Friday, 30 September 2011
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
LIL' WAYNE-PRESIDENT CARTER: Weezy continues his bid to be atop hip-hop's Mount Rushmore with this presidential, lyrical track.
KANYE WEST & JAY-Z-GOTTA HAVE IT Feat PHARRELL: You have to get this album, it keeps getting better and better.
GAME: SPEAKERS ON BLAST Feat BIG BOI & E-40: Igniting 'The R.E.D. Album' in car stereos from the Bay Area to Stankonia.
THE JEZABELS-PRISONER: Lead track off the lead album off Australia and rock's new leading act.
R.E.M.-ME, MARLON BRANDO, MARLON BRANDO AND I: The legendary band may have collapsed into now and split, but like this great actor they live on and on...
R.E.M.-EVERYBODY HURTS: ...and it's shows of solidarity to tortured youth like this that show just how long this groups legacy will last.
COLDPLAY-LOST Feat JAY-Z: The Rihanna collabo of their forthcoming album is big but nothing tops this crossover, epic effort from the British rockers.
THE DOORS-WAITING FOR THE SUN: More on the legendary group coming soon, until then enjoy this classic stay in 'Morrison Hotel' which became the title of another great album.
STEVIE WONDER-HELLO YOUNG LOVERS: Everything from this icon is legendary but this album classic is a real catalogue choice.
RUN-DMC-CAN YOU ROCK IT LIKE THIS: Rap royalty personified, hands and competition down. You can't watch the throne like this. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
The new J.
J. Cole has been on the 'Come Up' with some record worthy mixtapes since his oft-written about 2009 signing with 'Roc Nation'. From bodying Kanye West tracks (look up 'Looking For Trouble'), to selling out shows and features with no album out like Nicki Minaj, this guys already a star. Now this Jay-Z endorsed protegee finally releases his long-awaited, hotly anticipated debut album under the best rapper alives 'Carter Administration' executive producer mantle much like Kanye and Lupe Fiasco ('Food & Liquor') did.
Now following his 'Any Given Sunday', free download, week by week, album sessions Jermaine looks to prove himself as one of the best lyricists as he turns his underground legend into mainstream legacy with 'Cole World-The Sideline Story'. An album who's title comes from J's relation to a basketball player standing on the sideline to mentor Jay-Z's superstar basketball team (and we're not talking about New Jersey). With this performance this player will show the world just how good he really is. From track number one, a stellar introduction is made, just like on his great Jay-Z assisted track; 'A Star Is Born'.
There's some mixtape holdovers that get their deserved place on the album too. The star-studded, cool, laid back, awakening single 'In The Morning' with Drake off the 'Friday Night Light's' mixtape and the illuminating, hot as hell 'Lights Please' off 'The Warm Up'. Unfortunately though this young lions best moment 'Young Simba', or his second best in the explosive 'Blow Up' are not uncaged or fired up on this release, you better get the mixtapes. The lukewarm received, sixteen-month old single; 'Who Dat' also only makes an iTunes bonus appearance, but it's still worth a download.
The best of the fresh new tracks display an array of awesome music to the ears. 11 of these 15 tracks are produced by the multi-talented Cole himself who will have a second career if this rap thing doesn't pan out. Still J won't have to worry about that, everything works here from his top single; 'Work Out' to the Kanye West ('The New Workout Plan') and Paula Abdul ('Straight Up') songs it samples. Songs like 'Can't Get Enough' featuring R&B's current best man Trey Songz drinks to the mainstream with bottoms up chart success, while the young Cole flosses with his mentor Jay-Z on the lyrical, beat breaking; 'Mr. Nice Watch' which will leave hip-hop heads knowing what Flavour Flav it is.
'Dollar and A Dream III' is a perfect end to a triumphant trilogy, this part is deep, introspective and intelligent. The sub-album titled 'Sideline Story' is another big song that gets the listener closer to this artist than courtside. While the other part of the album title 'Cole World' is the centrepiece of this album, an ice-cold lyrical affair that 3000 Andre's would be proud of. J keeps stacking up the top tracks with the albums best find in 'Lost Ones'. A track that takes leafs out of Shawn Carter and Lauryn Hill's evaluative book of rhymes. Cole brings back nighties favourite Missy Elliott on 'Nobody's Perfect' as the new Mr. Hip-Hop shows how close to perfection his rhyme schemes really are, while Missy puts the Misdemeanour aside to give a chorus that displays her great singing ability that the die-hard fans will be familiar with.
Producer No I.D. helps the young rapper identify with himself on 'Never Told' and if you don't know about this rapper, listen to this track and you'll know now how this notorious talent is about to be B.I.G. Manning his own boards on 'Rise and Shine' Cole will awaken more listeners, especially with the Jay-Z endorsed intro and the sick, screaming beat. Jay's great find and blessing is further confirmed on the cement strong 'God's Gift' with concrete rhymes showing his spirit and heaven sent talent. Even as the album tracks 'Breakdown' this artist doesn't, recovering his set and finishing strong like Mr. Cee.
