English: Image shows Marcus Reeves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marcus Reeves – Black Tears (Single)
Black Tears is the lead off single from Marcus Reeves’s forthcoming album “Quicksilver -The Masquerade Macabre.” With a title such as Black Tears, I was not expecting a happy go lucky song, but what I didn’t expect was for the song to draw me into Reeves’s narrative.
The intro, which to me is reminiscent in structure to the beginning of Madonna’s Like A Prayer, sets the scene for the remainder of the song; what follows is a bittersweet tale of twisted love; wanting and of course “Black Tears.”
Reeves paints a relationship where he is given nothing that cant be kept, so why does he want to continue the relationship?
Where other artists may have felt the need to unleash vocal acrobatics to this song, Reeves’s vocal delivery is restrained and understated and what I call other worldly, think Antony and Johnsons & Woodkid, you genuinely believe that Reeves has lived this song. Here’s hoping that those “Black Tears” turn into gold & platinum tears of record sales.
Vere View Star Rating VVVV/5
Vere View Black Tears
Brand New Heavies ft N’Dea Davenport – Sunlight (single)
If I were to list all the vocalists that The Brand New Heavies (BNH) have used, I would not have enough room to write this review, all that you need to know is N’Dea Davenport is back on lead vocals.
Sunlight is the lead off single from the their forthcoming album; Forward (Due out May 6th ). Its everything you would come to expect from a BNH release with N’Dea’s silky smooth vocals over a competent acid jazz disco groove.
Whilst this song may have charted in the mid nineties (during their golden period) its hard to see this effort troubling today’s chart, not that this is a bad effort, but it is as if time has stood still for BNH. Maybe a nifty remix from a DJ de rigueur could see a new generation of fans shaking their thing to this on the dance floor.
Vere View Star Rating VVV/5
Fall Out Boy -Save Rock And Roll (Album)
Fall Out Boy (FOB) are back to, ahem, Save Rock & Roll! I can see this title rubbing some people up the wrong way. I would assume that if FOB are going to tour to promote this album it will be called Fall Out Boy Save Rock Tour
So how does the self proclaimed saviours of Rock and Roll new opus fare? FOB come over as an emo punk pop version of dare I say it Queen, with the grandiose intentions of their songs. Pete Wentz might be a higher profile public figure, however, the real beauty on this album is Patrick Stump’s vocals which can go from shouty & angsty to angelic choirboy and then back again.
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, Young Volcanoes and The Phoenix (together with its dodgy rhyming couplet, I’m going t change you like a remix, then I’ll raise you like a phoenix), already show its business as usual for FOB
Should FOB want to put out something slower for their next release then Just One Yesterday fit’s the bill nicely. On Death Valley, I half expect Stump to launch into I don’t want your freedom. Miss Missing You & Where Did The Party Go have the potential to be huge hits. FOB are not immune to having guest artists on their albums and the don’t come any more diverse than Its Courtney Bitch Love, Big Sean, Foxes and Elton John.
Elton pops up on the title track, which works surprisingly well. Do Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll? I will leave that to you and their record sales to answer.
View The Phoenix –
Vere View Star Rating VVVV/5
Chris Brown -Fine China Video & Song
How to approach Chris Brown’s music is a conundrum, do you comment on his past misdemeanours or do you just focus on the music. In his video for “Fine China” Chris Brown makes that decision for you .
Before the music begins we hear dialogue from a girl, who turns out to be Brown’s girlfriend saying “You don’t even know him“, to which her father says he knows enough. The Girlfriend walks out on her father into the waiting arms of Brown, who just happens to roll up in his car. We all know what happened to a famous girlfriend who went on a car ride with Brown. Will fiction mirror true life?
I cant help but think that this is Browns way of flipping the bird to his detractors. Now that the elephant is out of the room we can concentrate on just the music and the video.
What Brown delivers is an homage to Michael Jackson, both vocally and visually from the opening Ow & ho and even name checks Dangerous a number of times. The dance & fighting sequences could have been lifted from a number of Jackson video’s. That said, the song is good, probably the best song that Jackson never recorded and the video, although portentous, is highly watchable.
Did the girl remain unscathed after a car ride with Brown. Here is a clue, in this video it is better to see Chris Brown beating his opponents rather than beating his girlfriend.
VView – Chris Brown – Fine China
VereVeiw Star Rating VVV/5
Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidell
Uploading two of the most experimental tracks from the album to you tube; What A Shame & WhyYaWhy might seem risky to the uninitiated, however, Jamie Lidell has plenty in reserve, offering a retro sounding funk album but at the same time making it sound current.
After listening to this album, I had to check out Jamie Lidell’s heritage to see if he was related to Prince or Stevie Wonder, because if they had a lovechild (as implausible as it sounds) this is the album that child would make; step forward Jamie Lidell as this album evokes early Prince (think Controversy).On Blaming Something, close your eyes and you would swear that you are listening to Stevie Wonder.
You Naked is the most commercial track on the album, to see and hear an artist at the top of his craft seek out Jamie’s live performance at
If you are looking for a funk alternative to Timberlakes’s So/So Experience, you wont go far wrong by giving Jamie Lidell a try
VereView Star Rating VVV/5
The Golden Age – Woodkid
You may already be familiar with his videos for Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry and Drake featuring Rihanna, you may already be familiar with the song “Run Boy Run” which was featured in a number of commercials last year, but are you familiar with “The Golden Age” the first full length album by Woodkid? If not then give your ears an aural treat.
I can hear detractors saying isn’t this style over substance and that all the songs sound roughly the same. Yes there is plenty of style to this project, with the black and white videos and the lavishly put together limited booklet and yes there is plenty of substance to this album. Finally the songs do have a similar feel to them however that feel is lavish and quality.
Woodkid’s vocals are akin to Antony (from Antony & The Johnson) sometimes fragile, sometimes close to breaking and at other times defiant like on the epic “The Conquest Of Spaces”.
Strident tribal drums & the French horn appear throughout on the standout tracks such as; “Stabat Mater” “Ghost Lights” and “Iron.”.
Woodkid hits pay dirt on “I Love You.” Melancholy lyrics of unrequited love set to a strident melody is equally striking as it is heart achingly beautiful. “Is There anything I can do to get some attention from you” sings Woodkid, he has by making the most innovative album of the year.
Woodkid feels more like a movement than a band, you can feel yourself marching along to the music, which you feel was made for cinema, you can almost visualise it in widescreen.
I cannot help but think that they missed a trick with the song running order, how appropriate it would have been to have the title track at the end of the album, with Woodkid singing The Golden Age is over as the album fades out!
VView: I Love You – Woodkid
VereVeiw Rating VVVV/5
Justin Timberlake‘s 20/20 Expereince
I thought that “Mirrors” was majestic and “Suit and Tie” was reminiscent of The Stylistics (think of the falsetto on “Betcha By Golly Wow“) I had high hopes for JT’s new album, but unfortunately that is as good as it gets. You cannot deny the quality in the song writing and production of this album, however, apart from the aforementioned singles and “Let The Groove Get In”, none of the other album tracks left a lasting impression on me.
If JT is compensating for not releasing an album in 6 years with this overlong collection then he should cut back on other outside commitments and spend more time making the quality tunes we know he is capable of. Quite frankly this 20/20 experience left me under whelmed
VereView Raring VVV/5
Vere View Mirrors