Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push

The video for "Kick Push" is finally out. I love how they choose some of the more subtler and lesser known Chicago locations (the Puerto Rican flag gate on Western and Division), but nothing terribly impressive except for some cool skateboarding tricks. If you haven't heard this song yet, now is a good time for an introduction. This kid is talented in the classical sense and I'm itching for the day that Food and Liquor drops. You can watch the video here:


Windows Media


Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Concretes - In Colour

Don't look so glum. The new Concretes album isn't as good their self-titled debut, but that album was amazing, so it would be difficult for anyone to produce an equal follow up. I'm sure you probably miss the hazy overtones of the production and the unique combination of the Velvet Underground's minimalism and The Supremes' bursting choruses that took the songs to delightful heights. At first listen, In Colour seems like another bland and unimaginative indie pop release because of the absence of said hazy production, but the real strong suit of The Concretes is still there: the songs, silly. In Colour may feel less dream-like than its predeccessor, but it's still worth the time of any melody addict looking for a soundtrack to the spring season. "Tomorrow" is the one track that reminds me the most of their 2004 album and further proves that if the original songwriting thing doesn't work out, they could very well have a future as the greatest Mazzy Star cover band to ever grace this universe.

The Concretes-Tomorrow

You can buy the album at Amazon by clicking here

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Van Hunt - On The Jungle Floor

Holy shit. I know it's pretty cliche of a blog to use hyperbole, but once again I gotta say it. Holy shit. I dug Van Hunt a lot the first time around. His self-titled debut released in 2004 was a very solid effort and had a few tracks that would help to break him away from being lumped in with all the other inauthentic, over-produced neo-soul flavors of the month. The choruses on "Dust" (a top 10 single of the year for me) and "Hold My Hand" shimmered vibrantly and more cheerily than most modern soul does nowadays. But for his latest album, On The Jungle Floor, which was just released this Tuesday, Mr. Hunt fulfills the promise he showed on Van Hunt and clearly stakes a claim for the title of soul's boy wonder. D'Angelo is too busy gaining weight and smoking weed. Maxwell hasn't been heard from since 2001. And as much as I love Anthony Hamilton, he's a one-trick pony, ladies and gentlemen. In what is typical of sophomore albums, Hunt expands his sound, runninng the gamut from smooth funk to even some pyschedelic rock. It's clearly no surprise why Van Hunt was one of the few artists to escape Sly's Grammy tribute unscathed. This album proves that he is the real deal and one of today's true progenies of Sly's sound (instead of say, Ciara or the guy from LFO). On The Jungle Floor is the first album I've heard this year that has chiseled its place on my top 20. The two tracks that I'm digging the most are "The Thrill Of This Love," which probably has the most soaring hook on the whole album and seems like the kind of would-be single that everyone except for America could embrace. "Hot Stage Lights" is the album cover come to life. Suave, sexy, smoldering and funky. Just check out the man's threads in that picture. If there was ever a wikipedia entry on being the shit, Van Hunt would have several links on it. It's beyond clear that he's the man of the year.

The Thrill Of This Love
Hot Stage Lights

You can also buy the album here at Amazon