Nas – Life is Good album review

Nas is no stranger to controversy. The politically conscious rapper got noticed with his amazing ability on his debut “Illmatic.” Nas continued to make headlines as he went on to make ten studio albums, including one that was called Untitled, because the original title was rejected due to the sensitive racial epithet he was going to use.

Fast forward four years to Life is Good, and Nas stirred up attention when he revealed that he was going to get personal with this album, by releasing the album artwork which featured him holding ex wife’s Kelis’ green wedding dress. When the cover was first released, there was speculation on whether or not this was a diss to the songstress, but once you give a listen to the album, it is evident that this entire project is a journey to Nas’ acceptance.

“No Introduction” hypnotizes with its smooth piano chords, leading up to a breakdown of vibrating guitar riffs, inspiring organs and an earnest Nas, delivering lyrics that let us begin his emotional journey with him. “The tales you hear is the truth, on me/ Who wasn’t the most faithful husband/ Reveal my life, you will forgive me/ You will love me, hate me, judge me, relate to me.”

The collaborations are a plenty in Life is Good, with an appearance by Rick Ross on “Accident Murders” as well as other notable features by R&B legends Mary J Blige and Anthony Hamilton. Nas displays radio play ability with his upbeat Summer anthem, “Summer on Smash” featuring Swizz Beats and R&B crooner, Miguel.

If it isn’t for Nas’ amazing skills, then another reason to put this album down in musical history is the collaboration between him and Amy Winehouse. As “Cherry Wine” begins and Amy Winehouse’s gorgeous voice spreads throughout the tune, you can’t help but get chills. I admit that I felt my eyes get wet as the late Winehouse displayed why we all fell in love with her in the first place. Nas raps over the downtempo jazz beat repeating “Life is good”, while Winehouse belts her soul out. This moment is unreal and truly magical.

Nas’ Life is Good is his personal therapy session. He lays it all out on the table, and after expressing all of his feelings through fourteen tracks of advanced beats and lyricism supremacy. It just so happened that this musical therapy session is a piece of classic hip hop that we all are lucky enough to listen to.

Amy Winehouse – “Love Is A Losing Game” Truth & Soul Remix

Amy Winehouse – “Love Is A Losing Game” Truth & Soul Remix

12.12.2007

Brooklyn Label and Production House Remix Back To Black’s 5th Single

The Song:
Say what you will about her, Amy Winehouse’s newest single, “Love Is a Losing Game” is one of those classics that will be copied for years to come. To mix things up a bit, Truth & Soul Records has created a remix of the song that effortlessly blends Winehouse’s distinct vocals with a super smooth accompaniment that includes a far more driving beat than the original. The remix starts off with a string tremolo that takes the listener back to a 1940’s jazz club and quickly morphs into a futuristic vibe through the use of a funky reverb-filled counter melody that continues throughout most of the song. Some of the most beautiful moments in the song occur when the accompaniment unexpectedly drops out and the listener is left alone with only a single repeated bass note and Winehouse’s shining vocals. In describing the new version of the song, the label co-founders/producers/musicians Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman say that “The end result turned into a mix up of Timmy Thomas soul meets Lee Perry, and of course, Winehouse’s future soul vocal stylings.” Truth & Soul’s remix is included on the December 11th release of the original “Love Is A Losing Game” CD single along with two other versions by Kardinal Beats Remix and Moody Boyz Original Ruffian Badboy Remix on Island Records.

The Background:

When Soul Fire Records officially retired in 2004, Soul Fire house musicians Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman started their own label, Truth & Soul Records, which has now become a label and production house based out of Brooklyn, NY that specializes in creating deep funk and soul music. They have released a slew of 7″ and 12″ releases by bands such as El Michels Affair, Bronx River Parkway, Timothy McNealy, Quincy Bright, The Evil D’s, Lee Fields and The Expressions, The Fabulous Three, Cosmic Force, and Tyrone Ashley’s Funky Music Machine.

Streams:

http://www.audibletreats.com/download/TruthandSoul/LoveIsALosingGame_TruthandSoulRemix.mp3

“Amy Winehouse in bloody hotel brawl with junkie husband”

Good God.

From the UK Daily Mail:

Bloody and battered after ripping into each other during a drug-fuelled row, this is Amy Winehouse, the cream of Britain’s young singing talent, and her junkie husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

Stumbling around the streets of London at 4.45am, the pair bore the wounds of an almighty row which spiralled wildly out of control.

They have been holed up in a suite at a five-star hotel in Soho for the past three days after checking out of rehab for crack and heroin addiction.

The fight in the early hours of yesterday left 23-year-old Miss Winehouse with blood staining her pink ballet shoes and the knees of her jeans.

Purple bruises could be seen on the side of her neck and her knuckles were swollen.

But her 24-year-old husband appeared to have come off a lot worse – with cuts and scratches on both cheeks and around his neck.

Before the big fight, the singer had made a solo trip out of the hotel at 11pm, walking a few yards down the road to meet and hug a girl in her 20s before returning alone.

An eyewitness said it appeared the girl handed over some kind of small package to Miss Winehouse as they hugged.

The singer returned to her hotel room and within hours other guests complained of raised voices, clattering furniture and screaming.

Shortly afterwards, the concierge was called.

Miss Winehouse, who has a history of self-harming, had asked for medical assistance to patch up cuts on her arm.

At around 2.30am, said guests, the fight sounded like it had restarted – then Miss Winehouse was seen sprinting down the corridor to the lift, pursued by her badly bleeding husband.

One guest who got into the lift to reception at the same time said they started shouting at each other. “Amy was in floods of tears. This guy was screaming at her.

“She was cowering in the corner and I thought he was going to hit her. When the lift door opened, she took off across the lobby at a real pace.

