Ken’s guide to rainy day listening

Posted October 25th, 2007. Filed under Personal

It’s been raining all day. There is rain in the forecast for the next three days straight (here in Philadelphia that is). The World Series is on and it’s raining (in Boston). So, here’s some great music well suited to wet days like these:

Mary J. Blige - My Life
“This certainly isn’t your parents’ (or grandparents’) soul. But it is some of the finest modern soul of the ’90s, backing away to a certain extent from the hip-hop/soul consolidation that Blige introduced on her debut album. The hip-hop part of the combination takes a few steps into the background, allowing Blige’s tortured soul to carry the album completely, and it does so with heartwrenching authority. My Life is, from beginning to end, a brilliant, wistful individual plea of desire.”

GZA - Liquid Swords
“…the Wu actually never did top this album’s mix of pirated Asian cultural references, been-there-done-that noir, rugged, terse, no-bullshit lyricism, and wild-card catchphrase loopiness: like one who tries to catch lightning in a bottle again, they never yet managed to make anything this memorable, otherworldly, and strangely beautiful again. “

Zero 7 - Simple Things
“Characterised by Rhodes piano, sweeping strings and gentle, parping brass their music is way beyond the monikers of ‘chill out’ or ‘ambient’, it is soul food from the lounge room at the end of the universe.”

Slum Village - Fantastic Volume 2
” Hands folded across the chest. Relaxed but ready for action. Fantastic Volume 2 captures Slum Village‚Äôs swellegant b-boy stance on record.”

Amel Larrieux - Infinite Possibilities
“…she calls to mind female jazz greats and contemporary soul eclectics from Billy Holiday to Les Nubians More concerned with love and spirituality, Amel segues effortlessly from the love themes of “Make Me Whole” and “Even If,” to the introspective “I N I” and “Searchin for My Soul,” with the jazzy lead single “Get Up” setting the course.”

Res - How I Do
“Res’ voice is more unique and emotionally direct than big and operatic, a perfect fit for the rock-soul sounds behind her. The lyrics, written largely by singer-songwriter Santi White, are diarylike poetry about being yourself, being strong and being in love - “What’s your soul taste like, baby?” she coos on the dreamy, reggae-ish “700 Mile Situation.”

Grab these, sit back and wait for sunshine. And use the word “swellegant” in conversation at some point during the day. I promise, it will brighten someones day =)

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