Mark Ronson Review: Uptown Special

Mark Ronson

Uptown Special

 uptown

2014 was a big year for producers and artists switching roles with a lot of success. Ryan Adams and Beck both produced parts of Jenny Lewis’s wonderful The Voyager. The Black Keys continued to each produce plenty of work, with Auerbach almost single-handedly saving the Lana Del Rey record, and Patrick Carney making the Black Lips latest album bluesy and dirty. On the other hand, Pharrell, one half of legendary hip hop production team the Neptunes, released his second solo album in Girl, with huge summer hits in “Happy” and “Come Get it Bae”. Experimental hip hop and electronic producers Arca and Rustie both released great solo albums. Finally, the winter welcomed in the lead single of Mark Ronson, nostalgic English producer best known for his work with Amy Winehouse and Adele, the wonderful throwback jam of “Uptown Funk”. The bite-sized but largely talented Bruno Mars is used to full capacity, a swaggering tour-de-force vocal performance behind an electric funk band.
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Top Ten Thursday: Masters Of Originality

Original

With the release of Nine Inch Nail’s new album, as well as the random tracks that artists like M.I.A. and TV On The Radio have been dropping lately, we thought the topic of original artists was a good thing to focus on this week. Artist in particular that unmistakably have their own sound. Vocally, musically, production-wise; upon the first moment you hear it, you know who it is. Something that didn’t exist prior to, and something that even if attempted to be replicated, it has not happened in the same fashion since. In this respect, artists such as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin (who were extremely original for their time but have been copied a billion times over) don’t exactly qualify. Naturally this lends itself to be a very current list, but we would love to hear any arguments as to what we missed. Now onto the list of what we find to be the most uniquely original artists in music:
10. Mystikal
Mystikal, rapper, artist
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Kevin Gates Song Review: “4:30”

Kevin Gates

“4:30”

kevin gates 2

Louisiana has a solid history of hip-hop artists dating back to the late 90’s, when the rap landscape was pretty barren of anything redeemable.  When Ja Rule was at the top of the charts it was a very sad time in hip-hop, but there were a few great artists coming out of New Orleans:  Juvenile and Mystikal.  Neither artist was perfect, but both (particularly Mystikal) were using the sounds of their surroundings to do something interesting in hip-hop.  Lil’ Wayne carried the New Orleans torch following those two, to even larger success.  Is the next great Louisiana (I say Louisiana because Gates is actually from Baton Rouge) rapper going to be Kevin Gates?  Maybe.

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LxListening: The Inaugural

Norah Jones, Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi, Rome, Black, Spaghetti Western

Six weeks into LxL, things are still changing and adapting. Our little website is going through puberty if you will. Growing hair in strange  places, and waking up with a wet spot in its shortpants. Today, we would like to offer up the first installment of LxListening, where one of us will basically provide a quick snapshot of what we are currently listening to. This is really just an opportunity for us to talk half-assedly about a bunch of things, instead of focus on one thing like grown-ups.  Also, while things may change a little bit with this section, we will probably try to have 4 somewhat current picks (within the past year or so), and 1 older pick(several years old at least). Enjoy, and thank you for reading.

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