Soul

Artist: 
Khalid
Label: 
RCA Records

There are not enough words to describe how incredible Khalid’s debut album, American Teen is.

Sounds Like: 
DVSN
Sounds Like: 
Gallant
Name: 
Javi Perez
Date Reviewed: 
04/06/2017
Artist: 
Lupe Fiasco
Label: 
1st and 15th Entertainment

Lupe Fiasco’s new album introduces itself with a shocking display of force: “Dopamine Lit (Intro)” is two minutes and 49 seconds of foghorn bass, fiery bars, and a half-joking, half-drunken chorus that includes a Billboard flip-off, a Lord of the Rings reference, and some self-consciously nonsensical trap grunts, for good measure. The song especially feels like a pleasant surprise attack when held against the eternally put-upon rapper’s consistently inconsistent delivery over the last few years.

Sounds Like: 
Ab-Soul
Sounds Like: 
Wale
Sounds Like: 
Kid Cudi
Name: 
Jacob Sky Bruse
Date Reviewed: 
03/22/2017
Artist: 
Jacquees, Def Loaf
Label: 
Jacquees X Dej Loaf

          Dej Loaf and Jacquees have arrived as a duo with their mixtape "Fuck A Friend Zone." This 13 track mixtape is 40 minutes long, each song ranging from 2-3:30 minutes. Dej and Jacquees cover their bases in the hip-hop and r&b genre. The songs are very diverse and explore all areas of hip-hop and r&b but stick strictly to the two genres. The project begins with title track Fuck A Friend Zone, Jacquees and Dej Loaf sing about their feelings for each other referencing the growth in their careers.

Sounds Like: 
Jeremih
Sounds Like: 
TWENTY88
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
03/10/2017
Artist: 
BJ the Chicago Kid
Label: 
Motown

Bryan Sledge, professionally known as BJ the Chicago Kid, is honestly a very underrated artist. Although most people have probaby heard him on other artists' songs (Studio by ScHoolboy Q and F.U.B.U. by Solange are examples that come to mind), his own music deserves more recognition. A good mixture of soul and modern hip-hop beats, BJ the Chicago Kid has released a new single called "Roses", a little over a year after the release of his second album In My Mind.

Sounds Like: 
Miguel
Sounds Like: 
The-Dream
Sounds Like: 
Kehlani
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
03/08/2017
Artist: 
Sampha
Label: 
Young Turks

You have may have heard him on his collaborations with Drake's Nothing Was the Same, or on the last track "Saint Pablo" off of Kanye West's excellent The Life of Pablo, or even more recently on "Don't Touch My Hair" by Solange. Sampha Sisay's (simply known as Sampha) has been widely recognized by an array up popular artists, and has been floating around the R&B spectrum of music since 2010, releasing two excellent EP's and a few promotional singles within that period of time.

Sounds Like: 
FKA twigs
Sounds Like: 
James Blake
Sounds Like: 
Solange
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
02/22/2017
Artist: 
Keaton Conrad
Label: 
Keaton Conrad

Keaton Conrad is a 17-year-old musician from Kansas who according to his promotional material is known for "infusing indie rock with...house, jazz, and hip-hop". He also cites influence from "Neon Indian, Coldplay, Bon Iver, and Chet Faker". I completely wrote him off when I read that synopsis, it was obviously going to be terrible, but then I listened to the album last night. I can't say it's a good record, but there are redeeming qualities.

Sounds Like: 
Coldplay
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
02/15/2017
Artist: 
Gone Gone Beyond
Label: 
Human Experience Creations

This album is just really really beautiful and just simply instrumental and relaxing. The vocals that appear occasionally are just splendid and I love how soulful they are. This feels like less rpm and more singer/songwriter coffee shop music – but better. It’s really hard to explain because this album feels like an experience. With touches of rpm, alt, and world, this album feels relaxing and plays like a beautiful story book. The simple touches of world drums add to the beat and make it more melodic.

Sounds Like: 
folksy rpm album with earthy vocals
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
Terra Lightfoot
Label: 
Sonic Union Records

To preface this, no, she is not related to Gordon Lightfoot--I already looked it up. Lately, roots rock has become filled with bluegrassy Nickelbanjo artists singing about the most bland things possible, and the genre has become fairly boring. Terra Lightfoot does not fit into this mold--she puts the rock back into roots rock. Springsteenesque guitars deliver crunchy riffs behind Lightfoot's voice, which is the true star of the album. Simply put, she sounds like a rockstar--whiskey-soaked and soulful.

Sounds Like: 
Grace Potter
Sounds Like: 
Alabama Shakes
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
11/30/2016
Artist: 
Afrosonics
Label: 
self-released

This album is really cool and would be perfect for someone with a jazz or soul/funk show. I really enjoyed it because of the groovy beats and the easy blending of English and other languages. While this album did sound like a straight up disco album in some parts it didn't feel dated in anyway. This album manages to do what a lot of albums seek to do - blend world and jazz fluidly. With a multitude of singers, every song is different but you never feel confused or like the album has no direction.

Sounds Like: 
old school soul
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
11/22/2016
Artist: 
Childish Gambino
Label: 
Glassnote Entertainment Group

        Childish Gambino's new release, "Me and Your Mama" is the first song on his upcoming album "Awaken, My Love!" expected to be released December 2, 2016.  Donald Glover also released FX series "Atlanta" earlier this year.  The season finale aired November first, but FX recently announced that the show got renewed for a second season! Glover must be great at time management, when he wasn't creating, writing, and starring in his new show he was making an 11 track album!

Sounds Like: 
Jimi Hendrix
Sounds Like: 
Outkast
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
11/20/2016
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