' to the hilarious, cute, 'all men aren't as good as dogs', 'Man Of The Hour' closer this record tracks the opening up of Norah. With new classics like the vibrant, red 'Young Blood', the decedent 'December', the single story 'Stuck', and the ode to home 'Back To Manhattan' this album had it all. The gorgeous gems; 'Even Though', 'Missing', 'Waiting', 'I Wouldn't Need You' and 'It's Gonna Be' rounded out this real classic timelessly. Make sure you pick up the deluxe edition for some 'Live From The Living Room' takes on some of these best album tracks and some cool covers from this welcome household name. From a heartfelt homage to Johnny Cash's 'Cry, Cry, Cry' to her familiarly fantastic cover of The Kinks 'Strangers'. A beautiful take and an unheralded new Norah classic. On 'The Fall' Miss Jones truly rose. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
DANGER MOUSE & DANIELE LUPPI Feat NORAH JONES-SEASONS TREES: The pair of producers 'Rome' with Miss Jones on a beautiful bloom off a growing classic this year.
SNOOP DOGG Feat JOHN LEGEND & KANYE WEST-EYES CLOSED: Off Snoop's latest 'Doggumentary' this really is a look at 'G.O.O.D. Music'
TWISTA-UP TO SPEED: Leaving the lyrical competition for dust, Twista shows he's still got it with his 'Perfect Storm'.
TIMBALAND-I WON'T BOARD THIS PLANE: Another flying track from the super-producers 'Thursday' vault.
NE-YO-CHAMPAGNE LIFE: It's party time! Celebrate the good times with a glass and the gentleman. After all "trouble is just a bubble in a champagne glass".
MARVIN GAYE-MIDNIGHT LOVE: "Some Marvin Gaye".
LUTHER VANDROSS-NEVER TOO MUCH: "Some Luther Vandross".
ANITA BAKER-SWEET LOVE: "A little Anita".
KANYE WEST Feat TWISTA & JAMIE FOXX-SLOW JAMZ: "Will definitely set this party off right".
JAGGED EDGE Feat Nelly-WHERE THE PARTY AT?: Right here with this weeks 'Tape Deck Shuffle' selections. All you've got to do is press play. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
'Rome' is beautiful. Hear it for yourself.
Get your tape decks, CD changers and mp3's ready for a musical collaboration like no other. Now we all know that producer Danger Mouse has pushed the envelope to the letter, (see Gnarles Barkley, 'The Grey Album') collaborating with everyone from Beck to MF Doom, but these days he is writing arguably his best productions. Now teaming up with influential, Italian producer Daniele Luppi, Danger Mouse drops 'Rome', a capital exclamation. This instrumental album is so hauntingly beautiful and epic it may as well be a soundtrack to a film as these two musical directors fine-tune this ground breaking recording. They also make this cinematic feeling classic a star-studded affair casting this musical generations heavyweights Norah Jones and Jack White for their unique, individual vocals.
This perfect piece is introduced with 'Theme of Rome', an evocative, epic, evoking track that begins this musical trail. Then on 'The Rose with the Broken Neck' Jack White's vocals bloom on a bone-to-concrete track that goes to the toughest of introspective depths. Then there's a little break after Jack's first of three appearances. The 'Morning Fog' interlude comes into view with beautiful, awakening keys. While the song 'Morning Fog' itself clears the highest expectations you could put on these cult, classic chasing producers with it's sheer brilliance.
As Norah Jones first of three performances is planted, 'Season's Tree's' show a growth in the sultry singers already genre-versatile vocals (it almost doesn't sound like her until her trademark tones shine through). Norah's heart and soul produces one of the albums most beautiful vivid tracks. Air, Royksopp, Zero 7 and Groove Armada would all be proud even on their best day. The interlude 'Her Hollow Ways' is full of depth and beauty, sounding like a real unforgettable muse inspired it. While the song itself expands the concept and the albums theme even more with it's terrific testament. Also an album favourite, 'Roman Blue' is an incredible instrumentation bringing both sadness and inspiration to this introspective but uplifting project.
As the pair pick up Jack White again for the collaboration 'Two Against One' you have a single-worthy sound that still fits the pattern of this albums piece. This song is so diversely appealing Jack could have penned it for The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or even his darker band The Dead Weather. After these big collaborations, the pair go it alone, putting 'The Gambling Priest' on the table. A different but confident roll of the dice. While 'The World (Interlude)' is holy musical purity. Amen to that.
Norah Jones smooth, soulful, sincere vocals illuminate the bluesy 'Black' as Miss Jones returns beautifully to convey the songs emotion and tone perfectly. 'The Matador Has Fallen' is another track that would fit perfectly on any movie's soundboard from a Tarantino piece to a Kubrick one. This soundtrack feeling composition scores big once again on 'Problem Queen', as Easy Listening royalty Jones brings the drama and devotion to her songwriting and singing craft. The album finishes on 'The World' and this track just like it's interlude keeps this cohesive, classic set going with earthly, musical expansion for the ears.
Overall bringing the elements of Luppi's Italian influence and Danger Mouse's musical movie making together create a perfect potent mix. 'Rome' is as rich, vivid, old fashioned and beautiful like it's cities namesake in the incredible, inspiring country of Italy. This album sounds and feels like more then any old record. Epic, deep and haunting, this album will stay with you as it really is a timeless classic. the pair work perfectly together but it's the 'Starring Role' additions of White and Jones that complete this project, taking it to extraordinary ranges. Norah and Jack fit so well here-they are more then just guest features-they are part of the album, just check the promotional photos. The platinum pair should record an album together and let's hope this isn't the last time this whole group of talent gets on the same hymn sheet. Still if this is it, it truly is one-of-a-kind for the ages. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 22 May 2011
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
RAPHAEL SAADIQ-JUST DON'T: Just do press play on this cool track off Ray, Ray's latest 'Stone Rollin' classic.
