The 20/20 Experience ~ Justin Timberlake

twenny

Justin Timberlake dazzled us with Future Sex /Love Sounds six years ago, an album which could best be described as eargasmic. I doubt there is anyone who didnt love every record on that album.

Then, come 2013, he dropped Suit and Tie as the debut song off his new album The 20/20 experience and some of us were left wondering why Justin was trying to sound like Robin Thicke. It was not the sound that we are accustomed to when it comes to Justin, and despite the fact that the song features Jayz still does not make it any more spectacular in my opinion. Even if i am a major jigga stan 

To be honest, Suit and Tie made me think that maybe Justin Timberlakes album would not match up to the success of his last album, then he dropped Mirrors which renewed my faith in his vocal prowess, and I stumbled upon a full album stream which JT was kind enough to share before his album drops, and I cannot stop listening to it!

Justin has teamed up with producer Timberland, and once again they have managed to create musical gold!  Just like in FSLS (Future Sex/Love Sounds) the songs features intros and outros which is like a bonus because you get the benefit of listening to two songs as one.

Pusher Love Girl

This song has a neo-soul feel to it, with a twinge of Southern flow. The song breaks out into an intro featuring Timberlands signature sounds, with JT spitting some lines.

Suit & Tie

I must admit, this song grew on me, so I do not hate it as much as I did at first. JayZ‘s rap is luck lustre in my opinion, but the song has a nice mellow feel to it.

Dont Hold The Wall

The song begins with a beautiful acappella, followed by some Arabic like, tribal instrumentals and beats. Justin’s vocals and Timberland’s beats are just magical, you can clearly see how awesome their collaborative work is.

Strawberry Bubblegum

This is my favourite song off this album. From the intro to the outro, the lyrics, the beats, nothing but amazing. I never pay attention to lyrics of songs, but this one definitely reached out to me.

‘Don’t ever change your flavour coz I love the taste’

He is basically telling some lucky woman somewhere that he loves her for who she is, and she shouldn’t change anything. Sigh, JT should have just married me!

The songs fades out into a soothing jazzy beat, as Justin serenades us with his sensational voice. Baby making music right here!

Tunnel Vision

It’s hard to miss Timberland’s ad libs in this song, and the harmony in the vocals is simply splendid.

Spaceship Coupe

JT puts the Rhythm in this blues, a lovely ballad with an impressive electric guitar solo towards the end of the song.

That Girl

The repetitive chorus tends to stick in your head, I do not mind the southern feel to the jam.

Let The Groove Get In

The compilation of all the instruments and the vocals is simply magnificent, and a joy to listen to. The outro, do not mess with Justin’s soprano, he hits all the right notes, and blends in perfectly with the acappella.

Mirrors

What’s not to love about this song? It speaks for itself, it is everything.

Blue Ocean Floor

This mellow tune gives you a greater appreciation for his voice, it’s so lovely and serene.

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Given that I had the worst expectations for this album, I am pleasantly surprised and deeply in love with it. I give it an 8/10. I strongly recommend you read this track by track review and 20 things you need to know about the 20/20 experience to get a greater appreciation for this album.

 

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Unapologetic – Rihanna

This is Rihanna‘s 7th studio album, and the fourth album she has released in November, seems like it has become a trend for her.

She has released an album every year since she started singing from 2005, except from in 2008. Despite the fact that this lady is controversial  you have to give her props for being so hard working, it is no surprise that she is the worlds biggest pop sensation.

I got my hands on the album today, and I loved it so much I was compelled to do a review immediately. Here is my take on Unapologetic.

Fresh off the runway

This song is a bit too noisy for my taste, I do not fancy it much.  The song is produced by David Guetta and written by The Dream.

Diamonds

I did not like the video for this song at all, simply because there was nothing new about it. It is done in black and white, she is barely dressed and blowing smoke which we saw in the videos for  Take Care and You Da One.

I prefer the bonus Diamond track in the album rather than the original. The base and the beats on the Dave Aude remix makes it my favorite version. The Gregor Salto downtempo remix like the name suggests is more down tempo in comparison to the remix and the original.

This song was written by Sia and produced by Stargate and Benny Blanco.

Numb Ft Eminem

Rihanna has this habit of having very repetitive choruses like we found love, where have you been, and now numb.  Maybe that is her winning formula for creating hits, because this song is very catchy.

Pour it up

This is actually my least favorite song in this album, I find it too repetitive and bland. Turns out it was produced by Michael Williams who was also behind Bands to make her dance, one of my favorite jams.

