So, yeah, I'm back. Perhaps the two of my fans are wondering where I was for the past couple of months.
Well, I'll tell you. But let it be known that I'm risking national security by divulging this information. My time was spent in the top - secret government facility that was being invaded by space monkeys from the planet Banana Rama. These simians were 6 feet tall, hairy as hell, and could lift fifty times their weight. Naturally, being a 10 foot tall, strapping young lad myself, I disposed of this quartet of monkeys easily. Unfortunately, my laptop was destroyed during the fight so I wasn't able to do my work. Now with a netbook I borrowed from my roommate, I can finally resume my task as freelance writer for College News. The space monkey fighting will have to wait.
Corinne Bailey Rae - "The Love Ep" [Capitol]
Oh Corinne, Corinne, Corinne. Corinne Bailey Rae is one type of singer whose voice lulls you into a state of trance-like awe. Though she doesn't have the powerful voice as some of her contemporaries, but that's not her goal. "The Love EP" is a collection of covers representing the main influences on her music, starting with Prince's classic "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and onward to tracks like "Is This Love" by Bob Marley.
Buckshot - "Common Knowledgy of the Entertainment Industry" [Duck Down Music]
Here is something I never thought will happen: an informational, hip-hop album. That's right, boys and girls, New York's very own Buckshot has made an album that will school upcoming CEOs about the music business. Yes, there have been artist putting out books and videos about the subject, but have they ever put their knowledge to a beat? Anyway, with Buckshot, you'll get titles such as: "What is a CEO", "What is a Street", "What is Entertainment" and so on. Buckshot took the concept of "Edutainment" to another level.
Crass - "Feeding of the 5000" [Crass Records]
Crass is a band that has no middle ground: either you think they're the greatest band in the world, the epitome of punk, or you think they're the most pretentious group ever and they're giving punk a bad name. The band, who revels in its dissonant, brash, sound, has re-released their classic "Feeding of the 5000" and "Stations of the Crass" since its inception in the late seventies. Regardless, this re-issue of "5000" features a digitally remastered recording and a a sixty-four page booklet. Crass is also touring this year.
Death - "Spiritual - Mental - Physical" [Drag City]
In 2009, the clouds parted, the angels sang and down from the heavens came the album "For the World To See" by a trio of black brothers from Detroit called Death. The album was recorded in 1975 but was shelved because the band refused to change its name. Of course, some might think that was foolish on their part, but it paid off. The album immediately salivated the tongues of rock fans, hipsters and anybody that likes good music. And guess what? Death has another offering to please the palates of the masses. "Spiritual - Mental - Physical" is a collection of demos pre-dating "For the World to See". Though the tracks on this album are not as crisp and refined as their later work, it's still worth checking out if you're curious about Death's musical process.
Onry Ozzborn - "Hold On For Dear Life" [Fake Four]
Probably best known for touring with Rhymesayers and being one-half of Grayskul, Onry Ozzborn has been delighting heads with his thoughtful lyrics and intriguing beats. On his (supposedly) last album, the man has stepped up his game in verbal gymnastics and soul searching. Though I wasn't able to find the entire album, one track, "That Good", encompasses the qualities I already mentioned. On the track, Ozzborn takes a stab at mainstream rappers and himself. With a laid back beat and a smooth chorus sung by Saptient, the track is as pleasing to the ears as it is to the head.