Category Archives: Short and Sweet NYC

112: Q, Mike, Slim, Daron

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

112: Q, Mike, Slim, Daron112
Q, Mike, Slim, Daron
(eOne Music)

112: Q, Mike, Slim, Daron

You never miss a good thing until it’s gone. Luckily for me, it came back! . These four gentlemen, Q, Mike, Slim and Daron have released their sixth studio album after 12 years. They are Bad Boy Royalty and still well respected for being a talented group from one of the best eras in  R&B music, the 90s.

112 stepped on the scene in 1996, and have consistently made hits. If you need refreshing just listen to “Only You,” “Cupid,” and “Peaches and Cream,” which were on heavy radio rotation from here to ...

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Jordan Rakei: Wallflower

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Jordan Rakei: WallflowerJordan Rakei
Wallflower
(Ninja Tune)

Jordan Rakei: Wallflower

With his second full-length release Australian R&B singer/multi-instrumentalist, Jordan Rakei, expands on the level of dexterity and depth of feeling he put on display on his debut album, Cloak, which featured a delicious groove called “Midnight Mischief” that British instrumentalist/producer Tom Misch remixed to the delight of many Rakei fans. In terms of sound, Rakei is somewhere near the realms of fellow Aussies Hiatus Kaiyote, and Electric Wire Hustle (New Zealand). However, there is a heightened level of focus and awareness in the crafting of lyrics here that would seem to put him in ...

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Tamar Braxton: Bluebird of Happiness

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Tamar Braxton: Bluebird of HappinessTamar Braxton
Bluebird of Happiness
(Tamartian Land)

Tamar Braxton: Bluebird of Happiness

Tamar Braxton (a.k.a Tamar Herbert) is a true R&B singer. If you haven’t heard the name, I’ll gladly introduce you. Sister of the legendary Toni Braxton, one of the most memorable artists of the 90s with hits like “Unbreak My Heart” and “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” it’s been a long road for Tamar to say the least, and she’s earned everything she’s accomplished. After years of singing background vocals for her big sister and co-staring on the reality TV series “Braxton Family Values,” she released her first album in 13 years, Love and ...

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Elena Andújar: Flamenco in Time

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Elena Andújar: Flamenco in TimeElena Andújar
Flamenco in Time
(Wake Up! Music Group)

Elena Andújar: Flamenco in Time

On Elena Andújar’s new album, Flamenco in Time, modern day Flamenco spirits listeners through 7 songs infused with the spectacular singer’s life. Beginning with the mid-tempo percussion bed, Bruce Gomez’s lead guitar as well as Ron Haynes’ trumpet up front with Elena, “Una Vez Más” gets the ride going.

“Fever”  is a percussion/ horn spike read on the famous tune, with Antonio Andújar laying down solid, infectious, precise percussion, and again Haynes getting a workout. We get the Club Mix as well as Matt Waren’s “Latenight Workout” (a thicker dance version) ...

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Primus: The Desaturating Seven

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Primus: The Desaturating SevenPrimus
The Desaturating Seven
(ATO Records)

Primus: The Desaturating Seven

After years of following a fun, energetic and sometimes dark formula, longtime fans of Primus know the band has entered an era of expect the unexpected. That seems like an odd statement, given that the band has made a very successful career out of mostly avoiding the mainstream.

Following their dark and kooky take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Primus returns with the concept album, The Desaturating Seven, based on Italian author, Ul De Rico’s children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins. I’ve never read the source material, but I still found the concept to ...

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Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The Visitor

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The VisitorNeil Young & Promise of the Real
The Visitor
(Reprise)

Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The Visitor

The stomping, ragtaggle, heavy power-chord opener, “Already Great” begins Neil Yong & Promise of the Real’s second studio collaboration, The Visitor. Young’s whine lends wonderfully to this song as much praising America as he is taking a satirical stab at the man who campaigned with a certain slogan the song takes its title from.

“Fly By Night Deal,” with another trashy beat, sees Young talking more than singing. It follows in very much the same style as the opener. We get some harmonica/acoustic guitar Young by the third tune, “Almost ...

