SONY PARTS WAYS WITH DR. LUKE
Kemosabe CEO out on the heels of legal battle with Kesha. (4/26a)
TOP 20: IT'S FIVE MORE, INNIT?
Kendrick continues. (4/26a)
CHART BATTLE BREWING?
Stapleton vs. Logic: it's on. (4/26a)
Beyonce the benefactor. (4/26a)
411 ON THE 6-1-5
Shania's got a new album. (4/26a)
Allan Rayman's otherworldly and genre-defying voice sticks with you, like a feeling of guilt that you can't shake or a monkey on your back. He'll haunt you to your core and have you begging for more.
This point is proved on Roadhouse 01, a 13-track set he released via Communion at the end of February. Listen, moan out of satisfaction, repeat; at least that's my advice.
Rayman's swagger is undeniable, regardless of the fact that he can't lean on the crutch of categorization. In fact, his inability to be pinpointed is part of what makes him so cool. Sultry guitar riffs come out to play on songs like "Head Over Heels," "25.22" and "Sweetheart," giving him moments of Alternative realness, but hip-hop beats and R&B vibes are integral throughout. Influences of jazz, blues and synth-driven '80s pop are also made clear.
Aggression and frail sensitivity dance like partners on this album, which starts off with a chilling piano part, reaches the peak of its arc with an earworm ("Left Alone") and ends on a bold statement ("God Is a Woman"). I mean, the guy references Faust (with "Faust Road"), the successful and zealous scholar who makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for bountiful knowledge and power. What's more important? And where does true satisfaction sprout from? Roadhouse 01 is the musical exploration of such.
"I'm a bad boy, I'm an outlaw, I'm a James Dean," he croons on "Head Over Heels"—the same track that he spits the phrase, "She's a beauty queen," in a way that I can only really describe as reminiscent of a gritty Michael Jackson.
That's exactly it, though; he's an outlaw, and ain't it true that no one can help but be mesmerized by what they can't grasp?
Oh, and the multi-layered production is pretty exquisite. 'Kay, I'm done now.
Rotana—a compelling and currently unsigned Saudi Arabian songstress—is playing the Hotel Cafe tomorrow night, and if you give a shit about supporting strong new music, you should be there.
In an apt manner, given the current social and political climate of the United States (particularly in regard to issues pertaining to women and immigrants), the young artist released a commanding and invigorating song called "Daddy."
As she explains on YouTube,"#Daddy is the oppressor. The Bully. Daddy is anybody that requires you to dilute yourself to make them feel more comfortable. #Daddy is societal boundaries and cultural restrictions. Daddy is the obsession with celebrity and wealth. Most of all, Daddy is the voice in your head that tells you you can't .This song is the moment you step into your power. In that moment you're not scared. It's all heat and #whachugondo #daddy? In that moment you are fully sensually unapologetically you. Let #Daddy deal."
A little over a week ago, ATO artist Benjamin Booker dished out the first taste of his forthcoming sophomore album, Witness, with the set's title track, and I just can't stop listening. Check it out for yourself right here.
The politically charged track, which features the iconic Mavis Staples (who also sounded killer on that Arcade Fire ditty), is delectable. It shows Booker moving in a much more soulful direction than his self-titled 2014 debut that showcased a grittier punk sound (and is fantastic in its own right).
With Benjamin Booker, the New Orleans-based musician kicked down the door of his career. His entrance was powerful and purposefully erratic like a Pollock painting. If the rest of Witness follows the just-released song's lead, it's bound to be tighter, more mature and groovier than the former, while remaining rebellious, relatively untethered and arguably cheeky in nature. It's due out on 6/2, and if you can't tell, I'm salivating slightly (and by slightly, I mean profusely).
With poetic intelligence, Booker, who seems remarkably able to pull art from his unsettled heart, describes the birth of the featured song in a personal statement, presented below. Keep doin' you, dude. The world needs more of it.