In this on demand media age, music is disposable. Even if an artist makes a great record and fans and credits praise it alike, the record is still disposable.
There once was a time when a recording artist had to spend ridiculous amounts of money to record an album. In return, a record label would spend ungodly amounts of money to promote that record. The fans would wait and anticipate an album for 2 to 5 years. Yes, I said 5 years! Artists like Anita Baker, Dr. Dre, and Michael Jackson would literally make fans wait 5 years for a new record. The fans would cherish that record and spend a year listening to that record over and over.
Fast forward to 2014, all you need is computer recording program, the Internet and a business plan. Now records are released faster then we can enjoy them and as soon as a good record is released, fans are already on to the next.
With so much music being released on a week-by-week basis, I try my hardest to keep up with notable releases as well as underground artists on the bubble. It’s not easy and I don’t hear every album release but then again no one can.
As far as this week is concerned: here is the music released between the dates February 3rd – 7th that made it into my headphones and my thoughts.
TONI BRAXTON & BABYFACE – LOVE, MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
This album was long over due from two R&B legends. The album is a concept album that tells a story about the ups and down involved in a relationship. The title sums it up well. From deeply in love to the break up, to reuniting and then breaking up again. This is an awesome album though I do feel like it’s missing that big hit. You know the one that goes down in history, but I don’t fault them for that. This album was done well and is the kind of album fans can be proud of.
Score 9 of 10
DAG SAVAGE – E&J
Dag Savage is a rapper producer combo from the west coast with a conscious backpacking approach. This is a really good hip-hop record. Lyrics are on point and the production is up to par as well. At times you can hear the classic west coast sound bleed out and other times it sounds a bit east coast. It’s like old school Pharcyde meets Little Brother. The album features appearances from Rass Kass and Aloe Black. It’s worth the listen.
Score 7 of 10
RUBEN STUDDARD – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Now if you are not a ride or die fan of this American Idol winner, you may not know that this is Ruben’s 6th album. After his platinum debut he has fallen from the spotlight. After the closing of Clive Davis’s J Records, Ruben has been floating around from label to label. With his latest, I personally thought he would put his all into it. I was disappointed to find that his latest release was mostly covers. Ruben covers songs by Marvin Gaye, Bonnie Raitt, Teddy Pendergrass and Donnie Hathaway to name a few. Don’t get me wrong Ruben has an excellent voice and does a good versions of the songs, however this is a very safe approach and is by no means a ticket to bring him back to the limelight.
Score – 6 of 10
MAINO – K.O.B
Maino made some noise back in 2009 – 2010 but I was betting money that after his T-pain hooks and interview stories about how he just got out of jail, we would never hear from him again. Well, I was wrong he’s still around on his is latest project repping for New York. He has appearances from Jada Kiss, Meek Mills, T.I. and Raekwon to name a few. It’s not a bad mixtape but for me he’s one of those rappers that stand right in the middle of mediocrity. He’s not bad but not good either. Nothing truly stands out. Enter at your own risk.
Score – 5 of 10
BROKEN BELLS – AFTER THE DISCO
They have already made one of my favorite alternative rock albums of the last decade so it’s hard to judge any album after that. This band truly stands away from the crowd and sounds like no other band. This new album does not disappoint and I guarantee that publications like Rolling Stones will be ranking this album in their top 10 at the end of the year.
Score – 9 of 10
KATY B – LITTLE RED
She’s not a strong singer but I seem to like the sound of her voice. None of that matters though the album is terrible. The lyrics are corny and simple and the music has no variations or skill what so ever. Given that, I understand this is meant to be a dance album and what the end goal is here, but lets at least try to defy gravity cause this is an album that you make if your goal is to be forgotten tomorrow.
Score – 4 of 10
LITTLE MIX – SALUTE
The group of girls that won 2011’s Ex-factor is back for a sophomore attempt. I must say I’ve had this album for about three months and was surprised to see the track list was the same on the actual release date. I’d say with that kind of leakage record sales might suffer. However, I find their sophomore attempt to be pleasant. They kept the sound youthful but grew a bit at the same time. Pop music that will find it’s way to radio stations in several countries and the girls should survive another year.
Score – 7 of 10
QUALITY CONTROL MUSIC – SOLID FOUNDATION
The Rap label that no one ever heard of is trying to make a name for itself before their star rapper is all the way established. Migos is the name you may of heard lately. He’s been getting his fair share of features and appearances lately, but he is by no means in line for any crowns or awards. This is a terrible album that features a million unknown rappers that I can’t tell apart from each other. They have nothing to rap about and I can’t find one of them to co sign for. The entire mixtape is noise that should be avoided to reduce headaches.
Score – 3
2 PISTOLS – COMIN BACK HARD
At first thought is he any relation to 2 Chains? Well 2 Chains is featured on the record. Other appearances include Jim Jones, French Montana, Juicy J and Talib Kweli to name a few. He hails from Florida and his name was 2 Pistols when 2 Chains was still Tity Boi. The same type of content in his flow though. There’s nothing original here but the music is consistent.
Score – 6.5
LIL’ WYTE AND FRAYSER BOY – B.A.R.
Lil ‘ Wyte comes from Three 6 Mafia’s Hypnotized Minds Camp if anyone can remember that run. He used to push unbelievable numbers in the underground to the effect that I could never understand it. His music hasn’t changed much. On this one he hooks up with Frayser Boy to continue stories of tearing the club up, doing drugs and chasing money and girls. It will please whatever’s left of their fan base.
ISAIAH RASHAD – CILVIA DEMO
This album was a pleasant surprise. Another southern rapper and member of Kendrick Lamar’s TDE group but the problem is his sound is very similar to Kendrick’s sound crossed with a little Kanye. In his own right he’s a good rapper with quality music. I highly endorse this album. It is a good piece of work.
Score – 9 of 10
PRINCE PO & OH NO – ANIMAL SERUM
Another hip-hop album, this is a conscious MC effort in what critics once called backpack rap. A lyrical rap album, with the emphasis on lyrics, not on beats or songs. This not an elite album that I would recommend but if what your looking for is a lyrical MC over a hip hoppers production it’s an album you may want to at least hear.
Score – 4.5 0f 10
That’s about the load of music I was able to force into my headphones this week. The year is beginning to heat up. Some of those elite highly anticipated albums are on the way and even though music is disposable and most of the albums we heard this week will be forgotten tomorrow we still can’t live without a fresh fix. Until next week.
10 – Instant Classic – must have
09 – Great Album just short of classic
08 – Good Album recommend checking out
07 – Above average more upside then down
06 – Worth the listen, has a few moments
05 – Average, core fan base will enjoy
04 – You’re not missing much if you skip this one
03 – Bad album- let down
02 – Trash- don’t waste your time
01 – Everyone involved in this album needs to reevaluate their life