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Miguel: War & Leisure

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Miguel: War & LeisureMiguel
War & Leisure
(RCA Records)

Miguel: War & Leisure

Miguel’s War & Leisure starts of with “Criminal,” a track that rocks. It’s simultaneously heavy and light, and an irreverent ode to a perfect romantic match. Rick Ross’ verse is both unexpected and unnecessary, but this intro track leads smoothly into the next.

“Pineapple Skies” brings on the Prince influence and comparisons. This track lives up to its title with upbeat rhythms as Miguel shows off his vocal power.

The chorus of “Sky Walker” (“I’m Luke Skywalking on these haters”) is playful, cocky, and carefree, and Travis Scott’s verse fits into this trap flavored, but ...

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Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Charlotte Gainsbourg: RestCharlotte Gainsbourg
Rest
(Because)

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest
Charlotte Gainsbourg presents a swirly, dark mess (and I mean that in the best way possible) of 11 songs on her latest release, Rest. Mostly sung in French, the singer/songwriter/actress/daughter of the infamous enfant terrible, Serge Gainsbourg, presents an intimate peek into her emotional state, as she mines nearly horror movie soundtrack territory, sweeping string synths, and arpeggio keys.

“Ring-a-Ring o’Roses” opens with those swirling strings and arpeggios in high evidence, Gainsbourg employing her signature whisper vocal here. “Lying With You” follows with an incessant piano arpeggio, big low string strikes, and even more kinetic ...

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The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

The Waterboys
Out of All This Blue
(BMG UK Limited)

The slap beat snare, organ, and flicking guitar of “Do We Choose Who Love,” opens The Waterboys’ sprawling latest release, Out Of All This Blue. “If I Was Your Boyfriend,” a funky naughty little romp follows, features strings riding high over the distorted guitar and flumpy bass line.

The Waterboys were at one time an Irish/Scottish/ folk/rock band, producing albums like the elegant, This Is The Sea and Fisherman’s Blues. Mike Scott, the band’s leader, singer, songwriter, guitarist (although we can’t forget the instrumental genius of this band with Steve ...

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Steve Winwood: Greatest Hits Live

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Steve Winwood: Greatest Hits LiveSteve Winwood
Greatest Hits Live
(Wincraft Records)

Steve Winwood: Greatest Hits Live
If there was a Mt. Rushmore for most versatile musicians, Steve Winwood’s face would be on it. Winwood has been making music since he was 14, starting as an R &B/pop singer with Spencer Davis, leading the legendary rock/psyche/jazz group, Traffic, then somehow surviving the super group Blind Faith, before attaining stardom as a solo artist. Winwood’s latest solo effort, the 23-track Greatest Hits Live, is a career-spanning compendium of classic tunes.

Winwood reached an apex in Traffic, working with drummer/lyricist Jim Capaldi, and flutist/sax player/keyboardist Chris Wood, but his current band has ...

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Cheap Trick: Christmas, Christmas

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Cheap Trick: Christmas, ChristmasCheap Trick
Christmas Christmas
(Big Machine Records)

Cheap Trick presents a treat for us all, Christmas, Christmas, their 19th overall studio album.

Opening with big guitar slicing through Robin Zander’s wailing “Merry Christmas Darlings,” (one of the three original tunes here) into songs like the punk-infused cover of Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz’s (complete with Ramone’s like “Oh oh oh’s”) “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” and then reads on classics like an electric torchy “Please Come Home For Christmas,” showcasing Rick Nielsen’s still tasty, yet loud, electric leading ability, Cheap Trick brings the holidays home.

The boys upturn ...

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Jools Holland And José Feliciano: As You See Me Now

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Jools Holland And José Feliciano: As You See Me NowJools Holland and José Feliciano
As You See Me Now
(East West Records)

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra pretty much release music around the end of the year, every year. This time the ex-Squeeze keyboardist/UK music-variety show host has teamed up with José Feliciano for this 14-song holiday treat, As You See Me Now.

A stride piano title track opens up, proving that the great band Holland has behind him is equal to the task of blending with Feliciano’s still very distinctive voice, and amazingly fiery finger guitar playing. The guys ramble through a conga-groove infused read on ...

