Dawn Richard – Goldenheart: Formerly of Danity Kane and Dirty Money, here’s Dawn’s much-anticipated second solo album. A funky fusion of pop, dance, and r&b Goldenheart is a solid effort. Her uptempo songs will definitely land in DJ’s rotations in many venues across the globe. Her voice is hypnotic and her arrangements are tightly woven with her vocal range without being intrusive or distracting. It has a been there done that feel though. Goldenheart is a good album, but unspectacular.
Teena Marie – Beautiful: Taken way too soon from all of us, here is the album Teena was working on when she suddenly died in 2010. Here is some REAL R&B!!! Let’s face it, in many respects r&b has been hijacked by rap and the auto-tune. This is the real joint! You can listen to this anywhere, anyplace, with anyone. It has infectious grooves, smart lyrics, and the smooth like velvet vocals of our beloved Teena while also introducing us to her daughter Alia Rose. Alia Rose’s future is bright. It was her who made sure Beautiful was completed and gifted to all of us. The song, Love Starved is a time machine, taking me back to Teena’s Deja Vu days. Lady T left us a diamond of a gift with this album. We all know how precious, beautiful and rare a diamond is.
Destiny’s Child – Love Songs: This is like that decadent dessert that you don’t have often but love so much. Love Songs is a compilation. Nothing we haven’t heard before except for their new song, Nuclear. That by itself warrants a listen. This album explains why Simon Cowell signed his X-Factor protegé’s Fifth Harmony to a deal-to fill a need. In Destiny’s Child absence there has not been one hugely successful female group to break out. The music scene is missing that. Destiny’s Child with this disc fills the hole they created and signals that they are one of the best groups of all-time.
2 Cellos – In2ition: Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser returns with their sophomore effort introducing us to their classical/pop fusion interpreted on cello. It’s an eclectic selection from Rihanna’s We Found Love to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell this is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Two thumbs up!
The Tenors – Lead With Your Heart: Formerly known as the Canadian Tenors, Lead with your Heart is their second album. Its been two years since their début disc but it really didn’t feel that way based on their touring schedule and television appearances. On this disc you definitely experience a maturation vocally of the group. The arrangements and vocals are lush, rich, and powerful. The selection of material runs the gamut from Elton John to Bob Dylan to the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace. You don’t have to be a classical music or vocal fan to appreciate this disc.
Various Artists – 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief: It’s not the whole show but some of the many memorable performances of the night.
A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP: This is hard! This is forceful! This is an ass whooping of rhymes. It’s not for the faint of heart. His flow is impeccable. This dude has SWAG!
Some notable singles has been released and I am looking forward to hearing more new music from these artists soon:
Prince – Screwdriver
Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (with Jay-Z)
Kelly Rowland – Kisses Down Low