J. Cole has used basketball metaphors in his mixtape game and Jay-Z's number one draft pick is bringing excitement to this rap game like the Nets are doing to Brooklyn. On the cover of this album J is sat between lockers like he's preparing for the final four and he really is ready for the top. Soon he'll make his way from the infamous lockers to the halls. With fall releases from other top rappers not generating this much buzz, it's going to be a real cold Winter. It's Cole's world now. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Robin Thicke will make a warm and welcome feeling, Winter return this fall with the release of 'Love After War', the follow up to 2009's creatively cool 'Sex Therapy'. Now from his 'Beautiful World' debut to 'Something Else' the star has always released material as sensational as his wife Paula Patton. Still it was 'The Evolution Of Robin Thicke' album that Robin really evolved. From the first few seconds of the Faith Evans duet opener 'Got 2 Be Down' you knew this guy had soul and creative control. The lead singles off this classic, 'Wanna Love You' featuring Pharrell and 'Lost Without You' made sure Thicke hit big. As did serious tracks like the complex 'Complicated', the heart and soul of 'Would That Make You Love Me' and 'I Need Love' and the self-fulfilled 'Ask Myself'. The emancipation continued on the unbelievable 'Can You Believe', the big, old time bravado of 'Everything I Can't Have', the music education of 'Teach You A Lesson' and the hot-fire 'Shooter' that started a great writing partnership with Lil' Wayne (see also; 'All Night Long' off this disc and 'Tie My Hands' by the best rapper alive and the forthcoming single 'Pretty Little Heart'). Still the real highlight and depth of this album came on the introspective beauty of '2 The Sky', 'Lonely World' and 'Angels' and the beautiful reprise to '2 The Sky' that followed. It was clear this man had been through so much, survived and was ready to come out the other side flying. It was songs like this that provided inspiration to everyone including this writer. The evolution was complete. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The playlist of our favourite songs this week. 'Side A' features some latest cuts, while the classics make the 'B Side'.
LIL' WAYNE Feat DRAKE-SHE WILL: Off 'Tha Carter IV' and a sign of epic things to come in their collabo album.
KANYE WEST & JAY-Z-WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: On their own collaborative piece Jay and 'Ye produce more hot tracks while watching the throne as Swizz Beatz does it again.
TYRESE-STAY: The most underrated man in R&B acts up with another Hollywood shined ballad off his forthcoming 'Open Invitation'.
THE JEZABELS-CITY GIRL: Australian based band (from Sydney to be exact) let us hear that they are ready for the world. Go tell somebody.
THE KILLS-SATELLITE: Dark rock track with harmonies popstars would kill for this is the best song off arguably the best album of the year in 'Blood Pressures'.
RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS-GO EASY: Ryan has a new album out in less than a month, and although it won't feature this classic Cardinals expect more of the same.
NORAH JONES-LIGHT AS A FEATHER: This fall Miss Jones will contribute backing vocals to Adams' album which is hotly anticipated. The last time these leading men and women of songwriting got together they produced this.
SEMISONIC-CLOSING TIME: This is currently taking so much advantage of the hit movie 'Friends With Benefits' expect it to make a return to the charts and no Justin, it's not Third Eye Blind...
THIRD EYE BLIND-SUMMER TOWN:...this is Third Eye Blind, but your right it does sound like college.
ELTON JOHN-I WANT LOVE: With Robert Downey Jnr lip-syncing one of the best videos, need we say anymore? TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
A classic career worthy of cinema.
Even though the band Pearl Jam are huge and legendary for their help pioneering the iconic Seattle grunge scene-which was also made famous by the heaven sent Nirvana-they still remain one of the worlds most underrated rock acts. So in steps fan and former Rolling Stone editor Cameron Crowe with a camera as he directs and documents the bands two decade long career over two hours to show the world the justice they deserve. Crowe looks to add to his impressive film credits (that include the Oscar worthy 'Jerry Maguire' and the Kate Hudson career maker 'Almost Famous') with 'Pearl Jam Twenty' that deserves it's time on the big screen before it hits the DVD racks.
From the beginnings of the awe-inspiring and stunning aerial view of Seattle's skyline you instantly become immersed in the culture of the city that bore this band. The digital views are so detailed it almost feels like your there. Then as some familiar, favourite guitar kicks in the fans are right there, immersed in this epic trip down memory lane. To say this band have been through a lot is another statement that underestimates them but Crowe really makes the most of what they're worth. His direction isn't just slick (from stunning scenery and the perfect pick of songs, soundbites and other related or loosely related clips (everything from Elvis and Bob Dylan to Adam Sandler and 'Celebrity Deathmatch' are used here)) it's also deep, determined and tastefully insightful.
Everything from the tragedy of Mother Love Bone to Kurt Cobain and the Roskilde festival are dealt with with tact and humble honesty. While the alliance with Canadian legend Neil Young and the brilliant boycott of Ticketmaster are addressed and celebrated with assessment and class. All these moments are punctuated by some great performances like the majestic MTV Unplugged show and the inspiring Italian acoustic flair in fair Verona. The notoriously publicity shy band also give Crowe and us a big look into their private lives. Especially and surprisingly the favourite frontmen Eddie Vedder who takes us round his home.
