Music can be many things for many people. It has and will always hold a special place in my heart and in my life. During my September hiatus, some really great music was released. These projects and singles have been on constant rotation. I am so thankful for music especially lately. It has been my solace and my reprieve. I needed it more than I could ever fully explain. So, I had to share all of this great music with all of you. Let's get into it.
If you are not up on The Foreign Exchange, I really do not know what you are doing with your life. "Love in Flying Colors," the group's fifth effort was recently released. The dual first singles are "Home" and "Pity." Both very dope songs and totally different. My favorite songs are "When I Feel Love" & "Listen To The Rain." Phonte and Nicolay are just dope. There is no other word to describe this duo. I love all of their work and they can do know wrong in my eyes. This is just sit back, relax and feel good music. It's the music that puts me to sleep every night. Get into it and them.
Of all the music that was released last month, I was most excited for Drake's "Nothing Was The Same." I liked his freestyles ("Jodeci Freestyle" & "5am in Toronto") more than his singles. I did like "Started From The Bottom" but didn't care for "Wu-Tang Forever" or "Hold On, We're Going Home" at first or third listen. So, I was apprehensive about the whole project. I am glad that Drake gave us a great project. On first listen, I was sold. My favorite songs change daily but, right now it's a tie between ""Come Thru," "Worst Behavior," and "From Time." I play it daily. I enjoy it. Drake is alright with me. I think I need to see him in concert. Dope listen, dope material. I have no complaints about Mr. Graham's third outing. Buy it.
When I first heard of TGT, I didn't give them much of a second thought. I liked Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank individually. I didn't see the need for them to form a supergroup a la LSG. But, then Eleven8 of BallerAlert keep bragging about their cd. So, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. TGT's "Three Kings" is a solid R&B effort. It reminds me of 90's R&B and that is a great thing. I love it. I have been playing it constantly since that the first day. My favorite song changes daily. Today, is a "Running Back," "OMG," and "FYH" kind of day. TGT was a good look and a great move for these R&B guys. I think I need to see them in concert as well.
Justin Timberlake blew me away when he dropped the first part of "The 20/20 Experience." I wasn't prepared for two JT albums in one year. But, he gifted us with it anyway. "The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2" is the darker half of the set. The songs are a lighter heavier. I love it. I can say that I'm partial to the first half more. But, the second half has some great standout tracks. My absolute favorite tracks are "Drink You Away" and "You Got It On." I do believe that JT could have pulled the best songs off the 2nd part and just made part one longer (like 15/17 tracks instead of 10). Great music either way. Great listen, especially if you play the two as one. JT does not disappoint. Ever.
I heard of Lorde via Twitter. I kept hearing great things about "Royals" so I decided to check it out. It became a instant fave. Who knew Lorde was only 16? This girl can sing. Truly. I love a good voice and great lyrics. Lorde has them both. Her debut cd "Pure Heroine" was recently released. I am loving it. Standout tracks are "Team," "400 Lux," and "Still Sane." I play them constantly. I believe that Lorde may be a contender. She may have staying power. Her debut is dope. You should truly check her out.
One of my favorite young actors is throwing his hat into the singing/rapping world. Most know him as Tristan Wilds aka Michael Lee from "The Wire" and Dixon from "90210." Now, he is Mack Wilds. He released a very dope single "Own It" that caught my attention on first listen. His debut project "New York A Love Story" is full of great gems. I love all of it. It is very 90's hip hop sample heavy. He described it as having a "90's summer New York feel" and I totally agree. I listen to it all the time. It's part of my daily playlist. My faves are "Don't Turn Me Down" and "My Crib." Please do yourself a favor and get into Mack.
John Legend can do absolutely no wrong in my eyes. He has never put out a project that I didn't enjoy. His voice is dope on so many levels. It's even more amazing in concert. "Love In The Future" is everything I thought it would be and more. I predict that his third single "All Of Me" will be a wedding song for years to come. It is a wonderful love song. It's actually one of my favorite songs of the moment. It is just beautiful. He also has an interlude with Stacy Barthe, who I love. They remade Anita Baker's "Angel." I wish it was longer because it is a great cover. Great music from a great musician.
Raheem DeVaughn's "A Place Called Loveland" is another banger. He is quietly a fave of mine. This project is no differnt. Stellar vocals, amazing lyrics and great music are all things I expect from Raheem. I am in love with "Ridiculous," "Pink Crush Velvet," and "Wrong Forever." Those three songs are the standouts to me. Raheem is just a really dope entertainer. His work just keeps getting better. And, I am all the way here for it. All of it.
Finally, we have Tamar Braxton's "Love and War." This cd is so much better than I thought it would be. Tamar did that. I vibe out to it so much. I am not a fan of her reality show antics but her voice is undeniable. Tamar can sang. Period. I want to see her on tour this fall with John Legend. I love "Pieces," "She Did That," and "Prettiest Girl." I just really enjoy this project. Music makes everything ok in my world. These are just a few of the songs that helped me navigate through the month of September. If you haven't given any of these artists a listen, you should get into them ASAPtually.