Nooky Jones’ New EP Is A “Sweet Treat” For R&B Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Press Junkie PR

Nooky Jones released its new record this weekend.  The Minneapolis, MN-based sextet released its new EP Like Candy Friday.  The five-song record is aptly titled.  That is because R&B fans everywhere will agree it is “sweet.”  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  That is thanks to its musical arrangements, which couple old school r&b influences with its own modern touches for a whole that makes it no surprise that even National Public Radio has picked up on the 22-minute record.  The record’s lyrical content plays its own important part to the whole of the EP, too.  The two elements together make the EP a surprisingly enjoyable offering.  The EP’s title track is just one example of the power of that combination of elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘After Two (ft. Cory Wong)’ is another example of how that crossing of elements makes this EP so enjoyable.  It will be addressed a little later.  The same can be said of ‘Pardon Me,’ which will also be discussed later.  When all three of these songs are considered along with the EP’s other two songs – ‘Gimme Some More’ and ‘Everything You Do’ – the whole of the EP proves itself a record that r&b fans of all ages will appreciate and that is one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Nooky Jones’ new EP Like Candy is a work that r&b fans of all ages will enjoy.  It is a record that is easily accessible for audiences and r&b radio programmers alike.  One of the record’s most notable entries that serves to support those statements is the EP’s title track.  The song’s piano-driven arrangement and the vocal delivery of front man Cameron Klinghorn lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of D’Angelo, Maxwell and Robert Glasper.  Interestingly enough, the actual sound of Klinghorn’s vocals conjures thoughts of Marcy Playground front man John Wozniak.  Yes, it sounds like one heck of a combination, but it’s there.  Even with that in mind, the whole of the arrangement is a smooth jam that comes across like a modern take on Marvin Gaye’s timeless song ‘Let’s Get It On.’  That is meant in the absolute best way.

The song’s lyrical content adds just as much to the song’s presentation as does its musical arrangement.  Again, it plays its own part in the noted comparison to Marvin Gaye’s timeless groove.  That is proven as Klinghorn sings in the song’s lead verse, “Darlin’ I’m unwrapping you/And you know what’s on my mind/A soft, sweet, tasty treat/You’re my favorite kind/Got this cravin’/And your lips look devine/And we know what happens when the cookies and the cream combine.”  There is absolutely no doubt as to what he is saying here.  If this doesn’t serve as the soundtrack for a couple’s romantic evening, nothing does.  Klinghorn continues in the song’s second verse, “Can’t stop sampling you/And that flavor I adore/Call me Russel Stover/Till the/Night is over/I got everything that you’re hungering for/Oh, sugar, I keep coming back for more/Of your/Cocoa butter/With your/Chocolate covered/Silky caramel core…you could open up a candy store.”  Yet again, there’s no doubt what’s going on here.  This is about as pure as a r&b song can be and as entertaining.  If this doesn’t get a couple in the moon, nothing will.  That is especially when this content is considered alongside the song’s musical elements, which late in the song also include gentle, flowing strings to add to the song’s general effect.  Simply put, the song in whole is without doubt, a clear example of why Nooky Jones’ new EP could be the record that breaks this group into the mainstream.  It is just one of the EP’s most notable tracks, too.  ‘After Two (ft. Cory Wong)’ is another example of what makes this record one that every r&b fan will enjoy.

‘After Two (ft. Cory Wong)’ stands out in part because of its own musical arrangement.  This song’s funky, bass and keyboard-centered arrangement wastes no time conjuring thoughts of the one and only Stevie Wonder and of acts, such as Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power.  That’s just as much due to the arrangement’s horn lines as it is the composition’s keyboard, bass and percussion.  The whole of the noted elements makes this arrangement a funky work that won’t take long getting listeners on the dance floor.  The song’s arrangement is just one part of what makes it notable.  That part of the song works with the song’s lyrical content to make the presentation in whole even more engaging and entertaining for the group’s target audiences.