You'll really learn a lot from this documentary film like just how incredibly underrated a guitarist Mike Mcready is and just how much this selfless band have done for others in all their generosity and camaraderie. With accounts from the band, Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and this films directors own personal memories and accounts this really is a deeper, expert eye's look into a genre of music and a nostalgic time of everybody's lives. This film recently premiered at the traditional (second only to Cannes) Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews from everyone from top film magazines to 'Keerang'. It was released in conjunction with a book, live album and live show at the Air Canada Centre in the T-Dot, but as incredible as all these things are (especially the epic live show these guys put on) it comes second to the story of this band. Twenty years on Mookie Blaylock and Pearl are made proud. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Doubling up on the duets.
Last fall this writer was on holiday in New York City and was unbelievably lucky enough (with a little bit more money spent on Stub Hub) to score tickets for a charity gala event at the beautiful Beacon Theatre on Broadway. 'Stand Up For Heroes' was truly one of those magical, once in a lifetime New York nights. Hosted by Jersey born, on point political satirist and top T.V. man Jon Stewart, this evening rose money for wounded American troops and even included a personal message from President Barack Obama. The night brought the best laughs from comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld and the greatest hits from music's boss Bruce Springsteen, but even this living legend had to give way for someone more iconic. The stage was set for the decades made legend of classic crooner Tony Bennett.
As he took to the stage it was like he never left and in reality he never has. Frank, Dino and Sammy may sadly be gone but Tony's still going, 80 plus strong bringing the good times and cool back to music, able to rule the changing modern mainstream constantly, no matter who owns it. Tony's 2006 'Duets' album-featuring the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting and Elton John-was so successful that it's only right Mr. Bennett plays it again. With 'Duets II' the epic song man looks to push the envelope to send himself further up the charts in conjunction with his 85th birthday. Take it away Tony. Many happy returns.
Tony Bennett starts things off going Gaga with pop's leading lady as the 'Pokerface' singer and the 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco' one bridge creative gaps with the racy favourite 'The Lady Is a Tramp'. Then with leading rock star John Mayer he channels his old friend Sinatra sublimely, like only he alive can on 'One for My Baby'. 'Body and Soul' with the late, great Amy Winehouse is what everbodies been waiting to hear and this last record is real, touching and full of heart and life. These two seem to have bonded well, it's a shame they're two voices that fit together perfectly can't be put on wax again. Rest peacefully Amy.
'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' sees this living legend and young crooner Michael Bublé keep this Vocal Jazz music alive, breathing traditional and nostalgic air into the charts fuelled by the pairs class act charisma and charm. It's clear to see and hear in Bublé that this heir to the throne has learnt from the best. K.D. Lang and Sheryl Crow keep the respective greats 'Blue Velvet' and 'The Girl I Love' good but it's when Bennett is joined by another legend of days gone by that the future looks bright. Aretha Franklin's appearance on 'How Do You Keep the Music Playing' keeps this record rolling like a stone.
Then country legend Willie Nelson grows some America roots on the sweet 'Sunny Side of the Street' before Hollywood hip-hop icon Queen Latifah helps this CD come full circle on 'Who Can I Turn To'. As popular contemporaries Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and Alejandro Sanz lend their powerful voices to the potent 'This Is All I Ask', 'Stranger in Paradise' and 'Yesterday I Heard the Rain' respectively these huge, revisited, assisted hits help make this album that much more classic. Still it's the female presence's that help make this birthday celebratory release that more formidable from Faith Hill ('The Way You Look Tonight') to Carrie Underwood ('It Had to Be You'), all the way to the Mariah Carey closer, 'When Do the Bells Ring for Me'. Tony still just has a way with the ladies.
Speaking of which the greatest moments of this hit collection come when Bennett duets with modern day Easy Listening/jazz legend Norah Jones for the velvety voiced smooth, deep draw; 'Speak Low' that furthers his and her legacy. Or the long awaited pairing with legend Nat King Cole's daughter Natalie for 'Watch What Happens'. No doubt Daddy's looking down...proud. On this sequel to a classic this old crooner shows that he can do one even better and move with the times, recruiting the best and most diverse around today from modern music's boiling pot. Still with all this top draw, A-list talent only one, one in a million man stands out, steals the show and makes this duet album his. That man is Tony Bennett. Happy Birthday sir. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Continuing our week long tribute in memory of Tupac Shakur let's select his album that may as well have been called his greatest hits; the epic, double disc 'All Eyez On Me'. 'Ambitionz az a Ridah', 'All Bout U', 'How Do U Want It?', '2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted', 'Heartz of Men', 'Life Goes On', 'Only God Can Judge Me', 'California Love', 'I Ain't Mad at Cha', 'Picture Me Rollin' and of course the title track are all here as 'Pac left prison and hit the studio like no other. The rap icon and legend became like Dylan over two books with an endless library of songs that still get released today a decade and a half after his death. This Death Row record marks the biggest, most significant album of his career and in life and death he's released more classics than most rappers combined. Everyone from Snoop Doggy Dogg to Method Man and Redman to Dr. Dre joined this West Coast, thug life, g-funk infused masterpiece as Pac played a sign and sound of his Los Angeles Times. The bravado of 'Can't C Me', the cool and epic 'Holla At Me', the introspective, thought provoking 'Tradin' War Stories', the smoked out and cool 'Skandalouz' featuring the late, great Nate Dogg (Rest In Peace) and many more lassics round out this perfect, timeless double-album. It's records and classic moments in music last night that are exactly why all eyes (and ears) are still on 2Pac. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
In memory of Tupac Shakur-who has been gone 15 years this week-we pick some of his tracks for our playlist. Side A features some of his greatest hits, while Side B looks at his prolific, posthumous work. Rest in peace.
