Mini Reviews: Jamie Foxx, Bobby Valentino and more

cornfed picL. Michael Gipson's Mini Reviews 
March 2009 

This is SoulTracks Music Editor L. Michael's Gipson's take on several new CD releases which didn't get the full treatment by us but which are nonetheless of interest to SoulTrackers. You can click on the CD covers to check them out. Let us know how you like this new feature!

 

cornfed picL. Michael Gipson's Mini Reviews 
March 2009 

This is SoulTracks Music Editor L. Michael's Gipson's take on several new CD releases which didn't get the full treatment by us but which are nonetheless of interest to SoulTrackers. You can click on the CD covers to check them out. Let us know how you like this new feature!

 

jamie foxxJamie Foxx: Intuition -- Pure commercial R&B readymade for the radio and the clubs. Foxx's sophomore project ends his chameleon antics, finally giving you just Foxx, for better or worse. Despite our disdain for guests T-Pain, Dream and Lil Wayne, we disagree with the brutal reviews Foxx has received for this one. Our intuition says it's better than expected.

Notable songs: "She's Got Her Own (Feat Ne-Yo and Fabolous),""Love Brings Changes"
Vocals: 3 stars   Lyrics: 2.5 stars   Music: 2.5 stars   Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended  

SIJI: AdesijiSiji: Adesiji -- This is the album we've been waiting for from the artist whose promise was only hinted at on his God Given debut. African rhythms, afro-jazz, dance, and soul to spare all blend together on cuts that will have you jumping for joy. Notable songs: "Fantasy," "Muzak," and "Yearning For Home"
Vocals: 3 stars   Lyrics: 2.5 stars   Music: 4 stars   Production: 4 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

 

Shemekia Copeland: Never Going Back -- The daughter of blues legend Johnny Copeland and reigning diva of contemporary blues offers up her most refined effort to date. Unfortunately, the fiery grit that made her a blues darling has frequently ghost here. If you want Ms. Copeland smoothed out, here she is. Otherwise, go for her classics, Wicked or The Soul Truth. Notable songs: "Circumstances," "Limousine" and "Dirty Water"
Vocals: 3 stars   Lyrics: 2.5 stars   Music: 2.5 stars   Production: 2.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended

caleb and saleemCaleb & Saleem: Outgrown These Walls -- Baltimore has rarely sounded so good. A live acoustic set marrying the Americana singer/songwriter (Caleb Stines) and the vintage rapper (Saleem Higgins), an interracial pair whose divergent music creates harmonious, if not always compelling symmetry. It's Jay-Z's Blueprint Unplugged for the conscious, coffeehouse set. Notable songs: "Baltimore," "Hope" and "Copywrite."

Vocals: 2.5 stars   Lyrics: 3 stars   Music: 2.5 stars   Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended

KAMERON CORVET: Korporate RockstarKameron Corvet: Korporate Rockstar -- His falsettos had to grow on me; his musicianship and song writing had me at hello. Korporate Rockstar is next generation rock and soul done by a romantic artist who gets the job done. For those missing Van Hunt and waiting ever so patiently for Martin Luther, Corvet's tasty treat will definitely tide you over, satisfaction guaranteed. Notable songs: "Kiss & Make Up," "Spelman Girl," "Sophia Quinn" and "I Won't Break The Law."

Vocals: 3 stars   Lyrics: 3 stars   Music: 3 stars   Production: 4 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

Sterling Simms: Yours Mine & the Truth - Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction of this project, unless you like your R&B cynical and calculated. Even the tone deaf teens this perpetrator targets would be hard pressed to find a decent performance here. His Knightwraitz production team membership-one inclusive of Marsha Ambrosius (Floetry) and Mario (yes, the hit maker)-makes this annoying project even more confusing. Opportunity lost. Notable songs: "Jump Off" and "She Should Be Thanking You"

Vocals: 2 stars   Lyrics: 1.5 stars   Music: 2 stars   Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Not Recommended

Bobby Valentino: The Rebirth -- Somebody up there must really like this nearly thirty-year old teen heartthrob. Ever since "Blackberry Molasses" (1996) stole our hearts, this former lead singer of Mista has had more comeback debuts than Evander Holyfield and George Foreman combined. Never consistent with tunes designed for young urban radio, Valentino's team clearly believes lyrical repetition is the key to good songcraft and nasal auto-tuned vocals, iconic singing. Still, there are hits to be had here. Notable songs: "My Girl," "Stay With Me," and "Just Me & You (feat Raphael Saadiq)."

Vocals: 2 stars   Lyrics: 2 stars   Music: 2 stars   Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: "Cough" Mildly Recommended

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World Premiere - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Album of the Month - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

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