Audiences Will Agree Apollo Brown’s New Album Was Worth The Eight-Year Wait

Courtesy: Mello Music Group

Hip-hop producer and artist Apollo Brown released his latest album last week in the form of This Must Be the Place.  Released Friday through Mello Music Group, the 21-song instrumental collection is a record that will appeal not just to hip-hop fans, but those of rhythm and blues, too.  That is evidenced throughout its varied arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The sequencing of those songs makes for its own appeal here and will be examined a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted does its own share to make This Must Be the Place engaging and entertaining.  All things considered they make the album a welcome addition to this year’s field of new rap and hip-hop albums.

This Must Be the Place, the new album from Apollo Brown, is a strong first outing from the veteran producer and artist.  That is especially the case being that it is Brown’s first new instrumental record in eight years.  The record’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements, which vary widely from the record’s start to end.  The first handful of songs featured in the record’s body lean very heavily in a R&B direction.  Some of those early arrangements lend themselves to comparison to works that are featured in so much of Mary J. Blige’s work.  As the record progresses, the arrangements start to change somewhat, leaning more in the direction of works that one might expect from works from the likes of Common.  Even deeper into the album’s run, audiences get arrangements that would be a solid fit with the likes of Mos Def and Black Star.  In other words, the arrangements that make up the album’s body are diverse in their sounds and styles from one to the next and fully engaging from one to the next.  One of the absolute best of the arrangements comes a little more than halfway through its 68-minute run time in the form of ‘Butter.’  The gentle, flowing keyboard line, paired with the steady hip-hop beat and strings is so infectious in its subtle, simple approach and sound.  ‘Changes in the Truth,’ which comes almost midway through the record, is a prime example of one of those arrangements that would fit well with any song from Common.  That is evidenced through the use of its vocals, keyboard, and beats.  ‘Catching Moments,’ which closes out the record, is one of the handful of works that could easily be heard in songs from the likes of Mos Def and Blackstar.  The vintage style from the keyboard alongside the tambourine and beats blends old school and modern sounds and styles so well, which again, is very much along the lines of such works.  Again, the sounds and styles in all of the record’s songs are diverse and change from one to the next, ensuring in their own way, audiences’ engagement and entertainment.

As much as the diversity in the songs does to keep audiences engaged and entertained in Brown’s new album, they are just part of what makes it appealing.  The songs’ sequencing makes for its own interest.  The sequencing ensures that the record’s energy remains stable from beginning to end of its hour-plus runtime even as the arrangements’ styles and sounds change from one arrangement to the next.  From the laid back vibe of the record’s R&B leaning first quarter (roughly) to the vintage hip-hop sound to the more modern-leaning works, each song maintains the record’s laid back vibe.  Considering a statement that Brown made about the record’s title, that stable, relaxed vibe makes even more sense.

“It’s that peaceful place in your existence where you’ve always dreamt of being, the attainment of certain emotional, physical, and spiritual elements that make you whole, and being so comfortable with life that you could sit on the edge of a cliff and fly a kite,” he said. 

That vibe is exactly what audiences will attain thanks to the noted sequencing.  It will keep listeners so relaxed in that positive state of mind.  Together with the songs themselves, the two elements go a long way toward making the record overall so enjoyable.

As much as the record’s songs and their sequencing does to make the album so enjoyable, they are still not all that is worth noting.  Its production puts the finishing touch to its presentation and makes for even more appeal.

The production that went into the record’s creation is so important to note because it is what was responsible for bringing out the best of each arrangement, making sure that each instrumentation was balanced.  From the subtle guitar lines that show up occasionally to the use of the equally casual piano lines that make up so much of the record’s work, to the steady beats that serve as each arrangement’s backbone, each arrangement’s production balances its elements expertly from one to the next.  That balance in the songs’ arrangements creates such a positive general effect throughout the record that will leave listeners wanting more in the best way possible.  Keeping that in mind along with the impact of the songs and their sequencing, the whole makes the album overall a successful first new offering from Brown in nearly a decade.