I AINT MAD AT CHA: If you aint a 2Pac or rap fan you will be as soon as this perfect piano piece tinkles in. This deep track is influential and strong like ivory.
TO LIVE & DIE IN L.A.: Los Angeles times personified perfectly by the city, hip-hop and young America's spokesman.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: What more can be devoted then what's said here?
DEAR MAMA: The deepest, deserved dedication to the one that brought us all into the world.
PICTURE ME ROLLIN': Even a decade and a half after death, Mr. Shakur still shines the brightest.
UNTIL THE END OF TIME: Epic, awe-inspiring and influential. Proof that Tupac's legacy will last generations.
LETTER TO MY UNBORN: An honest, heartfelt requiem of what could have been.
NEVER CALL YOU BITCH AGAIN Feat TYRESE: Tyrese helps finish a song Tupac was working on (and debuted 'Live at the House of Blues') perfectly with a cool, classy chorus.
THUGZ MANSION Feat NAS: Everyone's favourite posthumous 'Pac song is 'Ghetto Gospel' with Elton John and although that's a classic nothing beats this duet with raps best today.
BETTER DAYZ:...where when this man was still here. We miss you. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Jezabel sets herself free.
'The Man Is Dead', 'She's So Hard' and 'Dark Storm', no these aren't some strange declarations, more like some creative collections from top, new Aussie band 'The Jezabels' who after a few extended plays are now ready to launch their brand new L.P.; 'Prisoner'. This band came together during their jam and cram sessions at the University Of Sydney and after some serious studying Hayley Mary, Heather Shannon, Nik Kaloper, Samuel Lockwood are ready for their graduation. The Jezabels beautiful and deep sound mixed with perfect tinkles on the piano and some in time rhythm guitar has given them opportunities for airplay, touring and award nominations. Still, now comes the real challenge as their CD gets ready to hit the shelves.
'Prisoner' opens up with the albums title track, a freeing release that sounds epic enough to score big on movie soundtracks. This emotive track is full of heart and is beautiful as the bands frontwoman, Hayley Mary. Still if you thought that looked and sounded good wait until you hear 'Endless Summer' that keeps the feeling of this bands growing status and this gone season alive. This Australian band sound in concert with other big, epic, feel-good guitar bands Stateside with a sound that's pitch perfect for an electrifying live show. The atmospheric, awe-inspiring feeling keeps on on 'Long Highway', a six minute slow burner that's effervescent and tailor made for a deep, long drive. As Hayley Mary sings lyrics with hail Mary passion her Jezabels back like a beautiful choir. Then the band get off the beaten track on on the upbeat one with 'Try Colour' a song that really brings light and shine to this artists disc.
The canvas continues with a classic look on the beautiful bloom of 'Rosebud'. Mary's vocals are unmistakeably unique and the bass lines water this track with life. As this bands sound ascends the only thing that comes down is the competition and the notion of them being a new band. Sydney's sublime new stars do it for their hometown as Hayley shows she's a 'City Girl' on another spark of evoking energy. Then these gender benders show they can't be pigeon-holed on the big and bold, 'Nobody, Nowhere'. After the heights of 'Horsehead', the Australian act push the envelope further on 'Austerlitz' with this deep, devoted love letter to their self-dubbed 'intensindie' genre. This cinematic influential, instrumental number is truly inspiring and intelligent. 'Deep Wide Ocean' pours on more vast depths for these Jezabels. This seductive sound is controlled so well by the bands leading lady.
After giving us more 'Peace Of Mind', a real 'Reprise' is what you'll be after and in the form of this and the classic 'Catch Me' you've got it. Providing you can keep up with all the beauty on this album, you'll really get to hear how good this band is sounding and looking. This up and coming band really show that they are ready for the throne of rock's elite this fall. Australia are known for their great bands like AC/DC or INXS but now this band are going to make their mark too. Not just here, but all around the world. Can you hear? The sound of a great band who after almost three years of three EP's now have a full album release that will lift them out of musical purgatory prison and have them walking the stages as free men and women. The key to the sound you've been needing lies with this album and these Jezabel's. Music just got good again. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
It's been 15 years since we saw 'Better Days' , 'R U Still Down'?
