Today: Jun 16, 2024

Summer’s Hottest Music Reviews

Tamika Alexander – Arts & Entertainment Editor

Summer’s Hottest Music Reviews

Elle Varner- Perfectly Imperfect

Elle Varner’s debut album “Perfectly Imperfect” is like a breath of fresh air to the R&B world. With the release of her mixtape Conversational Lush earlier this year, she showed the world her sultry vocals were something to watch out for. Her first single, “Only Wanna Give It to You,” featuring rap artist J. Cole, is an up-tempo R&B song that introduced her into mainstream music and grabbed the world’s attention. Songs like “Welcome Home” and “Not Tonight” off her debut album show how diverse she can be as an artist with her soft vocals and live instrumentals in the background.

Nas- Life Is Good

Hip-Hop isn’t dead, it was married. After his recent divorce from R&B singer Kelis, Nas has released his 10th solo album, “Life is Good.” Finally, a hip-hop/rap album that doesn’t just talk about materialism; girls, money, jewelry, cars. Nas took this album and related it to the experiences of life. A true reflection of street life and the struggle is the song “World’s an Addiction,” featuring Anthony Hamilton. The song “Daughters,” talks about the difficulties and importance of men raising their daughters. He tells his fans all about his divorce in the song “Bye Baby,” and to top it off, he talks all about relationships and finding the ideal counterpart in the song, “Cherry Wine,” featuring the late Amy Winehouse.

Usher- Looking 4 Myself

With all the turmoil in his marriage that ultimately ended in divorce, Usher took a new approach with his latest album “Looking 4 Myself.” His first single, “Climax,” off the album, gave fans the normal R&B feel, but he switched it up throughout the musical compilation. The second single, “Scream,” may make anyone feel like fist-pumping and partying in the Jersey Shore with its techno, fast-paced beat. “Lemme See,” featuring Rick Ross, brings back that risqué and sexually explicit side of Usher; which his fans know all too well. The album also features Luke Steele, Pharrell, and A$AP Rocky.

Maroon 5- Overexposed

Maroon 5 set the bar high by topping the charts last year with the hit, “Moves like Jagger.” With their latest album “Overexposed,” Maroon 5 has continued to raise that bar. “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa is being played on radios all over the world. It seems as if Maroon 5 went in the direction of pop instead of rock with their creative vision for this album. “The Man Who Never Lied” and “Payphone” show their change in music style. If pop-rock is what they were going for with this album, they accomplished just that, and it’s a great move for them.

Rick Ross- God Forgives, I Don’t 

With a strong title such as “God Forgives, I Don’t,” Rick Ross hit the top of the music charts. He opens the album with “Pray for Us,” a prayer from the hit movie “Baby Boy” starring Tyrese. As usual, Ross told a story of street life, hustle and success, with appearances from Jay-Z, Nas, Wale, Meek Mill, Andre 3000, and Dr. Dre. By collaborating with R&B artists such as fellow MMG artists, Omarion, John Legend, Drake, Neyo and Usher, Ross balanced the hardcore rap with a little something for the female fans. Some of those songs include, “Ice Cold,” “Touch’N You,” and “Diced Pineapples.”

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