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Liam Gallagher: As You Were

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Liam Gallagher: As You WereLiam Gallagher
As You Were
(Warner Brothers)

Liam Gallagher: As You Were

I believe wholeheartedly that we will have another Oasis album and tour sometime within the next decade. I say this only because we saw Guns N’ Roses get back together and I always thought a Slash and Axl reunion would be more of a longshot than the Gallagher brothers making amends. At some point the money will be too much to pass up, and they will give in, and go down like the Hindenburg. Until then we get Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds, and Liam Gallagher’s solo stuff via his debut ...

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Fever Ray: Plunge

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Fever Ray: PlungeFever Ray
Plunge
(MUTE)

Fever Ray: Plunge

Fever Ray’s Plunge allows listeners to dive deep into Karin Dreijer’s sonic curiosities. The album starts of with “Wanna Sip.” Here Dreijer’s lyrics and struggle are loud and clear, “I wanna love you, but you’re not making it easy/ I wanna love you, but it’s not easy.” At the chorus the track spirals downward with electronic space sounding effects, and a strong, simple, singular beat.

Things abruptly quiet and slow down for a bit on the following track, “Mustn’t Hurry,” but it soon evolves into something a little more hard hitting. The steady pace and dramatic ...

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Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass DestructionAnnie Lennox
Songs of Mass Destruction
(RCA Records)

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Annie Lennox’s new album,  Songs Of Mass Destruction opens with the slow simple lament of “Dark Road,” the lady’s ability to break your heart with her singularly expressive pipes is evident from the get go on this release.

Next we get the jumpy, sexy “Love Is Blind.” It’s important to note that the spectacular backing and harmony vocals you hear through these 11 tunes are pretty much all Lennox, and on this tune she pushes herself along perfectly on the kinetic vocal melange bouncing off the piano. “Ghosts in My Machine” gives ...

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Westward: The Empire of Deception

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Westward: The Empire of DeceptionWestward
The Empire of Deception
(Westward)

Westward: The Empire of Deception

Are you ready for “Cowboy Space Rock?” Well, ready or not it’s coming at you on this fantastic new release from Westward with Andrew C. Marshall on lead vocals/lead guitar, Matt Morrison on drums, and Karl Grimm on bass and backing vocals.

Sweeping strings and spoken intro flow into equally slow vocals, introducing us to the “Empire of Deceptionopening title track. Things don’t stay slow though. The band starts rockin’ on this one right quick! Space rock bleeps and power chords groove into “Enchantment” next, the first tune where we hear Marshall’s ...

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Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Steve Walsh: Black ButterflySteve Walsh
Black Butterfly
(Escape Music Ltd)

Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Vocalist/ keyboardist/songwriter, Steve Walsh retired from the classic prog American band, Kansas a few years ago. But here, on Black Butterfly, Walsh has unleashes a dozen tunes (most co-written with Tommy Denander who provides all the guitar and co-produces).

“Born In Fire,” and “The Piper” start us off. Steve Overland’s backing vocals lend solid weight to Walsh’s distinctive, if not slightly weaker pipes, while Jerome Mazza duets with Walsh on the first song (he even takes over on a few lead vocals here). Mazza is a stone-cold Walsh sound alike.

“Hell or ...

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Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Fifth Harmony: Fifth HarmonyFifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony
(Epic Records)

Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony

Sometimes you think you know, but you have no idea. When it comes to Fifth Harmony, I had no idea. Now, I love a great pop record, and I’d heard all the singles, but not enough to be a certified listener. This super group consists of five girls signed by Simon Cowell and LA Reid to the opportunity of a lifetime, and they have consistently built on that brand ever since.

They’ve received a host of awards and sold 7 million digital and 1.6 billion on demand streams, which proves I’m the small percentage ...

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Majid Jordan: The Space Between

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Majid Jordan: The Space BetweenMajid Jordan
The Space Between
(OVO Sound)

Majid Jordan: The Space Between

A funky, slightly moody “Intro” sets the tone for Majid Jordan’s The Space Between, and promptly takes us into “Gave Your Love Away.” This track has some serious 90s R&B vibes with its gentle fade in intro, soft, clear vocals, and clean bass.

