Estelle – Shine (LP of the Week)

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Another R&B album, however this one comes from the UK!

That would be Estelle’s sophomore effort, Shine.

Whereas Jully Black (see last album of the week) mostly sticks to R&B, Estelle’s Shine would be more R&B and hip hop.

The album features a host of producers and guests, despite this, it feels consistent, in that the album flows well, and all the tracks work both together and on their own.

Track six, “Come Over”, not featuring Sean Paul on the album version, was produced by Supa Dups, which explains the reggae feel on the track. It is mid tempo, but is still one that would have the listener nodding their head to. The remix featuring Sean Paul is the second North American single. I prefer the track without Sean Paul, as it does not need him. Not that I dislike Sean Paul, just feel it is Estelle’s track. The following track, “So Much Out the Way” is a fairly hip hop track that has some of Estelle rapping, it is one of two tracks produced by Wyclef Jean & Jerry ‘Wonder’ Duplessis. “In the Rain” is a non single that represents another quality track from the album.

“You Are” featuring John Legend has a slight retro feel, yet still feeling contemporary, as does “Pretty Please” which features Cee-Lo. “Magnificent” which features Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall, is produced by Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, among others). I thought it had the feel of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, but this could be also since I just listened to Back to Black earlier today, and I only thought so after seeing he produced it.

Another positive track ends the album of the week, the title track, “Shine”. It is another track that Estelle raps in, and her rapping definitely has a UK rap influence, in the vein of UK grime.

If you are in a R&B/Hip Hop mood, you cannot go wrong with this album.

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Jully Black – Revival (LP of the Week)

revival1A little slow with this entry, but better late than never.

So this weeks album of the week is some cancon (Canadian Content). It would be Jully Black’s latest, Revival.

It was released just over a year ago, on October 16, 2007. It is her second released album, as she had an album a couple years before This is Me that never got released. That album was I Traveled. I am not sure how many tracks from that album found their way to This is Me, certainly the title track, that aside I am not sure. Anywho, despite her debut being released in 2005, she has been around quite a while before, appearing on Canadian hiphop tracks, as well as on Nas’ song “Heaven” from God’s Son, and helped write “I Know” for Destiny’s Child which appeared on Unity: The Official Athens 2004 Olympic Games Album.

Her own material dates back to 1998 when she had a Canadian hit with the song “Rally’n”.

The lead single is a cover of “Seven Day Fool”, originally recorded by Etta James, is a good up tempo trackthat serves well as an introduction to Jully Black, or to this album. “Just a Moment” is a solid mid tempo track that precedes “Catch me When I Fall”, which is a slow track, that has an uplifting, positive feel.

“Wishing” samples “Georgie’s Theme”, which Quentin Taratino used in Kill Bill. It is by Bernard Herrmann, and originally appears in the 1968 film Twisted Nerve, hence the title used on the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack.

The album ends with the uplifting track, “Mystery”.

Without a doubt my personal highlight from the album is the third single, “Until I Stay”. For me it is one of my favourite songs in the last few years and would be up there in my favourite tracks of all time. It is one of those songs that gives me chills. It is perfect in every way, the lyrics, chorus, bridge, and the way it is arranged musically. It has a slight retro feel with the brass, all the while feeling just as current as anything out there today.

Finally, if you have the chance to see her live, it is a must to see her live! As my sister commented, her voice has absolutely no need for enhancements, as much of popular music of today surely uses.