Looking for the new exponent? Check over here.

06.20.2004 in the world of ej | permalink | comments [0] | trackback [0]

cee-lo's soul machine

Being one of the fusing forces of Goodie Mob and then going solo, Cee-Lo's been blazing some trails here and there. Admittedly the trail being blazed for the debut release didn't leave much of a mark. Between releases, he managed to make himself known, most recently in Speakerboxxx in the very short, eloquent rap in Reset. With Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine he's managed to make himself a formidable force. Considering the last couple of months with mediocre releases from others (witness Janet), this album is a nice surprise.

As productions and artists go, he's got some high powers in his camp. He's got Timbaland in the mix for the first release, Call Me, Ludacris in Childz Play, Pharrell in The Art Of Noise and Let's Stay Together, and Scrap Metal with Organized Noize. They're all great, and easily accessible by the masses.

It's all about adding his own nuances that makes this one shine.

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04.11.2004 in review - audio | permalink | comments [0] | trackback [2]

damita jo: taking the extra out of extraordinary?

Damita Jo, just released, has been one of the most anticipated albums this year. From a majority of the reviews seen thus far, this album is considered to be a miss, rather than a hit. What happened this time? Succinctly put, the album is not a groundbreaking effort. Coming from a new or up-and-coming artist, the album has the ability to spin effortlessly, to give the grooves needed to please, and without a doubt would be labeled a solid album. The problem here? The expected excitment, the undulation the people have been used to in every release is not present here.

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04.04.2004 in review - audio | permalink | comments [13] | trackback [0]

the van hunt performance.

Check it. A couple of people had reviews and opinions about Van Hunt. Since he's in our town and had also done quite a bit of session work, I copped the album and loved it. Of course, me doing a review of Van Hunt would be a duplicitous effort, since there had already been reviews of it that I agreed with on all fronts. However, since some of the live performing reviews were a bit different, I was very curious. I expected this to be a very good live performance - I wasn't expecting vocal prowess or choirs or orchestras - just some good old fashion funk, soul and rock.

That's exactly what I got.

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03.14.2004 in Music | permalink | comments [2] | trackback [1]

musical rush

There's been a mad musical rush in February, so far. It's almost as if I'm behind and need to do a little catching up. What makes it even better, however, is that I'm hoping this is the way that the year turns out, because 2003 was a little limp. Check it:

With a total of 6 CDs to review, I think I'm in overload heaven. In which order should I review these? Anything else I forgot, people? Bring it on!

02.16.2004 in the world of ej | permalink | comments [5] | trackback [2]

bravebird's arrival

bravery according to amel

past: Jamiroquai , 'Latenigttales'
present: Amel Larrieux, Bravebird
future The Grey Album, Kanye West, Jason Mraz.

She's back, that wonderful Amel. With her talent gracing Groove Theory, Sweetback, Towa Tei and then her solid debut album Infinite Possibilites, I anxiously waited for three years for her followup CD to drop. There are some gems here, but this leaves me wanting more.

I expect to hear cuts like For Real and Bravebird, with their accentuated rhythms and flow, they start the album off on a high note. Maintenance however, seems to be the weakness here placing the album in a lull until we're graced with We Can Be New, the in-your-head beats and chanting of Congo, and the solid gold Say You Want It All near the end of the CD. It ends how it starts, on a high note-- but still wanting more. It's time for me to go back and get Stanley Clarke's CD 1, 2, To The Bass graced with her presence.

My take? 6/10. It's my second take so far this year. Time for upliftment.

Express yourself to eXponent. It's a good thing.

02.14.2004 in review - audio | permalink | comments [2] | trackback [0]

late night with jamiroquai


past: Musiq, 'soulstar'
present: Jamiroquai , 'Latenigttales'
future: Amel Larrieux

Jamiroquai, having graced us with A Funk Oddysey in 2001, has taken us into their late night musical inclinations with Anotherlatenight, which explores what's in the mind of Jason.

It's interesting to see what Jamiroquai has taken from the musical world. In listening to this CD, it's easy to see where their influences lie. While mostly backdrop music, there are some clear gems in this set.

Starting out with Pointer Sisters and The Commodores, the tunes are not quite Jamiroquai. Rufus's Once You Get Started is a cut with which Jamiroquai has utilized, but it's not nearly their best cut. (At Midnight) My Love Will Lift You Up would be a more delectable spread indicative of Jamiroquai's style.

Johnny Hammond's album released in 1975 called Gears got such bad reviews, but the song Fantasy was definitely one of those tracks that deserved to be included. Having just heard this original, it's impossible for me to say what that album was like, but the single is great and is an inspiration to get more Johnny Hammond tunes. Ramsey Lewis' Whisper Zone, a very solid track, brings us right into Leon Ware. The track What's Your Name is something that, albeit old-school, gives you pause and makes you understand just what Jay Kay has in his head when he's expressing himself. This sounds like classic Jamiroquai complete with an outstanding horn section and wonderful female vocals. It would be absolutely great if Jay and Beverley Knight would remake this tune.