CAM'RON & VADO-THEY DON'T LIKE YOU: But we like this new Dipset classic and all it's throwback 80's flavour and lyrical, flowing flair.
JIM JONES Feat ASHANTI-CHANGING THE LOCKS: Let's not forget this Dipset king and Murder Inc queens latest. The key to this collaboration is it's classic mix of grimy hip-hop and radio friendly R&B.
MUSIQ SOULCHILD-THEANSWERISYES: Never question this mans talent. Right now no one has got anything on his smooth, Summer sound. Play it loud.
TREY SONGZ Feat DRAKE-UNUSUAL: Still going strong, Trey's songs are rocking from the club to the car and Toronto's finest, rap man of the moment Drake rides shotgun and returns the favour for his 'Successful' run.
THE DIPLOMATS-DIPSET ANTHEM: With new records from Jim Jones, Cam'ron and Vado out now and their Diplomats 'Diplomatic Immunity' album our 'Album Select Of The Week' let's ride with this anthem.
THE COMMODORES-NIGHTSHIFT: It doesn't get more classic however then soul or Lionel Richie's old boys who do Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jnr so proud.
NORAH JONES-SUNRISE: Right now the cool, classic vocals of the beautiful Norah Jones are blessing the new Dangermouse project 'Rome'. So what better then the sweet lulling 'Oooh's' she wrote for 'Sunrise' to welcome in the forthcoming Summer.
THE WHITE STRIPES-JOLENE: Jack White also lends his unique vocals to 'Rome' but this isn't the first-time he has made a classic his own. As him and Meg take Dolly Parton's song and man.
JOHNNY CASH-CRY, CRY, CRY: If your a little bit country then you know that Cash rules everything so here's Johnny with a classic that Norah Jones herself covered live on her last L.P. 'The Fall'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Over the last couple of weeks we have seen two great releases from Dipset rappers Cam'ron ('Gunz N Butta' in collaboration with new Diplomat Vado) and Jim Jones ('Capo') and with another album from their leader Cam' on deck ('Killa Season'), to go along with another from star Juelz Santana and 'Diplomatic Immunity 3' in the works for 2011 everything looks good again in the Dipset clan. So let's take it back to 2002 when the the best hip-hop crew/group to come out of New York since the Wu-Tang Clan released their first 'Diplomatic Immunity' gem. It's rare that any collective hip-hop album becomes certified as a classic especially when extended to two discs but this was. Off the heels of Cam'ron's Rocafella success and Santana's budding-star status this group releases a ton of 'Dipset Anthems' that were as hot as that single. Just to think that this was before Jim Jones became a real success and even before these band of brothers added lyrical soldiers J.R. Writer and Vado. Still from Cam's 'Purple Haze' preview to Juelz's heartfelt, humbling 'Who I Am' (you didn't think rap could make you shed a tear hey?) this album was so stacked, guest features of legends DMX and Master P couldn't compare to this groups depth (as good as they are). Aside from some ill-advised Taliban references (it was their way however of taking power away from terrorists who recently attacked their city) this group repped Harlem, New York and the rap world proud with anthems like 'I Really Mean It' and 'I'm Ready' showing these guys weren't immune to lyrical sickness. A stand-up release, grant yourself some immunity and get ready for the trilogy to be completed soon. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 20 May 2011
Offering immunity to a new Diplomat, Cam' and his new Dip' drop a great set.
After a career that included endorsements from The Notorious B.I.G., contracts from Rocafella and the birth of an incredible group and clique (Dipset) nobody can blame Harlem rapper Cam'ron for taking a well-deserved break like he did years back. Still following some dynasty deaths and fallout feuds things fell apart like a Roots album and out came the milk cartons for Cam'. That was then however and this is now. The coolest of rappers is back and there has been more 'Diplomatic Immunity' in his camp as Dipset have reformed, anticipating a release date out of purgatory imprisonment. Still despite this Cam'ron Giles hasn't stopped working. His side-project 'The U.N.' has gained him a new hometown affiliate to add to his home-team The Diplomats. His name Vado, a lyrical linchpin. If you haven't heard of this guy then you just haven't been listening to good rap music. Now following plenty of hype and mixtapes Cam'ron and Vado release the long-awaited, highly-anticipated 'Gunz N Butta' album.
On the 'Killa' opener, Killer Cam is back going hard, threatening to murder the competition and everyone in sight with his lyrical homicide. Then on 'American Greed' Cam'ron and Vado eat well off their lyrical state to state appeal. There's more hot rhymes inside these two with the 80's crime drama, epic sounding 'Heat In Here'. Then on 'Face-Off' Vado and Cam' get to action swapping back and forth seamlessly like John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. The duo also go for what the ladies love like cool James with the cooling down of 'I-Love You'. With this and 'Put A Bird Up' it only gets better as hip-hop's new tag-team spreads their lyrical wings, flying through the flow.
It then gets harder and bigger with the Juelz Santana esque titled 'Monster Muzik' where Cam' balls like his college years and boasts about turning down deals like Dave Chappelle ("turn down 50 mill, on my Chappelle s***/Get your ice wet/lay down that slight bet/Word my word heard you'll get curved like a Nike check") . While Vado goes to Michael Phelps lengths ("I'm number one with the water I need to meet with Phelps") claiming to write thrillers "like Quincy Jones"). On 'Breathe' the pair give each other space over the bars for lyrical exercise over a respirator beat. Cam'ron exhibits a faster flow on 'Lights, Camera, Action' showing that despite this underground feeling album he's still a star because of talents like these.
