Sunday, March 11, 2007

Doe, a Deer ...

Early in the morning, dressed in black...

Well, not really. More like drinking green tea.

It's Sunday and the impending Monday dread is settling in the pit of my stomach. I still hate the shortness of weekends. Anyway...

Friday was payday (woooo!) and true to form I spent a chunk of change at a chosen spot (check the technique, losers). This time, Dusty Groove got my money. Rather than talking about my craptacular life, I figured I'd share a little piece of me, something you, dear readers, can take and tuck away in the cockles of your emotional warehouses. Walk with me readers, tour my most recent music purchases and, in doing so, take a tour of through the deepest part of me.

(Let me catch my breath. Okay.)

Most people know that I'll hit you in the face for talking crazy about Extra P. "Queens represent/Buy the album when I drop it." Yeah, I waited and when it did finally drop, a decade or so later, I got two copies, but I digress. Included here, on Breakin Atoms, are some of the best songs ever. I knew that it was the beginning of the end when a dude I was seeing said that he thought "Looking at the Front Door" was just okay. "Watch Roger Do His Thing," pure d. 90s in its earnest tone and drum pattern. Why don't more people praise William's lyrical prowess? Sure, he's no G. Rap or Rakim, but he's no Lil Dap either. One of the best albums of the 90s. If you don't think so, I don't respect you ... at all.

What a disappointment. I'm used to the Island Records Lewis Taylor, the white, slightly more creepy version of Marvin Gaye with sonically enhanced vocals and lush, layered instrumentals. This brit pop/acoustic approach does not do it for me. There is one winner, however; the acoustic version of "Lucky," which originally appears on his '96 self-titled, is a winner. Other than that, tread lightly.

I'm old. See this post for confirmation. I listen to blues artists unapologetically and I like wine coolers. So, my love for Johnnie Taylor is no surprise. I'm sure everyone knows "Last Two Dollars" and "Disco Lady," but the man had a career that spanned decades. This compilation of two of his most ridiculous albums proves why. With song titles like "Your Love Is Rated X" and "Not Just Another Booty Song," you're either a fan or you're not. If you are, pick this one up. The trademark questionable lyrics and husky voice are in full effect.

Eric muthafreakin' Roberson. I do not understand why this guy isn't a star. His songs are quite nice to the shit, he's consistent, he releases an album about every year...I just don't get it. People everywhere should be groovin to good ole Eric. Anyway, this is a live CD and DVD collection of a DC show that he apparently performed almost verbatim here in Chicago. The track list is the same, the interludes are about the same and the "ad libs" are, that's right, the same. Doesn't matter, Eric's a talented dude and deserves all the success he finds. Fans, buy this disc if you'd like live versions of some of his songs. My only gripe is that he chooses to perform some of his more cheesy hits; however, my favorites ("Couldn't Hear Me," "Right Back To You")do appear here as well.

And Eric again. This is his latest studio album and I'm not disappointed. I expected some good shit and I got it. True to form, the first four songs are bangers (his first four songs are always that shit) and the rest plays quite nicely; as a matter of act, I only dislike two songs ("ILuvU2Much" w/ Algebra and the bonus track). Out of fourteen tracks, that's pretty impressive, especially since I consider liking half of an album a triumph (M-Chill says I have the toughest ear in the City).

Yo, this chick's weird. There are no choruses or verses here, just words. The tracks are spacey, bloopy, free jazz-styled hip hop tracks, and she's obsessed with salt having a negative charge. Georgia Anne Muldrow is weird. That said, there are moments here. When she's not being super preachy or howling over tracks that sound like space farts, she's at least interesting, at most kinda engaging. Apparently, she produced, performed, wrote and recorded all 21 tracks, which is impressive. She should actually look into producing for other artists; some of these tracks bump.

Let me admit something, and please don't attack me for it. I have always thought of Marvin Gaye as a crappy singer. Furthermore, I never really gave him credit for having talent as my favorite album of his was pretty much Leon Ware's work (I Want You). I'm sorry, Marvin lovers; I was simply too busy admiring the likes of Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder to pay Marvin much attention. To me, he was just a falsettoed ladies' man with some sexy songs, which is a shame since I own or have heard many of his albums that negate this theory, including Trouble Man and What's Going On. So, I finally buy and listen to Here, My Dear. Really. All I can say is, "Oops." He really uses his voice on this album. Pain, laughter, wryness, bitterness--it's all here. It's like a double album precursor to Erykah Badu's "Green Eyes." And who knew that Marvin was so clever, smart, funny and vindictive? Just hand me a late pass on this one cuz I was seriously sleeping. I think it has to do with the personal pain index. I tend not to really appreciate artists until they're forced to emote publicly and on record. His divorce allowed him to do that, so we are now cool. RIP Marvin. Sorry I slept.

I love crazy rappers with senses of humor. Ghost is a crazy rapper with a sense of humor. I love Ghost. See how that wonderful chain of logic works? So, Dusty Groove didn't have More Fish, but they did have this, so I bought it. Unfortunately, I have most of these songs already. Fortunately, they appear on this disk with much better sound quality. Not much to say here. Most of these songs are great ("The Watch," "The Sun"), some suck. If you aren't a bad person who scavenges the Internet to illegally download "lost" Ghostface tracks, I'd recommmend that you get this collection.


Monica said...

Georgia Ann Muldrow is mad weird. Main Source is SO AWESOME. Your colleague does not agree you know.

rasol said...

breaking atoms is defintely one of the best in the 90s. period, I think I have two copies too, bought one from a down south (same state) pawn shop years back.

agreed with most of what you bought, and agree with your comments on Marvin. It is easier to champion an underdog like Leon Ware, but Hear My Dear (which I do not own) and Trouble Man is on some other level shit.

I shouldn't get the Lewis Taylor, huh. All I have is Vault 1.5, but I don't like live albums so I won't buy Erro Live.

Left is on the list though. And I appreciate your appreciation of Johnny Taylor...."your love is rated X..." is a classic.

send me some good hip-hop I shouldn't give up on

now the wine coolers? (shaking my head)...what brand?

add my site to your "lanks" please.

miss those dustygroove trips with you

Ridwan Laher said...

I must confess too that I could not feel Marvin Gaye for a long time ... then I grew(s) ... and there he was on South African cable today .... I thought of your post ... your comments on me blog ... and well here I am :0)

I really enjoyed reading your post ... but I'm an old brother who sadly must go out and buy all the other stuffs you mention ... and will get back to ya.

ps. please see "Blog me a Racist Kangaroo" on my blog ... the comments section ... oh I'm fuming and you will see why ;)

Be well Sista.

Peace and struggle,

Ridwan Laher said...

oops ... it was a retro look back on brother Marvin on S. African cable ... may he rest in peace.


Anonymous said...

I was there! Please don't ask why I feel the need to inform your readers that I was present when you came home with your new treasurs...