R&B

Me U & Hennessy-Single

Artist: 
Dej Loaf
Label: 
Columbia Records

Okay, so this song is sensual. And I mean sensual. Dej Loaf brings some very lucid lyrics in her token soft, honeyed tone and Lil Wayne comes in with some similarly frank lyrics in a lazy drawl reminiscent of what he sounded like on his track How to Love. The smooth R&B background elicits a sultry tone and the whole song is basically the track anyone is looking for if they want a straight-up sexy narration of some intimacy. The track is clean, so it can definitely be played on air, but the intense, sultry tone of the suggestive lyrics is very prominent. 

Sounds Like: 
Tinashe, only more intense and with a stickier, deeper voice and, well, only Lil Wayne sounds like Lil Wayne.
Name: 
Brianna Bartos
Date Reviewed: 
05/01/2015

Sound & Color

Artist: 
Alabama Shakes
Label: 
ATO Records

If you are a fan of the wonderful Alabama Shakes, this album does not disappoint. The soulful and funk voice of Brittany Howard reaches into you and eases you into a melody of passion and a truth that cannot even be explained other than to listen and feel it. The closes way to explain it is a warm blanket wrapped around you with the ability to tell you the secrets of the universe.

Sounds Like: 
Florence & the Machines
Sounds Like: 
Black Keys but more soul
Name: 
Allison Field
Date Reviewed: 
04/28/2015

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