Our August menu selections are AMAZING!
…..Something Different for your Musical Palette….Enjoy!
“Ritual Union” Little Dragon Peacefrog
Dee~va: Neo Soul Cafe is about introducing new music. Here we unplug the radio and listen to music that we use to call underground, those artist that the general population slept on. I can listen to anything and anybody and give my opinion…with that said, Little Dragon is this dope lil’ Swedish band, yep that’s right I said Swedish, that absolutely moved me. Their computer laced funky beats had me bobbing my head and bouncing around…I’m in love with the songs “Ritual Union” and “Little Man” and “Shuffle” is straight out of the 80’s with its tortured teenybopper sound…I luv it…but what really stood out for me is “Please Turn“…I felt like I was listening to a video game soundtrack….for the life of me I can’t remember what game the music mimicks…If your musical repertoire is diverse then Little Dragon is for you.
Cam: Now this is different….definitely not your typical sound. Electronic beats…..a taste of funk…..wrapped up in rock/pop…..yet a nice “hint” of SOUL…..UNIQUE in every way. Where did this immensely TALENTED band come from, and how do they do what they do?? I mean, I’ve been quite impressed by their distinct delivery and sound ever since I heard several songs of theirs a few years back (and then I didn’t realize they were from Sweden); with the release of their two previous albums that set a FANTASTIC tone for them. But with this album, they’re coming with a certain force and aggression that demands your listening ear. It’s almost as if they grew RELENTLESS not receiving the credit they were due in the past, and made SURE this time, they will get their props. Rock on Little Dragon, Rock on. It’s clear this band has evolved in many facets.
The title track, “Ritual Union”, opens the album AMAZINGLY…..O…M…G. Yukimi Nagano, lead vocalist, is letting us HAVE IT from the gate….with her sultry vocals; and the track is FIYAH…(go ahead, turn the volume up and dance…yesss!). And make no mistakes about it, I guarantee you’ll hear the catchy track “Brush The Heat” (is that a radio signal I hear mixed in the background on this joint? Now that’s hot…), and the funky electro-poppiness of “Shuffle A Dream”. The cut I really enjoy is “Nightlight”.
It’s clear this band has evolved in many facets. Whether you’re already a fan, or just now finding out about them, this album invites you to come along for a ride….and enjoy where the music takes you. Showcasing some amazing drum & bass rhythms, electronic effects….”Ritual Union” should definitely be part of your collection.
**Find out more about Little Dragon here –> http://www.little-dragon.se/ . Their music is available on iTunes & Amazon!!
“Timez Are Weird These Days” Theophilus London Warner Brothers
Dee~va: Label him??? pigeonhole him??? Naw I don’t think so…One thing I will say is that he is very different…lol Theophilus London…Ima call him T-Lo…This man has a certain European swag about himself I literally thought he was from across the pond….imagine my surprise to find out he was born in Trinidad and lived in NYC most of his life…T-Lo 1st caught my attention with his cover of Tweet’s song “Oops” Nothing against my girl Tweet but T-Lo wrecked this joint…
Fast forward July 21, 2011, “Timez Are Weird These Days” drops, the Buzz is crazy… Theophilus London left me shell-shocked I don’t know what to say except for it is what it is …Mr London caught me slippin and threw me off… for real…“Timez Are Weird These Days” will appeal more so to younger party crowd… electro new wave craze… not my thing but I did listen to what he had to say… The 1st cut “Last Name London” ….I was like he made his name sound hella cool….”Girls Girls$” I am sure will be in a club near you if not now then soon…. My cut is “Why Even Try” for sentimental reasons…. it reminds me of a good times past… 80’s baby
This CD sounds like upscale trendy boutiques runway fashion show music….that is not a bad thing either…I see $$$$$$$$$$$ for this Dude ..I heard he is already getting money for his eccentric fashion sense….that’s wassup!!! You heard it here 1st T-Lo is definitely on the radar for people who might just change the game… What’s in a name….? Individuality…and that is what makes London hot…and someone to watch…. So Cam what did you think about Theophilus London and “Timez Are Weird These Days”?
