Mark Ronson

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So I’m going to do this review a bit different from my previous ones. No background. Just pure commentary.

…. THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING! So of course ‘Uptown Funk’ is what brought me to the album but in al honesty, it is not even the best song.  Well before I get into the actual songs, I guess I’ll focus on the theme. Mark Ronson takes you back to the great sound of Funk. With hard bass lines, catchy guitar solos, and harmonica features from Stevie Wonder, he brings together all of the elements for a successful soundscape. There is the reoccurring motif of “9 exits north of Las Vegas” (I still haven’t found out where that is) that creates the message of getting away and escaping.

Now to the music. The song “Heavy and Rolling”, featuring Andrew Wyatt, plays right into the get away theme as he speaks on “[finding] a place to soothe [his] weary soul”. The motif “9 exits north of Las Vegas” is played throughout the album through songs called ‘Uptown’s First Finale’, ‘Crack in The Pearl’, and ‘crack in the Pearl, Pt. II ‘that all feature Stevie Wonder. To be very honest, Crack in the Pear and Pt. II are my favorites *hint hint* I also really enjoy ‘Daffodils’ because of how easy it is on the ears but makes you nod your head to the beat. The only song that I’m not too fond of is ‘I Can’t Lose” which features Keyone Starr, it is kind of repetitive and at first it pulls you in but loses its drive. I was also really excited to hear Mystikal (N.O shout out!) on ‘Feel Right’, reminds me of an angrier James Brown.

Any who, if you get the chance, preferable on a long drive (I have found that’s when I really enjoy this album hints the need to get away), check it out on Spotify!

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Alessia Cara

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Alessia Cara “Here”

Sorry for not posting in the last few weeks, college has gotten VERY busy. With mid-terms, random tests, and trying to manage a social life on top of everything else. But, I have managed to find some really good music to get me through it (like how I did that lol). Alessia Cara graced my ears with “Here” during a Halloween expedition in the middle of New Orleans. As we danced, and tried to sing along, I decided that this song deserved countless reviews…but ill only do one. Canadian singer and songwriter Alessia Caracciolo released “Here” in April of 2015 and it has taken over. The anti-party song describes everything we all think while being at a party when we’d “rather be at home all by ourselves”.  And let’s be honest, we all have that “anti-social pessimist[ic]” vibe while being at parties that our friends forced us to go to. This song gives me so much life. Her voice is warm and kind of reminds me of Corinne Bailey Rae, just with a bit more edge. If you haven’t listened to “Here” yet, you can check it out and many of Alessia Cara’s other songs on Spotify.

Marian Hill

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Marian Hill, composed of: production artist, Jeremy Lloyd, singer, Samantha Gongol, and, improvisational jazz artist Steve Davit, has made its way to the K-List.  Originally off of first listen I though it was Kimbra because of the style of music and Samantha Gongol’s tone and phrasing, but as I kept listening I realized, this group has a bit more edge and sensual appeal than the New Zealand singer. So of course I did a bit of research and found that the duo, really trio, is out of Philadelphia. Seems to be a trend amongst artist I like. Anyway, I found it pretty interesting they record and prefer to record, in Jeremy’s bedroom. They stated that it is more intimate and comfortable and that they don’t feel restricted to time constraints. Samantha credits many old school singers as her influences such as; Whitney Houston, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and Lauryn Hill.  As you listen to her sing you can tell that there is a soulful element in her voice that can be tied to those older artists, “vocals layered for added density and sweetness, synthesizers with room to breathe, percussion that’s deliberate and potent. Ms. Gongol’s sultry singing is influenced by 1990s R&B and also cabaret”. (NY Times John Caramanica)  Jeremy credits Kanye West, Drake, 40 (Drake’s Producer), and many electro musicians such as; Lido, Cashmere Cat, and duo Aluna George as some of his influences. The duo released their first EP “Play” in 2013 and recently released “Sway” in the beginning of 2015. My personal favorite tracks are “Got It” and “One Time”  so give them a chance on Spotify !

Noctunes

So as i sit writing my History paper over Shay’s Rebellion, i must admit i got pretty drained. You know, when your fingers can’t press the right keys, your mind begins to wander to what food is down in the cafeteria , or even how you can summarize this essay and still manage a B . Well anyway, I switch over to Spotify for some relief from my #CollegeLifeProbs and to my surprise Willis Earl Beal has a new album. So , this will be a pretty regular post because i never follow an artists albums , just because i enjoy “finding” music. This new album titled “Noctunes” has a more melancholy feel compared to his first album “Nobody Knows ” released n 2013. It is easy to tell that Beal is in a different place in his music and is even experimenting more with his voice and the music accompanying him. Also , i will warn you , the songs range more in length , the third song “Lust” is 6:47 but is worth each second. So when you get that chance , check out Willis Earl Beal “Noctunes” on Spotify. Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 6.35.09 PM

James Blake

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So if you’ve seen the movie #TheGabriellaDouglasStory then you know this song as the background music when Gabi is truly molding herself into a gymnast . Little do you know that catchy mellow song in the back is #JamesBlake singing #Retrograde. A song with smooth hum rifts and synthesizers blaring , James Blake truly sticks a landing on the #KList with this one. Check it out!

FUN

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Quick story on how I fell in love with this song and the artist Fun. . So I was driving , am having the WORST of mornings. My puppy was not cooperating, it was raining, and I managed to be stopped at every red light possible. So of course I’m frustrated to the fullest but then the light rock , smooth balladic voice of Nate Ruess took over my car. Since then I’ve been HOOKED! Fun has released 2 albums Aim and Ignite in 2009 and Some Nights in 2012. This New York based band has earned a spot on The KList! Check them out using Spotify!