Sunday, December 13, 2009

Judging the Remakes Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts that looks at remakes, and whether or not the remake stacks up to the original. I'm the Brutha that usually defers to the original but sometimes the remake can surpass or equal the original version.

1. Who Can I Run To (1979 & 1995)

The Jones Sisters-Original 1979 Version

Xscape- 1995 remake

VERDICT: Both are GREAT versions but I will give the edge to Xscape

2. Wednesday Lover(1989 and 1998)

The Gap Band-- 1989 Original

Jagged Edge- 1998 Remake

VERDICT: While JE did a good version, and one that I use to play a lot........the winner here is the original. Charlie Wilson is just too GREAT for JE to overcome.

3. All I Do Is Think of You (1975 and 1990)

Jackson 5 (1975 Original)

Troop(1990 remake)

VERDICT: I LOVE the Jackson 5 but I think Troop stole this and made it a signature hit. 1990 was a GREAT

4. Sweet November (1985 & 1992)

The Deele (1985 Original)

Troop (1992 remake)

VERDICT: Once again Troop stole this from the original artist and made it signature. They were so bold to make 2 versions of this song and both were stellar.

5. At Your Best (You Are Love) 1976 & 1994

Isley Brothers 1976 Original

Aaliyah 1994 remake

VERDICT: It pains me but I have to give this Aaliyah. Her version wasnt as sexy as the Isley Brothers but it was certainly one of her strongest vocal displays ever and was romantic. It was a tough assignment but Aaliyah tackled a great track and succeeded.

6. Just Can't Stay Away (1978 & 1990)

Natalie Cole (1978 original)

EnVogue (1990 remake)

VERDICT: Natalie hands down. EnVogue did do a good cover though.

7. All I Could Do Was Cry- (1960 & 2008)

Etta James 1960 Original

Beyonce- 2008 remake

VERDICT: This is an easy one for me. ETTA JAMES ALL DAY. Bey did a credible job with the song but the one thing that I hate about Beyonce and its clearly contrasted here in the two versions is her lack of soul. Bey sung hard and tried but she just doesn't have the soul required to make her version on par with Etta.

8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore (1978 & 1995)

Rose Royce (1978 Original)

Faith Evans & Mary J Blige (1995 remake)

VERDICT: I think the remake is on par with the original. Faith & Mary sounded so good together. They should do a duets album.

9. Love's Train (1983 & 1996)

Confunkshun (1983 Original)

Dru Hill (1997 Remake)

VERDICT: Dru Hill should have left well enough alone.

10. Yearning For Your Love (1981 & 1990)

Gap Band (1981 Original)

Guy(1990 remake)

VERDICT: Considering that Aaron's whole style was inspired by Charlie Wilson I thought this would have been on par with the Gap Band original, but I found the remake lacking I think its the backing vocals that mess it up. Aaron is great though but give me the Charlie Wilson and Gap Band original ALL DAY

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hottest Interludes

I'm not gonna rank these but thought I'd throw out a few of the hottest interludes. Interludes were HUGE in the 90's.. almost every album had one or

I Dedicate Part 1,2,3- Brandy. The year was 1994 and I had those interludes on REPEAT. They really showed off the smokey alto that Brandy had and what a developed voice for 14 years old.

Thank You (the JG interlude) This was featured on New Edition 1996 album Home Again. Point blank Johnny Gill tore it up.. nuff said. I almost classified as a song but since they called it an interlude so will

Thank You Lord/You Are My Joy/Faith- Faith Evans For me Faith's interludes were always great. I wish You are My Joy was made into a full song. It was so beautiful.

Anything- SWV This one was later made into a full song and was a banger but for me the Interlude reigns supreme. Coko sounded great and harmony was fantastic.

Anything- Carl Thomas The album was a press play banger and all of the interludes worked amazingly well. Carl isnt the strongest singer but his voice is used to its max potential

Intro/Sermon- R. Kelly I just love the way Kells preaches and sings at the same time

All 112 Interludes These dudes are the kings of interludes for me.. need more proof check any of their albums

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Album Review: Trey Songz "Ready"

Trey Songz is back with his 3rd solo record, entitled "Ready". Finally I think Trey gets it. Vocally this is the most consistent album he has released so far... below is my track by track breakdown

1. Panty Dropper (interlude)- clearly he is making a statement out of the gate...R. kelly influence is so prevalent here.

2. Neighbors Know My Name- Trey exclaims because he loves his girl so hard and her screaming makes the neighbors know his name...LOL... I can definitely hear this on the radio. He connects on the falsetto and the music is great. Certainly a late night banger.

3. I Invented Sex feat Drake- Here songs teams up with rapper of the moment Drake and creates a listenable record. Drake and Trey blends well together. No vocal challenges here but I wouldnt necessarily hit skip on the Ipod.

4. I Need A Girl- At first I was really digging this track but as I listened to the whole album I noted the desperation to re-create his hit Can't Help But Wait from his last album and I got turned off from it. But this is a Johnta Austin penned track so it gets a pass.

