Popular media thrives on highlighting performers' eccentricities and foibles. Kanye West has been criticized about politics, ill-timed public shares, and his personal life. But it always struck me that Kanye was true to himself, no matter the consequences. So how did he become so impervious to overt hostility? One answer:...
Normally the title "Hits Collection..." or "Best Of..." was seen as a gravestone for a popular musician, a last dash at cash before you retired to your castle in upstate New York or vineyard in California. But in the case of once-retired hit maker/CEO/business mogul Jay-Z, and the touch of gold production team of N*E*R*D, it sounds more like just another calm before the storm.
First off if you are a serious Jay-Z or N*E*R*D fan then there is nothing new for you on these releases other than a trip down memory lane without sitting in a pile of your CDs and 12"s. But the twist here is that if you are a rock-solid Shawn Carter fan or actually bought the N*E*R*D's first album before Pharrel scrapped it and re-recorded the whole thing for a second release, then you might start questioning the use of the titles "Best Of.." and "Hits Collection".
What do you get when you combine one of the most prolific producers of hip-hop and pop with one of the most tortured musicians of this decade and then sprinkle it with one of the strangest artists of our time? A project that was lost and then found again by way of record label red tape and has all the essential elements to present a "Dark Night Of The Soul"......
Reunited again with original vocalist Skye Edwards, Morcheeba's Paul and Ross Godfrey have managed to recapture the band's classic sultry vocal trip-hop chill-out vibe that fans have been waiting for through two experimental albums.....effectively, the blood is pumping again and swirling in the lemonade.
Seven years is a long time to wait for an album but the titans of trip-hop have returned full circle to the marriage of the Godfrey brothers beats and the sly vocals of the lovely Skye much to the relief of their fans.
Nothing gets me moving more than the song Eye of the Tiger, but these albums provide a motivating soundtrack to get one moving and energized - whether it is cleaning the house, working out at the gym or having a dance party in the living room!