Tyrese- Black Rose

Black_Rose_(Tyrese_album)

Release Date: July 10, 2015

Rating: 6.5/10

Tyrese Darnell Gibson as we all have to come to know him as Tyrese, released his sixth solo album entitled Black Rose to everyone’s surprise. I found out he released this album watching a short video clip on Worldstarhip of him promoting his album on a subway train in New York City. After a few short clips of him on the train I couldn’t help but to laugh. My second thought was that him promoting the album in the public eye was a great marketing strategy. My third thought then wanted to know how well this might transition into album sales. Lets face it Tyrese hasn’t put out music in a while. His last album was a collaborative album with Tank and Ginuwine in 2012 which I haven’t heard yet. His album before that called Open Invitation released in 2013 and Alter Ego which he released in 2011 which was a #FAIL. Lets face it, most of all know Tyrese from Fast And furious as he broke away from singing and modeling from his earlier days in his career. So lets go into the album Black Rose. Black Rose is a generic R&B album. There is simply nothing exiting about the album. All of the songs are very slow and don’t seem to catch the ear of the listener, as least my ears. The usual love making and relationship theme occur as they usually do on his genre of music, but this is 2015 and making a generic R&B album will get you nowhere. Now a days R&B music has to be fused with some sort of hip hop based element with a feature from a rap artist. Not to mention both elements have to mash well together. I am not saying it should be like this but music has changed and the traditional I love you, let me rock your world songs wont cut it. The song writing is there but not nearly enough to keep an audience drawn in. I remember songs from Tyrese like Lately, and Sweet Lady that showed the raw emotion. This brings me to my final point. Is it harder for men to make an R&B album then women? I thought of this after listening to the album thinking about all of the R& B albums released by female and male artist in the last few years. This was a great attempt by Tyrese to put forth a decent last album, but I think people are going to remember his marketing strategy more than the songs on the album. None the less stand out tracks on the album include “Without My Heart”, “Body Language”, and “Dumb Shit”.

Taylor Swift-1989

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

Release Date: October 27, 2014

Rating: 9/10

Taylor Taylor Taylor Swift. Whether she is a knock off country singer or if her music reminds you of a  heartbroken teenage girl it seems the world can not get enough of Miss Taylor. I can even admit I can not get enough of her too and to be quite honest I think Taylor hit a home run with this album. A home run? Yes. Because she needed to hit a home run with this album. I feel like her previous albums were centered around heartbreaks and failed relationships, and everything between. This album on the other hand focuses on her living in the now and growing up living her life just being Taylor Swift. When I listen to 1989 I hear the confidence in her music writing and just the pure love for making music. What I mean is 1989 is a fun exciting album from beginning to end. 1989 is embedded with catchy hooks followed up by heart pounding rhythmic bass driven electronica trance like instruments. The production on this album is superb and Swift’s music writing synced well with this new sound she is working with. I enjoyed every track on 1989 and what a coincidence that is the year I was born. Standout tracks on the album include Wildest Dreams, Blank Space, New Romantics, and All You Had To Do Was Stay.

A$AP Rocky- AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP

AtLongLastASAPCover

Release Date: May 26, 2015

Rating:6.5/10

Damn. Its been a while since I have done a music album review, but there’s no better way to re-up my reviews by starting with my man A$AP Rocky. I been following Rocky’s career since his first mixtape which happens to be my favorite body of work from him. Fast forward a few years later, a few hits under his belt, and the death of his long time friend/mentor Yams, At.LONG.LAST.A$AP is finally delivered to us. Upon listening to his second album, I began to have mixed reviews. When I listen to an album I tend to listen to the more ear catching tracks then I dive more in the tracks and try to decipher what kind of picture an artist is trying to paint. To be clear this album is nothing like the first. There are no evident stand out radio singles and I think Rocky never intended this body of work to be. This album seems to be somewhat of a psychedelic emotional rock@roll hip hop infused ride through Rocky’s mind. It is much darker than than his first album which is related to his long time friend passing. At times it did seem the album did get a bit slow for me, but is due to the deep dark riffs,heavy undertone,base driven instrumental use. Rocky was never bit of lyricist but he does get into some story telling which I applaud him that. Though the lyrics may not be there I will revert back to the production of the album which I loved because none of the songs seemed rushed and a listener none of the sounds are overly misused. How will this album resonate with his fans is a question to be answered. As I went back and listened to his first album I feel that work was more of the A$AP Rocky I fell in love with. None the less, features on the album include ScHoolboy Q, Future, and Lil Wayne. Standout tracks are Excuse Me, Canal St, and JD.

