Friday, December 31, 2010

Live Clip: "Far Away" (Marsha Ambrosius)

As we look to the new year, check out Marsha Ambrosius recently performing her current single "Far Away" from her recent concert in Dingwalls, London.  While her "Late Nights & Early Mornings" debut solo album was expected to drop in 2010, music fans can look forward to it dropping in the first hald of 2011. In the meanwhile, Enjoy!

Year End Favorite Albums:

Here are my top 5 favorite albums for 2010. While many releases came out with regards to Soul music, the following 5 were my favorites.

1.  "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" - Kanye West

While hip-hop has become a component within soul music with the emergence of neo-soul which often combines a hip-hop backbeats, there has never been a mainstream rap album that truly crossed the lines into soul music in my opinion. While many artists sample soul music songs, few rappers grasp the essence of soul music as Kanye West has on his latest album. Standout tracks include "Runway", "Blame Game", "Lost In The World", and "All Of The Lights".

2. "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)" - Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu shocked the world with the video for her first single "Window Seat", where she strips to her birthday suit.  New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) though is a standout which pits Badu back to her neo-soul roots. Personal favorites include "20 Feet Tall", "Turn Me Away (Get Munny)", "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long", "Love", and the amazing "Out My Mind, Just In Time".

3. "Back To Me" - Fantasia

In an industry seemingly full of pretenders and imitators, Fantasia stands alone as a unique singer who wears her heart and soul on her sleeve. On her third album, Fantasia shows growth as both and artist and a vocalist. While a strong album in it's own right and well deserving of the Best R&B Album Grammy in 2011, one can hope that Fantasia will continue her artistic and vocal grown into the creation of more classic material more inline with her unparalleled voice. Lead single "Bittersweet" is one of a number of standouts including the retro "Collard Greens & Cornbread",  "I'm Doin Me",  "The Worst Part Is Over", and "The Thrill Is Gone" featuring Cee-Lo Green.

4. "Soldier Of Love" - Sade

2010 brought the comeback of smooth soul legend Sade. With the release of Soldier Of Love, which was Sade's first release in 10 years the group proved that beyond a doubt they have staying power. While Sade doesn't stray from her original sound, their music is more then welcome in an era where lyrics, vocal ability, and composition have taken a backseat to image, auto-tunes,  and catchy hooks. Standouts include the title track "Soldier of Love,  my personal favorite "The Moon and the Sky",  and "Babyfather". Here's hoping that it won't take another 10 years for more new music from Sade.


5. "Love Letter" - R. Kelly

2010 was just not a comeback year for Sade but also for R. Kelly. His studio album "Lover Letter" reestablished R. Kelly at the top of his game and showed both fans and critics why they were enamored with him in the first place. His retro record, showcased Kelly's unmatched vocals and his amazing songwriting skills. Standouts include single "When A Woman Loves",  "Love Letter", "Lost In Your Love", and "Love Is" featuring K. Michelle.

5.  "The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III)"  - Janelle Monáe

Janelle's debut studio album offered her more buzz, exposure, and acclaim that her debut EP started back in 2007. Standout tracks include the first single "Tightrope", "Cold War", and my personal favorite "BabopbyeYa". 

Honorable Mention 

"Love Me Back" - Jazmine Sullivan
"Intimacy: Album III" Kem
"The Lady Killer" - Cee-Lo Green
"Let Freedom Reign" - Chrisette Michele 
"Lost In Time" - Eric Benet
"Wake Up!" - John Legend and The Roots

Amazing Cover: "Weak" (Karina Pasian)

Check out Karina's amazing cover of the SWV classic "Weak". Karina performed this cover in Akron, Ohio for a Peace Makers event... Enjoy!

Interview: Jennifer Hudson

Check out this interview Jennifer Hudson recently gave to Chicago's WGNTV where she talks about the possibility of reprising her role as Effie on Broadway, talks about her upcoming movie Winnie, her amazing weight loss and her charitable work for the holidays. Also check out the tail end of the interview where Jamie Foxx joins in and talks about their work on Dreamgirls as well as his new CD... Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "GIve Me The Reason" (Luther Vandross)

Check out this 1987 Grammy performance of Luther's where he sings his hit "Give Me The Reason". Always a perfectionist with his background vocalists as well as his own vocal performance, Luther doesn't disappoint in this stellar performance... Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Superwoman" (Karyn White)

"Superwoman" - Karyn White
  • Writers and Producers: L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Daryl Simmons
  • Classification: Smooth Soul, Old-School Soul, Slow Jam, and Quiet Storm
  • Record Label: Warner Brothers
  • Released in 1989 from Karyn White
  • Peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles

Live Audio: "If I Were Your Woman" (Alicia Keys)

Check out Alicia Key's unplugged audio of her performing "If I Were Your Woman". Originally performed by Gladys Knight and The Pips, Alicia's version was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance... Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Love" (Musiq Soulchild)

Check out this live clip of Musiq Soulchild performing his smash hit "Love" in Paris. Check out Musiq's crazy range which he puts on display during this live performance... Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "If You Asked Me To" (Celine Dion)

Check out Celine Dion's cover of the Patti Labelle original "If You Asked Me To". Patti often jokes how Celine "stole her song" and sold a gazillion copies of it while hers sold two. While I prefer Patti's version, Celine offers a nice interpretation... Enjoy!

New Joint: "Come Home" (Nicole Wray)

Check out this new joint from Nicole Wray entitled "Come Home" which features the producer Boola at the top of the track. You might remember Nicole Wray form her single "If I Was Your Girlfriend". Either way Enjoy her new joint!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Live Video of the Day: "I'm Here" (Jennifer Hudson)

Check out this live performance of Jennifer Hudson performing "I'm Here" at the Kennedy Center Honors in honor of Oprah Winfrey who produced the musical on broadway. Enjoy Jennifer's gospel tinged cover!