Even when this butter sweet album passes the first ten, top tracks there is still plenty of heat left in these 'Gunz'. Vado expresses his lyrical dexterity and delivery on the twisted talented 'Speakin In Tungs'. Then Cam'ron comes back from holding his tongue for the big 'Hey Muma'. Vado also one again rips pages from his vast book of rhymes with the lines; "Hold up, let the Slime spit/Need these first three rows, let my suave sit/Icy, make it hard to see the time tick/Me and my dine chicks, with glasses of wine, lit/Yeh, your money can’t provide this". It all sounds like 'Hey Ma' just got a work over. Cam'ron and his Harlem protegee then take it back decades with the decedent 'They Don't Like You' for a track you'll love as Cam exhibits that famous, platinum Roc flow. Then the Harlem, Dipset lyric men finish strong, bringing back sped up soul samples next to go-hard deliveries for the closer 'Be With Me'.
Even with countless catchphrases and punchlines, Vado 'Huh's' and 'Killa Cam' trademark screams, Cam'ron and Vado keep it real and not cliched with lyrics of fury to go for days as they take out the competition. With Cam'ron's triumphant return and Vado's successful return the Dipset have killed two birds with one stone with a killer, cracking album that flies high like Jim Jones. Speaking of the devilishly hot M.C. with this and Jones great 'Capo' album recently released the sky is looking the limit for a group that almost looked destined for rock bottom a few seasons back. Now with fans appetites whet for the next Dipset album and Cam's second 'Killa Season', it's only getting brighter. It's going to be a real hot Summer. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Musiq Soulchild is one of Neo-Soul's proudest offspring. With great works in his collection from the albums 'Aijuswanaseing' to 'OnMyRadio' and songs like 'BetterMan' and 'MoneyRight' the successful singer has got creative with his art even titling his records in ways that would drive Grammar Rodeo's buckaroo. For years the Neo-Soul child has stood firmly next to his eclectic, excellent contemporaries like Maxwell and Raphael Saadiq and even the formidable females in the game (like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and his beau India Arie), but ever since his second number one album 'Luvanmusiq' and mainstream smash single 'B.U.D.D.Y' there has been even more love for this soul child. Now a couple of years and an album later Musiq releases 'MusiqInTheMagiq' for our ipods, tape decks, car speakers, club heaters and radio waves.
It all begins with something for the radio. 'Anything' featuring prolific producer Swizz Beatz is another attempt by the Soulchild to show the mainstream industry he really is something like his sublime Beatles cover. Just like his last big hit 'Radio' Musiq delivers music with chart appeal but to his own standard, compromising for nobody and keeping his integrity intact with this different, soulful, poppy track. 'Single' is another single worthy jam, as the singer tracks desire for a women he can't commit to over a cool, concise production. Meanwhile 'Say I Do' is a song that speaks volumes for all Musiq is capable of with strong lyrics over a rocking beat, all whilst the singer vows his deep dedications.
Then on 'LoveContract' the R&B leading man gets official with a "grown and sexy" number that feels like it could have been recorded decades back. Needless to say it's a new classic for Soulchild and souls vast catalogue. The same goes for 'SilverAndGold', a shining, signature ready made hit worthy of the weight of platinum status. Tailored with lyrics like; "And when life gets hard/I will be the cushion where you lay/I will I will/And when this journey gets you blurry eyed/I will lead the rest of the way" Musiq fashions another grand design. As Musiq picks up the guitar for some slow, soulful licks he give us 'WaitingStill' and it's timeless testament to love and time to add to the ongoing quality of this 'magiq' music.
On 'BackToWhere', 'DoWeHaveTo' and 'BeFriends' the singer brings the back to back to back, three-peat numbers worthy of an ipod repeat right before he shuffles through some classics in the last hand he plays on this album. If you wonder whether Musiq can keep the medium going with so many albums and tracks down the line the answer is 'Yes', as this thumbs up song tops the rest of the best. With lines like; "So when the world and the odds are against us/You won’t have to question/The answer is yes" you know Musiq aint playing, saying no the games, marking his dedication on his own score-sheet. Then the love singer gives the right prescription with 'Medicine' before finishing strong on the big, bass boost of 'LikeTheSun'. From the first beat this track shines so bright you'll feel like your in California (and not because of the Laker purple and gold artwork either) as son shines.
With this slower, chilled out album musics soulful child delivers a perfect laid-back, straight-forward album for the lighter, brighter sunnier season. It's the right album to press play on and just let breathe inside while you take in the good weather outside. It's getting warmer these days and right now nothings much hotter then great Musiq. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Monday, 16 May 2011
For years growing up I saw a pair of red shoes reaching out to me at the top of my parents C.D. collection all through the 90's. This timeless set from a women who grew up a town or two from me remains a classic. As Miss Bush releases 'Directors Cut', reinventing her old work I am hit with nothing but nostalgia and favourite, familiar, family memories as I take this C.D. off the top of the pile and let it play as an adult. Nothing that is, but that and incredible, inventive music before it's time and standing the test of it. From the epic excellence of 'And So Is Love' and 'Why Should I Love You' to the bold beauty of 'Moments Of Pleasure' to 'Top Of The City' this album was huge. No wonder everyone from Prince to Eric Clapton and even comedian Lenny Henry lined up to work with her on this. From the end of struggling relationship number 'Your The One' to the beginnings of the elastic 'Rubberband Girl' this L.P. snaps the notion that records of old times are bland and uninteresting. There's nothing quite like 'The Red Shoes' and the beauty of the lady that wears them. One in a million. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
TREY SONGZ-CAN'T BE FRIENDS: On his latest album Trey has his day lamenting the pain after the pleasure of friends becoming lovers.
BRUNO MARS-THE LAZY SONG: Our '1 In 10' for May, this really is making all other chart his sit down.
GHOSTFACE KILLAH Feat BLACK THOUGHT-IN THA PARK: The killer Wu-Tang M.C. takes it back to the roots with Philly's finest hip-hop bandsmen.
GINUWINE-WHAT COULD OF BEEN: Announcing a gig in London with Jrue Holiday in June this is one of the more memorable numbers off 'Elgin's' set.