“He was chasing after her and was about five paces behind by the time she got to the main hotel entrance.”

The couple then dashed into the street.

An eyewitness said: “Just after 3am, Amy came sprinting out and down the road.

“She was in a real state of panic. Blake was running after her, but couldn’t catch up.

“Amy was so hell-bent on getting away from him that she ran into the middle of the street and flagged down a random car that happened to be full of girls.

“She was saying, ‘Quickly, I have to get in, I have to get away, please help me’.

“Her voice was breaking, you could tell she was scared.

“The car drove off at speed and ended up about a mile away at Charing Cross station. Amy got out and went into a 24-hour shop to buy cigarettes.

“She was looking completely out of her head. Blake ran after the car for a while. He spent the next halfhour or so wandering around in a daze with blood over his face, looking in doorways for her, shouting her name out.

“Eventually, he got through to her on the mobile.

“There were a lot of tears and shouting, but they calmed down and met up at around 4am and slowly walked back to the hotel arm-in-arm. They got back at 4.45am.”

Later yesterday, Miss Winehouse’s father Mitch checked into the hotel and was expected to be joined by Blake’s parents Giles and Georgette for crisis talks.

Earlier this month, before the pair checked into a rehab clinic in Essex, similar family crisis talks in Hampshire erupted into a bitter row.

Yesterday afternoon, Miss Winehouse – wearing skinny-fit jeans, black ballet pumps and a T-shirt, with her hair in its trademark beehive – spent time in the hotel’s spa.

She also hired out the hotel’s private members area, where it is thought “peace talks” were held.

Amy Winehouse goes platinum

AMY WINEHOUSE “BACK TO BLACK” GOES PLATINUM IN U.S.
KICKS OFF U.S. TOUR IN SEPTEMBER

(New York, NY, July 10, 2007) Amy Winehouse’s acclaimed Back To Black album, a mainstay of the Billboard Top 10 Albums Chart since its release a little more than 4 months ago, and hailed by many critics as one of the best albums of 2007, has been certified platinum by the RIAA. It’s yet another accolade in a year of unprecedented achievement for the British singer/songwriter, who locked down the coveted #1 position two weeks ago on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums Chart.

The current single, “Rehab,” has also been blazing up the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, rocketing its way up the Top Ten, and continues to reign as one of the biggest sales-gainers and mobile/digital hits of the year. Back To Black is steadily nearing the incredible milestone of 3 million albums sold worldwide, making it one of the most critically and commercially successful new artist debuts of the decade.

Amy will be bringing her raved about live show to the U.S. in a pair of popular music festivals this August, with the V Festival in Washington, DC on August 4, and the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, IL on August 5. The charismatic star’s much anticipated end-of-summer jaunt kicks off at NYC’s Summer Stage on September 12, with a show the following day – September 13 – at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA. She will be appearing at the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, TX on September 15, with stops in Los Angeles on September 18 & 19, San Francisco on September 21 & 22, Seattle on September 25, Minnesota on September 28, and pulling into Chicago, IL on September 29 – with more dates to be announced.

Amy Winehouse – Back To Black review

by Dwain Lucktung

Amy WinehouseSpark up a joint, have a drink to this album, and you’ll feel as cool as a T-Bird picking up a Pink Lady at some ’60s greasy burger joint. Punch that jukebox and roll to the sultry voice of Amy Winehouse.

2007’s Best Female at the Brit Awards has returned with her second album, Back to Black. Produced by Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, the album is a fine, mature and honest follow-up to her 2003 platinum debut, Frank.

Here are 11 tracks of unforgiving, jazzy soul, with a refreshing hint of R&B and gospel-like tunes that illustrate the fact that Winehouse is our modern-day Supreme.

“Rehab” and “You Know I’m no Good” made the UK Top 20 chart in 2006 with easy bass beats and irritatingly catchy harmonies and lyrics. Both are as witty and complex as Winehouse herself. With “Rehab,” the alleged crazy alcoholic sings of her refusal to attend an alcoholic rehabilitation centre, while “You Know I’m no Good” (which features rapper Ghostface Killah) depicts Winehouse’s views on the trials and tribulations of love. (The track will be the lead single as Back to Black is scheduled for release stateside this month.)

Love is a major theme on the album, and the shameless honesty with which Winehouse speaks of it is recognizable as Back to Black’s defining characteristic.

Other tracks such as “Love Is A Losing Game” and “Tears Dry On Their Own” evoke relationship trauma, as the London-born girl expresses in the latter song with her lethargic vocal power: “I should just be my own best friend/Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men.”

The heartbreak continues with the slow and sensitive “Wake Up Alone.” Nonetheless, with its mellow, soothing sound and Southern soul-like back-up singers, this track sets your mind at a pace reminiscent of couples swaying at the last dance of an old-school prom.

But it’s not all a sappy romantic mush of heart-on-sleeve songs. Winehouse is better than that, with her harsh references to sex and frank approach to addiction problems that leave no rest for the imagination. This Camden lass is no-holds-barred with the opening lines of the title track: “He left no time to regret/Kept his dick wet/With his same old safe bet,” all to a funky piano setting the rhythm and Winehouse’s ever languid voice lifting one into a natural high.

Be aware this album is for those willing to embrace a cool and sexy reformation of Mo-town grooves and pure soul. If that already goes over your head, you might prefer using this record as a frisbee this summer.

Winehouse offers nothing more on Back to Black than her jazz roots and soul inspiration culminated with unapologetic emotion, epitomized by the finger-clicking, bouncing feel of “Tears Dry On Their Own,” which closes with: “He takes the day but I’m grown/And in your way/My deep shade/My tears dry.” This troubled and talented girl is all grown up. If you like it, listen up. If not hush up, move on. I doubt Winehouse gives a fuck either way.