This Must Be the Place, is an impressive new offering from veteran producer and hip-hop artist Apollo Brown in eight years, especially being his first new instrumental record is eight years.  Its success comes in part through its featured songs, which offer audiences a variety of hip-hop arrangements.  Some having R&B leanings, others vintage hip-hop, and others still have more modern leanings.  That diversity is sure to keep listeners engaged and entertained in its own right.  The songs’ sequencing makes for its own appeal because it makes sure that the record’s energy stable throughout even as the songs’ styles and sounds change.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, ensuring its general effect is just as positive as its content.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album, as noted.  All things considered they make This Must Be the Place a truly great new addition to this year’s field of new hip-hop and rap albums.

This Must Be the Place is available now. More information on Apollo Brown’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://apollobrown360.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ApolloBrown

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/apollobrown

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jessie Wagner Debuts ‘My Darlin, My Dear’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Independent singer-songwriter Jessie Wagner debuted the video for her latest single last week.

Wagner debuted the lyric video for her single ‘My Darlin, My Dear‘ Oct. 2. The song is the third single from Wagner’s forthcoming album Shoes Droppin’. It follows the debut of the album’s singles ‘What You Get Is What You See‘ and ‘End of Time.’

The video places the song’s lyrics over a a subtly changing backdrop that features imagery, such as a heart made of leaves, flowers, and a blue sky filled with heart-shaped balloons. the imagery serves to illustrate the song’s easily accessible lyrical content, which focuses, clearly, on the topic of romance.

Wagner had the following to say specifically about the song’s lyrical theme.

“There’s always that guy that you know is no good for you, but you keep going back anyway,” she said. “This song is an amalgamation of the guys I wished would love me and not just keep me around for convenience.”

The song’s musical arrangement adds its own share of interest. The guitar line and keyboards give the song a soulful, bluesy/gospel type sensibility. The addition of the horns to the mix gives the song something of a vintage R&B sound. Meanwhile, Wagner’s vocal delivery style and sound here lends itself to comparisons to other well-known singers, such as Diana Ross, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige among others.

The arrangement is very much unlike that featured in ‘End of Times,’ which crosses influences of Meghan Trainor and Gladys Knight for its presentation. That old and new school hybrid is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners in its own right.

‘What You See is What You Get’ meanwhile combines pop and neo-folk influences for a composition that will resonate with an equally wide range of audiences.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new single, video and album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Glee Hits Lots Of High Notes Again In Season Three

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/20th Century Fox Television

Fox’s Glee has been one of television’s big hits since its very first season.  This little show that could has earned the adoration of fans of all ages with every episode.  Now with the show’s third season the show is just as much a hit with fans as ever.  It keeps the standard of crossing musical genres and brings in even more guest stars.  And of course, Jane Lynch is just as entertaining as ever.

Glee has been a fan favorite largely because of its array of musical choices.  From the likes of Journey to Madonna and Britney Spears all the way to Van Halen, Duran Duran and others this season, the show has kept audiences rocking with its selection.  But the song selections are just one part of what makes Glee’s third season worth the watch.  Sure it covers the drama that its younger viewers will continue to appreciate and relate to.  But it also covers some much more important topics such as bullying and the dangers of texting and driving.  Being that this year’s election recently ended, audiences will appreciate the school’s class election episode.  Not only does it somewhat spoof bigger elections, but it also ties in the major problem of bullying among teens.  And it does it in a way that will reach older audiences, too.  And when a couple of the cast are about to get married, audiences are left with a cliffhanger when one of their friends is hit by a truck as a result of her texting and driving.  The episode that follows drives home the message to the show’s intended audience about the dangers.  The show’s writers are to be highly commended for taking the responsibility to help in the movement to drive home this point.

Season Three’s episodes make for an enjoyable watch.  They however are only part of the overall success of this new set.  Just as with the show’s previous seasons, the packaging goes a long way towards its overall success.  The set is placed into a slim case without placing the discs on top of each other.  Rather, each disc has its own spot inside the case.  They are placed back to back on an insert and on the front and back of the box.  Not only does this save space inside the box, but it also helps to save space on DVD and Blu-ray racks.  Add in episode menus on each disc with a short summary to introduce each episode, and audiences get a fully enjoyable viewing experience.  With the holiday shopping season here, it comes together for a good gift idea for any fan of this hit musical show.  It’s available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct via 20th Century Fox’s store, http://www.foxconnect.com/glee-the-complete-third-season-blu-ray.html.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks b log at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.