FOO FIGHTERS-BRIDGE BURNING: How about this rocker that continues to build the bands Golden Gate vast success, while destroying the competition leaving them in smoke and ash?
REFLECTION ETERNAL Feat MOS DEF-THIS MEANS YOU: Black Star rocked the U.K. with Rakim live last week and it's because of Talib Kweli and Mos Def jams like this. Get up now!
KATE BUSH-WITHERING HEIGHTS: With Kate's 'Directors Cut' release reworking her classics what's better then this piece of true originality?
MAXWELL-THIS WOMAN'S WORK: Speaking of Kate Bush, her paramount style and influence crosses borders and genres. Just take Maxwell's version for example. Covers don't get much better then this.
MUSIQ SOULCHILD-SOMETHING: The Beatles are another Liverpool act whose influence extends to soul. As here the genres child Musiq (who's new album is great by the way) turns a rock classic to R&B chart staple.
THE BEATLES-OH DARLING!: Still nothing beats The Beatles, the original, their ground-breaking tone setting on modern music, or the album 'Abbey Road' or this blues cut off it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Jimmy's jams leaves us jonsin' for more.
Throughout his decade plus career rapper Jim Jones has been through highs and lows but has shown and proved that consistency and longevity are the key. From dominating with his Dipset crew (featuring leader Cam'ron and shining star Juelz Santana) to The Diplomats group falling apart and getting back together and from the death of a Rocafella record dynasty to the success of his soaring, huge hit 'We Fly High'. Through all of this Jim has remained Jim helping on his affiliates albums and also featuring his own impressive catalogue, including his last and most consistent album 'Prey IV Reign'. Last Christmas came early for the Harlem rapper (who's familiar with success in the season releasing his own 'Dipst Xmas' album in '06) as the Dipset reunion was confirmed on the warm feeling Kanye track 'Christmas In Harlem'. Now riding on this rich vein of form, Jones pumps out a new album before his crews new 'Diplomatic Immunity' sees a release.
Once again Jim makes his favourite guest artists feel welcome on the features from his Diplomats to his allies of Rell and Chink Santana who appears on the albums 'Intro' with Jones' new artist showcase Sen City. On this hard track Jim spends big and talks tough, swallowing a bitter pill of industry woes and spitting lines like "I.R.S. say I owe them 8 mill (that's a lot of taxes)/my accountant try and tell a n**** make a will". This introspective number is a bit heavy to take first-off but it affirms that Jim is here and back, stating "thirties the new twenty' in his new comfort zone.
Then on 'Deep Blue' Jim and Chink smooth it out over a fresh, cool, kinetic beat. Jones then shows us what the games been missing with 'Carton Of Milk'. A track that reunites Jim with 'Certified Gangster' and collaborator The Game as the pair skim through the verses. Then the Byrd Gang leader keeps it rolling on the hard cut 'The Paper' before producing 'Heart Attack'. A song with a rhythmic heart beat that attacks the concept of the title.
Then things get more experimental and mo' better on 'Everybody Jones', which despite the teenage girl "oooh myyy gaaawd" type ab-libs that more annoying then Tim Westwood drops on his worst day is a totally awesome track. Jones returns to the hard times and rhymes on the Raekwon assisted gem 'Drops Is Out'. A rugged and raw story rap that the Wu would be proud of, word to Ol' Dirty. Then on 'Let Me Fly' with former Roc hook man Rell Jim steps up on another top collabo with great depth from the feature friends. Speaking of friends, former 'Frenimies' Jones and mentor Cam'ron get back together on 'Gettin To The Money' and for the paper Cam and Jimmy pass the lyrical baton back and forth finishing the competition and raising the diplomatic flag back up where it belongs. Speaking of old feuds more great songs are made in redemption with 'Take A Bow' with Lloyd Banks and Prodigy, as this Diplomat unities with G-Unit for a gangster track where all the foot soldiers strap on their boots and go to lyrical war for the same cause.
Still if you thought things couldn't get much better then wait for the 'Perfect Day'. As over guitars, Jim gets electric and eclectic with a different track, one which is one of his and raps better in years. Then with the key to making the best records he can Jones rescues the princess Ashanti from career purgatory prison on the Rap/R&B royalty crossover 'Changing The Locks'. If you give Ashanti the two minutes this track allows that's all that's needed to show she's back on this classic relationship break up track that could murder nostalgia and make Ja Rule proud. Then on 'God Bless The Child' Wyclef Jean blesses Jim with a creative chorus on a grown up, heavenly collaboration. While on 'Itza' the versatile Jones keeps making moves that translate to hits even if he's only talking his language.
The travelling man gets introspective like Mos Def on 'Baggage Claim' while he handles the Wayne Gretzky references on 'Hockey Bag' to show how much he's got, ice included. Jim then fiends for more on this deluxe edition before he goes cold with 'Dope Boi', while on 'Bussa Move' he keeps it going and hitting with some label mates. Still one of the biggest records on the album is his 'Salute' with Dipset warriors Cam' on and Juelz Santana. This big three of a kind bring the Heat like Miami and reference their success to Kobe ("I'm wearing five rings") on a song that harks back to those 'Crunk Muzik' days. This track and the list this album offers up more then whets the appetites for those looking forward to the next Dipset anthems. Jim once again delivers rain or shine on an album that blows more hot then cold. Still for the best forecast you better wrap up the deluxe edition to show just how much this 'Capo's worth. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 13 May 2011
Just when you thought he couldn't hit again, song-writer supremo Bruno Mars is dominating the charts and airwaves with 'The Lazy Song' an ode to doing much about nothing. Over some simple but sublime guitar Mars sounds out of this world as the hit-maker does and sings as he pleases. This is the perfect easy-going number for the establishing Summer. It sits back and shines all at the same time. The man who penned Cee-Lo Green's 'Fuck You' gets his dimes ready for the swear jar with more rhymes heading for a parental advisory sticker. Still like any lazy man, or star with a big enough status Bruno doesn't care crooning "yeah I said it, I said it, I said it 'cause I can". Don't sweat the technique of his swagger though it's confident not cocky. As ever the guitar man comes off charismatic and classy and this is all part and parcel of his platinum charm. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Your in trouble now.