Eminem- The Marshalls Mathers LP 2

ImageRelease Date: November 5, 2013

Rating: 4.5/10

I can remember it like it was yesterday, when Eminem released The Marhshall Mathers LP in the year 2000. Being a fan of rap and hip music since I can remember,there are certain points in my life, where a music album literally defies gravity and transforms itself from a work with ordinary instrumentals with profound first person commentary into a work of a haunting yet, enlightened unforeseen masterpiece. Fast forward thirteen years later, a few flawed albums in between,and a close resemblance of the new album cover art work to the previous LP, it seemed like Mr. Marshall himself wanted to reignite his presence in the music industry. I first heard a few snippets of the album on iTunes and automatically couldn’t connect with any song on the album. While my distaste from the album snippets lingered, many people I talked to had nothing but positive reviews. As I finally listened to the album, I couldn’t help to ask myself were people listening to the same album I was listening to. I would like to point out first that Eminem’s rhyme scheme has changed drastically over the years. Being a huge fan, I am used to Eminem;s word play as constant, filled with hyperbole’s,metaphors and similes. Eminem’s rhyme pattern and overall flow throughout the album is jumpy and at times annoying. His flow pauses as he ends a bar as if he doesn’t know the listener doesn’t know he can make words rhyme. I am really baffled and almost at lost for words to describe how his flow has changed so much for the worst. Content on the album ranged from his depression, self enlightenment, music enlightenment,past experiences, rap ego, and his usual slurs. To add onto that, the instrumentals and guest appearances on the album doesn’t do the album any justice. I would have liked to see close to no guest appearances on the album, which happen to take away it being a continuation of the first Marshall Mathers LP. To add onto that all the songs seemed to be wrongly handpicked, and handled with poor execution on both ends from him and his team. It saddens me to have to give such a negative review to this album and Eminem’s performance, as this will never take away from his music career, but definitely taints it a bit. On a more positive note, Eminem has managed to bounce back from his previous work and he managed to deliver a album to the people. To narrow this review down, I have been a fan of him since his first album and he always will stand to be a pioneer in the music industry ,especially for Caucasian rappers. This is my least favorite album by Eminem and I personally think he should just promote Dre Beats and embrace his reign as a successful rapper in retirement. Songs on the album to listen to are Beautiful Pain, Love Game, Stronger Than I Was, and Rap God.

Beyonce-Beyonce

ImageRelease Date: December 13,2013

Rating: 9/10

From a public relations standpoint,releasing an album with no marketing or promotion prior to the release of a product can be detrimental to the sales and overall awareness from such a strategic move. Beyonce, the Queen of r&b,and quite  possibility other genres of music, has defied those rules by leaving fans and followers of her, dumbfounded when they clicked on the iTunes app and saw 14 newly released songs of hers. Instantly, many forms of social media were being blown up with tweets and messages about B and how she spontaneously dropped a new album with no notice. Some people were even upset that she made this move, but by the end of the album, I am sure those same fans were applauding her efforts. I can admit I recently became a huge fan of Beyonce, every since I listened to her last album, and was eager to hear new music from her. As I dived into the album I realized this was the album Beyonce has been waiting to make. The album definitely was darker in comparison to her previous material. Beyonce explores her feminist side, while transitioning into a sexual deviant at the same time. The album is surely intended for her more mature fans and should be viewed as that by her fans that have been on the odds end with the music. She touches on subjects regarding her family, growing up, insecurities, poised dominance in the industry, and mature life experiences.  Her vocal range on each song along with strong yet carefully picked loosely produced arrangements, give the a album a sense that Miss Carter, wanted a game changer. Every piece on the album has a blend of r&b, hip-hop, retro soul, and punk rock added with heart throbbing base and baselines. To add to the album there are short videos to accommodate each song  which shows her passion, drive, and love for what she does. Beyonce has wisely crafted different genres of music, which enables her to be at the fore front in the music business. To back all that up, the album has sold over a million records in just a week. Yes I said it, a week. Go B with your bad self. Key songs on the album to listen to are XO, Drunk In Love, Pretty Hurts and Haunted.

Pusha T- My Name Is My Name

Release Date: October 8, 2013Image

Rating: 6.5/10

The long awaited album from the Virginia native, has dropped, and as a fan of Pusha T, I feel like a fat kid at the candy store whenever I can get my hands on real hip-hop and lyricism. I can remember the first time I heard of King Push’s music when he was apart of the rap group duo, “The Clipse” which was formed with his brother. That very song that I heard Pusha on was “Grindin” a song that will forever have its place in hip-hop history. With its basic school cafeteria table drum pattern and Pusha and his brother Malice’s  raw delivery, along with Pharell’s production, it was clear ” The Clipse” were going to make an impact on the rap game. Fast forward years later, and a absence from his brother Malice, Push is signed to Kanye West label “Good Music”. With a series of mixtapes, to bring in this CD, “My Name Is My Name” is sure to bring that pulsating,street melodic, gut wrenching feel that Pusha is known for. I listened to My Name is My Name, and by the end of the album, I felt it was an exceptional effort by Pusha. Lets face it, Pusha will never make music for the radio and fans of his music should never expect that from him. As a Pusha T fan, I was just excited to see that he dropped an album, no matter what the content was, but of course music is art, and art is an imitation of life, and every life will be judged at the end. I felt that Push set out to do what he sought out to do on this album. He proved that he still is a force in the rap game, without succumbing to new industry standards . What I love about Pusha is his delivery on every song and when you hear his voice you know he has something to say, and with a production team like Kanye West, success is always around the corner. If Pusha gets to drop another album, I will in fact expect more growth on the album and maybe a different outlook on the world of drug-dealing,fast money, fast cars, and his stories of his experiences that can transcend into an undisputed 12 track music production. I found an interesting quote by Russ Bengtson of Complex Magazine, who summed up the album by saying “it’s a never-hit-skip album made by a 36-year-old rapper with more hunger than most 15 years his junior”. At first I found this statement be false, but as I listened to the album Pusha’s previous work, and my high hopes for him, I couldn’t agree more with Bengtson. None the less, you can pop this CD into your car and it will get you to your next few destinations. This album also proves Pusha T can make a album after his days of rapping with his brother. Tracks on the album to listen to are Numbers On The Board, Sweet Serenade, 40 Acres, No Regrets, and S.N.I.T.C.H.