Loveeee Song ft Future

This is that baby making jam! Future does a fantastic job on the hook, we can even forgive him for going the autotune route. The song was also written by him too.  It is a typical love song, everybody needs love and affection. I love how him and Rihanna harmonize towards the end.

Jump

This song has a dubstep reggae feel to it, which makes it both unique and a thrill to listen to. Rihanna also samples Ginuwine’s hit My Pony for the chorus, singing it in that sultry way that she has made us accustomed to.

Right Now Ft David Guetta

Rihanna + David Guetta  = Certified Banger! That is what you get when you combine Rihanna’s vocals and David Guetta’s beats, a fusion of pure perfection.  The hook is catchy, and easy to sing along to (the secret to having a hit song IMO). I think ‘We are young right now’ is a better motto than ‘YOLO’. The song was written by Neyo and Ester Dean.

 What Now

The beauty of this woman is that she somehow manages to sound different in some songs, and I love how she sounds in the beginning of each verse of this song. The instrumentals are quite something as well, especially at the chorus. She should shoot this video by the beach, when the tide is high and the waves are hitting rocks during the chorus.

Stay Ft Mikky Ecko

I like the simplicity of this song, Rihanna’s voice with the piano playing in the background. This song exhibit’s the prowess of her voice, and pairing up with Mikky Ecko makes this joint sound simply divine.

 Nobody’s Business Ft Chris Brown

The world went insane when it was discovered that Rihanna was back with Chris Brown, even after the domestic abuse she went through with him. This song seems to be their response to everyone, it is none of our business.

Following the success of the birthday cake remix, this duet is even better. No one can deny that they sound good together. I think they sound happy. There truly isn’t another love like theirs.
Rihanna once again samples the vocals of the late Michael Jackson from the song ‘The way you make me feel’ making the song sound even better.

Love without tragedy/ Mother Mary

These two songs seem like a summation of Rihanna’s relationship with Chris Brown, it is like a subtweet in the form of song. They were both written by The Dream

Get it over with

I love how the male vocals in this track blend well with Rihanna’s to create the perfect harmony.  I consider this the RnB pick of unapologetic, the acappella creates a beautiful melody, I love it.

No Love Allowed

Rihanna will always stay true to her Barbadian roots, and this song with its reggae vibes is proof. This song is the best anthem for women who are still addicted to those men who are totally wrong for them.

Lost In Paradise

I am really digging this song, it’s upbeat and just makes you want to jump around like a lunatic. Dubstep lovers, this one is definitely for you. It was produced by Stargate and written by Ester Dean.

Half Of Me

I think Rihanna is trying to tell the world that the things we see on the media featured about her are only half of her, there’s a whole lot more to her than we think … apparently.

The song was written by Emelie Sande and Adele.

In a nutshell, I think Unapologetic is an amazing album, and I give it an 8/10. Rihanna keeps redefining herself with each new album not just with her music but her looks too. I like the fact that she is not monotonous, and does not fear change. If you are a Rihanna fan, you will definitely love this album.

Take Care ~ Drake’s sophomore album

photo courtesy of  OVOXO

Take Care was leaked 9 days before it’s official release date, I wonder what effect that will have on his album sales. This LP is a more mellow and rhythmic production from Drake, not really focusing on Rap.  This album has already received a lot of criticism; let us see how the industry will perceive it.

The following is my take on some of the songs on this album:

Crew love

I love the instrumentals on this joint, and the vocals done by The Weeknd are good, kinda sounds like Trey Songs.

Take Care

Rihanna does the hook for the song, and she sounds awesome. These two clearly create magic together when they collaborate. The lyrics for this song are amazing and I like the interlude, sounds like something Timberland would do.

That truth hurts, and those lies heal.

Marvins Room

Everybody who has just gotten out of a relationship can relate to this song. Numerous covers were done, most popularly Jojo’s cover which is the female version of the song. The song was originally not slated for this album, but was included due to it’s tremendous success.

Make me Proud ft. Nicki Minaj

The hook, which is repetitive, just sticks in your head, inadvertently making it catchy in its own right.

I still find it shocking that Nicki can sing, and she does it well.

Lord Knows ft Rick Ross

I love the whole choir thing going on in this track, they really give the song some oomf. Rick Ross and Drake pair up once again to make yet another hit.

The hustles an art, I painted what I could think.

Camera/Good ones go

The only thing I like about this song is the chorus, I do not like Drake’s monotone voice in this song.

The interlude, The good ones go, has some amazing lyrics and we are exposed to Drake’s singing prowess.

