Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Albums, New Reviews

Hey blog world, I'm back with a old fashion review post. Within the last 2 weeks or so I picked up some new music, Keri Hilson, The Dream and Jim Jones to be exact. So, what do I think of them?
Lets start with The Dream's Love Vs. Money, mainly because thats the first one I acquired and gave the most time to listen to. Love Vs. Money is definitely on point with his last album. The production is on the level of his first CD, which I throughly enjoyed. I liked how he kept the tracks consistently flowing from one track to the next, it gives the album a good flow. While that is great, it does kind of hurt the overall experience., i.e. It's difficult to just turn to one song on the album, cause you are just so used to hearing it run into another one. Tracks like My Love featuring Mariah Carey sound a lot better when the previous track runs into it over just playing it on its own. Musically, The Dream isn't the best singer, but you already knew that from his first album, his albums are about the lyrics and production. And lyrically the boy is bad; I mean bad as in good lol. Some of what he says is ridiculous and hilarious, but the overall message he tries to convey hits the point. The Dream isn't trying to make a Nobel Prize winning album with lyrical content that makes you think, he made an album that you play when you want to get it popping, 'nuff said. So, if you liked his first album, I think you will enjoy his 2nd; he didn't really try anything outrageous, but who says that you have to change your entire sound to grow.

Stand-Out Tracks
Walkin' On The Moon
Sweat It Out
Love Vs. Money Part 1 & 2
Kelly's 12 Play

On to my next album, Keri Hilson's In A Perfect World. Its crazy how an artist can be out in the industry for a long time, and nobody has a clue. That's pretty much Keri Hilson, she has written for your favorite artists (Beyonce, Ciara, Usher, etc) and now is releasing her own solo album. Honestly, it works, it has for the previous writers turned artists; Ne-Yo, The Dream. And it certainly doesn't hurt that you got 2 super producers, Polow da Don and Timberland as well as some amazing writing. Pretty much, In A Perfect World is what you expect from a female artist, first half of the CD is all about being an independent woman, telling dudes they can't get at you unless they got what it takes (Set Your Money Up), while the 2nd half is about falling in love (Making Love), and that making baby music. I have no problem with that agenda on an album, I would sometimes just like something different at times. My only big gripe about the CD is Akon. I do not understand why people put him on tracks, I've never been the biggest fan, and if he got a hot track I'll admit it, however the track he has on her album, Change Me, its not great. Overall, the album is good, the beats and arrangement are hot and upbeat and I think that its definitely a step in the right direction

Stand Out Tracks
Knock You Down
Set Your Money Up
Slow Dance

Last but not least, Pray IV Reign by Harlem's own Jim Jones. Now, I haven't gotten a chance to actually sit down and give his album a listen to, but from what I heard, it's not bad. Jim Jones is not the best rapper but he's not the worse. And I do enjoy that good ol' Diplomat work ethic, they always release a lot of music on the albums, and Jim Jones hasn't broke routine with 16 tracks. However, I never said every track is solid gold, he's got some brass in there. I do feel at times it feels like your standard rap album, gangster song here, female track there, song for my lost homies in the air, raunchy track round the corner, but I enjoy the creativity, because to make a song that people have made 100 times over and make it sound good takes skill. With that said, I do think that Mr. Jones has grown as an artist, and with this album it shows.

Stand Out Tracks
How To Be A Boss
Let It Out


Anonymous said...

I'm feeling the new Keri Hilson, I'll check out the others. Thanks for the reviews!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about The Dream Cd. It def sounds better when you hear the songs back to back oppose to just randomly selecting a song. But i feel like his last cd was the same way it always sounded so much better to let them flow thru each other.

Ooh and I love Sweat It Out too

-Tyler (lol)