Music harking back to the good ol' days has never sounded so great. These songbirds from Los Angeles have given us some old time Hollywoodland shine to the world of independent music. Vintage Trouble are a four piece band formed last year by energetic frontman and born star Ty Taylor and incredible, inventive guitarist Nalle Colt. A dynamic duo of Rick Barrio Dill on bass and Richard Danielson on skins rounds out this fantastic four. Together they bring together elements of Soul, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock and Roll music in a perfect potent mix. Check out the vivid speakeasy esque, soundscape of 'Gracefully', 'Nancy Lee' for vinyl worthy recordings that scratch the surfaces of smoother classics from decades ago.
Dressed to the nines in 60's esque clothing that would make Austin Powers look like a hobo (hey, he's got the teeth down) this band don't just tramp through the old times, they place their feet firmly in it. Somewhere between The Rolling Stones and Sam Cooke, Vintage Trouble are helping spearhead a retro renaissance that is currently being led by music genius Raphael Saadiq. The sounds created from Venice Beach are about to echo from Santa Monica to the rest of the world.
Vintage Trouble are taking it back further then the days of 'V.T.' with their real recordings. The group have already dominated digitally with their explosive 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' hitting the charts becoming the 13Th best selling album on itunes and besting even Rihanna and those Glee kids on Amazon U.K. hitting number five in the digital ranks. Fashioning old soul and rock and roll into their own unique, modern-day sound 'Vintage' became the sixth top trend on social dominance network Twitter following the band passing with flying colours 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' of U.K. music maestro legend Jools Holland's late night show on BBC. From their note perfect, every ounce energetic set, to the Mick Jagger, come Michael Hutchence, with a dash of Sam Cooke and James Brown swaggering showmanship of leading man Taylor the soulful rockers are capturing everybody's ears, eyes and hearts.
From engaging the audience with tales behind their songs and writing lyrics his father would have wrote for his mother Ty really has all the charisma, charm, sincerity and sentiment hallmarks of the classic performers as his band drop timeless sounds that from the first listen feel so familiar like they where recorded in yesteryear not heard yesterday. The group are about to support rock royalty Brian May of Queen in May, now that's one hell of a decree. So expect Vintage Trouble are about to become even more well known as their buzz is swarming the sound waves, the web and word of mouth. Tell someone about them. Vintage Trouble are about to be one of the best things you've heard of in awhile. It won't be long. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
'A great night in hip-hop'.
'Due to unforeseen circumstances De La Soul will not be playing tonight'. You never want a night of legendary hip-hop music to start like this (the 'rising' legends where missed tonight in this three footed hip-hop showcase) but still the amount of profile figures left on this rap bill footed by 'Science Of Speech' more then kept the timeless feeling of this instant classic going all night long. Today's science lesson was a real education in old school and new era hip-hop spokesmen.
He hadn't been here for 15 years prior (this writer was 10 when he last touched the stage...and no I wasn't there) and it took him a Queen Mary boat from New York to get him here (he doesn't fly, that's all you need to do) but still as soon as the definition of hip-hop and the God M.C. Rakim hit the stage it was worth the long wait and journey. Decked in army fatigues Ra let his message ascend through the crowd as he moved everybody's feet with a battalion of hits. Armed with one of the best D.J.'s this writer has heard since Eric B, this M.C. proved this crowd was still down with him. From the classics to his seriously significant new stuff off the heavenly 'The Seventh Seal' Rakim ripped through hip-hop stories and timelines with every chapter and verse from the addictive 'Microphone Fiend' to hip-hop D.I.Y. 'How To Emcee'.
Then the 80's pioneer went from taking it back to his school to taking it to the ladies as he mixed the love conscious 'What's On Your Mind' with a bit of 'Mahogany' and his classic verse off Truth Hurts 'Addictive' for three of a kind. Then as Ra brought his set to a close he brought it back to the classics, duking and duking his way through 'Know The Ledge', showing he really isn't no laughing matter with 'I Aint No Joke' and finally taking us through a journey of sound with his coldest cut 'Paid In Full'. Fans where left rubbing their hands with glee after a perfect performance that broke ground with no flaws. Rakim stayed longer then he was allocated but he was more then welcome as nobody wanted him to jet or hit the road on his boat. As he blew peace kisses the fans where left not wanting another decade and a half worth of wait for the next rap hymns from the God.
If that sounded great enough, two more of the most legendary rappers alive and around today scaled more heights previously unheard of. Two D.J.'s spun the wheels of steel as two hip-hop iron men took the stage for the crowd to marvel. Out trotted Talib Kweli in a flat-cap and waistcoat and Mos Def in a suit and tie to unite once again as Black Star; hip-hop's smartest group and best one-two punch. The pair educated the audience as they began making their 'History' collabo off Mos' excellent 'Ecstatic' L.P. and they followed by making a point of getting those in attendance to attention with Mos, Talib and Hi-Tek's 'This Means You'. Armed with old radio microphones and dapper attire this was a classic affair of 'Supreme, Supreme' collaborations. Dropping everything from Kweli's 'Never Been In Love' to Talib's Reflection Eternals of 'In This World' and Mos' incredible new tracks 'Priority' and 'Casa Bey' the duo made ever track fresh, dynamic and raw. They even paid due respect to England's Slick Rick from his Def collaboration 'Auditorium' to 'Lodi Dodi' and Black Star's own 'Children's Story' tale but with The Ruler's original beat. With this adventurous set Great Britain's finest rap royalty was done proud in a marriage of sound.
