Monday, May 26, 2008

Music Roundup - Tia

Usher - Here I Stand
Dear Usher,
You are not Prince.

I just finished listening to Usher's new cd and I was bored as hell. I mean for real it took everything in me to keep listening. I'm so disappointed. Confessions was my joint. (There weren't too many songs on that album that I skipped. In my opinion a good record is one that doesn't require you constantly hitting next.) Because Confessions was so good I knew it was going to take a miracle for Usher to repeat that same success. Honestly, how often do people come out with a FIYAH album and then follow it up with something that is equally or more hot? Almost NEVER. And this album was no exception.

The entire album borders on trite. (Wait, change "borders on" to "is.") The first 3 songs were about sex. WE GET IT. YOU LIKE GETTING LAID. Find a new topic. Love In This Club is just stupid to begin with. I mean when was the last time you went to the club and had enough time, energy or opportunity to have intercourse? Please cut the B.S. This Ain't Sex makes no sense to me. They whole time I'm listening to the song I was thinking, "I'm no expert, but what you're singing about sounds like sex to me." And Trading Places is downright offensive. Maybe it's because I'm not an expert in the sex department, but being told to shut up during sex does not sound like the business to me. Nor does being told by my partner that he's not stopping regardless of my request. But hey, maybe that's what the girls like these days.

The Prayer for You interlude is not bad. You can tell that he really wants to be a good man and father to his child. I can respect and appreciate that. And he follows that up with Something Special which was the first (and only) song on the album that made me smile. There was some unnecessary designer name dropping, but overall it's a really cute guitar driven song triumphing the greatness of his girl and beauty of their relationship. Why couldn't there be more songs like that on the album?

But just when I thought the latter half of the album may pick up I was, of course, let down. For the most part the second half of the album is just like the first: a lot of boring, trivial songs about some form of sex, cheating, thinking about cheating and other such activities. Here I Stand and Will Work For Love are the latter half exceptions. Neither are particularly great (or moving as I think WWFL was going for) but they also aren't the same song and dance about getting laid and, sadly, that makes them the best of the worst.

Overall, this album gets the "Boo, Negro, Boo" from me. If I need an Usher fix anytime soon I will pop in Confessions.

The Roots feat. Chrisette Michele and Wale - Rising Up
Maybe it's because I'm still fairly new to the city and I haven't had time to really listen, but it seems that there is something seriously wrong with the RnB radio stations in Atlanta. There's no middle ground. There's either (very) Old School RnB, I'm talking the stuff from the 60s and 70s or it's all "Rah Rah N**** Rah Rah bend over b****!!!!!" music. Where is the grown-up RnB? Not the baby boomer RnB but the stuff that came out some time in the last decade? Where are the Algebras, the Chrisette Micheles, the Estelles getting played in a city that is like 80% black? I don't know. But I do know where I can hear Solider Boy 100 times a day.

Anyway, Rising Up made my very soul smile.

Yesterday I saw a B-girl crying
I walked up and asked, "What's wrong?"
She told that the radio's been playing the same song all day long

Ummm....yeah. That's about right. I can hear Love in this Club or ANYTHING by Soldier Boy enough times a day that I will want to take out the first DJ I see. But conscious music like The Roots and talented artists like Estelle get ZERO airtime. Explain that.

I wouldn't call myself a huge Roots fan. While I'm familiar with their songs I don't own any of their albums, just smatterings of tracks here and there. But Rising Up is currently my favorite song and I'm going to run it until I hate it.

Shake It - Metro Station
This song is fun and non-offensive. You really can't beat that. I know people think I'm nuts when I'm driving down the street singing it at the top of my lungs. Frankly, I couldn't care less. It's one of those songs that makes you happy. And who doesn't need a little happy in their life?

Sorry, but Sony/BMG are some busters. I couldn't find a embedded code for the video anywhere. So follow the link to watch.

John Mayer - Where The Light Is
How about I didn't know anything about this until a couple of weeks ago when a friend mentioned it in passing. I don't know how I missed this. Word is that it's 22 tracks over 3 different sets. It looks amazing. Can't wait to get it July 1. Shout out to Lightchild for the info.

Chris Brown feat. Keri Hilson - Superhuman
I'll be the first person to admit this song sounds like another version of No Air. But I think that's what I love about it. I ran No Air into the ground. I mean, car karaoke at it's finest, singing all of the parts, all of the inflections. It was, and still is, my jam. But this Superhuman is taking me through it. I sincerely hope they do a video for this. Although if they play up the cheesy superhero theme I'm going to be pissed.

The song also got me excited about Keri Hilson's solo stuff. She's been writing amazing tracks for other people for years now, so I can't wait to see what she comes with for her own album.

And since summer is swiftly approaching I must depart for the sweaty, depressing place known as the gym.


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