The song’s lyrical content is notable because it is just fun material that encourages dancing happily just as much as the song’s musical arrangement.  This is proven as Klinghorn sings in the song’s lead verse, “Candle’s burning low/Is it really after 1 (not yet)/My glass ain’t empty, though/So I don’t have to run, baby/Maxwell on the stereo/And the record’s almost done/And all my people know/the night’s just begun (we’re just getting started/Someone caught my by surprise/And she got that look in her eyes/Hey baby/See you watching me/And maybe/You like what you see/Hey lady/Make your move this way/So crazy/What I’m ‘bout to say.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Body’s movin’ slow/Temptaion fills the air, yes it does/I said we’re wraped up in the floor/I wanna feel you everywhere (all over your body, baby)/Girl, you caught me by surprise and you got that look right in your eyes.”  Once again, there is no doubt as to the song’s message in this case.  This is one of those straight-up ‘Come hither, let’s get dancing and get busy’ songs that works just as well in the club as in the bedroom.  That is even more evident when this content is coupled with the song’s light, funky musical arrangement.  All things considered, they show just as much why this song is as notable as Like Candy’s title track.  It is not the last of the EP’s most notable tracks.  The more reserved break-up song (yes, the group even features a break-up song in this record, too) ‘Pardon Me’ is notable in its own right, too.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Pardon Me’ does a good job of illustrating the emotions of someone who has been played by another one time too many.  This one presents a more modern r&b vibe, again akin to works from D’Angelo, Maxwell and other similar acts, with its subtle horn lines, keyboards and drums.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The noted lyrical content plays into this just as much as the engaging musical arrangement.

Klinghorn sings in the song’s lead verse, “I can see you wear that smile…try to pretend/That you would never make me feel like this again/Now it’s on my mind/That you lied/The first and second time/When you told me not to worry about your friend/Had me thinking/Everything would be okay/And believing every word I heard you say/Now I know/When you said/You love sleeping in my bed/You were getting what you want another way/I’m not here for you/I ran out of sympathy/The moment you ran out on me/I’m not here for you/Excuse me miss/Pardon me/You don’t get my loyalty.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Hold up/Back up/What the hell/You lying for/Telling me/You don’t see it anymore/Why don’t you call up your number one/So you can him that we’re we’re done/Say what’s up for me.”  Klinghorn’s subject makes no bones about his feelings over the situation of this broken relationship.  This is a song, with these lyrics and content, to which many listeners will relate with such straight-forward lyrics.  The reserved nature of the arrangement will help the noted listeners connect with the song just as much as the song’s lyrics.  Both elements together make this song a song that is just as radio ready as the other songs noted here and the EP’s other two songs.  All things considered, the EP in whole proves to be a solid new offering from Nooky Jones and a work that could – with the right support – be the record that breaks the group into the r&b mainstream.

Nooky Jones’ new EP Like Candy is a sweet musical treat for r&b fans of all ages.  That is thanks to its musical and lyrical content.  That is explained through analysis of three of the EP’s songs here.  The combination of the modern and old school r&b and funk musical elements and the equally accessible lyrical content exhibited in each of the three songs discussed here – and the EP’s other two songs not directly discussed – go a long way toward making the EP appealing for the noted audiences.  All things considered, they make the EP a “sweet” new offering for r&b audiences of all ages.  More information on Like Candy is available online along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://nookyjones.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nookyjones

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nookyjones

 

 

 

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POJ’s Latest Full-Length Album Is A Joy For Every Listener

