Ra.D is back at last with his signature mellow tunes and relaxing beats. And it seems that the singer has been busy over the last six years, for his third studio album features 12 tracks, all written and produced by the artist himself.
Ra.D brings many variations of love-inspired music on his new album, which overall is best described as calm yet groovy.
The lead single “For Me” is a light and funky R&B track featuring pronounced bass beats under a jazzy, synth-infused melody. The singer professes his love to a woman, pleading for her to “come closer” by the end of the song.
The urban funk track “Shawty (Feat. Inbal)” infuses elements of hip-hop as Inbal adds a layer of his rapping to Ra.D’s soft singing. Catchy percussion beats, reminiscent of African drums, can be heard throughout the song as well.
“Drive Away” is another standout track combining rap-like lines with a light string melody that backs up Ra.D’s lively vocals.
“Lullaby,” as the title suggests, features an expressive melody with the singer’s whisper-like vocals.
“1998,” written in memory of the singer’s first year as a musician, is a lighthearted track featuring UMC, KeepRoots and Hyunsang, all friends of Ra.D at the time of his musical debut.
Spoon shines on ‘They Want My Soul’
“They Want My Soul”
The Austin, Texas-born band Spoon is out with its eighth album, “They Want My Soul.” It’s a lush jangle of guitars, smart lyrics and catchy refrains that continues to set the band apart from, well, other bands you’re not quite sure you’ve heard of.
Therein lives the mystery of Spoon. They’re just good enough to make a 20-year career out of music while producing albums and songs you’ve probably overlooked.
That may not last much longer thanks to a couple of standout tracks that are certain to be late-summer earworms once “They Want My Soul” migrates into frequent rotation.
“Do You” is the one song you must know about. It asks of the listener “”Do you want to get understood?/Do you want one thing or are you looking for sainthood?“ It has a great pace and is delivered with matching emotion by the band’s electrifying lead singer Britt Daniel.
While “Do You” offers straight-ahead rock, “Outlier” has a more modern feel with its danceable backbeat and ghostly keyboard echoes.
Spoon can do a little bit of everything, and does so on “They Want My Soul.” To sound this fresh after two decades of work speaks to the band’s smartness and savvy. They were one of the crowd favorites during their set at the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta this year with an energetic stage presence.
Spoon is wearing its experience well these days. (AP)
Shaver shows staying power on new album
Billy Joe Shaver
“Long In The Tooth”
Old cowboys love to lament that contemporary country music’s in a sorry state and guilty of casting aside sage singers and songwriters -- like Billy Joe Shaver. The crusty Texan trots out that trope at the start of his new album, and then spends the rest of the record showing he still has plenty to say.
“Long in the Tooth” covers a wide range of topics in 10 songs and 32 minutes. Shaver sings about politics, war, the lessons of Jesus and the Garden of Eden, and that’s just in the space of four verses on the tune “The Git Go.”
The title cut’s a hoot, with Shaver noting that as his 75th birthday approaches, “what I used to do all night, it takes me all night to do.” He sings about the rails on “Sunbeam Special,” then rails against America’s class divide on “Checkers and Chess.”
Best of all is “I’m In Love,” a ballad beautiful in its simplicity as Shaver pledges everlasting devotion. The song’s a testament to this cowboy’s staying power. (AP)