September 2018

MUSIC&walkTRu21 Sep 2018 08:35 am

Okay, are you ready for some music? I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get back into posting more regularly, but until then, here’s a quick walkTRu of a new album released last week that I was able to get a review copy of. The name Tori Kelly may sound familiar because she’s been pretty busy. She’s competed or appeared on the circuit of television singing and talent contests. She made a name for herself on YouTube. She even voiced a cartoon elephant in the movie SING. She’s been a guest and featured singer many tunes and, as she releases her second studio album, her star appears to be on the rise. Since there are only eight songs, this seems like a good candidate for a walkTRu, so let’s dive in and I’ll share my first impressions.

Tori Kelly – Hiding Place

01. Masterpiece – Okay, it’s been 15 seconds and I had to pause this already. First, that voice. Second, this is a straight up gospel record. This is what happens when I don’t read all the press releases about this. Third, I must re-calibrate and dive back in. I was expecting more R&B – especially with a Lecrae guest spot – but yeah, this has Fo Yo Soul written all over it. In fact, it looks like Kirk had a hand in writing a lot of these tracks, too. Nice surprise.
02. Help Us to Love – This one slows down the tempo and channels the harmonies of the HamilTones (I’m unfamiliar with them), but this is a really smooth track, with a classic feel and man, that voice is quite impressive. Help us to love the way you love [us]… nice song.
03. Sunday – Keeping the tempo dialed down, this track boasts a nice soul and touches from the organ and piano keys to give it a jazzy feel. And the scatting… ski-be-dah-bee-bop, baby. It’s like we’re eavesdropping on a candid recording session.
04. Just As Sure – This one features Jonathan McReynolds and if you’re a fan of gospel music, his last couple albums are definitely worth checking out. Then again, if you’re a fan of gospel music, you probably already know. Anyway, this song treads that line between gospel, R&B, and jazz once again.
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MUSIC&web11 Sep 2018 03:12 pm

NOTE: It has been a while since I’ve connected with the StudioDNA crew. We have crossed paths and emails many times over the last couple months, but our schedules haven’t lined up and this particular episode hasn’t (and perhaps won’t ever) make it to the air. That’s fine. They’re busy. I’m busy. Things happen. However, this has been kicking around waiting to go live for a while now (since late June) and I felt like I should release it and move on in whatever direction works best. If you enjoy reading these and there are no more New Music Digest episodes, fear not. I’ll start something else soon. In fact, I have something music related planned for Friday (unless I lose power). If this episode ends up airing, I’ll update it accordingly. Thanks for reading.

This episode features a 90s monster, a debut with a sense of the 90s, and a collaboration between a familiar face and a DJ whose career BEGAN in the 90s. Capping all of that off is a serious track which in part mourns the loss of the lead singer from an iconic 90s band that was in the middle of a comeback. Let’s get to it then.

Album 1: Come Tomorrow, by Dave Matthews Band (6/8/2018)
If you listened to music in the 90s at all, you couldn’t avoid Dave Matthews Band. I think I went back and forth with liking them or not. They certainly gained a cult following as a jam band, in the vein of the Grateful Dead and Phish, with people collecting various bootleg recordings of shows. But at the same time, they were snubbed by many critics as too popular or sell-outs. When a friend of mine introduced me to Coldplay by playing YELLOW, I asked him if it was a Dave Matthews knockoff. I’ll never forget the look of betrayal on his face. I’ll do worse, here, I’m sure. This is their first new album in six years, I believe – first one I’ve listened to in maybe twenty years?

Starting off with a nice stripped down intro and the familiar, raw vocal, SAMURAI COP (OH JOY BEGIN) opens the album as the first I’ve really heard from DMB since the early days. I get the sense that this would be amazing live. I love the drums and just the bare elements. Everything sounds so… open. Like early U2 almost. Now that I’ve thoroughly irritated U2 fans everywhere, I CAN’T STOP there. The addition of the horns adds a thickness to this song, which is when Dave’s falsetto really shines as a contrast. Yeah, this would definitely be great live. Drums are very impressive. HERE ON OUT feels like the new album’s CRASH INTO ME. Acoustic guitar. Ballad. Nice melody. Yeah. Nostalgia. It’s enchanting.
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