Ok guys, for y’all that wanna know, here’s my Lauryn Hill concert review.
After hearing about all the negative feedback n tweets the night before I was slightly rattled about how this show would unfold.
I attended Lauryn Hill’s concert last night at the O2 Academy Brixton (Sunday 21st Sept 2014) because like most LH fans I wanted to experience highly anticipated rare live show moments from her masterpiece Miseducation album as well as some classic old school Refugee Camp bigness.
She came on stage just before 10pm with plenty of energy but proceeded to do odd, unrecognizable, sped up, “Happy” style rocky versions of songs like “Everything is Everything”, “ToZion” and “Ex Factor”. “Lost Ones” was ok for the first 60 seconds but then she journeyed into rock-reggae mash up mode which didn’t hit the musical spot at all leaving the audience, including me, looking on in bemusement!
The sound quality was absolutely appalling and coupled with her strange reggae / rock renditions, LH probably ruined as many of Bob Marley songs (including Jammin’, “Is This Love”, and “Could You be Loved”) as she did her own.
One highlight was the short acoustic set midway through where it was clear to hear that Ms LH’s vocals were still flawlessly on point when not having to fight through a wall of bad sound engineering. I would have preferred her to have kept the entire show unplugged as the band failed to make any soulful impact in my opinion.
Another better moment was LH revisiting her Fugees days with decent versions of “Fu-Gee-La”, “Ready Or Not” and “Killing Me Softly”. This was briefly the old Lauryn Hill we came to know and love from her 90s reign but again the sound made for a painfully strained listen.
Her finale tune was the anthemic Doo Wop (That Thing), which was probably the one track that sounded anything like a live version should but by then I think I’d lost the will.
I knew it would be a risk to go and see Lauryn Hill Live, having had her personal life scrutinized, her troubles (sometimes self inflicted it has to be said) splashed across certain publications. Risky because you don’t want to hear someone as genius as her get it so wrong on stage, that it ruins the Miseducation and Fugees legacy forever. But that optimistic part of me was hoping to hear her come out the other side of adversity with an incredible show.
Sadly, it was incredible for all the wrong reasons but one thing is certain, that “Miseducation” album remains a classic and luckily I can go back to it and indulge in Queen LH’s music in it’s original soulful form whenever I like so i still have to thank her for delivering that piece of musical niceness on wax.
Hey R&B family,
been a minute. I had to let you know about this one.
Lyrical flow-a-cist Incisive delivers his follow up to ‘Breathe’ which is set to do big things.
Featuring the sweet vocals of Rukhsana Merrise, the minimalistic beats are laced with Incisive’s unique poetical delivery conveying the idea of your mind playing tricks on you.
This is a musical must!
‘Mind Games’ will be available from all good online vendors 6th October 2014.
In the meantime enjoy the vid.
Love n blessness.
Arguably one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2014 is released today, Jhene Aiko has just dropped her debut album entitled, ‘Souled Out‘.
Jhene Aiko is no stranger to the RnB scene, having started out in the industry in 2002, aged 12 performing backing vocals on B2K tracks. She stormed into the spotlight last year when she featured on Drake’s album, ‘Nothing Was The Same’ and released her acclaimed EP ‘Sail Out‘ later in the year.
This debut album showcases Jhene Aiko’s impressive songwriting skills, with writing credits on all 14 tracks, she also boasts a production credit along with several others including No I.D and Fisticuffs both of whom worked on ‘Sail Out’.
Souled Out stays true to Jhene Aiko’s distinctive style, exploring a more ‘indie’ side to RnB, similar to the sounds of Miguel and SZA. She keeps her hip hop vibe alive on track, ‘Pretty Bird‘ which features Common, she opens up about her personal life with ‘Promises‘, which is dedicated to and features her 5 year old daughter, while the rest of the album flows between the dark and haunting style of previous single, ‘The Worst‘, uplifting melodies and laid back, soulful vibes.
If you are a fan of any of Jhene Aiko’s previous work the album will not dissapoint, if you’re yet to get familiar with this ecletic soulstress go cop the album for a refreshingly unique and soulful experience!
Bold, Beautiful & Boundless: Eric Roberson’s ‘The Box’
August 15th, 2014
The music industry is tough right now, with the landscape of how artists create music and market themselves changing almost daily. Talented artists with proven longevity are rare, independent artists with longevity are even more rare which is why independent singer, songwriter and producer Eric Roberson should be especially proud of the release this week of his 10th studio album ‘The Box.‘
Eric Roberson boasts a music career spanning 15 years, he has an established sound and a dedicated fan base which brings with it high expectations from new album ‘The Box‘ and he does not disappoint. For anyone out there looking for ‘real’ music with soul, instrumental exploration and impeccable songwriting, Erro’s ‘Box‘ contains all of this and more!
Upon first listen two things struck me about the album, the first being how incredible the variation of live instruments on many of the tracks is, so much care has been taken over the production and ‘sound’ of each song with talented musicians blending with Erro’s vocals, each track feels really alive, like they could burst out of your speakers! There has been a lot of criticism of late that music has become too over-produced with an absence of instrumental emphasis, this album fills that void. A great acheivement in production, credit must be given to producers Brett “Bdubb” Baker, Aaron Hardin, Jeff Murrell, Erro himself and more who have created the flawless sound of the album.
The second realisation (as I tried to listen to ‘The Box‘ at work) is that this is not an album for passive listening, Eric Roberson is a storyteller and as much as you might try to use music for ‘background’, his deeply personal and evolving lyrics will steal your attention and embrace you back into the songs. Erro himself describes the album as ‘grown’ and his lyrics are just that with songs like, ‘Lust for Love’ and ‘Im Not Trying To Keep Score No More‘ exploring the rarely talked about challenges of long term relationships. The motivational ‘Don’t Hide Your Wings‘ boasts the knowledge of a man who understands the pressures that women face and the battles many have with self esteem, ‘The Pill‘ explores fears of commitment whilst ‘Do The Same For Me‘ expresses the contentment of a happily married family man (if you reach the end of this track without shedding a tear check your pulse!).
