Here is Alicia Keys' homage to classic hip-hop and the essence of New York. It's still her tried and true sound of a girl and her piano, but with a lot more grit and edge. Her vocals are as strong as ever as she continues this trend of black consciousness and culture. She's the definition of consistent greatness.
Overall, Platinum Fire is just a really smooth, vibe heavy listen throughout and although it doesn't stray too far from typical R&B tropes, it's a really impressive debut that warrants people's attention and has made Arin Ray a name I'll be looking out for in the future.
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Benhamin Navy has just released "Permission", a track that has the pulse of a Dominican heartthrob and the memories of NYC Salsa.
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Bill Withers was a classic embodiment of a true, unadulterated musical genius, not just because of timeless hits, but also because they came from a man with a stutter and no musical education whatsoever.
Bryson Tiller's follow-up to his massive first project feels like a quarter step forward than a major leap ahead. That's not a bad thing as he still sounds great, just expect more of a remaster of something already stellar instead of something wholly new and exciting.
Awaken, My Love! is an interesting experiment that has some noteworthy moments but is ultimately held back by it's too faithful adherence to it's 70's funk influences. Sorely missing the levity, personality, and subject matter Gambino has become known for.
Whatever your opinion about Chris Brown and his music won't be swayed in either direction by Heartbreak on a Full Moon; at this point in his career he's a master at his craft and rarely makes a musical (keyword 'musical') misstep. This however, would have definitely been a case where less is more. I only made it about a quarter of the way through this monstrosity before my interest and attention began to wane.
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Check out our sit down with guitarist extraordinaire Justus West, where we talk about his new single "Come Together", playing with Mac Miller, John Mayer calling him one of his Top 5 guitarists, being on Tiny Desk a record number of times, and much more.
Allan Kingdom's major debut may not be particularly groundbreaking but it is still a very strong first offering that manages to push the envelope of what is modern hip-hop that much more. With shades of Cudi, he's got a bright future ahead of him.
Sonically 'Everything Is Love' is as good as you'd expect from Beyoncé & Jay-Z but I don't think there's anything here that's mind-blowing or different than what we've heard from them before (mostly like throwaways from the 'Lemonade' and '4:44' sessions). 'Everything Is Love' doesn't push either one of them artistically but it answers a lot of questions and lives up to their high musical standards.
Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is a short, slight detour from what Calvin Harris is normally known for. It's generally enjoyable but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression or take many risks. Here's to hoping for more from Vol. 2.