Thursday, May 26, 2016

Three Mini Music Reviews: Ladies Edition

 Lemonade - Beyonce
Genre: R&B/Pop

Queen Bey (still not sure which pronunciation is correct) came through with another surprise visual project, 'cause she slays. Now, I've always had an interesting relationship with Beyonce because she's had to grow on me ever since the Destiny's Child days. By the time B-Day came out, I was finally sold on her skills as an artist and entertainer. Thing is, I still managed to forget to check out her new albums after I Am Sasha Fierce. (Please don't throw things at my profile picture!) I only listened to singles, until last month when I finally gave the BEYONCE LP a full listen based off the merit of Formation.

Due to the exclusivity of this release (TIDAL again, then not having Apple Music), I debated the purchase of the controversial, yet highly lauded body of work. I finally got to hear some previews of the tracklist and convinced to buy Lemonade. I must say that I don't regret it at all as it ranges for all sides that Beyonce has displayed before, yet more focused as it chronicled her experience with Jay-Z's infidelity. Plus with the same expressive freedom she displayed in the previous LP that I heard a month prior. Some favorites include "Hold Up", "Sorry", "Freedom", and "Formation". I recommend this project to any Beyonce fan who already has the anyone who enjoys a mix of new R&B and old school R&B with other urban music influences.

Thank You - Meghan Trainor
Genre: Pop

To be honest, I was one of those intrigued by Meghan's emergence with "All About That Bass" and checked out the other future singles "Dear Future Husband" & "Lips Are Moving" to believe she might get trapped by her throwback niche. Therefore, I never looked into her Title album out of disinterest. What made me decide to give her another chance was knowing she was a positive thinking songwriter and the all-too-catchy single "No". This ultimately led me to giving Thank You a listen to see if she really had more to offer.

Surprisingly, I found she truly had made a fantastic album. What really took me aback was how it made me nostalgic of childhood days of hearing Britney Spears & "Genie in a Bottle" Christina Aguilera. I haven't really listened to such clean pop in so long, especially with pop radio (the rare times I do hear it) containing Selena, Ariana, and others cursing and more overtly sexual. The good thing is, the songwriting didn't really suffer from being kid friendly, save for "Dance Like Your Daddy". Though I was caught off guard by Yo Gotti's featured verse on "Better" that was on topic and clean as a whistle. Standouts on this project are the singles, "No" & "Me Too", alongside "Watch Me Do", "I Love Me", & "Just a Friend to You". Even with some Doo-Wop tracks in the mix, I can recommend this to any lover of good old pop music.

Nobody's Bitch - Lindsey Alderman
Genre: R&B/Hip Hop

I was introduced to this young lady through a good friend of mine, Brail Watson, who collaborated with her on a lovely song called "Old School Love". After that, I had to research her own work and came across Polarity that showed me just what her sound encapsulates. It has a very hip hop base, yet isn't afraid to revert to more traditional R&B sounds. I knew I had to keep my ears open for anything new she had to release after that first taste.

This recent release delved more into that lovely duality that she brings when I realized that she's like a combination of Rihanna, (newer) Beyonce, Ciara, & Nicki Minaj sonically. I feel like Lindsey approaches her songwriting much like a rapper would, but somehow channels it through singing somewhat like a female T-Pain (without the autotune.) She brings songs about her music hustle, her loyalty in relationships and that being betrayed, as well as how that has made her a strong, independent woman. This all delivered in that captivating artistry gave great tunes like "Hustle", "Paradise", "I'm the One", & "Know Ya Place". I recommend this to folks who enjoy tunes from artists like Tinashe and Jhene Aiko.

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