BY TIM DAVID HARVEY
On September 13th, 1996 Tupac Shakur tragically died as the result of his injuries after being shot on the Las Vegas strip after a Mike Tyson fight. 15 years later we mourn once again the loss of the greatest rapper/poet/prophet/activist of our generation, which today still feels as raw as the moment the unbelievable news broke. After mourning and blasting 'Staring Through My Rearview' as loud as we can out our cars (I see you), we look back and celebrate the man's life because even after 15 years we can't and won't forget.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the greatest rapper of all time. Sure when your asked 'Who's the greatest MC'? You may reply 'Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas' but you know in the history of hip-hop there's been no one quite like 'Pac and there will never be another like him. As iconic in African-American culture as Michael Jordan. As iconic in music as Kurt Cobain or Marvin Gaye. From recited lyrics to tattoo's, T-shirts, posters, murals and the most evocative of memories. From every fan, the real G.O.A.T, Tupac lives.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the music. The sound from '2Pacalypse Now' to right now. From the old school to the new. From Digital Underground's to time on Death Row. The 14 studio albums, 6 recorded before his death, 8 posthumous. How could we even miss a beat? From the club to the church and from the streets to the graves, Shakur lamented it all. He inspired, he showed love for his mama and he fought with the best and came out on top. Tupac could give it to anybody in so many ways, 'How Do You Want It?'
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about 'All Eyez On Me'. An instant and timeless classic. Most artists these days would fall short on recording a double album (even Jay and Nas have found it tough) but obviously Tupac had a lot to say over two books after coming out of prison. You wouldn't be blamed if you confused 'All Eyez On Me' with his 'Greatest Hits'. What other rap album could boast as many diverse and prominent rap classics as 'Ambitionz Az A Ridah', 'All About You', 'How Do You Want It', '2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted', 'Life Goes on', 'California Love (Remix)', 'I Aint Mad At Cha', 'Picture Me Rollin', 'All Eyez On Me' and so much more. No wonder 'Pac had everyone's ears as well as eyes.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about 'California Love'. A club banger so classic the love for the West Coast dedication never dies. Hate it now if you dare but what other hip-hop club classic stands the test of time? Even these days with ipod's, music downloads and throw away rap club bangers that saturate the music market 'California Love' still makes noise. To all the DJ's out there, you could throw this record on at any point in the night and people will go as crazy as the first time it dropped. What other record does that these days?
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget that when 2Pac was 'Against The Odds' and everybody he made one of his best albums in 'Me Against The World'. From 'If I Die Tonight' to 'Outlaw' Shakur showed everyone that he found his own. With timeless rap records like the title track, 'So Many Tears', 'Temptations', 'Dear Mama' and 'Death Around The Corner'. Tupac proved that if anybody in hip-hop had a songbook as impressive and as big as Bob Dylan's it was him.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about Makaveli and 'The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory'. Tupac's album under the name Makaveli was released just months after his death and is his most compelling and haunting set. We heard him 'Bomb First' and then after saying a 'Hail Mary' we learned how 'To Live & Die in LA', 'Against All Olds'. All throughout this we learned how passionate and determined this young man really was and ultimately we learned how tragic a time this was.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget that not only was Tupac a brilliant rapper but a brilliant poet also. The lyricist and artist was 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete'. Even though Tupac came from dark times his words where still a thing of beauty giving light to ugly truths. We could see the 'Pride Of A Panther' and the blues of a thug. Most importantly though we read between the lines and saw the man himself as he put himself out there on paper. Resulting in something truly inspirational. Real 'Poetic Justice'.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the acting. Whether 'Above The Rim', 'Gridlock'd' or with a little 'Juice' the always genuine and intense Shakur proved he could be a legend in two games like Pee Wee Kirkland. Even when 'Pac shared the screen with talent at the level of Tim Roth, Omar Epps and Janet Jackson he was still the films silver lining. Most rappers appear in movies because they can. Tupac was a bonafide actor however, he appeared in movies because he could.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget the great life of one the most influential and inspirational figures of the 90's. 15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the tragic death of this man. Taken way before his time, I guess the good really do die young. 15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget however that resurrected through his music Tupac Shakur lives on in our memories and through speakers, every time we bang out 'Can't C Me' and every time we knock 'Rebel Of The Underground'.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the lessons learned. What he taught us through his music and what we learned after his death. We'll never forget what we learned after his and The Notorious B.I.G.'s murders. We'll never forget how he 'Let The Knowledge Drop' and how he told us that 'Life Goes On', but we will still, always remember.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the inspiration that this man brought. He spoke to everyone from the projects to the high-rises. He spoke about everyone, every injustice he saw, telling us "unless we're shootin, no one notices the youth". Through everything though 'Pac recognised the forgotten youth, telling us that 'Brenda's Got A Baby' and being there for everyone when no one else was. Telling us to 'Hold On, Be Strong' and to 'Keep Ya Head Up'. Even with our backs against the wall Tupac told us "Through every dark night; theres a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get; stick your chest out; keep ya head up.. . and handle it". Even if we were against the world Shakur was right there with us.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the influences this man has had on music and youth. Whether they look like it or not every rapper in one way or another has taken a page out of Tupac's rhyme book for inspiration. From Ja Rule to Kanye West, East, West and Dirty South . Half of these rappers wouldn't even be around without the influence and inspiration of Tupac, he paved the way. Sure one day one of these new up and coming rappers will join Eminem and outsell this West Coast icons 75 million albums but believe me know one will touch as many people as Tupac Amaru Shakur.
