Music Reviews

Music Reviews

Slow Jam Saturday : Ryan Leslie, Valentine

As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.

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Second Listen Sunday: Justin Timberlake and Mitchell Owens, The Book Of Love Soundtrack

Music fans were delighted last week when music superstar Justin Timberlake released a new single supporting his upcoming sixth album. JT will follow the single release with an appearance on Saturday Night Live. For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I revisited Timberlake’s 2017 collaboration soundtrack album with Mitchell Owens, The Book Of Love. As he would do a year later with the album Man of The Woods, Timberlake decided to venture away from the R&B influences, which were the dominant force of his previous releases, and go for a different sound.

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Slow Jam Saturday : New Kids On The Block, Valentine Girl

Due to Valentine’s Day, February is sometimes known as the month of love. I wanted to try something unique for every Slow Jam Saturday this month by featuring every song and having the word Valentine in the title. First is the sentimental bop “Valentine Girl” from New Kids on The Block.

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Second Listen Sunday, JC Chasez, Schizophrenic

For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Schizophrenic to date, the only solo album from NSYNC solo member JC Chasez. It’s no secret that JC was the strongest among all the late nineties boy bands when it came to straight singing. In 2002, Chasez initially explored his potential as a solo artist when he collaborated with renowned producer Dallas Austin to record the track “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)” for the soundtrack of the movie Drumline. Riding on the wave of its successful single release, Chasez embarked on recording an album he aimed to set apart from NSYNC’s musical domain distinctively.

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Slow Jam Saturday : The Jacksons, One More Chance

As fans anxiously await the Antione Fuqua-directed biopic on the King of Pop to hit theaters next year, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite ballads in his group’s catalog for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday. That particular song is “One More Chance” from the group’s fifteenth studio album and the only one to feature all six brothers, Victory.

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Second Listen Sunday : Billy Ocean, Suddenly

My choice for this week’s Second Listen Sunday is a singer who had already been in the music industry for almost a decade before one of his songs dethroned Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and reached the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Single Review: Corey Clark, 2nd Chance

Despite being must-see TV for some over the last two decades, I’ve always felt that singing competition shows don’t do justice in promoting R&B singers. Whether it’s The Voice or American Idol, male R&B singers never seem to get the recognition they deserve, and for the most part, they don’t win the show. A case in point is the singer Mac Royals, who was cut from the most recent season of The Voice.

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Second Listen Sunday, Stevie Wonder, The Woman in Red Soundtrack

In the summer of 1984, music legend Stevie Wonder had already churned out numerous hits and two classic albums in the form of Songs In The Key Of Life and Hotter Than July. Stevie Wonder still had tons of music left, though, and would soon deliver his second soundtrack album, The Woman in Red, to accompany Gene Wilder’s same tiled film.

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Slow Jam Saturday: Teena Marie, Out On A Limb

In the summer of 2005, I was two years into my Air Force enlistment when I had a DJ gig on a Saturday night. That evening, the news of Luther Vandross’s passing broke, and like most music fans, I felt sad. However, I also regretted turning down the chance to see him perform live in 2002. Since then, I have made it a point to see performers of yesteryear whenever possible. In 2010, adulting got in the way of me seeing the legendary Teena Marie. Sadly, less than six months after that missed opportunity, Lady T passed away.

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