Picks of the Week

Big post today.  I found quite a bit of cool stuff this week….new music from old faces is the theme this week, as well as one old album I really felt this past week from Al Green.

Massive Attack – Heligoland

I love when legendary acts can just come up out of the couch and just make really good album.  Easily the longest break between albums, and M.A. doesn’t miss a beat…if anything, they have shown a bit of growth with this move forward.  This is an accomplishment, especially because most acts tend to reuse (and overuse) old concepts to make a new album.  I mean, it still have the signatures: vocalists, the growing song build-ups, the epic feel in the bigger cuts.  It’s not a perfect album – there are some downers on here that take away from the album, which is only 10 tracks long to begin with.  Still – worthy of your coin, especially if you love the duo.  Otherwise, if you’re a newbie – start with Blue Lines….amazing album.

Jaga Jazzist – One-Armed Bandit

Nuts.  For real…one of my favorites so far this year.  Mixtures of drum and bass, free jazz, some prog-rock, a little Afrobeat – all electrified.  And it’s the amazing from the first listen going forward.  I think the video will be a lot better at explaining what I can’t.  I have a feeling this will make some best of 2010 lists.

Sade – Soldier of Love

Just a beautiful album really.  The sincerity and clarity of her voice and the band’s sound have never been better.  What I love most about her is the honesty in the lyrics, she’s not bending or hiding the song’s meaning behind any sort of wall.  It’s all very raw and straightforward.  And like the other albums, very succinct and to the point….no long drawn out conclusions.  Very good grown up music – Sade lovers need this.

Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here

Best album of the year so far.  Amazingly done.  I literally have nothing I could say that’s bad about this album.  It’s basically perfect.  We’re talking spoken word…singing…the interludes….the music…everything is absolutely perfect.  I’ve been a huge fan for a while – and it’s nice to know that he is recording again, because he still has a lot to say to us.  The title song alone is…just….man…yo.  Easily the pick of the week, month, year…..and even this early on, it’s been a good year for tunes.

Freddie Joachim/Question – Study Guide

This is one I found via the dope J.Pitts Show podcast.  They let a cat named Zemba run the show with some ill beat instrumentals…and some of the tracks on this album made his playlists.  (you can find that dope shit in places you listen to other dope shit…lesson to all you out there.)  The album title is exactly what the music was intended to be used for – studying or work.  Nice pick-up.  The video shows Freddie making a track – not on the album btw….still cool.

Martyn – Fabric 50

Future bounce, dancy dubstep.  It’s meant to be played as one single party track….and that’s how you have purchased it on iTunes – a single 1hr, 11min, 25 sec. track/album.  Straight up “turn my house into a club” music.  It serves the function well.

Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You

In my opinion – this is his best achievement.  People love to name-check the features like the title track…Love and Happiness….an excellent cover of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman.  But Simply Beautiful…..a lot of you will recognize it as a sample in Talib Kweli’s Good to You.  But man…that track tell you all you need to know about this album.  Guys – if you don’t have this track in your slowed down, sexy, and sensual playlist you put on for your current, or potential, lady – you are basically fucking up.  No lie.

Track of the moment:

Emalkay – When I Look At You

Dubstep…..bananas.  One of the favorite tracks of 2009….just felt like bumping it lately.

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