Posts Tagged: R&B

No Pressure: Bieber, Blackness, the Cult of Perfection

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Bieber is like a prism that reflects back whatever you want to see.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #83: On George

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There really is not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t stop at some moment and think about George Harrison.

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Album of the Week: Something to Tell You by HAIM

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Four years after releasing their impressive debut album Days Are Gone, HAIM are back with their long-awaited sophomore project, Something to Tell You, out now via Polydor. The three Angeleno sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana have kept their distinctive, classic rock sound—inherited from the cover band they fronted in the early days together with their parents—smoothed out by […]

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Album of the Week: Bravado by Kirin J. Callinan

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“With every decision I made, I picked the least-tasteful option,” Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J. Callinan told the FADER in discussing how his newest album, Bravado (Terrible Records) came to be. A wacky yet riveting  journey into the clichés of contemporary pop but with a distinguished sonic quality and production, the album features guest appearances from DeMarco, […]

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Album of the Week: Tei Shi’s Crawl Space

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Tei Shi is Valerie Teicher—born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, raised between Bogota, Colombia, and Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in New York after graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Her new album, Crawl Space, out now from Downtown Records, is her coming-of-age diary transposed into music. As we hear in the album opener, Teicher began writing […]

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Album of the Week: Sampha’s Process

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After collaborating with the likes of Beyoncè, SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Solange, 28-year-old British singer, songwriter and producer Sampha has finally released his first solo album, Process, via Young Turks. A significant and evocative title, anticipating the changes happening as listeners work through the LP’s forty minutes: the personal growth Sampha undergoes in taking his […]

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Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

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Today, the so-called British Invasion of the ’60s is remembered primarily for its flagship band, The Beatles. Another English group called The Animals—widely known for their international hit version of the folk song “House of the Rising Sun”—are unfortunately obscured by the long shadow of the former, but their screaming fans knew and loved The Animals’s gritty rock. Their […]

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On Self-Reliance: Frank Ocean as Emersonian Hero

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As Emerson recognizes, someone who couldn’t care less about how they come across is all the more charismatic and convincing.

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Fifteen Theories on Boys Don’t Cry

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Between the mysterious live stream on Ocean’s website and the release date that came and went, no one is really sure what Frank Ocean has planned for his new album Boys Don’t Cry. But the good people at okayplayer. have some the thoughts: [W]e got the team together and had countless meetings, contemplated deeply, we’ve solved complex mathematical […]

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Song of the Day: “Party Down”

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Soul guitarist Willie Hale is perhaps most widely-known for his head-bopping contribution to Betty Wright’s hit song, “Clean Up Woman,” and maybe just as widely recognized for his nickname, Little Beaver. He apparently received the nickname in honor of his prominent teeth. Little Beaver earned a reputation as a talented session musician in the 60s […]

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Beyonce - Lemonade | Rumpus music

The Recipe to Decolonized Love is in Beyoncé’s Lemonade

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“There is a curse that will be broken,” she promises.

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Prince - 1979 | Rumpus Music

Five Stages of Prince Fandom

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You don’t need to know him personally, you say. You get the best of Prince through his music. Maybe that’s the truth, and maybe it isn’t.

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Song of the Day: “Clean Up Woman”

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Sometimes the energy in a song is so palpable that you can tell the musicians have hit gold. That’s the case with the 1971 single by Betty Wright, “Clean Up Woman,” a soul song whose popularity at the time signified its special character. You can tell, from the first notes of guitarist Willie “Little Beaver” Hale, that […]

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Song of the Day: “Come On Back”

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From 1962 to 1987, producer Bobby Robinson headed the independent record publisher Enjoy Music. Robinson nurtured and and supported heavy-hitting early R&B, blues, and soul artists of the latter half of the 20th century, including Gladys Knight and the Pips, Elmore James, and Grandmaster Flash. Supposedly Robinson ran Enjoy Music out of his record shop, Bobby’s Happy House, which stood […]

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This Week in Posivibes: Gloria Ann Taylor

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Ubiquity’s Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing reissue collects some incredible soulful, experimental R&B from Gloria Ann Taylor’s early years, rare tracks that were released during her time with the small label Selector Sound. Taylor owned the label with her brother Leonard and her husband and producer Walter Wisenhunt, who was a “promoter of sorts” with […]

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This Week in Posivibes: FKA twigs

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FKA twigs has released a self-directed video to accompany her new EP M3LL155X, and the result is wonderfully troubling: the four-part video accompaniment to her five-song EP delivers an explicit and uncompromising visual accompaniment to the work’s examination of identity, sexuality, and the male gaze. At turns empowering, disturbing, inviting, and accusing, the film alternates between […]

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Song of the Day: “Try Me”

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The resilient R&B singer Esther Mae Jones adopted the stage name of Little Esther Philips at the age of 14, allegedly taking it from a gas station sign in Los Angeles. She had a rough-and-tumble career, a tumultuous relationship with the billboard charts, and ongoing addiction problems that endowed her voice with a worldly authenticity reminiscent […]

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Song of the Day: “The Prayer”

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Black Messiah is an apt title for the long-awaited follow-up to contemporary soul master D’Angelo’s 2000 record, Voodoo. Fourteen years allows for plenty of anticipation. At times, the news from industry insiders made it seem like Black Messiah would never be released at all. Music lovers from around the world said ‘Hallelujah’ when it finally […]

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