Doing it wrong ft Stevie Wonder

This is definitely not the right type of music to listening to if you are in a troubling relationship. Drake belts it all out in this song, talking about how things are not going right. I really wish Stevie Wonder had contributed vocally not just instrumentally. I think he would have added a little something to the song.

The real her ft Lil Wayne and Andre 3000

Lil Wayne and Andre 3000 save this song from being luck luster in my opinion, they sound good and have great lyrics.

HYFR ft Lil Wayne

Finally Drake goes hard on this joint and shows us that although he has gone all soft in this album, he still has something for people who like rap.

Lil Wayne is on the hook which is quite catchy.

Look what you’ve done

‘it’s just words, but they cut deep.’

The lyrics on this song  make a good story, but apart from that it doesn’t really appeal to me much.

Practice

I really like this song, and the instrumentals remind me of some old hip hop song, which I do not recall right now.

I haven’t yet heard track number 17 and 18 yet, I am hoping they will be out of the Take Care box if that makes sense.

xoxo,

Watch the throne: A Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration

I like to consider myself a huge Jay-Z fan, I dig his music, his savvy business sense, his suave style, what’s not to love about him?! Though sometimes I find it difficult to defend my fandom, I know what me and Jay have is special. I discovered today that Jay-Z is Shawn and not Sean smh I need to brush up on my Jigga knowledge.

Today morning I got to listen to a track from Watch the Throne, the new album by Jay-Z and Kanye West, called Lift off featuring Beyonce and I loved it! It made me get excited about the album, and thanks to one of my tweeps I got my hands on it and it is all I have been listening to all day.

I haven’t done an album review in a minute and this is definitely an album worth reviewing.

First up, the album art is very creepy in my opinion. Looking at them kinda makes me shiver, they look like they contain some hidden message that will infiltrate your mind if you stare at it for long. There are pictures of Jigga and Ye with fangs and whiskers, and their eyes look weird 0_o. Then there is a picture of the grains of wood, which makes no sense and another one of an angel with a star on the centre of her face, very creepy looking. The first thing that came into my mind was Illuminati!! Though I have never really taken that Illuminati story seriously…

This was the only picture that was not soo weird, though it still kinda is, that was not featured in the digital booklet.

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No church in the wild feat Frank Ocean and The Dream has some catchy beats, and a nice hook that you cannot help but sing along to. Without reading the credits I would have never guessed that was The Dream on the track.

Lift Off  featuring Beyonce is hands down my favourite track. It is such a catchy, feel good track. A number of talented people are behind this song. Kanye West produced it; Q-tip and Pharell have also been credited as co-producers. Additional production was done by Don Jazzy, repping for Africa, plus he also provided additional vocals together with Seal and Mr Hudson. The lyrics for this song make no sense to me, apart from the hook. Either way I love it!

N**as in Paris is the 3rd track in this LP was actually recorded in Paris. There is just something about this song, Jay-Z and Kanye sound awesome.

Despite the fact that Otis was released earlier, today was when I got to finally hear it. I also had the opportunity to listen to Otis freestyles by DMX and Busta, and Tinie Tempah (his was my favourite). It is definitely a big tune, featuring Otis Redding and contains samples from James Brown. I heard the Games Otis diss track and he has nothing over these guys.

Jay is chilling, Ye is chilling, what more can I say??

James Brown has been sampled once again on Gotta Have it, a Neptunes produced track. Kid Cudi provides additional vocals for this joint. This song never really caught my attention.

I really like the lyrics of New Day, Jay and Kanye talk about how they will raise their sons and the kind of lives they want for them.

‘See, I just want ‘em to have an easy life, Not like Yeezy life,

Just want ‘em to be someone people like’

Don’t want ‘em to be hated all the time judged

Don’t be like your daddy that would never budge.’

‘Sins of a father make your life ten times harder’

That’s my B**** This song is so catchy, it is already stuck in my head.

‘I’ve been waiting for a long, long time / Just to get off and throw my hands up high / And live my life, and live my life / Just to get off and throw my hands up high.’

I am really feeling the Swizz Beats produced, Welcome to the jungle. Love how Jigga and Ye spit, though I feel like the song is too short.

Who gon stop me is track number 9, which has additional vocals by Mr Hudson, Verse Simmonds and Swizz Beats. I really dig the instrumentals on this track.

Murder To Excellence which as Jay-Z says is a celebration of black excellence. The song talks about violence against black people and encourages blacks to reach the levels of O (whom I assume is Oprah) and Will smith.

‘Praise the Lord / You the girl that Jesus had been saving me for / So let’s savor this moment / And take it to the floor / Black excellence.’

Kanye is at it again with his cockiness on Made in America with Frank Ocean featured yet again on the hook.