Song of the Day: "Brown Sugar" (D'Angelo)

"Brown Sugar" - D'Angelo

  • Writers and Producers: D'Angelo and Ali Shaheed Muhammad
  • Classification:  Neo-Soul, Slow Jam, and Smooth Soul
  • Record Label: EMI
  • Released in 1995 from Brown Sugar
  • Peaked at #5 on U.S. Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Behind the Scenes: Jennifer Hudson on Weight Watchers Points Plus

Check out this behind the scenes interview that Jennifer Hudson gives on behalf of Weight Watchers Point Plus. As well as some behind the scenes footage of her new music video for "Feeling Good"... Enjoy!

Interview: Keyshia Cole

Check out this recent interview that Keyshia Cole gave to Chelsea Handler... Enjoy!

New Joint: "Cocaine" (Eminem featuring Jazmine Sullivan)

Check out this Jazmine Sullivan assisted track from Eminem entitled "Cocaine". While it's not clear if this leftover track from Eminem's Recovery will be included on a future release, enjoy the soulful hip-hop track that Eminem and Jazmine collaborate on!

Interview: Stevie Wonder

Check out this recent interview that Stevie Wonder recently gave to Tavis Smiley where he talks about advocating for people with disabilities and giving back - including his 15th Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert - and shares a few backstories of the lyrics and titles of some of his hit songs. In the second part of the interview, Stevie reflects on getting his start at Motown, putting his life into his lyrical content and making a positive difference in the world... Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Ain't Nobody" (Chaka Khan)

Check out this live audio of Chaka Khan performing the classic "Ain't Nobody"... Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Ex-Factor" (Lauryn Hill)

Check out this live clip of Lauryn performing her classic "Ex-Factor" from her recent performance in NYC on the 28th. Check out Ms. Hill still handling the microphone with her vocal skills. Hopefully this performances and the others on this tour are a sign of what's to come... Enjoy!

New Joint: "Better Man" (Avery Storm)

Check out this new joint from Avery Storm entitled "Better Man". Be on the look out for more new music from Avery in 2011... Enjoy!

New Joint: "Lay It Down (Part II – A Tribute to the Legends)” (LLoyd featuring Patti Labelle

Check out this new joint from Lloyd featuring Patti Labelle. Patti reinterprets her classic hit "Love, Need, and Want" with Lloyd... Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Song of the Day: "Deja Vu" (Teena Marie)

"Deja Vu" - Teena Marie

  • Composer: Rick James
  • Classification: Blue-Eyed Soul, Motown, Quiet Storm, Slow Jam, and Smooth Soul
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Featured on 1979's Wild and Peaceful

New Joint: "Feeling Good" (Jennifer Hudson)

Check out Jennifer Hudson's  new joint and amazing cover of the Nina Simone classic "Feeling Good". It was recently released in conjunction with Weight Watcher's new PointsPlus system. Anyway, enjoy Jennifer's amazing cover and look out for her first live performance of it coming on New Years Eve on ABC. Also expect her first music video since her dramatic weight loss to hit the internet sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" (Aretha Franklin)

Check out the Queen performing her first Top 10 US Hot 100 Hit "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)". Watch Aretha channel pure soul in this performance from 1968... Enjoy!

Live Clip: "I'm Here" (Fantasia)

Check out Fantasia performing "I'm Here" from the broadway musical "The Color of Purple". Fantasia played Celie in the broadway musical before it moved off broadway and started touring the country. Fantasia is slated to reprise her role in the movie musical version. Anyway, enjoy her performance of "I'm Here" with an intro from the "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)"... Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" (Luther Vandross)

Check out Luther's amazing cover of the McFadden & Whitehead classic "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". Luther's cover version comes from his 1994 covers album entitled "Songs"... Enjoy!

New Joint: "Good Life" (Eric Benet featuring Ledisi)

Check out this new joint "Good Life" from Eric Benet featuring Ledisi. Off of his newly released "Lost In Time" Eric and Ledisi croon over a funky beat. Hopefully this might be released as a single off of the album... Enjoy!

Interview: Miguel

Check out this interview that Miguel recently gave to Hot 93.7... Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Bittersweet" (Fantasia)

Check out this live audio of Fantasia performing her hit single "Bittersweet". To me Fantasia is always at her best live. There is a connection, energy, and honesty that Fantasia emotes when she performs live. She is our generation's Patti Labelle if you catch my drift. Always great on CD, but even better live. Fantasia is a legend in the making, let's enjoy watching her ride!

Amazing Cover: "Yes Indeed" (Marsha Ambrosius)

Check out Marsha Ambrosius playing her recorded version of the Lady T classic "Yes Indeed" recently as a tribute to the late Teena Marie. "Yes Indeed" is a classic cut from Teena's last Motown album "It Must Be Magic"... Enjoy!

Live Clip: "I'm A Star" (Chrisette Michele)

Check out this live clip of Chrisette Michele performing her first single "I'm A Star" from her new album "Let Freedom Reign". This performance features Chrisette accompanied by a simple piano arrangement and background vocals... Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Song of the Day: "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" (Al Green)

"How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" - Al Green
  • Writers: Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb
  • Producers: Willie Mitchell
  • Classification: Gospel Soul, Southern Soul, Slow Jam, and Smooth Soul
  • Record Label: Hi Records
  • "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart"was featured on 1972's from Let's Stay Together.