Sunday, December 21, 2014

Amazing Cover: "Blues In The Night" (Ledisi)

A few years ago Ledisi was one of the invited singers for PBS's special in honor of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. As always, Ledisi knocked it our of the park and offered up a powerful and touching tribute to a vocal icon.

I swear, give Ledisi the phonebook and you'll be entertained. There is just something so refreshing and aw-inspiring about her vocal prowess. Either way you feel, watch her sublime rendition and cover of "Blues In The Night" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "I Want You" (Avila Brothers)

This is clearly one of my favorite underrated gems and always leaves me wondering what the Avila Brothers are up to as this was one of the best joints of the 2000s in my opinion. Back in 2005 the Avila Brothers released The Mood: Soundsational and one of the standout joints from the set was their reinterpretation of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You."

Using the perfect sample from Marvin's classic "I Want You," the Avila Brothers craft their own "I Want You" which is one of the most underrated songs to drop in the 2000s. Take a second listen to the Avila Brothers' "I Want You" below and Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Song of the Day: "They Don't Care About Us" (Michael Jackson)

"They Don't Care About Us" - Michael Jackson
  • Writer: Michael Jackson
  • Producer: Michael Jackson
  • Record Label: Epic Records
  • Released in 1996 from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
  • Peaked at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart

New Video: "Cold Case" (Elle Varner)

Yesterday, Elle Varner released the official video to fan favorite "Cold Case" which she released back in March. An anti-love song ballad, "Cold Case" finds Elle doing what she does best, crooning it out with an equally pleasing visual.

While Elle doesn't appear in the official video for "Cold Case," the crumbling of this couple's relationship in the video fits perfectly with the vibe and lyrics of the record. Lifted from her forthcoming sophomore album 4 Letter Words, 2015 seems to be the year we finally get to hear her highly anticipated project.

Watch the official video to "Cold Case" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Mary J. Blige)

During the MOBO Awards in the UK several years ago, Mary J. Blige performed a stirring rendition of Elton John's classic ""Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."

While Blige has recorded her own rendition for the "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" soundtrack, I still prefer her live interpretations of this Elton classic as she really leaves it all out there on the stage. Watch her sublime interpretation of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Got 'til It's Gone" (Janet Jackson ft. Q-Tip)

As we get ready to close out the year, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Janet Jackson classic joint "Got 'til It's Gone," which was lifted from her sixth album, 1997's The Velvet Rope.

Featuring rapper Q-Tip and folk singer Joni Mitchell, who contributes a sample of her song "Big Yellow Taxi," "Got 'til It's Gone" was written by Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and René Elizondo, Jr., with Q-Tip and Mitchell having written their own verses, and produced by Jackson, Jam & Lewis.

Peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Got 'til It's Gone" is a classic 90s jam with a message that rings true everyday and you can take a second listen to it below!

Live Clip: "Alright" (Ledisi)

Last month, Ledisi stopped by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and during her time at the famed music school, Ledisi performed one of her classic hits "Alright," which is lifted from her GRAMMY-nominated debut album Lost & Found.

With that said, Ledisi gave a masterclass in scatting and even had one of the students in attendance trying to replicate one of her scats during the performance. Watch the aw inspiring performance of Ledisi's "Alright" below and Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Live Audio: "Amazing Grace" (Whitney Houston)

Whitney Houston's rendition of "Amazing Grace" during The Bodyguard Tour is one of the numerous sublime performances that The Voice performed during the apex of her career. With that said, below you will find a recording of Ms. Whitney Houston performing a spirited rendition of the gospel hymn from her last performance of The Bodyguard Tour in the US from NYC's famed Radio City Music Hall back in 1994.

Houston thanks the fans for coming and talks about taking a break from the business for a while before launching into a vocally riveting performance at 2:16, Whitney proves as she always did why she was considered The Voice. Listen below to her sublime rendition of "Amazing Grace" and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Love Hangover" (Diana Ross)

"Love Hangover" - Diana Ross
  • Writers: Marilyn McLeod & Pamela Sawyer
  • Producer: Hal Davis 
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1976 from Diana Ross
  • Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles chart

Remix: "Hear My Call (David Harness Harlum Mix)" (Jill Scott)

Jill Scott's "Hear My Call" is a touching ballad that is hands down the most poignant song of 2011 for me. Having originally been blessed to see Ms. Scott perform the powerful ballad with simply a piano in 2010 when she accompanied Maxwell on a co-headlining tour, this song is what music for me is all about; touching lives through your hardship and music.

With that said, David Harness's Harlum Mix of "Hear My Call" give the song a more upbeat feel, but the message is still resoundingly there. Take a listen after the jump to this sublime remix and if you like what you hear, cop the free download while supplies last!

Second Listen: "Fake" (Alexander O'Neal)

Back in 1987, Alexander O'Neal released his biggest hits to date which was the infectious thumping joint "Fake." Peaking at number one on the R&B charts"Fake," which was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis helped spur sales of O'Neal's sophomore album Hearsay and would make him an international star.

"Fake"  still goes for me in my book and its Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis beat is still as fresh as it was back in 1987. With that said, take a second listen to the old-school jam "Fake" from Alexander O'Neal below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (Demi Lovato)

Taking on Mariah Carey's evergreen holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is a feat in itself and to offer up a phenomenal interpretation while staying true to the original is even harder.

With that said, Demi Lovato accomplished this in my book with her live performance of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" during 2012's TNT' broadcast of Christmas in Washington special. Therefore, watch the X-Factor USA judge and vocal phenom Demi Lovato take on "All I Want For Christmas Is You" below and Enjoy!