This is because 15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget about the legacy left by this larger than life figure. The legacy that lives through his mother Afeni Shakur, through the 'Tupac Foundation', through his statues and countless murals and through his music. The music that grows day by day as new generations pick up copies of 'All Eyez On Me', or as the hundreds of remaining 'Pac lyrics are released. Through the music we'll always picture Tupac 'rollin' and 'As The World Turns' we'll never move on without him.
15 years, 15 more and forever more won't make us forget it's 'All About You' 2Pac, Rest In Peace, we'll never forget.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
'Fast Five' is currently filling peoples DVD players with torque injected adrenaline, but how's this for more fuel? Co-stars, longtime friends and '2 Fast, 2 Furious' collaborators; Tyrese and Ludacris have got together for as Ludacris dubs; "An 'Open Invitation' to the rest of your lives". 'Too Easy', the lead single off 'rese's new album ('Open Invitation' the follow up to the double, creative classic 'Alter-Ego'), is hard R&B with brag and swag built for a Jag. This car music is formidable. Armed with the confidence of his rapping alter-ego, Black-Ty, Tyrese shows he doesn't just make incredible ballads (like 'How You Gonna Act Like That', 'One', 'Come Back To Me Shawty', 'Gotta Get You', 'I'm Sorry' and the next single 'Stay') with lavishing lines like "Just pulled up to the club in a McLaren got you like “oh”/We hopped out and the girls followed us as we escorted to the top floor/Got bottles in one hand, cash in the other/Stacks flying everywhere, need an umbrella/Cards unlimited, keep on spending it, cause I got money to blow". Ludacris brings more one-liners with a trademark, strong, 'oooooh' inspiring, stellar 16 as he spits "Good Lawd! This the New Testament/There’s one life to live for dead presidents/So being frank don’t insult my intelligence/Get it? Meaning money, I’mma get it!/You love it don’t ever own it, you rent it, you just a tenant/Forget it, I’m in the Guinness like Dennis, I’m just a menace/To society, Luda will pop eyes for the spinach". Still it's clear this is Tyrese's track. It's clear his "Brazil all the way to Tokyo" swag is going to extend further around the world. This track may not be down to earth but it's hitting the global airwaves. Turn up your radio. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
See Also: Tyrese, Ginuwine & Tank feature 'TGT-THE GIANT THREE'
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Dude this rocks.
Jeff Bridges has always been that dude. From the iconic movies 'Tron' to 'The Big Lebowski' , the coolest man on earth has become one of Hollywood's best leading men and a living legend for the silver screen. Recently thank to the stellar 'Tron: Legacy' and the classic 'True Grit' Bridges has become even bigger, but this hasn't changed the humble, down to earth man. This hasn't affected him one bit, he's still the same dude and he still likes to indulge in his other love; music.
Following his classic performance in the country singer movie 'Crazy Heart', Bridges has been known to have real talent on the acoustic with his performances in the movie on tracks like 'Hold On You', 'Somebody Else', 'Fallin' & Flyin', 'I Don't Know' and 'Brand New Angel' off the sublime soundtrack. Now Bridges steps away from the Bad Blake character and picks his own strings for his self-titled solo album. Jeff Bridges great debut album 'Be Here Soon' didn't chart but his sophomore album has no danger of the same, unjust fate. Recorded between Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles, California with legendary producer T-Bone Burnett, this record takes you all through America and the heart and soul of it's spokesman.
Bridges kicks things off with the sensational single, 'What a Little Bit of Love Can Do'. The uplifting, sing-along song shows just what a little bit of extra time in the studio can do to Jeff's already legendary reputation and legacy. Jeff 'bridges' the gap by bringing in all sorts of talent to add to this amazing album. Everyone from Ryan Bingham (who wrote the 'Crazy Heart' theme) to country legend Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne are on hand to lend more country roots to this uplifting project. This disc features deep numbers like the atmospheric 'Falling Short' or the easy burner 'Nothing Yet' that help the core of this cohesive collection of cool tracks. Songs that track the progress of a man proving that he is a true singer in his own right.
This old soul gets heartfelt on 'Everything But Love' and introspective on the winding 'Tumbling Vine' , as the singers polished, leathery voice adds as much character to these songs as the man does to the people he plays in his movies. The blues classic 'Blue Car' takes this journey of an album further, showing Bridges really knows his music roots, blues, country or otherwise. 'Maybe I Missed the Point' hammers home the fact that this album is real music from a real musician, while the sedate and lulling 'Slow Boat' goes down as smooth as a white Russian. This perfectly cocktail of classy numbers is finished off right with 'Either Way' and the quintessential track 'The Quest'. As this journey ends you will find yourself and your musical accompaniment in a whole, new place.
Many actors have tried their hands at music, and looked exactly like what they are, 'actors'. Jeff Bridges however genuinely gives us a great album. He sounds authentic and real, simply because he is. Jeff's persona and artistry fits into the music perfectly, like a pair of good, old boots. Other actors from Hugh Laurie to Bridges 'Iron Man' co-star Terrence Howard have all tried their decent hand at music but nothing has been played quite as well as this. A perfect, award-worthy performance from a man that's going to have to make even more room in his cabinet and career. The man who could very well bring the lost art of country and folk music to a new, younger generation offers up something that everyone can abide by. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Counting through the classics.
