Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Album Review: "Marshall Mathers LP 2" by Eminem through L*A*W


On his new album "MMLP2", Eminem takes it back to basics by stripping down his usual heavy orchestrated beats to give his excellent lyricism, spellbinding wordplay & maniac flow the spotlight especially with songs like my favorite "Rap God" where he basically goes into beast mode. My other favorites "Rhyme Or Reason", "Survival", "Asshole" & "Brainless" which pretty much solidifies how much Em has allllllways stood & represented Real Hip-Hop regardless of his mega super-stardom & winning Oscars/Grammys. Em recognizes the lack of creativity & potent lyricism in Hip-hop & he supplies that need viciously with this album ! 

 Eminem should also get an award for the best & smartest collaborations which he has been doing since his first album. Rihanna shows up again on the very future classic "The Monster" & of course, the brilliant "Love Game" with the one & only Kendrick Lamar. Overall, "MMLP2" is a combination of his last 2 releases which were "Recovery" & "Relapse" which in my personal opinion I thought were still excellent albums though many other critics didn't agree & it was all depending on what they was basing it off of especially since Eminem pretty much was outshining other artists on their own songs when he guest appeared during that run of those 2 albums. "MMLP2" also proves that age will never ever have nothing to do with skill level...Em is 41 & still raps circles around the 99% climate of today's younger MC's...and to top it off, HE WENT PLATINUM AGAIN. NUFF SAID ! 

L*A*W can be found on Twitter @planet12law. On Google+ +lawrence worrell.  For all information visit planet-12-law.com.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Album Review: "ARTPOP" by Lady Gaga

ARTPOP the long awaited album by Lady Gaga. Where should we begin? Well, suppose track one "Aura".  It begins with a guitar melody followed by a catchy percussion beat.  Then comes Gaga's vocals and lyrics introducing what is to come on the album.  It's clear that the break, although from a tour injury, allowed the Lady Gaga we all fell in love with when "Fame" was released suited her well.

Set aside the costumes, Lady Gaga can sing, write great music, and is original.  The comparisons to artists before her should only come from her goal to create art in a new and different way.  Now back to the album itself. Track two of "Venus" incorporates great vocals with great back up melodies.  Introduces more of the subject matter ARTPOP is really about. The next track of "G.U.Y" is up for individual interpretation, but more about the give and take by men in women in relationships. "Sexxx Dreams" just dives lyrically into the subject, and basically does not hold back about the subject.

From past work such as "Fame Monster", collaborations with Lady Gaga is not new, and adds to her style. "Jewels 'N' Drugs" featuring T.I.,Too Short, Twista is brilliant, because their rhymes coincide with her vocals really well. Nice to bring back the fast paced rhymes from Twista.  T.I. and Too Short don't disappoint either.  "MANICURE" incorporates that Lady Gaga charm of upbeat vocals and music.  However, it is not about your average manicure, just listen to the lyrics.

"Do What You Want" first of all brings an old school vibe to the album by R. Kelly's feature.  The song has currently gained approval from radio and the masses as it has turned out to be a top hit.  Check out their performance from Saturday Night Live. The give and take from Lady Gaga and R. Kelly meshes flawlessly. Then again the subject matter is more on the mature sense.

"ARTPOP" is an upbeat, yet the abnormal vibe of the song gets you shaking your head or any other body parts. By listening carefully, Lady Gaga's vocals work.  Instead of the auto-tuned world we live in, you can tell the vocals are RAW.  "Swine" well is an intelligent take on people being the pigs they are when it comes to art and sex, to be blunt. "Donatella" is an interesting song about the finer things in life, and well brings an accent to the album. "Fashion!" continues to tackle to the world of caring so much about appearance in society. What is your interpretation?  The piano at the beginning of the song proves that Lady Gaga comes from an musician point of view.

"Mary Jane Holland" is a personal song from Lady Gaga. Perhaps her recent interview with BBC would better explain where she is coming from with the song.

Moving on to the last, but not least few songs on the album. "Dope" is a great song with the same vocal quality as the songs before.  "Gypsy" continues on the theme of the eccentric vibe that suits Lady Gaga and the album well. It's interesting that "Applause" the mega hit off of the album, and first released single, is the last song on the album.  However, it works after listening to the songs previously mentioned.

Congrats Lady Gaga on your hit album. You deserve some Applause for ARTPOP!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Album Review: 'Word of Mouth" by The Wanted

Yes, suddenly need to share my thoughts on the LONG awaited album by The Wanted. Why? You ask. Well, to be honest, this blog is about THE MUSIC, I want to give my honest opinion. (As if I am really qualified music critic. Yet some people enjoy my opinions)

Let's just re-live LONG.  Yes, it has taken two years for this album to finally be released. Why is this significant? Well, The Wanted was formed in 2009, and the popularity has grown significantly worldwide.  They began with school tours all over the U.K., Europe, and other places, then the tours have become bigger and better.  You are asking why you should pick up a album by a "boyband" when there is so much out there? Well, The Wanted aren't your average boyband. They realized they aren't about choreographed dance moves is not their style. The Wanted focus on the music and their vocals.

Well, each member can play instruments as well as sign. Nathan has a well ranged voice with his pianist ability. Max's voice is delightful, along with his ability to play the bass guitar. Tom has a great upper ranged voice with great electric guitar skills. Siva has a lower, but beautiful voice along with guitar skills. Last, but certainly not least Jay has a great upper range voice with percussion skills. With their musicianship, comes great personalities and need for the music ti be good quality. Despite pressure from their record label, and management, the took the time to spearhead the making of their album.

With the time passing over the years, The Wanted released singles from albums not worldwide released.  With the worldwide success of "Glad You Came" , "All Time Low", "Walks Like Rihanna", and the new singles "We Own the Night" & "Show Me Love" the accolades were sure to come. 2013 has also brought a People's Choice Award  to their list of victorious events. The TWFanmily (name of their fans) has grown all over the world, so the anticipation of a worldwide released album and tour has grown.

The album titled "Word of Mouth" has met expectations. It begins with "We Own the Night", which carries the party anthem feel good song they have released before. "In the Middle" is an upbeat yet poignant song with great lyrics.  The inclusion of hit singles "I Found You", "Walks Like Rihanna", & "Glad You Came" is great.  However, those aren't the best songs on the album.  "Summer Alive" is a great party song about that feeling during the Summer. "Glow in the Dark" is another party anthem sure to get clubs banging granted DJs add this song to their mixes. "Everybody Knows", "Love Sewn" are lyrically mature songs that obviously was coming from personal experiences the lads have had over the years. "Running Out of Reasons", "Could this Be Love", & "If We're Alright" add the the lyrically and musically poignant writing The Wanted and their producers worked together over two years. "Demons" is a great song about the angst the male psyche can experience. "Drunk On Love" changes the tone of the album with a fun useful party song.

 Ending the deluxe version of the album is "Heartbreak Story".  Yes, the song title alone stirs you in THAT direction. Granted the song was written by Max and Jay, Jay to start off the song by singing flawlessly just worked. The rest of the band lends their best vocals as well, and the break in the song with the great piano sound, you immediately remember and know Nathan is the reason.  The lyrics and the music were intertwined like a vine around a pole.  Anybody who listens to this song will relate and probably end up in tears by the end of the song.  Live performances on the upcoming world tour will become a moment everybody attending remembers.  Just listen to this song!

Whether or not you are fan of The Wanted, give this album a listen from the first song to the last.  You may be surprised by the quality and understand why it took two years to make.

Congratulations Max, Nathan, Tom, Sivan, and Jay on your new and best album YET!!