We really where rocking with the best as Black Star got by with 'Hip-Hop' classic after classic from the vast volumes of the pairs incredible works ensuring everyone present was part of 'The Blast'. From 'Definition' to 'RE:Definition' they gave us hip-hop dictionary translations with timeless, fan favourites. The chemistry and camaraderie between the charismatic two rap brothers continued throughout as Kweli served as the perfect hypeman to Mos magnificence, while Def's ad-libs and velvet vocal ranges helped him sing along the praises for Talib's timeless tunes. As the pair continually thanked the fans for their energy and time they kept giving us theirs as the played out until they couldn't anymore without room for an encore. Now how about another album guys? Mos closed the night perfectly with the deep 'Umi Says' and a dash of 'Travellin' Man' (we really didn't want him or Kwe to go) giving us his best as the crowd held on to the moment so close. This performance showed that whether on a Nike Jordan ad, a Dave Chappelle block party or here this 'Umi' sounds as epic as ever, like this night.
Sure this gig was a De La Soul and perhaps A Tribe Called Quest away from being raps ultimate night but this 'Rock The Bells' feeling evening was still a night that everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan to LL Cool J would be proud of. It's hard to put into words a review that could really do this performance of these legendary acts together in concert justice. Only two really come close to defining it...'hip-hop'. This was real rap to 'The 18Th Letter' and 'RE: Definition'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Another main release points to new life in the live show.
Forget about the 15 plus classic studio albums the boss of rock music Bruce Springsteen has released (From 'Greetings From Asbury Park' to 'Working On A Dream'). Springsteen and his E Street Band have also released some classic live albums, from the heavenly, Madison Square Garden show 'Live In New York City' to the Seeger sessions 'Live In Dublin'. There have also been many live bootleg albums of The Boss and his band like the raw and great 'Piece De Resistance' to the differently brilliant 'The Complete Bottom Line'. Now in efforts to beat the counterfeits Springsteen has released one of the fans favourite, most bootlegged album 'Live At The Main Point' taken from 1975.
There's a reason Bruce's live shows are so sought after. It's because they are so legendary and each unique one adds to the top performers legacy. If this is the closest some E Street fans can get to seeing Springsteen live (and it's definitely the closest anyone will get to the classic performances of a young Bruce) then you can understand how much will want to be heard from the greatest rock and roll performer of all-time. As soulful, charismatic and charming as say a Sam Cooke, rocks Boss could make stadiums intimate. Every Bruce Springsteen show is like a different story and this tale from '75 is really something else. There's just something about this one.
Right from the 'Incident on 57th Street' intro this all night rock affair is started off right. Tearing into the hits 'Born To Run', 'Wings For Wheels (Thunder Road)', a velvet smooth version of Bob Dylan's 'I Want You' (a favourite of Bruce's for it's simple but meaningful lyrics) and his own dedication 'She's The One' Springsteen doesn't let up giving his fans big song after big song. As disc one ends with the epic, live favourite 'Jungleland' (which sounds even better in concert) it's such an exciting, huge climax to the CD 1 that it's easy to forget that this is just the end of the first side and there's another disc and more live show to come.
With the second disc beginning with timeless recordings of 'Kitty’s Back' and 'New York City Serenade', this is where it really gets started. Then on the back to back devoted dedications of 'Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)' and '4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)' this is where the then young man really bares his soul. Until he pours his heart out on the faithful, one and only 'For You' with each gravely lyric, true grit and dedication. This dude bridges the gap between music for women and songs for guys to sing about, bringing it all back to love. This legendary set is climaxed perfectly by a rendition of his inspiration Chuck Berry's 'Back In The USA' a fitting end for America's best rockers last encore.
After this your going to want more too as this profound performance really draws you in you'll think your back in the seventies. A lot of tinkering and crate digging has been performed to bring this classic performance out the vault. What results is a raw but polished effort that sounds fresher then most lazy, phoned in live efforts of some performers today. It's crystal clear this is diamond, strong music you need to hear. Springsteen's sensational shows are always worth the price of admission and this one in particular from 1975 is well worth the wait. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
This week rap group Black Star (Mos Def and Talib Kweli) are touring the U.K. with two other legendary hip-hop acts (De La Soul and Rakim) so let's take it back to the classics. Although classic albums have come from both Mos Def ('Black On Both Sides', 'The New Danger' and his latest 'The Ecstatic') and Talib Kweli ('Quality', 'The Beautiful Struggle', 'Eardrum' and his Reflection Eternal albums), there's just something about this 'Black Star' album. From Mos' opening lyrics to the huge 'Definition' to the realer then a remix 'Re: Definition' this album was the perfect reply to those calling for realer hip-hop. With Reflection Eternal producer Hi-Tek magnificently manning the boards as part of the group in hindsight and foresight we desperately need another album from these legends. The lyrical Kweli and versatile Def's legacies where set with conscious, educating songs like 'Brown Skin Lady', 'K.O.S. (Determination)' and the backpackers favourite 'Respiration' where Common strapped up and breathed new life into the record. Mos and Talib have recorded even more classics together since ('Supreme, Supreme', 'What It Is', 'Born & Raised', 'History' and many more) but until they put another album on wax things will never be the same. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
RAPHAEL SAADIQ-RADIO: Back and taking it as such with another 'Stone Rollin'' classic our 'Artist Of The Week' and his hit are two things we need to hear more of on the radio.
DON OMAR-DANZA KUDURO: With 'Fast Five' still hitting big-screens this celebratory jam from one of it's stars keeps playing.
TALIB KWELI-MR. INTERNATIONAL: Touring England with Mos Def this week this international man really keeps rolling out the diverse, real rap classics with this unique number from his latest 'Gutter Rainbows' set.
MOS DEF-THE TOURNAMENT: Hitting the stage with Black Star partner Kweli this week, this unreleased gem from 'The Ecstatic' sessions is a real find.