Cam:*…Cam gets up off the floor* You know what Dee~va? Theophilus aka T-Lo (ha!) just knocked me out with his debut album “Timez are Weird These Days”…WOW! Totally caught ya girl off guard…starting with the cover of the album…oh yea, this cat is flashy and has a swag that’s off the charts! (Brush ya shoulders off T!) I remember when Dee~va and I were talking about Theophilus, and how excited we were about listening to his EP, we BOTH just KNEW he was from overseas…because of his European flare, he so vividly displays to the world…so “out of here” in every way! What I LOVE about this Brooklyn artist is that he’s going totally AGAINST the grain….rather than following what’s popular, he’s doing his own thing….created his own lane…paving it with his own sense of eccentric fashion, coupled with his eccentric musical sound….oh so UNIQUE! Theophilus has opened up my eyes to another perspective to Hip-Hop that I would have never fathomed until NOW. Wait…or is it Rock/Pop…Techno/Dance…Funk/Pop?? Clearly there’s absolutely no way to call this a hip-hop album. While you can feel/hear the “hip-hop” roots embedded throughout this album, it ventures across all genres.
Turn up your LOUD stereo systems….put on your “Beats by Dre” headphones, and let the music BLAST! This album is definitely one for the energetic crazed crowd, and/or the Rock/Pop clubster types. Even though this sound is typically not found in Cam’s daily playlist, I find it to be invigorating and charming. Theophilus demands to be heard, which is apparent in more of his straightforward fast-paced tracks….such as his lead track “Last Name London”, “Wine and Chocolates”,”All Around The World”, “Stop It” and “Girls Girls $”….the sonic BOOM, robotic tempos, & aggressive lyrical delivery are all embraced & respected. It’s almost as if Theophilus is saying “I’m here…deal with it.” However he shows a slight softer,laid back approach with “One Last Time”, “Lighthouse”, and “Why Even Try”…which the latter of the these is my fav joint on this album. It features Sara Quin …who brings in sweet harmony…takes me back to the days of Boy George & Cindy Lauper.
Theophilus may come across as “weird” to some….but oddly enough, in his case, being different is a very good thing. I feel he had fun creating this album, and evokes this same liberation within his listeners….I know it did for me. 🙂 Whether you like his flavor or not, you can’t deny his skill as a diversified musician. Get this album.
**Check out London’s tour dates on his site here! —> http://theophiluslondon.net/ . His debut cd is available in store, online, & via iTunes!
“All in My Mind” I’Ced Record Breakin Music
Dee~va: Who is this I, Ced cat??? I’m looking at the CD cover saying “boy, I sure hope dude can sing???” I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
I, Ced debuts with “All in My Mind”. The vocalist, beat master, arranger and producer tapped into his creative and intuitive faculties to deliver what I consider to be pure ear candy….
This CD takes you on a super cool odyssey in which you will encounter numerous jazz-infused hip hop beats which are simplistically dope-a-rific!!! I was feeling this CD 1st spin…it’s a good one to pop in when you are in the mood to just get away… I won’t even take time to talk about each track because each track is dope!
