Here is Part 1 of my must listens of 2012!!
Soulful Jazz, R&B, and dreamy pop make up this week’s new releases. Let’s jump in!
There needs to be more musicians in the world like Christian Scott. Scott’s new album, Christian aTunde ADJuah, is a powerful, enthralling double disc set that employs elements of Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, and just about anything else you can think of. Quiet and pensive at times, joyous and exuberant at others, this is an album for every “on the fence” Jazz fan out there. He pays homage to Miles Davis with his trumpet and composition on tracks like “New New Orleans (King Adjuah Stomp)”, and also manages to extrapolate on that vibe to create his own modern take on the themes and techniques Davis’ pioneered. Take the dark, bassy rumble of “Jihad Joe” (embedded below) on the album’s second disc. Scott’s trumpet wails and soars across the track, enhanced by the guitar work of Matthew Stevens and the piano interplay of Lawrence Fields. The track is certainly a jazz piece, but it also has a Progressive Metal undertone to it that creates something all together new and exciting. This type of intricate and dynamic composition makes Christian aTunde ADJuah a must add to your collection, and my favorite release this week. Pick it up all twenty three tracks right now over at Amazon MP3
Joss Stone‘s career has seen her sample and transcend many different genres. Ms. Stone is always at her best when she is given the chance to explore the bluesy side of whatever genre she chooses, and that’s where we find her on The Soul Sessions Volume 2, Stone’s second foray into the world of older Blues and R&B covers. The gentle funky soul of “I Got The…” provides the perfect introduction to the record, before the 60’s R&B protest jam “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People”, where we hear what may be the records most spirited vocal performance. Other record highlights include the poppy bouncer “While You’re Out Looking For Sugar” and the down tempo, sultry gospel infused cover of Broken Bells’ “The High Road” (below). The wail of the lead guitar throughout the latter provides the perfect tone and counter melodies to Stone’s lead vocal, and the result makes for the albums finest overall track. Equal parts Janis Joplin and Adele, Ms. Stone’s voice never fails to move you. Head to Amazon MP3 for your copy.
Best known as the lead singer for the hard rocking Anberlin, Stephen Christian is also the creative force behind the gentler Anchor & Braille. Christian has knack for creating emotional soundscapes that perfectly compliment his unique and commanding vocals. On The Quiet Life, Christian gets things started with the drum looped electro dream pop bounce of tracks like “Goes Without Saying” before transitioning to the darker, more somber vibe of tracks like the indie/alt-pop crunch of “Kodacrome”. The beautiful piano ballad “Hymn For Her” is an album highlight, and one that sets the more relaxed yet ambitious tone of the records latter third. Swelling synths and big beats make the subtly R&B influenced crescendo of “Everybody Here Wants You” a thrilling success. Album closer “Before I Start Dreaming” wraps the record up wonderfully, drawing from all of the albums different directions to sum up what is sure to be a instant classic album among fans and new listeners alike. Take a listen to “In With The New” below, then pick up The Quiet Life today.