5. One Love- is produced by Bryan Michael Cox. The song is catchy and features a rock edge which works well with Trey's vocals.

6. Does He Do It- typical Trey... solid and catchy

7. Say Aahh- produced by long time collaborator Troy Taylor. Solid and good verse from Fabolous.

8. LOL:-) (feat. Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy Tell 'Em) - I tried to resist this tune, but it just seems to seep into your head and won't let go which means it will likely be a hit. Tune feat Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy. It sounds like a nursery rhyme but I do think Trey recorded for effect and not meant it as a defining record

9. Ready to Make Love- Another Interlude

10. Jupiter Love- babymaker.. straight up

11. Be Where You Are- Here Trey experiments with a faster electo dance sound and surprisingly it works for him..i dont need an album of it but it works in context of the album

12. Successful feat Drake- not much else to say about this track.. its all over Radio and deserves to be.

13. Black Roses- song about dying love....Trey sounds great on this track.. Troy Taylor really knows Trey's strengths as a vocalist

14. Love Lost-solid track

15. Hollerlude- another interlude

16. Holla If You Need Me- for some reason i keep getting a 80's vibe from this production. I LOVE IT

17. Yo Side of the Bed- MY FAVORITE TRACK ON THE ALBUM. This song is like a Prince meets R. Kelly. Trey puts emotion and delivers a stellar vocal on this track. Wishing his girl was still on her side of the bed... just a great record.

I expect this album to put Trey on another level, which I think he deserves. He has grown tremendously. I have been on Team Trey since Day 1 and while I have had issues with his musical choices in the past I think he is learning and growing and the result is this album... so get READY for Trey Songz.....

9 out of 10.... FIRE

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

10 Favorite Michael Jackson Videos

Thought I would take this time to reflect upon 10 of my favorite MJ videos. We have lost the last of our icons in the passing of the King of Pop. In Tribute here are my 10 favorite vids

1. Smooth Criminal- It was hard to choose between this and Remember the Time but I think I give the edge to Smooth Criminal. This dude was poppin and gliding long before Ciara, Ginuwine, Usher Chris Brown...and BETTER than all the aforementioned. The "lean" was the highlight. I was mesmerized when I first saw it. Who was Annie?

2. Remember the Time- The dance breakdown in this is AWESOME. I remember the world premier for this video in 92. Visually a stunning video and having Iman and Eddie Murphy didnt hurt. Also one of the best New Jack Swing era songs.

3. Beat It- This one the first time MJ resolved conflict by jazz this is such and iconic video this is what inspired black boys to want to be like Mike.. the jacket, the moves, the coolness.

4. Thriller- probably one of the greatest videos ever, certainly one of the most expensive. This video really changed the game for music videos FOREVER. How fine was Ola Ray in this

5. The Way You Make Me Feel- One of my favorite MJ songs period. This video was simple in concept but some how it transcends simple and become a work of art(i guess that describes MJ). Why was that fine girl doing in the alley by

6. Billie Jean- i mean its Billie Jean.. and who didnt want to walk and have the street light MJ was having baby mama drama long before

7. Scream- we wondered when it would happen and in 1995 it finally did. MJ and baby sis Janet not only did a song together but a video too and it became a smash hit. Janet was hot in a futuristic way.

8. Earth Song- many people dont care for this song nor this video but if you watch it closely and get the concept it is a pretty deep video. I just love the way the Earth gets destroyed and then come back to life. Conceptually its one of MJ finest works. MJ was "go green" before it was popular.. this man is a trendsetter

9. Bad- The second time MJ solved a conflict by jazz dancing. This was originally suppose to be a duet between he and Prince but Prince backed out so MJ took it and turned it into a hit. Now the video is pure COMEDY, I must give props to Wesley Snipes b/c he acted his ass off because there is no way I could have played that part without laughing at Michael and his attempts at being "bad", especially at the end when Michael is getting all call and

10. Rock With You- just a brother in what appears to be a glitter one piece and glitter boots.... this was before MJ was a SUPERSTAR and videos were kinda just like this.. especially R&B videos.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

10 Underrated Male R&B Singers

Some of the fellas listed below may or may not be actively recording, some have had massive success others haven't. For those that know me knows I love a good voice (no voice is greater than Donny Hathaway) but God didnt bless everyone (lol). But the brothers listed below are voices that i find interesting and should be applauded for their vocal gifts. I dont consider this ranking a best to worse but just 10 singers I think deserve some recognition and why I think they are underrated

1. Stokley (from Mint Condition)- If you have ever seen this band live then you know the ridiculous range this brother has.. he can go from top to bottom and back again. Stokely's tenor is amazing and restrained.. you just wait for him to break it down on Pretty Brown Eyes. He even tackles the impossible Phillip Bailey on a remake of Earth Wind and Fire's After the Love Is Gone.

2. Eric Roberson- This DC native's voice is simply an instrument to behold. I dont find him as "range-y" as some of the other singers on this list but his voice is pretty and he emotes well on his songs.. he can truly tell a story with his awesome gift.

