January 31, 2016

Raury - All We Need (Columbia Records)

Also released in the final weeks of 2015, Atlanta-based young singer & songwriter Raury's debut LP also should have been in my 2015 favorites list.
Contrary to Erykah Badu's album-like "mixtape" I just mentioned, All We Need actually smells more like a demo mixtape than a finished debut LP released on a major label (Columbia). This "unfinished", acoustic-like imperfect feeling is what makes it truly touching.
Simple words, nice melodies and a musical frame on the edge of folk, soul, hip-hop and indie world, all combine to design an unpretending laid-back atmosphere. It also alludes to the sound of Uk songwriter Ady Suleiman, a name I often recommended on the blog.



Erykah Badu - But You Cain't Use My Phone (Mixtape)

Sorry for the quiet activity on the blog this month, but I have to say the year started quite slowly for me in terms of musical surprises.
So I'll open 2016 with a couple of late 2015 releases, starting with the one and only nu-soul queen, Eryka Badu.

In my 2015 Favorites selection I mentioned Erykah's cover of Drake's Hotline Bling.
But the lady did not hang up there, she subsequently released an entire concept album/mixtape around the phone addiction allegory. And you'd better make sure to stay on her line, as this record is a pure delight, truthful to her unique sensual sound.

This project was designed and recorded in less than two weeks, with the help of a young Dallas producer (Zach Witness). This sums up Erykah's rare ability to put her artistic forays & feelings first, far away from an often empty R&B/Hip-Hop mainstream road she could have easily embraced considering her notoriety. With several hints at contemporary R&B songs, but also to the late Jay Dilla, But You Cain't Use My Phone is another milestone in her faultless discography. Totally addictive!