It’s a new year and a new batch of music is being served up fresh for us courtesy of the music industry. This time of year is always slow in the business, but like I promised it speeds up from week to week. I consider this the first real review of the year so here is the week in review.
Angel Haze – Dirty Gold – Hip Hop
A very rare find in the industry today is a female MC. In 2014 there are few coming. This album actually dropped on Dec 30th, which was in my opinion was the stupidest thing a label could have done. This album flew under the radar and will have a hard time competing with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot and Iggy Azalea, who have albums anticipated to drop this year. It’s a shame because Angel murdered this album. Lyrically she held her own, the production was crafted well and creatively she impressed me. This is an album you shouldn’t sleep on.
Score – 8.5
Tink – Winter’s Diary 2 (mixtape) – R&B
A solid R&B release from Tink. She delivers a project that you can literally listen to from start to finish. R&B is a tough sport to play these days and hard to stand out but this one is a complete project for free download. She doesn’t give us a bunch of originality but solid production and her lyrical content is serviceable.
Score – 7
Apollo Brown & Planet Asia – Abrasions: Stitched up (EP) – Hip-hop
Well-crafted classic gritty New York music. All about the lyrics and heavy samples over the boom bap drum sound. It’s always a good feeling to know that style of hip-hop still lives. The downfall of this project is that it is over in 5 tracks.
Score – 7
Natalia Damini – Beautiful – Pop
Starting off the album with a handful of double time dance club tracks she eventually calms down for an R&B sound and some attempts at depth. Nikki Minaj, Jim Jones and Gucci Mane all show up for guest spots and the features are the highlights of the project. Sounds like the formula for success but there is one problem, she can’t sing! She is exposed all over the record. She begins the record and I think to myself she is not a very strong singer. It gets worse as the album progresses. She falls in and out of key and has terrible harmonies. Who is funding this disgrace, it’s like nails screeching across a chalkboard.
Score – 2
Jennifer Nettles – That Girl – Country
Every now and then I like to throw a curve ball in the line up and switch genres on you and this was a good easy unplugged ride from Jennifer Nettles. A good country release that stood apart from recent country albums I’ve loaded on the playlist. It’s very mellow and slow but good music. It has an old school feel and pleasing is to the ear. A great job lyrically.
Score – 7
Cap 1 – Caviar Dreams (mixtape) – Hip Hop
Speedy flows and street beats from Cap on a free download. 2 Chains, Ace Hood and Jim Jones all show up for features and Cap1 delivers a decent release. The production is on point and he does what is expected of him.
Score – 6
Kokane – Shut da F Up & Cut da Checc – Hip Hop
The west coast veteran starts off the album claiming to be the most featured artist in the history of the game. It may or may not be true. He has been on almost every Snoop Dogg record and had an era in his heyday where he got around a little bit. I was skeptical about this record. I thought maybe his time was over but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. One thing that Kokane has in the bag is creativity. The album sounds like no other west coast beats and appearances from legends like Busta Rhymes, Daz and Kurupt, and Richie Rich. A good release.
Score – 7
Switchfoot – Fading West – Alternative
Not much to say about this album other than I expected more. The album was boring, cliché and an overall a disappointment. This one can and should be skipped.
Score – 4
Zion I – The Masters of Ceremony (EP) – Hip-hop
Better releases have come from the conscious bay area dual. The EP is mediocre but should be enough to hold over their core fan base. It doesn’t hold a flame to their 2013 release Shadow Boxing but it is worth the listen. Zion I remains creative and all of their releases are quality.
Score – 6.5
Not a bad week especially for January. I’ll continue to look forward into the year. That’s all I have for this week and there was plenty to load the playlist with.
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, maybe 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 lifeGoogle+