(I wrote this last week but I'm just getting around to posting it.)
I'm not going to front. I (Tia) got on board with KOL on the last album. I had never heard of them before that. Once I got hip, I went back and listened to their older albums. And while I liked a lot of what I heard, Only by the Night still topped the list as my favorite.
But after hearing Radioactive I'm beginning to wonder if Come Around Sundown (out October 19) is about to knock Only by the Night off of its pedestal. I actually got chills when the kid's choir came in at the chorus. I absolutely love that the sound of this song is so different from the radio singles from Night yet is still retains that KOL essence. Caleb Followill is, as usual, singing his heart out. And without sacrificing integrity like so many artists feel they have to do to stay relevant, KOL has created a radio ready single that is sure to please old fans and make some new converts.
If you're like the rest of the western hemisphere you probably let this record pass you all the way by. (Insert heavy sigh here) It's understandable that you might have missed it. It was released and then re-released with little fanfare. And the Departure album was such a...well...departure from his first studio album Beautiful Soul that I'm sure many of his fans were too confused to even listen. And therein lies the tragedy. Departure is an amazing album. While the lyrical bravado is very reminiscent of JT with a sprinkle of Usher, the album as a whole is solid.
I am looking forward to new material from Jesse. While I was underwhelmed by Shake, I still have faith in him. Jesse McCartney is one of those artists that you can count on to put out a solid project. His vocals are consistent. You won't catch him doing excessive runs. He keeps his voice where it needs to be and it works for him. And his songwriting is nothing short of enviable. (See that incessant earworm Bleeding Love as a reference.) Those things combined make for a great artist. So Jesse, you look like "Yes" when it comes to this site. Now good ahead and put out that R&B album that I know you're DYING to do. We'll let you be great over here.
Exactly nine years ago, I was in Sunday School and my friend Reagan walked in and said, “The singer Aaliyah just died.” “Excuse me?” Much of the room quickly looked my way, knowing I was a fan. I asked if he was serious. I mean, there are celebrity death hoaxes all of the time, and I had just read that she had signed on to star in The Matrix sequels. Reagan said he heard it on the radio. She, along with several others in her entourage, died in a plane crash on the way home from a video shoot for “Rock The Boat”.
I remember this day distinctly because I always thought Aaliyah was such an underrated artist. She whispered and cooed when most other R&B starlets were trying (and failing) to wail or riff. Her voice was not necessarily weak. It was just softer than Beyonce’s and Monica’s. She knew exactly how to use it though and could have taught a lot of today’s R&B “singers” a lesson in knowing your gifts and using them to their fullest extents. She was fashion-forward, musically gifted, and seemed to be a genuinely sweet spirit.
I miss Aaliyah. No, I didn’t know her personally. I never met her…never got to even see her in concert. But she made music that affected me in some way. And for that, I am grateful. She is also a reminder to me to not take for granted the underrated artists that are grinding today. Brandy, Solange, Jazmine Sullivan, Sons of Sylvia, and countless others, I am looking at you all. Let’s enjoy the music while we still have it.
I stumbled onto Colin Munroe completely by accident. I was actually looking for a song called Cold Pillow that I'd heard on Sirius while driving around the A in my rental car. (Random Aside: 1. I'm probably going to have get Sirius. 2. I L-O-V-E the ATL. And I miss it. 3. I discovered that Cold Pillow is by Theophilus London and I can't decide if I like the song completely because at the end of it I feel like he may be calling some girl a b*tch and that is not the business.)
I am forever looking for music that moves me. A lot of what I've heard lately not only keeps me sedentary emotionally and physically but it also depresses me. It's almost as if the music industry as a collective got together and decided to impose a moratorium on creativity. Thus, far the injunction seems indefinite save for a few rebels who seem to give the finger to the industry by releasing music that makes you think and makes you feel good. Fight on, brothers and sisters...fight on.
You have to be something exceptional to draw me in with only the first few seconds of a song. Dear Colin, I find you to be exceptional. Sincerely, This Chick
99% of the time I have to warm up to an artist. I'm not easy. So I when I found myself with my hands raised 20 seconds into Colin's song Cannonball I was surprised.
After 3 listens of the song it became a mad dash to find all things Colin. But I pulled up quick and let out a Scooby Doo "Huh??" when I found his cover of Prince's I Would Die 4 U. You don't mess with Prince. (I'm looking at you Trey Songz.) I was all prepared to write him a scathing email for ruining one of my favorite songs of all time. This was, of course prior to me actually listening to the song. However, after listening to it, I decided that not only is Colin Munroe some sort of musical genius, but also that he is my new musical boyfriend until further notice.
He has a cd out called Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero that dropped sometime in December 2008. Thus far, I've been unable to suppress my anger about JUST finding out about this. How did this slip through the cracks? Solider Boy (I refuse to spell it like he does. His ignorance is why we can't rise.) is allowed to make record after craptacular record yet artists with real talent, I mean GENUINE talent are relegated to obscure sites and their cds listed on eBay for $6. Is there no justice left in the music world?
I will be ordering 2 copies of the cd, one for me and one for mi padre. (He walked in whilst I was listening and said that he had to have the cd. Yes...Colin Munroe is THAT good.) And I will also be downloading. While it may be somewhat archaic in this day and age to prefer cds over digital downloads, I will gladly accept the moniker of "old school" in order to obtain what I'm convinced is better sound quality from a cd. However, I'm not oblivious to reality of mp3s and the fact that the more an artist is downloaded the more likely said artist's label is to support and push that artist. So I will contribute to Colin Munroe's cause all day, every day if it means that one fine day from now I will never have to hear about someone's "Pretty Boy" swag.