Marina and the Diamonds – The Family Jewels

After just one listen, I thought the Marina and the Diamonds debut long player, The Family Jewels was quite good.

I watched the video for “I Am Not a Robot”, (linked on my twitter @tmmblog) and it just features Marina (Marina Diamandis), however the makeup, and what she is wearing on her face in the video are definitely interesting. Especially the sparkles substituted for lipstick and some eye makeup!

Wikipedia calls it indie pop and new wave. The new wave being evident on tracks such as “The Outsider”.

Definitely worth checking out if you like music coming out of the UK these days.

All the music video links:

I Am Not a Robot
Mowgli’s Road
Hollywood

Now, I have to listen to New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) again so I can listen to New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)!

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New Rah Digga LP soon!?

Well, seems like this time it is true! Probably best not to hold our breath. As is the case for the third and supposedly final Dr. Dre release! Looks like it will be titled Classics.

Seems there will not be any featured guests on the album (“Hey, you want Rah Digga, you gonna get Rah Digga”). I could not be happier to hear that. That is something that at times can be annoying in my opinion. If I want to listen to Trina, for example, I want to hear her and not umpteen other rappers (not that they themselves are bad), and numerous skits, interludes, etc. For that reason I don’t listen to a fair amount of female hip hop. And in general I don’t listen to too much that is loaded with skits and guests. I suppose that is certain cases would be a certain sub genre of hip hop/rap. When done well it is okay, for example Masta Killa, or Jurassic 5. I might just have to listen to Still da Baddest though, as it does not seem as guest laden as Glamorest Life.

Anyway, read more about it at sohh.com or XXL.

Jully Black – The Black Book (LP of the Week)

It is about time I had a new album of the week, and I procrastinated a bit, however I decided upon this one, for more than one reason.

Firstly, I had to continue with the Canadian albums, this being the third consecutive, especially after the huge hockey win by Canada at the Olympics! Defeating the U.S. in overtime on our home soil!

Secondly, and most importantly, it merits it!

So The Black Book is Jully’s third released album. It is considerably different from her last album, Revival. Think Taking the Long Way. It is far from your standard R&B album, as it contains a considerable amount of live instrumentation, notably a lot of rock based work.

To be honest, some songs are still slowly but surely growing on me. Think Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.

The LP starts off with the first single, “Running” (Youtube). If you are a runner, I’d say this is a good song to run to. Not only that, but it is a positive track too. It is more of a standard R&B song musically, yet feels different. Hard to explain, however it fits in well with the style of The Black Book.

“The Plan” is a very nice slow jam, with very evident live drumming backing the track. “Recalculate”, as in recalculating GPS directions (not really), as we are led to believe by the intro, is a good example of said rock based R&B track.

So I have mentioned how I do not read reviews of an album before I review it, however I checked out the review on straight.com, and it ends with what is mentioned in the Jully Black bio, “if it doesn’t give you chills, it’s not in the will”. Track six, “Love U 4Ever” certainly delivers on said promise.

Another nice track with rock mixed in with R&B, especially the guitar, is “What is This?”.

On the same bio page listed above, Jully writes how she feels The Black Book feels more like her sophomore album due to the success of Revival.

A very good album, which feels like she has definitely evolved musically. Quite unique too really. Oh, and genre wise, “it’s Dance, it’s Urban, It’s Rock, it’s DURBAN ROCK!”

Almost Brit Pop Music Video Playlist March 3, 2010

I say almost as I have added a Kylie Minogue video in there. She is Australian, but she is fairly popular in the UK. Anyway, on with the playlist.

Kylie Minogue – Wow
La Roux – I’m Not Your Toy
Pixie Lott – Gravity
VV Brown – Shark in the Water
Noisettes – Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)

The Kylie Minogue video is what you would expect from her, dancing, lights and plenty of visuals. I’ll let Wikipedia explain a little better.

The video features Minogue in dancing in a futuristic nightclub surrounded by dancers in alien outfits.

I really did not notice the alien outfits to be honest, as my eyes are generally on Kylie most of the time! And I have only watched it a handful of times at most.

The La Roux track, “I’m Not Your Toy” is one that will definitely get you feet busy, and perhaps nodding along. The video features her singing in front of a pool with a fair number of people around it. The video cuts to the people a fair amount as they are grooving to the song also as if there is something going on with them. All the while Elly is singing the song. Later, Elly is seated in an elaborate chair, and she is also in the pool. The video ends with her submerging into the pool, funky hair and all!

The Pixie Lott song, “Gravity”, is one I easily could have mistaken for Jordin Sparks, as it is a poppy R&B track. The video is mostly her in a black tutu, but there is also a couple dancers in the background on certain scenes. She does have a couple of other outfits in the video, a black “burlesque inspired outfit”, and in a red catsuit performing an aerial silk routine. The latter two outfits were added by an anonymous Wikipedia user. I do not know clothing too well, however I probably would not have used the term burlesque.

VV Brown’s “Shark in the Water” is the first time I really heard and saw her. The video is basically her singing the song while telling a story. It is a good poppy track.

Lastly, Noisettes with “Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)”. It is the second single from their second album, Wild Young Hearts. I only really started getting into them recently. Wild Young Hearts is quite a good album.

The video is a fair amount fantasy, with mostly lead singer and bassist, Shingai Shoniwa. The other band members do pop up here and there. The video also features a fair amount of accompanying visuals.