RAKIM-YOU & ME: Also touring with Black Star this week, this latest lament of love shows whatever the time or topic this M.C. is still God.
DE LA SOUL-EYE KNOW: If you thought Black Star and Rakim weren't legendary enough then how about De La joining the tour? You know it doesn't get more classic then this...
ERIC B. & RAKIM-PAID IN FULL: ...or does it? This is vintage hip-hop right here. Miss it off your itunes accounts at your expense. You aint complete without it.
MARY J. BLIGE-BEAUTIFUL (REMIX) Feat BLACK STAR: On this classic remix, Mos Def and Talib Kweli pass the lyrical baton back and forth with the realest, most beautiful rhymes about love ever wrote.
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST-CAN I KICK IT?: This years best hip-hop gig will be reviewed here, but Amp's & 808 knows it's A Tribe Called Quest away from being the best gig ever...
COMMON-I WANT YOU: ...or something in 'Common' for that matter who over the last decade really has found forever with classics like this. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
A cool, classy compilation you'll want to let get in the cars.
The 'Fast & Furious' franchise hasn't just given us an exciting and entertaining series of car films, it has also spawned a series of on track soundtracks which have pooled some brilliant songs. From rappers like Ludacris and Ja Rule offering quality tracks as well as cameo's ('Act A Fool' and 'Life Aint A Game' respectively) to an impressive array of D.J. and foreign rap talent (from D.J. Shadow and Mos Def's 'Six Day's' to the fourth and fifth instalments Don Omar and Tego Calderon's 'Bandaleros'). Now with 'Fast Five'; the latest and greatest part of the series, those behind the soundtrack match the film's speed with some choice torque tracks for the ride.
This collection starts and finishes strong as 'Fast Five' actor Don Omar joins the legendary rapper Busta Rhymes and Reek De Villain for the 'Fast Five Remix' of the huge, hot hit 'How We Roll'. Don Omar's credits don't end there however as he starts the celebration with the euphoric, upbeat 'Danza Kuduro' a hit, dance-floor ready party number. This album rolls and rolls through the hits to all the way to the brilliant climax 'F5 (Furiously Dangerous)', which also plays the film credits out. On this track 'Fast Five' and '2 Fast 2 Furious' favourite Ludacris handles the lyrical gears with rhyme genius Joe Budden (who also blessed the '2 Fast' soundtrack with his biggest hit 'Pump It Up') and his Slaughterhouse group riding passenger.
Soundtrack master Brian Tyler also scores big here with the tracks, 'Assembling The Team', 'Mad Skills' and 'Fast Five Suite'. The compose who uses car parts and other instruments to help make his music motors this compilation on with something different. The talent doesn't stop there however as up and coming producer Hybrid collects a range of seriously stellar scores. From his swooping 'Han Drifting' music to his positive correlation with Edu K on the 'Million Dollar Race' scenes music. Hybrid also lifts the hood on Speed's 'Follow Me, Follow Me (Quem Que Caguetou?)' putting nitro in the engine, for a fuel injected, high octane remix.
Hybrid isn't the only up and coming talent here as the stars clear the lane for others to shine on this disc. Marcelo D2 & Claudia bring fresh and fun sounds to one of 'Fast & Furious 5's' most memorable scenes (trust me on this one guys). While MV Bill makes other rappers envy he on the most valuable 'L. Gelada-3 Da Madrugada' which sounds good in any translation. As does the darker 'Batalha' By ObandO which is talking the right language for this movies more sinister scenes. Still one of the albums high points steps out the rap vocal booth as Carlinhos Brown's 'Carlito Marron' gives the perfect shining, Latin flavour to this film set in the Brazilian city of Rio De Janeiro.
Overall just like the movie 'Fast Five's' soundtrack set is the best yet. It may not have the biggest hits, but it is the most consistent, playing like a cohesive set with no skipping or shuffling required. The soundtrack's success is not only capturing the flavour of the sound of Rio-with celebratory tracks ready for Madi Gras-but also in keeping some influence from the sounds of the legendary locations where the other films where set (Los Angeles, Miami, Tokyo and Mexico). Sure after his fun 'Pick Up The Phone' song from '2 Fast 2 Furious' it's a shame we've been disconnected from a track from returning actor/singer Tyrese. Still as brilliant as his vocal talents are the tone of this CD doesn't really call for R&B. What it does call up though is a truck load of unique and diverse up and coming talent. As the biggest names are saved for the film where still left with plenty in the tank as the young, raw talent fuels the fresh sounds of this soundtrack. The perfect accompaniment to this motion picture, the sounds coming out this rides speakers keep this record and this film spinning. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 6 May 2011
The stone cold Saadiq keeps rollin' out the classics.
Even before Raphael Saadiq released the literally classic, every track perfect, just like old times, Motown revival, 'itunes Album Of The Year'; 'The Way I See It' in 2008 he was already a legend. Between writing and producing timeless Rhythm and Blues for his contemporaries and taking it back with some real super groups (Toni! Tony! Tone! and Lucy Pearl) Saadiq also released some great modern day Neo-Soul, solo albums ('Instant Vintage' and 'Ray Ray') which spawned gems including 'Still Ray', 'Be Here', 'Blind Man', 'Different Times' (with T-Boz's tender loving care on the verses) 'Rifle Love', (a little super-group reunion, super-song) 'Detroit Girl' and many more. Still 'The Way I See It' really was an instant vintage album that redefined music and the homage of the good ol' days (check out the vinyl worthy, cracking 'Vintage Trouble' for further inspiration). With that album Ray, Ray went from neo-soul star to soul legend and now with this more blues and rock and roll album Raphael Saadiq is moving into legendary territory for music as a whole.
