R&B

Fresh Blood

Artist: 
Matthew E. White
Label: 
Domino Records

This is Matthew E. White's second full album. This album has a lot of gospel and R&B influence. This creates a great soulful indie rock record. This album has some great R&B sounding love songs. I love White's baritone voice over some pretty complex orchestral arrangements. There's some nice soulful horns and guitars in this album. Plus there is some great lyricism in this record. Definitely recommend giving this a listen. 

Sounds Like: 
Father John Misty
Sounds Like: 
Flight of the Conchords (but he's being serious)
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
03/20/2015

I Never Know What She's Doing

Artist: 
James Fauntleroy
Label: 
Roc Nation

A strange song that is autotuned at certain points. Still a good song overall, but probably not everyone's cup of tea. Fauntleroy is clearly talented, but this may not be the single that will get him to the top. Clever title though, and if you were wondering: yes, that is a reference to wedding crashers. Still, the song is catchy, and was made for Valentine's Day. The song definitely grows on you, because I wasn't all that impressed at first, but I've really grown to appreciate the song the more that I've listened to it.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Name: 
Jesse Macbeth
Date Reviewed: 
02/25/2015

Kiss The Sun

Artist: 
Con Brio
Label: 
Con Brio

I wouldn't say this is Alt at all, because of the classic R&B, groovy soul vibe the album has going. Eight guys contribute to the sounds on Con Brio's album, and the saxophone and trumpet players really know how to deliver with experimental horn sounds. No part of the ensemble outshines another, and all the instrumental elements melt together to create a smooth, soulful, bluesy, funky sound. Con brio literally means, "with spirit," when it is used as a musical direction, and there is a ton of spirit on the six featured tracks.

Sounds Like: 
Sly and the Family Stone
Sounds Like: 
Bruno Mars
Sounds Like: 
Aloe Blacc
Name: 
Brianna Bartos
Date Reviewed: 
02/14/2015

36 Seasons

Artist: 
Ghostface Killah
Label: 
Tommy Boy Records

Tony Starks from Wu-Tang is back in this new Ghostface Killah album, which is a huge collab project. 36 Seasons features Pharoahe Monch, Cool G Rap, Tre Williams, AZ, and Kandace Springs, who bring some nice vocal R&B aspects to Ghostface Killah's more hardcore rap style. 36 Seasons is accompanied by Tony Starks "hip-hop superhero" character. There's a comic book that comes with it, and the album is almost like a story that works with the comic.

Sounds Like: 
Wu-Tang
Sounds Like: 
Outkast
Name: 
Ali Shareef
Date Reviewed: 
02/04/2015

Earned It (single)

Artist: 
The Weeknd
Label: 
Universal Studios

The Weeknd is pretty consistantly good/amazing so I may be biased, but I did enjoy this single. Catchy opening with his emotionally passoniate lyrics. It's been used in the promotion/trailers for that upcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie so if you're looking to get in the mood in that kind of way this is pretty sensual. Of course he's had better songs out before, but this has been hyped and has almost as many listens as his last single Often so I guess other people are digging it too. Cool.

Sounds Like: 
The Weeknd
Sounds Like: 
alt Drake
Name: 
Lili Steffen
Date Reviewed: 
02/02/2015

Only One ft. Paul McCartney [Single]

Artist: 
Kanye West
Label: 
Def Jam

This song was released on New Year's Eve and is the first of many to come from Kanye, Paul, and other big artists in preparation for Kanye's new album. The lyrics are in the perspective of his late mother, Donda, who supposedly gave advice from the afterlife when he wrote the song. The single is completely in autotune with McCartney playing keyboard throughout. It's a lot softer and more personal than anything else Kanye's put out but is still worth the listen if for no other reason than to hear two of the biggest names in music cross genres. 

Sounds Like: 
808s & Heartbreak
Sounds Like: 
Ty dolla $ign (provided unofficial vocals)
Name: 
Henry Jensen
Date Reviewed: 
01/25/2015

Sobriety

Artist: 
SZA
Label: 
Top Dawg

SZA is getting introspective on this track.  She discusses the issues in her life, which cause her to abuse substances.  She is not bragging about how much she smokes weed, but rather admitting it.  It is a slight depressing track, but very good nonetheless.  It sounds similar to her first album if you are familiar with that.  If you have not heard her before you should give this song a try, as it is a nice introduction to her style.  The song is slow paced, with a Frank Ocean vibe.  Definitely recommend.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Name: 
Nick Cotter
Date Reviewed: 
12/10/2014

The London Sessions

Artist: 
Mary J Blige
Label: 
Capitol Records

This CD is plenty soulfull. I would call Mary J Blige a cross between Sam Smith and Alicia Keys. She has been around for a while and this has allowed to really work on her sound. She is keeping good love R & B songs alive. It’s as if the 90’s and 00’s R & B survived by evolving and adapting, without losing “it”. Moderate tempo on most of her tracks. She also features great artists.

Sounds Like: 
Same Smith
Sounds Like: 
Ne-Yo
Name: 
Vincent Dominguez Jr.
Date Reviewed: 
12/04/2014

Singles

Artist: 
Jaden Smith
Label: 
N/A

Jaden Smith is best known as the son of actor Will Smith and brother of the slightly more successful musician Willow Smith. As an actor, musician, and occasional writer, Jaden has attracted a pretty significant following from fans of his films, bizarre Twitter account, and somewhat limited musical output. This trio of tracks certainly isn't breaking any new ground in the worlds of hip hop or R&B, but they're all worth a listen nonetheless. 

Sounds Like: 
Pink Floyd
Sounds Like: 
Willow Smith
Name: 
Jake Calegari
Date Reviewed: 
10/16/2014

Often

Artist: 
The Weeknd
Label: 
Republic

This new single from The Weeknd is basically gorgeous.  He sticks to his style and obviously show cases his delicious voice as usual.  He keeps it very mellow and soulful but there is also electronic feels to it.  This song is perfect for chilling with some coffee or getting on that homework grind.  It is very similar to "Wicked Games" but the beat is much better.  And the best part is it's clean so play it upppp.

Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Sounds Like: 
Drake
Name: 
Krissy Baca
Date Reviewed: 
09/26/2014
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