Thursday, August 28, 2014

R. Kelly- Black Panties (2013)

Why did I review the album?  I told my friend I would do it, and I am fond of R. Kelly’s music
Did I like it? No
Will I listen again? No
I think this experience was doomed to fail from the onset. My expectation of the album and Kelly’s were clearly different. I expected classic 90’s Kelly or adult R&B that he’s favored in the two previous albums. But, maybe that’s the reason he’s wandered in this direction. Kelly’s been “in the game” for 20 years now, so he’s bound to try other things. He transitioned from R&B to a slightly more mainstream sound. Then experimented with a largely gospel sound that transitioned into adult R&B career. This might be the next phase in Kelly’s career. So, I shouldn’t be angry with him, but I wish I knew his intention beforehand.
In my defense, this album delivers sleaze by the bucket load. If this kind of music you like, then you’ll love this one, but if not, it’ll be a struggle to get through this offering from Kelly.
My Favs
3.  I have no idea (that’s not the name of the song, I seriously couldn’t find a third song)
2. Shut Up  
1. All the way
Overall Rating: 1/5 Spins

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Heist (2012)

Why did I review the album? My sister asked me about a song named “Same Love” and I loved it so I listened to the whole album
Did I like it? It’s either my favorite or second favorite album since 2012
Will I listen again? I will listen to this one forever
The two sides of Macklemore the funny guy and serious Mack. Both are on display in this album.
The crowning achievement of this album is Macklemore’s ability to step in the shoes of the person in that situation. He does it multiple times in songs like Same Love, Neon Cathedrals and Wing$. The reason I love JoJo is her ability to accomplish this. It’s also the reason I was somewhat critical of Love Marriage and Divorce, the lyrics were there, but I didn’t feel the emotion that I felt necessary. This is the first time I’ve noticed a rapper achieving the same feat. It makes the music stronger because the audience notices how deeply the artist feels about the issue, so every lyric carries more weight and significance.
I constantly complain that “fun” music tends to force me to “turn my brain off” in order to enjoy it. This isn’t the case with Macklemore. Like Gaga he manages to have fun, but maintain a level of seriousness. Considering the pulverizing nature of some of his other work, it’s interesting that he can pull off “fun” so well. It proves that he is truthfully versatile and can handle both radio worthy tracks and thought provoking material.   
My only complaint is that the track listing could have been organized a bit better. Towards the end, there were about five fun songs in a row without a thought provoking song to balance out the silliness and I found my patience waning. It’s a small complaint and something that would only hurt the album when comparing it to my favorites.
There’s something here for everyone. There’s more than enough “fun” for people to enjoy, but also has some material that might make you think about the stances you hold concerning certain topics. It’s an album that touches on many different topics and shares it’s opinion without apologizing. It’s a versatile album from a strong artist that can hold its own against many of my favorite albums and is one of my favorite albums in recent memory.
My Favs
3.  Thrift Shop
b. Badaboom
2.  Same Love
1. Neon Cathedral
Overall Rating: 5/5 Spins