New Music Tuesday: 11-22-2011

 
 

It’s crazy raining outside right now and I’m doing my best to sit at
this Starbucks calmly and not kick the crap out of someone who has left
their little dog outside tied to a tree in the cold rain. Leave your
dog at home if you really need the coffee and breakfast sandwich and
then come back and take it for a walk. Seriously, it’s times like this
when other people are lucky I don’t steal their dogs just to teach them
a lesson or berate them in public.

And now for today’s new music! We’ve got a lot of great releases, three
of which are from artists whom I would consider the queens of their
respective
genres.

href="http://www.facebook.com/maryjblige" target="_blank"> style="font-weight: bold;">Mary
J. Blige — My Life II…The Journey Continues Act 1
(Interscope)

The top spot this week goes to Mary J.
for a few reasons. Firstly, she is just insanely talented and has been
in the business of sharing her soul through her music for longer than
some of today’s other artists have been alive. Secondly, this album is
hot and has so many fresh hooks she could start her own fishing
business. Thirdly, and least importantly but really tickled me, even my
stepmom knows who Mary J. Blige is and this is a woman who pretty much
refuses to listen to anything but Josh
Groban
.

She gets the album started with a recording of a phone conversation
between her and Diddy (or
whatever the hell he’s going by these days), and basically tells the
listener that this is not a replacement, but rather a companion album,
for her first My Life
installment. The conversation goes into the first song, “Feel Inside,”
highlighting her vocals while Nas
breaks things down in his rap. This sets the pace for the rest of the
album and Mary flexes her own rap muscles while continuing to prove why
she’s one of the industry’s best R&B vocalists. Oh, and she pretty
much killed me with happiness by covering style="font-weight: bold;">Chaka Khan’s “Aint Nobody.” I’m
obsessed with that song but, above that, I am even more obsessed with
the movie Breakin’, which was
the first time I heard that song.

value="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F28558302"> src="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F28558302"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="81" width="100%">
href="http://soundcloud.com/igamusic/mary-j-blige-feel-inside-feat">Mary
J. Blige – “Feel Inside” feat. Nas by href="http://soundcloud.com/igamusic">Interscope Records

href="http://www.facebook.com/katebush" target="_blank"> style="font-weight: bold;">Kate Bush — 50 Words for
Snow
(Anti, Inc.)

I’m probably about to get flogged by a number of friends and strangers
for this, but I’ve never really “felt” Kate
Bush’s
music. It’s not to say that I can’t understand some of
the appeal, particularly when it comes to instrumental arrangements and
lyricism, but it’s just not what penetrates my soul. I’ll admit, not
liking it makes me feel as though I’m not as smart as other people —
but music is such a personal experience, and like so many guests on style="font-style: italic;">Maury exclaim, Kate Bush “doesn’t
knoooow me!” What I can tell you about her music that is universally
true, is that it sounds darker than some of the grayest clouds I’ve
seen. If her music were a character in a movie, it would most likely
look like a character from href="http://blog.reelloop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/rl_DarkCrystal1-300x213.jpg"
target="_blank">The Dark Crystal.
To see if that’s your jam or not, head on over to href="http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/2"
target="_blank">Spinner to stream the album in its entirety.

href="http://www.facebook.com/rihanna" target="_blank"> style="font-weight: bold;">Rihanna — Talk That Talk (Island
Def Jam)

I’ve been trying to write this mini-review for about a half hour
because I haven’t been able to figure out whether I should talk about
her music first or the fact that I have the most gigantic crush on her
and think she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. I
suppose I just got both out of the way right there but in a way, her
entire package has to be spoken about together because combined,
they’re like a one two punch to my senses of hotness.

Her music is what I would consider super-dance pop R&B, but there’s
something special in not only her presentation but also her willingness
to take risks. She is one of the first artists in this new crop of pop
starlets, to have joined forces with a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR0pj9TUxjg" target="_blank">pop-punk
band during her performance and change up her entire sound in a way
that showed how versatile she really is. My goodness, I just love her
and could probably wax poetic on how she kills me with her dance moves
for another hour, but won’t.

value="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F23907786"> src="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F23907786"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="81" width="100%">
href="http://soundcloud.com/rihanna/we-found-love">We Found
Love by Rihanna

href="http://www.facebook.com/fondaband?sk=app_178091127385"
target="_blank">Fonda
Better Days (Minty Fresh)

I didn’t know much about the band Fonda
but when I went to their target="_blank">Facebook page I saw that we both like style="font-style: italic;">Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I knew
I had to write about them. It’s been eight years since their last
album, which would probably explain my ignorance but I’m still a little
surprised to not have found them sooner since they were on Parasol, which was one of my
favorite labels back in the day. I don’t know if their sound has
morphed over the last eight years apart, but I like what I’m hearing
currently. It’s indie rock lead by the contrasting sounds of singers style="font-weight: bold;">Emily Cook & style="font-weight: bold;">David Klotz‘s light voices combined
with the heavy instrumentals playing behind them. Welcome back
everybody!

value="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F10028213"> src="https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F10028213"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="81" width="100%">

Better Days
by fondaband

Honorable Mentions: Yelawolf,
Doomtree, Michael
Jackson
‘s Immortal, Vanessa Carlton‘s Christmas EP,
The Loom, Daughtry, Chris Cornell, Gregory Isaacs, Javier Colon (he was
the one
who won The Voice and he’s also a close friend of a few of my
friends, so definitely check him out), The Muppets soundtrack, The
Black Keys
, Action Bronson & Statik, Wayman Tisdale, Il Volo
(Christmas album), Jenni Rivera (live album), Hollywood Undead, and Dropkick
Murpheys
.

As an added bonus for today, I thought I’d share a video from a group
called href="http://www.facebook.com/thepinupgirls" target="_blank">The Pin
Up Girls
. When I first got a message from them to check out the
video for “Girl Candy” I was like, “They know this is a gay site
right?” Turns out the girl candy here is for other girls and the video
has something for everyone in it. In fact, I am not usually attracted
to the more butch variety of women, but the two in this video are
adorable! And the others, well, hello!

That’s all for this week and I hope that those of you celebrating
Thanksgiving have an incredible holiday to reflect on things you are
truly grateful for and you have the chance to tell the people you love
that you are thankful for them. That’s how I like to celebrate since
the history behind the holiday is pretty screwed up. So, I’ll start by
telling you all that I’m thankful for all of you for stopping by my
column. As always, feel free to follow me on href="http://twitter.com/chubbyjones" target="_blank">Twitter
& Facebook
and remember to come back for your href="http://www.afterellen.com/tags/your_weekly_women_to_listen_to"
target="_blank">Weekly Women to Listen to tomorrow.

 
 

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