On his last album Raphael showed he could channel soul legends like Sam Cooke on 'Stone Rollin'' he shows he can switch stations to rock legends like Chuck Berry with relative ease, all whilst maintaining his own integrity being still Ray, Ray. The albums title track is the perfect example of this. A vintage blues, rock and roll number dripping with soul from the harmonicas to the funky drum-beat and bass line. As for the other singles, the song 'Radio' is the kind of song that should be played more on this type of medium today. It's typical, traditional guitar music of the 60's as Saadiq dons his thick black glasses to show Buddy Holly is just as an inspiration to him as Marvin Gaye is. While the epic, story-telling 'Good Man' and it's video take a leaf out of the directors book of Pharaoh Monch's latest 'Clap' clip. Real recognises real too as Saadiq's imagination is as vivid as Monch, a true hip-hop spokesman.
Speaking of epic songs, the big closer, 'The Answer' (and the hidden track in this nine minute bonus buster) is unquestionably one of the best recordings this man has put on wax. As vintage as vinyl it's a few scratches away from being the deepest cut Raphael has ever dropped the needle on. Then again if you haven't noticed the concept of 'Day Dreams' beforehand you must be sleeping. "Am living on day dreams/I'm gonna buy me something afford" Saadiq sings over a toe tapping line of base that Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash would be proud of. As this album carries on it keeps producing classic after classic like it's predecessor. 'Movin' Down The Line' is another track lost amongst the greats but still a true find. It's soul satisfying and instantly gratifying, a firm favourite.
The atmospheric, introspection 'Go To Hell' is heavenly, standing next to Saadiq's 'Sometimes' as thought-provoking songs with serious, sincere depth. While the upbeat, 'Heart Attack' is a killer track that will pump pure energy through any dance chamber. While the love red passion of 'Just Don't' beats on, doing it in more ways then one. The guitar opening sounds like we're about to hear Sixpence None The Richer's 'Kiss Me' but instead we are treated to the goodbye kiss laments of a poor characters broken up loss of love. It's an honest, heartfelt, humbling homage which shows that Raphael can write sad songs as well as he writes love songs and still maintain his trademark, upbeat tone. Then as Saadiq moves on he takes it higher with 'Over You'. Ray, Ray will have you from the hello of the first beat, in a complete upbeat classic that is some of the best two minutes of music you'll hear all year...or for more to come.
The singer with the best live show in music, brings timeless jams to today live in living colour, redefining music with another perfect set. Pulling a Common or Alicia Keys, the soul man follows a stellar classic with another. 'The Way I See It' may be Raphael Saadiq's most positive, career-defining album but 'Stone Rollin'' is his most dynamic and diverse. Even with darker and more thought-proking themes Saadiq still keeps the good times rolling with songs from the good ol'days. Moving through soul to rock, Ray, Ray rolls through the classics creating classic song across the board. Taking more musical gambles it all pays off. Saadiq brings old-school music to the modern-day educating the mainstream. With a confident roll of the dice Raphael hits the musical jackpot with songs tailored for the jukebox. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
Last week Raphael Saadiq gave London the best gig they'll see all year and next week he's set to release what will probably be the best album we'll hear this 365 with 'Stone Rollin''. Still 'The Way I See It' was the itunes album of the year that took Ray Ray out of the best neo-soul singers category and put him in the legendary company of artists named Gaye and Cooke. A modern-day, original Motown revival just call this album and Saadiq saviours of real music. With the serious 'Sure Hope You Mean It', the sweet 'Love That Girl' and the sublime '100 Yard Dash' it really did sound like we where back in the 60's, live in stereo. Raphael also showed real support for New Orleans ('Big Easy'), true nostalgic introspection ('Sometimes') and song after song that walked the fine line between old soul and rock and roll the right way ('Keep Marchin'', 'Staying In Love', 'Let's Take A Walk' and 'Come On Home') Everything was done so right and sounded so good that once word got around everyone from Stevie Wonder to Jay-Z wanted to get down. Truly legendary with timeless nostalgia. The classic of classics. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
RAPHAEL SAADIQ-GOOD MAN: Good man? He's better then that, with an epic, differently deep single from what's set to be another classic L.P. Raphael truly is one of the greats.
KID CUDI Feat KANYE WEST-ERASE ME: With a rocky edge, Cudi and Kanye get sly on a single stronger then Stallone. Truly something else.
RICK ROSS Feat STYLES P- B.M.F. (BLOWIN' MONEY FAST)-In Miami last week this track from the cities native dropped to a 'whoa' of applause. Still a club favourite and anthem, this goes even harder with 'MC Hammer' before it...the song, not the baggy pants.
LUPE FIASCO-ALL BLACK EVERYTHING: Taking a leaf out of mentor Jay-Z's rhyme book, Fiasco's stylin' as he fashions a hit.
FOO FIGHTERS-WHITE LIMO: Now for something completely different but still the same old brilliance from everybody's favourite band. A distorted sound but a clear winner.
LUCY PEARL-DANCE TONIGHT: Back to Saadiq and his En Vogue, tribe questing super-group this classic still sounds so fresh and uplifting a decade later and trust me even more later people will still want to be dancing and toasting.
TONI! TONY! TONE!-ANNIVERSARY: Keeping it with Ray, Ray for one more cut from another supergroup, let's hope the Prince and Princess and many other couples toast to this signature matrimony for many happy returns.
NE-YO-PART OF THE LIST: Keeping with tradition. In a weekend dominated internationally by the celebration of love how about a royal declaration of the finer points of a lady from a true gentleman and prince of R&B?
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND-PROVE IT ALL NIGHT (LIVE FROM NEW YORK CITY): With the release of his heavily booted 'Live At The Main Point' from '75 how does a classic live boss track suit you? And we aint talkin' bout Rick Ross. Besides some Springsteen live sounds are even more audibly appealing then the studio cuts.
WEEZER-ISLAND IN THE SUN: The Summer just about feels here so here's to a classic Summer track from a band timelessly suited to the season. TIM DAVID HARVEY.