Thursday, March 20, 2008

3 Music Junkie Reviews

My name is Lil Mike & I'm a music junkie...


Lil Mike at The Keyz


I acquire, listen to, and take in a lot of music, and over the years I have no idea how much I've spent on this habit.


I've spent whole days on my knees in record stores, digging in crates, scouring budget bins for cut outs...

The internet of course has only made this habit worse, if not insane, at least unstoppable.

Here's some samples of three embarrasing "un-hip" releases I've purchased for no good reason in the last few weeks...





Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War )

After listening to Will.I.AM's latest hedonistic aural bubble bath and Mary J Blige's diva trip fantastic "Growing Pains", the heavy subject matter & strange sonic soundscapes of Erykah Badu's new release seemed downright depressing if not only half thought out. There's a foreboding air from the earth toned psychedelic cover art by Emek to the title New Amerykah Part One (4th World War). The rambling disc hit streets on February 26th and apparently is part of trilogy, with part two in the can & currently slated for July 2008 release. Watch out...

I gave Erykah's 1st new disc of the year a spin as I headed up I-5 towards Northern California on a gloomy March Sunday out of Los Angles and the experience left me concerned for this current, and perhaps soon to be former first lady o' soul. The disc just seemed muddled, half finished, confused, and with very little potential for dance floors, or pop or soul radio appreciation. While commercial airplay is not perhaps her main objective, I can't help but imagine this 37 year old homeschooling mother of two might want to maximize her money making opportunities in this era of fading prospects for recorded goods. The effort seems bogged down, muddy and reeks of contract fulfillment. Jeez Erykah, is there not one hook left in ya?

This lead off track Amerykahn Promise is a standout, with a freaky Funkadelic flava, but the rest of the album doesn't follow through and I don't see it garnering any Grammy nominations...

Erykah Badu - Amerykahn Promise



Will.I.AM - Songs About Girls

On this disc that's filled with candy coated beats, it's the lyrical topics spouted by the the founder of the Black Eyed Peas that alternately enthrall & often annoy...

His beats, and pop sensibilities are so right on that most of what he touches these days sounds like a hit, acts like a hit and generally is a hit. Sadly, it's his dumbed down lyrics that get my goat, and then again are also what probably make the tracks hits with da millions of kids.

While there was tons of truth spitting promise in 2003's political edged soulful stunner "Where Is the Love?", a song which delivered a message in an uplifting way, with the f*cked up focus on Fergie and her "ass'ets", the group was dubbed by many former fans as "Black Eyed Cheese".

While Will.I.Am is laughing all the way to the bank ever since "My Humps" became the Black Eyed Peas biggest hit, the old core of supporters are left out. That stupid song dedicated to bling bling & body part objectifying has basically determined the fate of all his subsequent work so far.

Now I'm not saying Will.I.Am should become a dour Sting or Napalm Death type figure, his insistence on always getting retarded in here really sorta sucks. I wish this extremely talented artist would take his potential to places beyond the gutter, to heights like Stevie, Marley or Marvin did in their time. Instead we get dancefloor dreck... I suppose he's keepin' it goofy ghetto or something.

Several tracks on thsi album I have to just skip over due to their explicit lameness, but at least this next track is actually listenable. It's the only one on on the album that ain't about sexxing up a honey, and manages to delves into subjects like global warming, economic & political issues etc.

Will.I.Am - S.O.S ( Mother Nature )



Dolly Parton - Backwoods Barbie

I saw this lady in concert a couple years back, and I just gotta say Go Dolly Go! This American icon hand delivers the goods, and she didn't need Starbucks to prompt & hold her hand. Parton and producer Kent Wells have put together a solid pop effort here, her forst on her own label. There's few artists whose fanbase is as diverse as Dolly's, and this album spans the bubbling breadth of what makes her so popular. Whether your fondness of her is due to an appreciation of her kitschy public persona, or as a true independent craftswoman of remarkable pop & country songs. She carried that morbid ol' hack Porter Wagoner for years in the 60's & early 70's, then she moved on & built an empire since, including her own Amusement Park! Find out what millions already know... She's young at heart, and still rolling strong, and ready for the adulation of a new generation. Dolly gets down to business, and it's yers for the taking, the first single 'Better Get to Livin' says it all.

Unfortunately her tour has been postponed to Aprl due to a back injury caused by lugging around two huge breasts... seriously. Dolly reportedly said "You try wagging these puppies around for awhile"...

Anyhow, you can see why "She Drives Me Crazy"

Sample a cut from the new album and read on below...





here's a song from Dolly's new album Backwoods Barbie...


Dolly Parton - She Drives Me Crazy ( Fine Young Cannibals cover )

1 peanut gallery sez::

Anonymous said...

I agree that Will's beats and production sensibilities really do put him up there with Quincy Jones and you're right that his lyrics are beyond dumb and his old fans from 'Elephunk' (including me) have abandoned all hope for a future return to form. But did you know that back in '99 or so the Peas were so painfully socially conscious in their lyrics that they barely sold any records? Elephunk was more of a middle ground for them, I guess, on their way to pop crap.