Over recent years there has been a legendary trend for acts in concert to play and perform some of their classic albums in their entirety from start to finish for their die-hard fans pleasure. From the decade past days of Pink Floyd playing 'Dark Side Of The Moon' in the middle of sets, to Bruce Springsteen playing a choice from his 30 plus strong, classic catalogue, depending on the night of a tour. So now Adam Duritz and his classic Counting Crows band give their legacy making, iconic studio album 'August & Everything After' the live, 'Town Hall' live treatment.
As soon as the atmospheric 'Round Here' fades into the cheering crowd, their and your nostalgia takes you back to the time you first brought and listened to this definitive disc. Then 'Ohama' gives you a classic sound of America, before the smash single 'Mr. Jones' initials this gig as this signature sound is heard great live for this titles best record. The beauty of 'Perfect Blue Buildings' comes to life beyond stereo in an alive rendition, while 'Anna Begins' is a devoted, timeless number that starts off the second wind of this performance perfectly.
'Time and Time Again' this great group delivers and they and the crowd step it up a notch on the upbeat, uplifting 'Rain King' (with some epic references to Bruce Springsteen's 'Thunder Road'), before slowing it down for two beautiful ballads back-to-back. The sublime 'Sullivan Street' and the haunting 'Ghost Train' makes this album and live record what it is. The song 'Raining In Baltimore' pours on more feeling as it's referenced, out of order in the 'Round Here' sensational, story-telling opening. This performance couldn't get much more atmospheric if this concert was played outside to stormy weather.
Duritz and the crows get heavier, louder and fly through the album and shows closer; 'A Murder Of One' with every 'yeah, yeah, yeah', guitar riff and drum roll on this rock hit. As the Counting Crows kill it on this gig and last number, they prove every fan who brought this record and attended this show in concert got their money and memories worth. The group that many fans grew up with really produce fond nostalgia with their favourite, greatest hits. This Autumn release is 'THE' album for the month of August and everything to come after. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Young guitar hero and legend in the making John Mayer looks set to release his latest album 'Born & Raised' and the follow up to the sweet, sedate 'Battle Studies' to close out this year, so let's take it back to this Clapton-inspired singer/songwriter/guitarist's classic. 'Your Body Is A Wonderland' may have been a massive hit, and the bigger, sophomore album 'Heavier Things' (with added star-power weight) may have made him a superstar but it's the third, classic album 'Continuum' that made this man one of the best and gave him a lasting legacy. Every track is perfect and powerful as Mayer and modern music both got better at the same time.It's little wonder this disc held the record for the most album downloads in history with over 326,000 digital copies, until Coldplay and 'Viva la Vida Or Death and All His Friends' had something to say or sell about it. From the wonderful, inspiring, 'Waiting On The World To Change' which opened up this album and career of it's singer, to the 'In Repair' and 'I'm Gonna Find Another You' closers this Edward Scissorhand looking singer sounded great with some fresh cuts. 'I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)', 'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room', 'Dreaming with a Broken Heart' and 'The Heart of Life' remain some of the most beautiful ballads heard, while speaking of matters of the heart Mayer does Hendrix justice on his 'Bold As Love' cover. The guitar creative symbolism of 'Stop This Train' makes for an amazing acoustic record, while the dark and velvet 'Vultures' is a smooth, blues, seriously brilliant number for the new generation. Still it's when you hear the back to back 'Belief' (a great testament to current times with some excellent guitar work by fellow young legend Ben Harper) and the rising 'Gravity' (one of his biggest songs to date) that you realise this CD will always sit in your collection as one of the best. Plus with a digital hidden gem in the form of the soundtrack song 'Say' that made 'The Bucket List' movie you know that this album has more finds which makes this one of the best records to date. Let's hope John 'F@£$*&@' Mayer continues on with his next classic.TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
This weeks playlist in our 'Tape Deck Shuffle' takes it back to the cool of The Rat Pack. 'Side A' has to be Frank, 'Side B', Dino and how about some 'Bonus' Sammy for good measure?
SIDE A-FRANK SINATRA
I'VE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING: Inspiring, 'the world is yours' number.
ONE FOR MY BABY & ONE FOR THE ROAD: One of great depth to drown your sorrows too.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The ultimate dedication to Broadway, so good you'll have to play it twice.
COME FLY WITH ME: Truly epic, this is movie making big. Catch me if you can.
MY WAY: THE classic.
SIDE B-DEAN MARTIN
THAT'S AMORE: That's love.
MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS: Moment evoking, nostalgic bliss.
RIO BRAVO: From the same-titled movie that showed he was a real actor and a real star.
HOW D'YA LIKE YOUR EGGS IN THE MORNING?: For those new and in love, time to start your day right.
NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS: Bold and beautiful, another reason why-'to be Frank'-this guy was better than Sinatra.
