September 19, 2020

Musique Soulchild – Feel the Real – eOne

By Kristi Kates | Sept. 23, 2017


It’s all about the voice, ’bout the voice on this set from the soulful artist Musique Soulchild, whose first two albums hit platinum status at a remarkably rapid rate. Now he’s back with this two-disc set to stake his claim to that accomplishment, with spot-on pairings (check out the R&B title track with fellow neo-soul artist Marsha Ambrosius, and “My Bad” with Willie HyN), saturated production values (“Simple Things”), and a mellow yet assuredly present overall feel through all 24 impressive tracks. *** 

Jesse Cook – Beyond Borders – eOne
Cook’s explorations into combining pop and world music from a range of different geographical muses continues on this set, which is much heavier on Eastern sounds than his previous albums, which leaned more toward Spanish and South American influences. But that’s what going “Beyond Borders” is all about for Cook, who leans heavily toward rhumba/flamenco but isn’t limited to the same; he continues to try new combinations on intriguing tracks like “Double Dutch,” “To the Horizon,” and “A Mi Nina.” ** ½ 

Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold – RCA
The Foos are nothing if not familiar sounding, with every single album including the exact same components of big, arena-ready guitars, Dave Grohl’s yelping vocals, and driving beats. So is this the album that finally changes things up? Nope. It’s more of the same, which is fine if you like your rock repetitive. But tunes like the acoustic-based “T-shirt,” the overambitious “Make it Right,” and the funk-lite of “La Dee Da” could’ve been copied over from any other Foos album, and unless you’re a devoted fan, you’d never notice. * ½

Ringo Starr – Give More Love – UMe
The legendary Beatle reportedly started this set with the intention of making a country album, but his firmly ingrained rock sensibilities stepped back in and led him back down that Beatles-inspired winding road. There’s an interesting mix of offerings here, from the rather rough, recently rediscovered original recording of his classic “Back Off Bagaloo” to his fits-like-a-shoe duet with Paul McCartney (“We’re on the Road Again”), plus lyrical throwbacks to the time Starr spent in Rory Storm’s band (“Electricity”) and a Nashville-inflected version of “Don’t Pass Me By.” It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a pleasant and nostalgic listen from an amiable fellow. ** ½




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