‘Ni**as hustle every day for a beat from Ye / What I do? Turn around gave them beats to Jay / And I’m rappin’ on the beat they was supposed to buy / I guess I’m getting high off my own supply .’

Why I Love you featuring Mr Hudson has a rock feel to it, and Jay-Z totally kills it! If people take/took you for granted this song is definitely for you. I especially like the dialog Hov and Ye have going towards the end of the song.

Watch the Throne, I must say I was not really anticipating it, maybe that is why I am really feeling it. Kanye West has produced majority of the songs on this album, James Brown seems to have been an influence as they sampled a couple of his songs.

If I was to award this album stars, Id give it 3 stars out of 5.

 

Rihanna gets LOUD

I am totally loving the new Rihanna. I like the fact she redefines herself whenever she releases her albums, and comes out with a new look and a new feel every time.

Loud reveals a happy go lucky Robin, with fiery red hair, who is high spirited, hopeful, positive and has moved on from the whole Chris Brown saga and onto a happier phase in her life.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.

S&M is an upbeat tune that can become an anthem for all the naughty girls out there 😉 What’s not to love about this song. It has a nice catchy beat, which is kind of reminiscent of SOS. I hope she shoots a video for this jam FTW.

California King Bed has a nice acoustic sound to it, and Rihanna’s vocals sound terrific. If she put some effort, this can be a great track to perform live.

Cheers (drink to that) has a rockish feel to it, and Rihanna has sampled audio from Avril Lavigne I hate how some people pronounce Lavigne like lasagne bleh. I like how she says Jameson, though I do not particularly fancy that drink.

Cheers to the freaking weekend I’ll drink to that.

I love her verses in Love the way you lie part 2 she sounds amazing, I am not a fan of the chorus though, simply because part1 was overplayed. Eminem of course kills it on the rap.

Skin is a raunchy steamy tune which may get you all hot and bothered 😉

I think Complicated is a song every girl can relate to. Sometimes things can get very complicated with some men.

You’re not easy to love.

In Man down Rihanna embraces her carribean roots. The song has an upbeat reggae tempo and I like how her Barbadian accent comes out, she sounds very good.

I love the instrumentals on Fading, very beautiful. The song is catchy and I know it will definitely reach many people who have been hurt by their significant others in one way or another. Personally I’d dedicate it to my ex 🙂

You said you loved me, but they feel like words to me.

I was a bit disappointed by Raining men which features Nicki Minaj. It sounds very bubble gum and commercial, I cannot put my finger on it. I expected much better. I can only imagine the insanity these two will get up to in the video.

We all know how in love I am with Only girl. It has an uber cool dance feel to it, catchy beats that make u bop up and down to. I absolutely love the video, she looks absolutely gorgeous frolicking among the flowers in that very hot backless corsette, I want!!! This should be every girls anthem.

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Oh na na na What’s my name is my current obsession. The instrumentals are amazing, I doubt she can pull the song off live. I still think Drakes rap makes no sense except from:

I heard you good with them soft lips, yeah you know word of mouth.

It is a song you just cannot get out of your head, instilling crazy thoughts and impossible expectations, but I still love it nonetheless. Plus she looks so gorgeous in the video, her pretty eyes, funky nail polish and awesome tattoos, can someone say girl crush!!

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Loud is one of those album’s which you can listen to through and through and enjoy every track. If I was to award it stars, I would give it 4 and a half.

Thank Me Later

After the unbelievable success of Drake’s mix tape ‘So Far Gone’, his debut album “Thank Me Later’ is finally out. Despite the fact that it was leaked on the internet weeks before it was released, the album is number 1 on the Billboard 200, RnB/Hiphop albums chart, Rap Album chart and it is the number 1 Canadian Album go figure 🙂 The album sold 447,000 copies in its first week, which is the Year’s 3rd best sales week for an album.

So I will give you a run through of my take on the songs featured in this album and the rhymes that caught my ‘eye’ ears:

Fireworks

I am such a gentleman, You should give it up for me.

Ladies, please do not fall for this line 🙂

Alicia Keys does the hook on this track, I find it kind of monotonous, but it really has staying power because ‘All I see is Fireworks’ is left playing in your head over and over again. I wish she had like a verse on this song though, I think she could have contributed a whole lot more to this track.

Karaoke

The 1st love is the sweetest, but that 1st cut is the deepest..

That line really stands out in this song. I think it sounds very Sadeish i’m not such a huge fan, yeah i said it!

Resistance

I’m living inside a moment, not taking pictures to save it.

