As you will notice I don't really have consistency in my listening flavors. I like it all, anything from pop to rock to hip-hop. Here are a few releases that I have been enjoying lately:
Conkrete Angels, "Wisdom Cries Out In The Streets" - I have always enjoyed good hip-hop. I'm a part of the generation that was introduced to hip-hop in it's glory days (Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, Audio Two, DMC, etc.) so I would say I'm pretty picky. For the most part the hip-hop that is released these days is just crap. To be honest the only hip-hop that I have enjoyed lately from a creative and head nod perspective is of the holy variety. Hip-hop artists that are Christians are just way more creative and innovative than the garb that plays on the local radio station. This cd "Conkrete Angels" is perfect example of this thought. A disk given out with "Elementz of Life" magazine, produced by American Bible Society, The Angels are a compilation of individual holy hip-hoppers that truly bring it. From the production ,which is superb, to the lyrical content, inspirational and thought provoking, this album is one that will be a top play list on my iPod for months to come. A few tracks that hit me are: "Welcome to Censorship" (dude is "clicking" through various media elements in his life, very nice) by Richie Righteous and "The Interview" (nice r&b vocals and message) by Malachi. If you enjoy hip-hop there are a few things missing: f-bombs, sexuality, thuggery. Thanks to Billy for hooking me up with this album.
Jerry Lee Lewis, "Last Man Standing" - As a kid my dad would always refer to JLL as a great entertainer. I remember hearing all of the stories about this guy. Like he married his pre-pubescent cousin or his drug addicted drunken romps on the road. Anyway, we've all seen Dennis Quaid play him well in "Great Balls of Fire". When I saw this release I thought I have to get this! JLL plays with a bunch of other rock legends like Jimmy Page, BB King and the Boss (among MANY others!). There is one song that really caught my ear "Irish Heart Beat" (a Van Morrison cover) a song with Don Henley. It's one of those songs that reminds me of the Irish pub that I lived over at one time in my life, good times. Fun release, to be honest for some reason I thought JLL died like ten years ago, so I was surprised to see this. Dude still has "it".
John Legend, "Once Again" - A couple years ago I heard about John Legend as one of Kanye West's next projects. Legend had been around the r&b musical circuit for a while (he played on Lauren Hill's "Miseducation" album). In December of '04 iTunes offered a free Legend song ("Used to Love You") so I downloaded it. I have been a fan ever since. His latest is no let down. A few notable tracks: "PDA" has such nice vibe. It has the typical modern r&b sexual overtones but the song is reminiscent of an old Marvin Gaye tune. "Save Room" is another throw back type tune. Legend has this incredible knack of getting you to catch his songs, it might be his timing or his smoothness. This song captures that. "Each Day Gets Better". Just listen to it. It's brilliant. Same goes for "Slow Dance". If you enjoy r&b, this is a must buy.