3. Frank McComb- He is ALMOST the second coming of Donny Hathaway. The phrasing and instrumentation is very close to Donny.. I just think he misses the passion of Mr. Hathaway. Frank, like Eric Roberson, had one of the purest vocal tones I've heard in a LONG time. I recommend When You Call My Name to introduce yourself to Frank McComb. His voice simply floats over the music. You will not be disappointed by his voice.

4. Lil G (from Silk)- I never gave him much credit or attention but one Saturday afternoon i was sitting around watching Showtime at the Apollo and I was absolutely spell bound by the sound that was coming out of my TV. The song was Lose Control and Lil G TORE THAT STAGE UP... up until that time it had been a minute since I have seen a guy just rip up the stage. He was treading into Prince territory with those screams. Vocally he was amazing he pretty much regulated the rest of the group to the background. For me it was a legendary performance and I have it on tape... Still one of the best Apollo performances of the 90s.

5. Alexander O'Neal- I dont think Alex has a particularly pretty voice, but he makes it work. I dont fully believe that he knows what to do with his voice but producers certainly do. One listen to Sunshine or the INCREDIBLE If You Were Here Tonight and you just know that dude is destined to be a great one. He was never fully appreciated , even though I believed he had commercial success. I think he like frequent duet partner Cherrelle are pretty much known for their duets together but Alex proved he could stand on his own. For some reason i picked him as the

6. Joe- Again another singer that I dont think is a natural talent but when combined with the right song and production his vocal gifts get put on display in a major way. His debut was a bit underwhelming but his next two releases, All That I Am and My Name is Joe, were certified bangers. All That Am was a great album where Joe really got to flex his vocal muscle and proved he deserved a spot in the R&B landscape at that time. My Name is Joe really pushed him to his greatest commercial success thanks to I Wanna Know and collabos with N'Sync and Mariah Carey. He has released several more albums since then but I still think he is very underrated.

7. Rahsaan Patterson- I actually wish Rahsaan would attempt to do jazz standards.. I think he has an opportunity to shine there. As much as it pains me to say but I do think his sexual orientation is keeping him from the success and recognition he deserves. Vocally there is not much wrong with him IMO.. His last album Wines and Spirits boasted one of his best vocals to date on the song Stars.. simply stunning.

8. Anthony David- truly an underrated soul singer. His album Acey Duecy and many of his previous independent albums are just dripping with raw soul. He has a sincerity in his voice that just shines through.. dont believe me... peep his song Cheatin Man..passion and yearning.

9. Glenn Lewis- He was a fresh artist that sounded like a young Stevie Wonder. I dont know why he didnt catch on, vocally I thought he was outstanding. Take a listen to It's Not Fair..amazing

10. Maxwell- I'll admit i wasnt a big fan of Maxwell initially but overtime he grew into one of my favorite artists. I think the turning point was his MV Unplugged album, where he just stood on stage and gave an absolutely STUNNING version of Whenever, Wherever, Whatever. i was hooked at that moment. Probably the most sensual voice out of my list..

Again this is a list not so much a rank. I implore everyone to give these 10 singers a try...become introduced or rediscover these 10 talented brothers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chocolate Legs

In general I'm not a fan of Eric Benet.. all his songs sound the same to me and I find him hit and miss..but I think he scores here...This is a hot video... I am convinced this is Taral Hicks in the video.. my homeboy says its not... but I think I remember that dark sexy body from Belly (minus the grease).. either way this sista is banging and I'm quite surprised Eric Benet used a dark skinned sista considering his track record...but i guess it goes with the song...

This was a great post my Brutha. I have been following EB throughout this whole album and when I heard this was going to be a single I was real excited about it. The video is really mature, and I'm glad his label let him make it so sexual. I'm also shocked that he used this girl in the video but this is the purpose of the song, so I ain't that surprised.

And this isn't Taral Hicks (although she's equally as sexy) I'm not sure what her name is, but she was in a lot of music videos in the 2000 - 2002 era. She was one of my favorite video girls when I used to literally sit in front of BET and watch video's all day. If my memory serves me correctly one video I remember seeing her in was 112 - Dance With Me, I could be wrong but check it out. I cant wait for his next single, and for the purposes of R&B making a comeback I hope it's not "Hunger" lol...

Monday, May 11, 2009

You Gotsta Have It

Here is a new segment on 3BPJ where we introduce you to essential albums that you SHOULD have in your music collection.

My first (of many) submissions is the STELLAR and groundbreaking album from the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. AMAZING GRACE

One listen to this album and you will know why she is the Queen of Soul. She went back to her gospel roots and recorded this album. This was straight up old school church.. a choir, a piano, and a wailing voice. The entire album is a standout. One listen to Precious Lord, Take My Hand and you will get slain in the spirit. How I Got Over and You'll Never Walk Alone gives you everything you need. BUT the triumph of the album is Mary Don't You Weep, Aretha showcases her powerful voice and AMAZING interpretation of the gospel standard. So if you don't have this album you need to get it ASAP. This album is one that SHOULD be in you collection.. GO GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!