The outro fades effortlessly into the danceable “OG Heartthrob,” which amps up the 90s vibes a bit.

Lyrics like “I can’t take making love to anyone but you…I can’t take waking up to anyone but you” and “Open up and let me in/ Have my heart it’s yours” show ...

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Lecrae: All Things Work Together

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Lecrae: All Things Work TogetherLecrae
All Things Work Together
(Reach Records/ Columbia)

Lecrae: All Things Work Together

I love a transparent man, and Lecrae is definitely that as well as a force to be reckoned with.  I’ve had my eye on him for quite some time, but for a while I slept on this exceptional artist/rapper. When the explosion of contemporary Gospel started it seemed like just a trend, but Lecrae has sustained himself for over ten years since his first release in 2004.  He released several other projects but in 2012, Gravity which won him a Grammy for Best Gospel Album and earned him top spots on several iTunes ...

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William Patrick Corgan: Ogilala

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

William Patrick Corgan: OgilalaWilliam Patrick Corgan
Ogilala
(BMG)

William Patrick Corgan: Ogilala

Billy Corgan is a very interesting person. The lead visionary of 90s alt-rock monsters, Smashing Pumpkins, Corgan has hit some roadblocks in the past 20 years. Following the firebrand that was the double disc opus Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, his band left him, he reinvented himself as a solo artist with the electronic opera The Future Embrace, tried his hand with Zwan (another band that sounded like Smashing Pumpkins), and bought himself a professional wrestling organization. Corgan also tried to resurrect the Pumpkins with a couple half-hearted attempts at full blown rock n’ ...

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The Black Dahlia Murder: Nightbringers

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Black Dahlia Murder: NightbringersThe Black Dahlia Murder
Nightbringers
(Metal Blade)

The Black Dahlia Murder: Nightbringers

The Black Dahlia Murder has always stood out amongst the newer generation of death metal bands for their ability to actually write songs and slow down once in a while. Most death metal bands today set their speed at a million miles an hour from start to finish, and although the brutality of it all can be appreciated, it can also get boring real quick. Sometimes slowing down, even if only for a brief moment, can really create a powerful and lasting dynamic that can melt faces from miles away.

TBDM’s new release, ...

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Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside DownMarilyn Manson
Heaven Upside Down
(Loma Vista)

Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

One of the things that first attracted me to Marilyn Manson (the band) was how unified they seemed to be in their kookiness and ability to frighten or piss people off. The music was actually a bonus. It was just great to have a band in my generation that truly rocked the boat of every day “normal” life (not that we didn’t have plenty of other artists pushing and destroying boundaries).

However, as the shock aspect of Marilyn Manson wore off over time, we were just left with the music and a rotating ...

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Robert Plant: Carry Fire

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Robert Plant: Carry FireRobert Plant
Carry Fire
(Nonesuch)

Robert Plant: Carry Fire

You might get a hint of good old Led Zep on Robert Plant’s 11th studio album, Carry Fire. Yes, he is employing the Sensational Space Shifters band here (Plant has worked with them for the past few years). Their folk, Celtic, Indian, and West African soundscapes rise to the forefront on this album, but from the opener, “May Queen,” (the title an obvious nod to one of Zep’s more famous songs) one is reminded of the Robert Plant of yore even with his softer vocal delivery.

Plant takes on lots of weighty issues ...

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Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Leon Russell: On a Distant ShoreLeon Russell
On a Distant Shore
(Palmetto)

Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

One man boasting a 50-year career in writing, playing, arranging, and singing that would be impressive if you spread that output across three musicians, Leon Russell was a true American musical icon. After his death last year (at the age of 74) we have Russell’s posthumous album, On a Distant Shore. It features Russell originals and some re-workings of his classics. The scratchy-voiced piano player dips back into his love for the Great American Songbook with lush strings, horns, and full swampy band reads across these perfect dozen tunes.

The album ranges ...

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