Inner Soul: New Music Rewind

Last week new music seemed to absolutely drop out of the sky and flood my ipod! Trying to stay on top of everything caused me to lose sleep, honestly. I was unzipping files and loading my itunes library at odd o’clock hours. Because I am seriously sleep-deprived, I’m going to just do some mini mentions and save the reviews for monopolizing space in my mind until I can get it right.

DRU HILL ~ InDRUpendence Day

Dru Hill dropped the album that was supposed to bring them straight back to the forefront (I think): InDRUpendence Day.

Dru Hill has always been, and will forever be one of those historical male groups from the late 90s that won me over and held me hostage (even now) . Having the opportunity to sit with them for a CentricTV.com Soul Sessions interview a few months back cemented in me all of the love that the word ‘cherish’ truly defines. I must admit that it has been extremely troubling to read feedback on itunes, comments on twitter and other social media outlets about how the group failed their fans by releasing InDRUpendence Day. Having attended their official listening party at Le Lupenar and hearing an advanced copy of the album, I knew that there were certain songs would not make my ipod once the album dropped because I wasn’t feeling them. But, in no way did I feel that Dru Hill failed me. On the day of the release, I excitedly headed over to itunes to listen again to what I had already heard and make a decision to either purchase the project in its entirety or just those songs that spoke to my musical spirit. I was surprised to hear a couple of songs that I hadn’t heard previously — songs that made me scowl a bit. Not the reaction I’d hoped for.

I loaded up: She Wants Me, Below Zero, Remain Silent, State of Emergency, Back to the Future, Love MD, Away and Rule The World. A few of those songs have the classic Dru Hill flair that the world embraced them for previously, others were just really good ballads; while finally the remaining songs seemed to harp on today’s sound — and weren’t working for my beloved Dru Hill.

Two final troubling notes about Dru Hill …

In my opinion, I’m not sure that it was wise to have the Platinum House series, now airing on Centric TV run before the album’s release. The reality series offers a behind-the-scenes, shocking view of deep-rooted problems within the group that range from jealousy, envy, and even an admittance of hatred. Quite disturbing, to say the least. Perhaps if the program could have culminated into scenes of the group coming to a point of love, trust and understanding leading to the finalization of InDRUpendence Day, fans would have rested easier with that. Instead, tongues are waging about why the group decided to come back as a collective, period! Finally, where the hell was the promotion for this album (the missing tv spots ~ you know kinda expecting Kedar Ent. to go as hard for the album as they did with the promotion of Platinum House)?

*shrugs*

_____

MIKE PHILLIPS ~ M.P.3

A few years back on a Sunday night in New York, I hung out with a crew of Lalaholics, Frank McComb and Natalie Wilson in the village. We had planned to end the evening with a stop over at the Village Underground. When all was said and done, I was definitely glad that I’d decided to hang. You see, on a Sunday night, the Village Underground is the place where the musically unexpected is possible. On that particular night, sporting an orange sweatsuit (with the Air Jordan logo, of course :)) was the one and only, magic sax playing Mike Phillips. He headed to the stage and hit this note so long that I still can’t fathom where the oxygen came from .. but it was incredible.

Fast forward to present day — Mike Phillips posted on FaceBook a little over a month ago that his new cd was going to be released and pre-order sales for autographed copies were being accepted. I jumped right on it and placed my order via the Hidden Beach website. The release date arrived, but my cd did not and I was totally disappointed. I checked in with Hidden Beach and received an immediate response (thumbs up!) that they had been inundated with orders for the cd and the expectation was that mine would arrive within a matter of days. (amen! hallelujah!)

They were on the money with their notification. The album, M.P.3 was everything I’d hoped for and then some! For years, I have had one solid favorite song from Mike Phillips, (Wonderful & Special) from the album, You Have Reached Mike Phillips but Come Inside With Me on this new album is so delicious that I keep it on threepeat. I have not read the liner notes as of yet, and I am unsure who the male vocalist is that song — sounds like Avant a little — perfect. The meshing of the vocals and Mike’s sax playing are simply sheer perfection! There are guest appearances by Stevie Wonder, Natalie (The Floacist), Marcus Miller, Norman Brown and a few names that I’m not familiar with but will certainly research.

*certifiably a keeper*

_____

Honorable Mentions ~ Definitely Certifiable!

JACKIEM JOYNER


ZO ~ SUNSTORM

**TROMBONE SHORTY ~ BACKATOWN**

More to come…

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~ by theinnersoul10 on August 7, 2010.

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