New Music Tuesday February 5, 2013


Album: Beautiful
Artist: Teena Marie
Genre: R&B/Soul
Sounds Like: Classic Teena Marie
Reviewer: Beth

I miss Teena Marie! Her voice was everything! A lot of her music stays in rotation.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to review this CD. I wasn’t sure it was going to be any good. Some times posthumously released music seems like a bunch of outtakes thrown together to make some money.

Fortunately for us that is not the case with Beautiful.

During Super Bowl Sunday, while cooking my sister asked me had I reviewed this CD and of course I’ve been slacking in the review department so I said no. She said I love this CD. Now most of the time my sister and I agree on music but every now and then I side eye her tastes. She played me a few tracks and dammit I was like I hear you Teena! I was groovin’.

This is a damn good CD! It is sad that we won’t get to see her perform tracks from it on an awards show or on tour.

She is in beautiful voice on this CD. I mean she sounds great!

What else can I say? If you are a Teena Marie fan please check this CD out, not because it is her last but because it is a damn good CD.

Love Starved

Album: Love Charlie
Artist: Charlie Wilson
Genre: Adult Contemporary R&B
Sounds Like: Uncle Charlie still staying in his lane
Reviewer: Beth

Charlie last name Wilson is back!

This review will most likely be kinda short. What can be said about Charlie Wilson that hasn’t already been said? A staple on the R&B front for years, former lead singer of the 80’s funk group The Gap Band! I will say if you didn’t/don’t like the Gap band then your entire musical tastes sucks! And he’s damn good live!

He’s released a series of solo CDs all being well received. What works for Charlie is he knows his lane. He isn’t out there trying to capture the young audience, he’s singing for the people that grew up on The Gap Band’s music. So his music is more adult contemporary R&B and that’s just fine with me.

Love Charlie does not step outside of his Adult Contemporary R&B lane.

The thing about this genre is you either LOVE this style of music or you have a great deal of respect for the artist so you rarely find anything “wrong” with these CDs.
I LOVE Charlie Wilson I don’t even care what anyone says. I always find myself swaying back and forth to a great deal of his songs. This CD is no different. I’m listening as I type and I’ve just been groovin’ along.

This CD is 12 tracks of mid-tempo to the quiet storm slow jams about love.
So if you like the more old-school quiet storm style R&B then you should check out Love Charlie. It’s a nice little CD.

Turn off the lights

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2
Genre: Folk and pop from West Africa
Sounds like: Ear food
Reviewer: Fubsy Numbles

There’s yet another war going on, eh? Those bloody Africans (displaced by the west), always (encouraged, funded, abetted and armed by the west) at each other’s throats (at the behest of the west)….

So it is that the latest population to fall under the cloud of war is that of Mali, western Africa. In 2010 (back when I, was young), a record label called Sahel Sounds decided to make a trip there, based on reports they’d heard that the craze there was for swapping new music between individuals, from phone to phone. It almost seems like a crazy whim to do such a thing, but boy was it worth it! Volume 1 was a corker of Malian sounds that few had ever heard before, all gained via Bluetooth data swaps. In keeping with the purity of the idea, those swaps became the recording matters, no re-recording required. The label wanted to return, and did, widening their search to Niger, Nigeria and Morocco. Rather tragically, one of the victims of the recent troubles has been music on mobile phones, which has now been banned by the extremists in the North.

Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar

The album kicks off with a mid-tempo track called “Anar” by Mdou Moctar, the first of the tracks emanating from Niger. Each has some deceptively simple music, seemingly all played around a rather basic chord structure. Listen closer, however, and you’ll quickly discern a wealth of complexity which in fact seems to be a sophisticated form of repetition. Guitar notes flutter like bird wings around plant life, vocals swirl in and around these notes just as eddies of air and breeze do along the ground, amongst the trees, between the people. The tracks are anchored by the pulses of basic rhythms – there being no need for further embellishment.

Next up is the first track featuring rap, from Lakal Kaney. Derivative it may be, but the keyboards and vocal melodies that make up large parts of this track, aided and abetted by the tracks sudden and entertaining turn towards ragga, help indicate a real enthusiasm for western sounds heard and a desire to adapt them (the vocal plus percussion ending is rather fun too).



Then it’s back to Mali, first with a wonderful carnivalesque track by DJ Mopao, “Peguele”. Back again to the Niger, and a wonderful guitar-led tune by Koudede who – I read whilst doing a little research for this review – recently died in a car crash. A shame of course, particularly as his is one of the stand-out tracks on this compilation; proving to be the most hypnotic of the contributions from Niger here. The record then returns to Mali for two tracks which seem the most inspired by music heard in the west: Pheno S pulls of a nicely catchy piece of r&b, while Iba One calls on what sounds like a bouncy and chirpy Euro-House music style – for me, it is the least listenable track unfortunately. For the last track, the compilers trip into Morocco for a wonderfully poppy example of the Rai sound.

This album, much like subtitled films, will have a limited audience. I think, however, that for those of a more adventurous bent, it is well worth your time and the small outlay of money it would cost (get it direct from their Bandcamp page here An exemplary and rather entrepreneurial idea that highlights not only how wondrous some of the music outside of or own little world is, not only how varied, but also a little of the culture in this part of the world.

Koudede – Souvenir Nam Adjosa

Apparently it is Beth's Job to get on Slaus's nerves.