The album takes a lull right up to Skyy's Here's To You and on into The Real Thing with Raining Through My Sunshine. This was very surprising, because this tune clearly fused Jamiroquai's and Loose Ends' debut album together with the songwriting and production abilities of Chris and Eddie Amoo, much to my delight- inspiring me to retrieve The Best of The Real Thing.

Finishing up the CD with Marvin Gaye, Patrice Rushen, and The White City leaves me with a generally good album, but I'm going to be tapping my foot a bit louder waiting for the next CD from Jamiroquai. Let's hope 2004 brings us the next release.

My take? 6/10.

Express yourself to eXponent. It's a good thing.

01.31.2004 in review - audio | permalink | comments [2] | trackback [0]

shining 'soulstar'

shining 'soulstar'

past: Kelis, Tasty
present: Musiq, 'soulstar'
future: Jamiroquai , Amel Larrieaux

The third CD from Musiq is a continuation of his soulful exchange, with some very subtle distinctions coming front and center, namely his production capabilities, both behind the boards and in the executive suite.

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01.26.2004 in review - audio | permalink | comments [36] | trackback [0]

big post of life lists - the first of the 'oh fresh'

Happy New Year. Via Mister JT....

Name four things you wished you had ::

A new laptop. How long have I been whining about that though?
A workout partner. Trainer's becoming a bit too expensive.
A solid contract spanning the year.
More time.

Name four things you are thinking about:

Travelling to the N.Y.C.
Purchasing more CDs.
Green Tea.
Visiting some long lost friends.

Name four things you did today ::

Read through Bloglines
Purchased some more CDs.

Top 5 songs of the right now ::

"momentinlife" - Musiq featuring Kindred The Family Soul and Cee-lo
Something about this cut just thrills me at all times, and this CD is really growing on me in a good way.

"Communion (Instrumental)" - Swing Out Sister
Every so often, I have to jump into the wayback machine. A drummer's gotta beat, after all.

"Since I Seen't You" - Anthony Hamilton
This should be the next single, no doubt.

"Half A Breath Away" - Esthero
I'm so afraid that we may never hear another thing from her again. I had to dig this outta the crate.

"Bowtie" - Outkast
It's still up in my head. This should definitely be the next release.

Last thing you ::

• Did :: Let my beagle Anna lick me while I blogged.
• Read ::Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Still Reading.
• Watched on TV :: Boiling Point on MTV

Who do you want to ::

Kill :: No one of note.
Hear from :: Wilkerson.
Look like :: Today, I'll say me. With a haircut of course.
Be like :: Donald Trump, so I can fire people at will. Just for a second or two.

Last time ::

Last song you heard :: Smooth Operator by Sade
Last movie you saw :: X2
Last movie you saw on the big screen :: Kill Bill, Volume I. I need a life.
Last thing you had to drink :: Ghiradelli Chocolate with Blackberry Schnapps
Last thing you ate :: Tuna casserole
Last time you cried :: Still can't remember.
Last time you smiled :: a few minutes ago talking about Chauncey.
Last time you laughed :: While IMing with friends as they talked about purchases from XXX stores.
Last time you danced :: downstairs while listening to forthenight by Musiq
Last person you hugged :: Baldi
Last thing you said :: "Where's the Anna...heyyyy!"
Last person you talked to online :: Karsh
Last thing you smelled :: The scent of Anastasia Beaverhausen.
Last car ride :: my car from the supermarket
Last CD played :: Smooth Grooves After Hours
Last item bought :: Jamiroquai - Late Night Tales

Albums playing on the regular right now ::

Swing Out Sister :: Living Return, It's Better To Travel, Get In Touch With Yourself
Musiq :: Soulstar
Kelis :: Tasty
Justin Timberlake :: Justified
Ruben Studdard
Amel Larrieux :: Infinite Possibilties
Anthony Hamilton :: Comin' From Where I'm From
Alicia Keys :: The Diary of Alicia Keys
Morcheeba :: Charango
Smooth Grooves After Hours

01.10.2004 in the world of ej | permalink | comments [4] | trackback [0]

'tasty' wrapup to 2003

'tasty' wrapup to 2003

past: Seal, IV
present: Kelis, Tasty
future: Nelly Furtado, Musiq, Only Child, 112, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Magoo

This is the third CD from Kelis. Many of you may remember merely two, but between Kaleidescope and the current one, Tasty, Wanderland is the unforgotten CD in the US, only being released overseas. There's something to be said about Kelis, who won quite a few awards around the globe, but was all but noticed here. Wake up.

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12.18.2003 in review - audio | permalink | comments [5] | trackback [1]