The Box ebbs and flows across different musical styles, from the hip hop vibe of ‘The Cycle‘ which features Pharoahe Monch, to the infectious swing sound of ‘Pill‘, ‘Haunted‘ has a classic jazz flava then Erro brings the funk with help from Dave Hollister on ‘The Box‘. One of the most distinctive tracks on the album is ‘Just Imagine‘ which touches on a more indie style of RnB and features the hauntingly beautiful guest vocals of ‘King‘.
The range of styles on this album could divide fans, but whether or not you think that this is Erro’s best album it is undoubtedly his most confident, it is bold and experimental whilst keeping within the genre which his audiences know and love him for. His vocals are stronger than ever on The Box, we hear him demonstrate a lower range as well as exploring a raspier, funk style to his voice on tracks such as ‘Pill‘.
The Box is bursting with soul and variety, more than an album it is a musical journey through RnB styles and Eric Roberson’s life, it will make you sing, laugh, dance, and cry and have you reaching for ‘repeat’ to experience it all over again! If you’re a Music Fan First you need to get yourself a copy of The Box – it will not disappoint!
Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)
In the past I have not been the biggest Beyonce fan, Destiny’s Child never really did it for me and when the ladies went solo I always preferred Kelly Rowland’s music. However there is no disputing the fact that ‘Queen B‘ is an absolute superstar! Her recent genius move of releasing a suprise visual album on ITunes demonstrated that not only is she on top of her game musically, she is ahead of the game when it comes to marketing herself and understanding the music business.
Things were all going so well; she had smashed another international #1 album, sold out a global arena tour and then came the ‘elevator’ incident with husband Jay Z and sister Solange – which did not look good for anyone involved! However Beyonce handled the fallout like a pro, publicly stating that she is part of a normal family and sometimes people fall out!
In a genius move she has addressed the issue head on in the lyrics to this fresh new remix of ‘Flawless‘ which features Nikki Minaj, where she explains, ‘We escalate up in this bitch like elevators, of course sometimes shit goes down when it’s a billion dollars on the elevator.’. I always think it’s an admirable thing when artists address negative publicity head on and aren’t afraid to talk about it, not only is this a great track, co-produced by Hit Boy and Boots but it shows a ‘human’ side to the international icon.
Exploring the flaws of her recent family feud has definitley propelled Beyonce one step closer to being ‘Flawless’….enjoy!
Straight off the back of his killer feature verse on Ty Dollar Sign’s ‘Oh Nah‘ remix The Weeknd has dropped a new track!
‘Often‘ is true to The Weeknd’s signature smooth style, his vocals sounding as strong and distinctive as ever! Details about the track and the artist’s highly anticipated new album are still sparse at the moment, so until we hear more news you can just enjoy the vibe of ‘Often‘…..
A Soulful Sensation Collaboration: ‘Space’ – Lil John Roberts feat Eric Roberson, Stokely, Anthony David & Musiq Soulchild
June 14th, 2014
This week RnB / soul fans have been blessed with this sensational collaboration of soulful Talent! For those who are unfamiliar – Lil John Roberts is one of the most respected RnB drummers in the industry, he has performed on tracks with Snarky Puppy, Musiq Soulchild, Robert Glasper and Jill Scott to name a few, as well as touring with the likes of Stevie Wonder!
Lil John is currently working on his debut album entitled, ‘Heartbeat‘ which will feature tracks with Mint Condition, The Robert Glasper Experiment, Eric Roberson and a number of new RnB artists. ‘Space’ is the first single from this album and features vocals from Eric Roberson, Stokely (of Mint Condition), Anthony David and Musiq Soulchild whose voices blend beautifully together!
The track is uplifting with a jazzy edge, the collobration is genius – showcasing true RnB finesse and artistry. The standard has been set high for the release of ‘Heartbreak‘ in July and it is nice to see that with the likes of Lil John and Robert Glasper musicians are finally getting the spotlight that they deserve!
In Conversation with D’Angelo: A Rare Insight into the Man and the Music
June 1st, 2014
D’Angelo has always been one of the most elusive and private artists on the RnB / Neo-Soul scene. After dropping two hugely successfully and critically acclaimed albums in the late 90s, ‘Brown Sugar‘ and ‘Voodoo‘, D’Angelo disappeared leaving fans everywhere pining for updates and new material.
Over the past few years he has started to make appearances at festivals and performed a few live concerts teasing audiences with new tracks and the promise of an upcoming album, and this week D’Angelo finally gave an insight into his life and work with an in depth interview for the Red Bull Music Academy Festival.
At nearly 90 minutes long, the interview sees D’angelo talk about his career from the very beginning, he discusses his musical influences, the pressures of fame and details the impressive story of how he wrote and produced the sample album of ‘Brown Sugar‘ from his bedroom!
Questlove (Ahmir Thomspon) also takes the stage at points demonstrating the incredible rapport that the two artists have, he talks about the beginning of the ‘Neo-Soul‘ movement and brings out a more laid-back, funny side to D’Angelo.
The good news for fans is that D’Angelo discussed new material, albeit that he admits he is taking his style in a more funk / rock direction, he also discussed a desire to record a Gospel album. Watching the interview reminds you just how special this artist is, from his talents as a musician to his ability as a writer and a producer, D’Angelo comes across as humble, grounded and articulate and this conversation is a must watch for all RnB and Neo-Soul fans!
Lets hope this rare insight is a step towards the release of that much anticipated new album, but for now enjoy…….