Courtesy:   Write Home Records

Courtesy: Write Home Records

Jukestone Paradise, the latest full-length studio effort from Pimps of Joytime, is one of this year’s best new independent albums. In the case of this review, independent refers to the fact that the album, which is available now, has been released via an independent record label, Write Home Records. Having noted this, anyone that is a fan of Robert Randolph, Sly and the Family Stone and others of that ilk will especially enjoy this record. That is thanks in large part to the album’s mix of blues, funk, soul, and pop. Lyrically the album reaches into a number of different topics, which in its own right makes the album just as interesting a new release for the Brooklyn, New York-based act. One example of the its various musical and lyrical reaches comes in the old school funk-influenced ‘Body Party.’ This celebratory piece is laid back, musically speaking. Yet the coupling of its musical and lyrical side gives it a certain energy that is sure to get listeners on their feet, singing and dancing along whether at a party or at home. POJ (as it will henceforth be called) also touches on a more personal matter early on in the form of ‘Heart is Wild.’ Musically, this song also exhibits an obvious old-school influence that is just as certain to catch audiences’ ears. Lyrically, it comes across as a declaration of self-worth despite the view of others on a person. It is a declaration that comes across in a wholly positive fashion not just lyrically but musically, too. Such uplifting lyrics set alongside the song’s equally almost celebratory musical side makes this song one of the highest points of Jukestone Paradise. ‘Freedom Dancer,’ the album’s closer presents its own positive lyrical message and equally positive music that once again is certain to put just as much of a smile on listeners’ faces as they dance and sing along. It’s just one more example of why audiences will enjoy this record. It isn’t the last, either. The album’s obviously Robert Randolph-influenced opener ‘Red Golden,’ is another of the album’s high points as is the laid back groove of ‘Waiting for My Ride.’ Those familiar with their music history may even recognize the keyboard line that serves as the song’s foundation. It’s one more way in which this record proves to be a record that any listener will love and a record that is entirely deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new independent albums.

POJ’s new album Jukestone Paradise boasts a total of ten tracks and tops off at no more than forty-five minutes. That really is not that long of a run time considering the album’s total makeup. Even at such a relatively average run time, it still offers so much enjoyment that at no one point does the album ever feel like it passes by too quickly or slowly. One of its best offerings comes in the form of its celebratory party-perfect song ‘Body Party.’ This piece is one that audiences will love whether at a party or pumping on the radio. Vocalist Mayteana Morales sings over he song’s funk-influenced musical side, “It don’t matter what shoes you wear/Long as you show up and you don’t care/I might have said care/But I meant don’t give a f***/Cause at the end of the night/Got a bunch of lugs who show up.” Lyrically and musically the song continues on in the same positive fashion straight through to the end. Its musical side grooves so solidly that it will instantly have any listener on his or her feet instantly. The song taken wholly into consideration, it shows to be one of the year’s top new party anthems. And given the proper support it will be one of the year’s top new party anthems playing at clubs and parties across the country. It is just one song from this album that proves the support that the album in whole deserves, too. ‘Heart is Wild,’ which comes earlier in the record, is another excellent example of what makes this album so enjoyable.

‘Heart Is Wild’ is another interesting part of the whole of Jukestone Paradise that makes this album such an enjoyable work. The song is a piece that comes across as a statement of self-worth so to speak. That interpretation comes across as lead vocalist Brian J sings over the song’s funky guitar line and equally grooving bongo line, “People say/That I need/To get my s*** together/They don’t know/They don’t understand/You can’t feel/What I do/Or who I am/My heart is wild/Well I don’t forget/I won’t forfeit/Got a fire burning inside/Haters hate and I keep creatin’/Don’t have to question why/I’m a laid back jack…Paid the cost to be my own boss/Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that y’all.” That’s a pretty clear statement. It leaves very little to the imagination in terms of interpretation. And that’s not a bad thing, either. Lyrically and musically, Brian J and company keep the positive vibes coming right to the end. Those positive vibes will inspire any listener and move them to dance and sing along again and again. Considering the general makeup of so many funk and R&B songs out there, it’s a fully welcome change of pace. And such a change of pace makes it all the more reason for audiences to hear not just this song but Jukestone Paradise in whole.