When something is good oftentimes we hear people say its da bomb!….Well in this case, “All In My Mind” is da explosion! The standout cut for me on this CD was “Soldier Ready 2 Go Home”…this joint speaks of a haunting reality experienced by many brothers and sisters …I, Ced captured the plight of a soldier lyrically… “I’ve been running on this ground far too long/I’ve been running on these parts here in paranoia/I hear voices going all around me/I’ve been walking on this ground and I’m feeling tired” This was a bit creepy for me cause, I could feel it. I began to visualize a dude with a gun running around in Bagdad some where dodging bullets… Is it all a dream /is it all in my mind/ is it all an idea/ when I look into your eyes…surreal… I can’t get over how I, Ced paints a picture lyrically “All In My Mind” is highly recommended. Get familiar people…
Cam: “All In My Mind” is I Ced’s debut solo album, and in a nutshell, it is simplicity at it’s best. The perfect marriage of hip-hop, jazz, soulful futuristic sounds coming together as one blissful union. While I,Ced is known for his collabos with artists like Hawthorne Headhunter partners Coultrain and Black Spade, he proves with this album he’s far more than just a “beatmaker”. It’s evident he took time crafting each track perfectly…playing the roles of the lead vocalist and producer of this album. After 4 years of preparation, he released what was “all in his mind”…his vision has manifested beautifully. No additives, no fillers….just dope, organic beats and melodies that leaves a permanent imprint on your heart.
…A “mini” vacation….a personal musical “getaway” courtesy of I,Ced. 🙂 16-tracks….and each takes me to a different destination. The opening track “Flyin Under Water” is so fresh….the instrumental rhythmic waves carries me. I’m instantly floating gracefully to the smooth track “Love is the Conqueror“….smiling as I bob my head singing “Love…is the conqueror that never lets me downnnn..”; yep this is my joint right here. As I ease further into the album, I say to myself “this man is EXTREMELY gifted”. There’s not many artists/musicians that can create such amazing instrumental pieces where you literally do NOT miss heavy vocals. This is apparent as I listen to “Wherever U Go/Gone By Now”, “Flyin’ To The Sun”, “She’s Gone” (the jazzy flair & smooth vocals on this joint so HOT), and “Isn’t It Strange” (I hear J.Dilla’s influence all through this one!)
What I love about I,Ced is that his approach to soul music is totally different…so unique….and this alone is so refreshing. The live instrumentation, featured vocalists (Stopha Vasquez, AB, TeLuv, & Alex Fajardo)..all blend perfectly….one not overpowering the other; rather each complimenting the other tastefully. You can’t deny I,Ced’s brilliance….he defies the “typical” sound and classification of soul music. Major respect to I,Ced for blessing us with this album. This is beautiful music, amazing project from start to finish. I,Cam HIGHLY recommend everyone to add this album to your musical library.
**Find out more about I’Ced and purchase his music on his site! http://www.recordbreakin.com/i_ced.html
“Gone” Musinah Independent
Deeva: So I pulled up to the house blasting Musinah’s “Gone” Double EP. Young Diva came to the car doing the goofy girl dance… She is definitely feeling it..1st a head nod, then a fist pump…. I am LMAO!!! Musinah, taking a break from her main gig as Common’s background singer, Musinah hits hard with “Gone.” She wrote, produced, arranged, did all the vocals and mixed the entire EP single-handedly. Only one word describes her that ie talented. Musinah delivers one version of a song that is more laid back in nature and then a remix of the song which is a more upbeat pop rock version…a sort of Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde experiment going on here….I Luv It! She kills with the lyrics “ Draw the chalk outline around this crime /Gone /Gone… Wow! Musinah is ready for the big time. I first heard about Musinah because of her work with +FE The Foreign Exchange…This EP is definitely top 40 worthy… Wonderfully produced, beautiful vocals and very catchy hooks make this CD an infectious. I can’t wait to hear more from the multi-talented Indie Princess Muhsinah
Cam:….A good friend of mines made SURE I knew that Muhsinah’s new album “Gone” would be available for FREE download about a week before the drop. I must say, I was curious and excited to hear what she would deliver. **REWIND** Now I revisit The Foreign Exchange’s “Leave It All Behind” album….Muhsinah was featured tracks “House of Cards” and “Daykeeper”….I hear Muhsinah’s voice “…and when the sun rises, He watches over me…”….Ah, this reminded me how profound Muhsinah’s vocals are. But she’s not limited to just this….with her latest project “Gone”, it’s evident. Ladies and Gents, Muhsinah is NOT only a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, composer & producer….but additionally, just as Dee~va stated, nearly ALL material was written, composed, arranged, produced, performed, recorded, & mixed by Muhsinah. Wow…YOU GO GIRL!