It’s too mellow for my liking…

Over

This was the first song released in this album, and I think it’s one of the best songs on it. The instrumentals and beats on this joint are just divine. Drake kills it, and thanks to him, everyone is doing themselves 🙂

One thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain

Show me a good time

It has some nice beats, I see this song becoming a hit soon..

Up all night feat. Nicki Minaj

Miss Minaj is kind enough to inform us about how she has made a million from a mixtape, well madam, where’s the album???

I expected a lot more from the two of them, I found this song lack luck lustre to say the least.

Fancy feat. Swizz Beats & T.I

Oh you fancy huh?!

T.I, how have I missed this man! You’ve just gotta love his southern swag. I like the outerlude of this song.

Shut it down feat The Dream

Radio Killer makes an appearance on this album. We have yet another cool outerlude.

Unforgettable feat Young Jeezy

Aaliyah’s ‘Let me know’ has been sampled giving you a nostalgic feeling from the second you begin listening to  this track.

The pain hurts like a cut from a beautiful knife.

Young Jeezy and Drake together managed to work some amazing magic.

Light Up feat JayZ

Anything featuring Jigga and I am sold signed! sealed! delivered!

I like the chorus.

Miss me feat Lil Wayne

Yeah I am Weezy but I ain’t asthmatic.

This album would not be complete without Drake’s mentor Weezy F Baby please say the baby.

Find your love

The first time I heard this song, I actually thought it was sang by Kanye because his name is written all over it.

Picture him writing 'Produced by Yeh'

The beats are just crazy, Kanye West still has it when it comes to production. Drake sounds amazing on this joint, and even live he can still pull the song of. Check this live performance out, though I think the band sorta let him down.

I’m more than just an option, refuse to be forgotten.

This is one of my favorite jams, love the video as well, it has a great story line that chic has got back, it is too big to be real.

With this album Drake has managed to show the world his versatility when it comes to rapping and singing, though I feel like most of the songs have the same sort of feel to them. There is nothing really different about most of them. In my opinion, this album did not live up to the hype..

The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z

When word came out about this album I was super excited!! I adore Jay-Z he is definitely my favorite rapper.

The Blueprint 3

Whats the album art about??

Just like Black Album, Jay-Z did it again!! Kingdom Come and American Gangstar were aight, but BP3 is GREAT!!!

The first single debuted from the album was D.O.A death of auto tune, a song which TPayne did not take a shine to because of the obvious. I did not mind the song, but I loved Jiggas hair all grown out, he looked edgy and cool.

The next hyped up song was Run This Town featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. The video really shed some light on the whole controversy about Jay-Z being an Illuminati and what not. The whole Roc-a-Fella diamond symbol being placed between the eye is apparently some Illuminati sign. I still do not know what my take on the whole issue is, that’s another post for another day.

Empire State of Mind is a big tune! I absolutely love it!! It does actually live you in an empire state of mind. Alicia Keys does a brilliant job on vocals and on the piano it’s just an amazing song. Line’s like

‘Jesus playing Lebron I’m playing Dwayne Wade’

Further fuelled the whole Illuminati business.

How can we not talk about On to the next one featuring Swizzy with amazing beats, prolific video. Jay-Z looks very hot, yes I think he is hot, he works with what he’s got. The song definitely gives you a cool philosophy for life, when things seem to be going wrong, just move on to the next one..

Majestic

photo credit plus a great story here

Jay-Z’s versatility is displayed in Forever Young with Mr. Hudson. Amazing song, I am embarrassed to say I have never watched the video, but that’s something Youtube will sort me out with.

I really like As real as it gets featuring young Jeezy, the instrumentals touch my heart, and I really think it’s a song to look out for. If they do not make a video for it I’d be really disappointed.

Drake is the hottest rapper on the scene right now so it comes as no surprise that he was featured in Off That, an absolutely banging track that sounds like a Timberland production. So if you still on Cristal, Timbs, and Rims, just get off that!

A star is Born also gets my mark of approval, and I like how Jay-Z sounds in Venus vs Mars.

Kid Cudi features on Already Home and he sounds amazing on the hook, I really think this will be a hit right there.

Haters featuring Kanye West is just okay, nothing special, so is Reminder.

The last track on BP3 is So Ambitious featuring Pharell, and I am glad these two came together yet again. The pair make amazing music together, this track is nice and mellow.

What I love about this album is that I enjoy listening to every song. I think Blue Print 3 was very nicely done, and it has been doing very well. It’s currently number 32 in the Billboard 200 and is the 3rd hottest rap album this week. So if you’re a Jay-Z fan, or you like hip hop get a hold of this album!