BONUS-SAMMY DAVIS JNR
NEW YORK'S MY HOME: Play it again Sam! Another great dedication to the worlds best city.
EEE-O ELEVEN: This classic made both the movie 'Oceans Eleven' and Sammy himself huge.
SMILE DARN YA, SMILE: Why not with this uplifting jam?
SAM'S SONG Feat DEAN MARTIN: Sammy and Dean jokingly argue over who's tune this is in another delightful duet.
YOURS IS MY HEART ALONE: A true devoted love song to end this playlists dedication. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Friday, 2 September 2011
You can count on Grouplove for great, loving music.
Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen and Trevor Rabin's son Ryan are back and here with their debut album, ready to give you Grouplove. This American indie band are following the success of their excellent self-titled EP with their new album 'Never Trust A Happy Song' and believe me after one listen to this CD you'll have faith in their sound and music as a whole again.
'Itchin' On a Photograph' is the perfect snap to kick this album off. Once the guitars, drums and vocal start up the amps you'll be a fan in a flash. Remember how good American rock sounded in the nighties? Well, it's back and with this band here to stay. The great lyrics and vocals continue on the tantalising 'Tongue Tied', which is a tasty number. Much like 'Lovely Cup' and the pastel perfection and artistic direction of 'Colours'. As this album brews up and takes shape this band both solidify their sound and their place in the mainstream of rock music. These Los Angeles king and queens deserve their recognition in the gold coast of music.
The California cool comes right back on the burner 'Slow', which acts as the perfect, top-down driving music. Then it's time to hit the beach for the skinny dipping nostalgia of the track 'Naked Kids', which is a homage to youth. The twisting pace of 'Spun', keeps the good times rolling with the perfect track to listen to on a night out with your best and closest. This tight unit then get romantic on the back to back loving jams, 'Bettys a Bombshell' and 'Chloe'. These muse's make for the perfect musical inspirations it's hard to choose between the two girls.
Your pick of this set though has to be the anthem 'Love Will Save Your Soul', which looks to be a hit from here, to the rest of the world and back to the West-Coast. Forget 'Sex On Fire', this bands soul is, with a heart-filled epic number that will leave you singing and repeating all night long. Better take your ipod's off shuffle for this one. 'Never Trust A Happy Song', changes it's upbeat nature for the track titled 'Cruel and Beautiful World', but this down to earth track is still great. The perfect closer comes with another singled-out, chart worthy, billboard bound song in 'Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten'. This tracks so good it feels ready made for the top five, let alone the top ten. As you open your eyes and realise this album is over, you'll want to count through the tracklisting again as this album really takes you away to brighter, Californian climates. This is the perfect, sweet escape and sound, especially in the falling Summer. Still even when Autumn and Winter come around, it's clear this band will still be here. These guys are ready for the long haul. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The Chilli Peppers still have it and are red hot with their new album ('I'm With You') and guitarist (Josh Kinghoffer) but it's clear they still miss John Frusciante and it's because of his creativity and classic catalogue that also includes many sensational solo pieces like this. 'Shadows Collide With People' is epic, vast, deep, dark and delightful, full of Frusciante's heroics on guitar and rich with his underrated vocal worth. In parts poignant and in others sorrowful, this album is beautiful and honest all the way through. 'Carvel', 'Omission' and 'Regret' make for a huge three of an opener. While 'Ricky', 'Second Walk' and 'Every Person' keep up this going as they don't let up. 'Wednesdays Song' is anything but weak, while the uptempo 'This Cold' really heats things up. The nostalgic 'Time Goes Back' really takes us to the good days, just like old times. Finally 'In Relief', 'Cut-Out' and 'The Slaughter' help close out this heavyweight album strong. Even from the interludes to the instrumental intermissions, this album is inspiring and influential. What else can we say but; Dear John, one way or another, come back. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS-GOODBYE, HOORAY: Doubt they've still got it? Then put this on repeat, again and again and again.
KANYE WEST & JAY-Z Feat FRANK OCEAN: MADE IT IN AMERICA: These two kings are keeping a watchful eye on the throne, but Frank Ocean is a young prince who is singing and stealing the show away with a dedication to everybody.
LENNY KRAVITZ-THE FAITH OF A CHILD: Truly epic, truly inspiring, truly Lenny.
JILL SCOTT Feat ANTHONY HAMILTON-SO IN LOVE: That's what we are with this record from neo-soul's king and queen.
LIL' WAYNE Feat TECH9NE, ANDRE 3000, BUN B., NAS, SHYNE & BUSTA RHYMES-INTRO/INTERLUDE/OUTRO: Weezy brings out the best from the best of the best with a running beat and theme that's as incredible as his fourth 'Carter' opus.
213-ANOTHER SUMMER: Let's play the Summer out, why it's still here. Rest in peace Nate.
DJ JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE-SUMMERTIME (REPRISE): ...and again. One more time.
JAMIE FOXX-WISH YOU WHERE HERE: Proof this man can do anything.
JOHN FRUSCIANTE-A CORNER: Proof the Chilli's still miss this man, despite their new success.
THE STROKES-NEW YORK CITY COPS: A fond memory from a festival favourite this season. TIM DAVID HARVEY.