At first listen, hearing the opening track “One”….bobbing my head, I hear her sing “You’re the dream I don’t want to be over….”…I instantly was drawn to the drums, the electronica vibe. This was the perfect intro…the production on this track is brilliant; different tempos and variances while her tantalizing “sweet” vocals gives a tasteful balance. (Hot!) Taking the rhythm a bit slower now with “Stop & Go“….in one word, this track is DOPENESS. “Gone”, the title track, really displays Muhsinah’s versatility….encompasses the vibration of this entire album. She gives us impeccable vocals, along with a taste of Rock/Pop, R&B, Funk, Electronica….(I’m loving the guitar on this one!). Oh, and “Down to 1″…I’m loving how she did this remix of the track “One”…amazing mix of “funk” with the electric guitar on this joint. And I have to say, she’s a GENIUS in how she mixed these tracks…switching lanes without giving the listener WHIP LASH. 🙂 For my rock fanatics, the track “Stop” and “Till I’m Gone” is just for you; giving a true rock workout!
Overall, the arrangements, production, and vocals are all complimentary yet CLEVER. The 6 tracks are not too lengthy, but gives you a good taste of what Muhsinah is capable of as she continues to evolve in all facets. Even though this was a FREE album, I would have still purchased this one. I must say, I am heavily anticipating future projects from this multi-talented sista.
**Get the FREE download of Muhsinah’s “Gone” EP here! http://muhsinah.spinshop.com/details/88542
“LP1” Joss Stone Stone’d Records
Dee~va: Okay Peeps, i’m bout to get really ethnic for a minute…First spin I thought , WTH happened to Joss Stone??? Clearly that baby is going thru some thangs. See, what had happened was …. Joss Stone broke up with her record label and paid an unspecified amount of money to get out of her contract… let’s equate that to a marriage and a messy divorce…Then this good kid went independent, starting her own record label Stone’d Records …
Now I hear that this CD was put together in 6 days…that in itself is awesome…. it was wonderfully produced…and much different from Stone’s earlier body of work…The CD leads with a nice little tune but then I hear “Karma” followed by “Don’t Start Lying To Me Now” where Joss Stone take us to church… Landlord is straight Blues….I don’t want your rent money/don’t put it under my door/ I don’t want to be your landlord anymore…. now, that’s cold right there… ” Drive All Night” is the stand out on the CD because of the lyrics and my being able to groove to it. No ones ever done anything like this for me before/No ones ever drove for miles to make me smile.
Undeniably Joss Stone possess’ one of the greatest voices of our time…hands down…but why is she screaming mad tho???? #cricketschirping
Cam:…..Ay Dee~va, how bout I was thinking the SAME THING?? I thought to myself, “Joss been through some things…..”. I knew she went independent, but didn’t realize the complex specifics involved….hence this CD could explain her feeling liberated and just “letting it out”, and usually an artist’s release is in the studio. Don’t get me wrong, with previous works she never was afraid to show her emotions & pour out her soul; her “transparency” has always been something we adore about this 24-year-old songstress. However, the element that is different with “LP1”, her 5th album, is that she’s taking a more acoustic/rock-pop approach, rather than soulful blue-sky sounds that we’ve grown accustomed to from her. But one thing’s for certain, her POWERFUL vocals remain in full force with this album.
A “rebirth”……that’s what I feel this project represents for Joss Stone; with her gaining all creative control over her material. This explains why this album opens up with the track “Newborn”….singing “…Let’s treat this day like a newborn baby….wants to be taken care of….”…carrying a deep-soul strength that’s present in “Cry Myself To Sleep” and “Drive All Night” as well. You can feel the “spontaneous nature” of this album; as Joss’ “Don’t Start Lying To Me Now” gives us some of that good ole “funk”; giving her soul-piercing vocals over the acoustic guitar on “Landlord” and “Take Good Care” (her natural earthy sound is captivating in these tracks). Joss is a force to be reckoned with, and she comes full throttle in the cut “Karma”. The song that stayed on repeat for me is “Last One To Know”…which she pours out about being in love, but doesn’t want to be in love….and she’s the last one to realize it. (I think we ALL can relate to this….hits home).
Yes, Joss changed lanes, and I feel this change was a good one. I remember reading something that Cee-Lo stated; he said that an artist does his/her canvas a disservice if you continue to paint the same picture over and over again. I agree 100%. I can honestly say, considering Joss created this album in 6 days along with Dave Stewart producing it, she did her canvas WELL. I commend her for making the courageous transition to the “Indie” circuit, and I’m going to keep her on my radar. This album is a great start to a new journey for this young soulful diva.
**Find out more about Joss Stone and purchase her latest EP “LP1” here! —> http://www.jossstone.com/ Also available on iTunes!
“Warm Human Cold World” Heston Dome
Dee~va: I’d like to believe that when an artist creates they put their hearts and soul into a project …there are sleepless nights…and long days. I can imagine that when inspiration hits..its magical…that’s the vibe I’m in. So I listen to Heston’s “Warm Human Cold World” it resonates love and love-making…. This is grown folks music for real…After the house is cleaned, its time to enjoy the fruits of your labor with a bath and a glass of wine or if you are spending WE time or if its simply ME time…. “Warm Human Cold World,” provides a nice soundtrack to accompany your relaxation period… This CD intimately guides you thru tales of Love. “Outside Your Window” took me back. I could remember when dudes use to ride their bikes over and sit outside my window… don’t know why I entertained that foolishness…young I guess…too funny …I was instantly drawn to “Greatest Lover” clearly this is a Stepper’s and Swinger’s cut DC Hand Dance and all that….lol. ” Right Here” has a West Indies feel and Lord knows I love my Reggae music…with my Patois’ accent… gwannn Heston…ya got me a go boi! His ode to beautiful women everywhere “My Kinda Lady” opens up with tight percussions and a funky guitar…I got my over 25 sexy 2-step going…. singing…”she’s beautiful/she’s sensual /she’s sexual/ my kind of lady” add this one to ya library… What’s on your mind Cam???
Cam: Two words come to mind that describes this album and Heston’s craft: HONEST MUSIC. When listening to Heston’s sound, soul singer Maxwell instantly comes to mind as a close comparison; this is definitely a compliment. With his second album “Warm Human,Cold World”, Heston is very personal…yes he strips bare on this one….setting himself apart from the rest. It’s almost as if every song is a “chapter” of his life…..his laid back and organic delivery is so refreshing. There’s definitely a captivating unified sound across this album, which is a strong highlight. “Warm Human Cold World” is an easy listening album, with a soulful jazzier edge; perfect to listen to while at work, during dinner, or just for relaxation.
Heston ensures every listener finds their soulful “gem” in this album. While I take great delight in the funkiness of the tracks “The Greatest Lover”… (I really enjoyed the newly released video for song), as well as “Oh La La,” I am particularly drawn to all of Heston’s slower mellow tracks, which follows the overall mood of the entire album. I find it very impressive that Heston reaches deep, pulling the listener into his “downtempo” intoxicating vibes…w/tracks such as “Outside Your Window”, “Warm Human”, “For You” and “Love.” Rather than taking the typical approach by focusing on “upbeat” tracks to capture his listeners, he ventures to the “deep” side. Bravo Heston! Oh, and he gives us a taste of Reggae swag with “Right Here”….his raspy vocals are perfect…..
I strongly urge everyone to get this album because it’s the musical “balance” that’s needed….easy, breezy…yet sensual……each track flows into the next effortlessly. This is music that you can breathe into, and that breathes into you.
**Find out more about Heston on his site http://www.hestonmusic.com/, and purchase his music on CdBaby.com.