Both ‘Heart is Wild’ and ‘Body Party’ are excellent examples of the joy that POJ offers listeners with its latest full-length studio effort. They are both but a tiny glimpse into what the group has to offer listeners on this its latest album. The album’s closer ‘Freedom Dancer’ is one more clear look at what makes Jukestone Paradise such a joy. At well over eight minutes in length, it is the longest of the album’s compositions. That doesn’t take anything away from the song, though. It will make listeners feel just as good as either of the album’s previously noted songs. That’s thanks to its musical mix of modern and old school influences and equally inspiring lyrics. The group sings together over the song’s old school funk sound, “Stepped outside/Of the way that I used to be/Stepped outside/Of the way that I used to see/Can’t stop the clock/When your heart is blocked/You gotta push on through/You know you gotta bring it on up on this/It’s the only thing left to do/Some people/Always trying to be putting you down/They ain’t gonna feel it/I ain’t gonna feel it/When the spirit gone’ come around/I’m a freedom dancer/I’m gonna dance awhile.” This lead verse along speaks volumes. The group is saying clearly to audiences that if you feel moved to dance, then dance. Don’t let anyone stop you whether they be dance critics, hipsters who think they’re too good for anyone, or any other type. When the spirit moves a person to dance, it does just that. No one can predict when it’s going to happen. The spirit obviously moved the band in the second half of this song (and will move listeners just as much). That’s because the entire second half of the eight-minute plus song is a full on instrumental jam that will move listeners to dance till they sweat. It’s just one more way that POJ proves how much the group has to offer audiences on this record. It most certainly isn’t the last, either. The album’s obviously Robert Randolph-influenced opener ‘Red Golden’ and the laid back groove of ‘Waiting For My Ride’ are two more examples of what makes this album so enjoyable. Whether for those two tracks, the other compositions noted here or those not noted Jukestone Paradise in whole proves itself to be an album that everybody will enjoy. It is an album that is more than deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new independent releases at the very least.

Jukestone Paradise proves over the course of ten tracks and roughly forty-five minutes that it is deserving of being added to any critic’s list of 2015’s top new independent releases at the very least. It is possible that it could even be added to any critic’s list with its old school musical vibe and its equally inspiring and enlightening lyrics. This applies both to the songs noted here and those not noted. POJ is scheduled to hit the road again beginning May 14th in Atlanta, Georgia in support of Jukestone Paradise. Fans can pick up Jukestone Paradise at any of the group’s upcoming shows, in stores and online, too. Fans can get a full list of the group’s upcoming tour dates online now along with the group’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.pimpsofjoytime.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pimpsofjoytime

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

Every Family Will Enjoy Listening To Stacey Peasley’s Debut record “Together”

Courtesy:  Stacey Peasley

Courtesy: Stacey Peasley

Children’s entertainer Stacey Peasley recently released her sophomore full-length album Lucky Day to the masses.  That album proved to audiences why given the chance, Peasley could be one of the next big names in the world of kindie-rock.  Peasley’s 2011 debut Together is just as good as that album if not actually better than Lucky Day.  Together is anchored by Peasley’s funky, celebratory ‘Dance Party.’  The song harkens back to the days of Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Sly and the Family Stone just to name a few groups.  ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ is an equally up-tempo piece that boasts a poppy 90s vibe.  And while hardly the longest song, its equally upbeat, optimistic lyrics will put a smile on the face of listeners of all ages.  Rounding out the whole album is a sweet, lullaby of sorts in the song ‘Snuggle Daddy.’  After all of the fun of the album’s previous group of songs, this song is a fitting closer.  It’s one of those songs that some parents might even find a guilty pleasure as it will make them think of their own children when they’re at school or asleep in their beds.  It might even bring a small tear of joy to some parents’ eyes.  And that’s perfectly fine, too.  That’s because it is just that wonderful of a song.  Of course it and the other songs noted here are not all that families will appreciate about Together.  There is also a fun little song about bath time simply titled ‘Soapy Bubbles’ and a bittersweet and somewhat heart wrenching song about a child in a broken family titled ‘Far Away.’  This song is especially interesting considering that so few kindie-rock entertainers delve into that topic.  It is a tough song to hear.   That song alongside the others featured as part of Together make this record quite the impressive first effort from Stacey Peasley.

Together is a wonderful first effort from Stacey Peasley.  From beginning to end, every one of the album’s offerings make the album a joy to hear in its own way.  The album is anchored most strongly by the funky and fittingly titled ‘Dance Party.’  This song will have parents, children, and even grandparents dancing and smiling, well, together.  Musically, the song harkens back to the days of musical greats such as KC and the Sunshine Band, Sly and the Family Stone, and even Kool and the Gang with its mix of horns, keyboards, drums and easygoing guitars.  Peasley herself even seems to channel some of the great vocalists of days gone by as she sings, “Come on everybody/We’ve got dancin’ to do/There’ll be no sittin’ down/We’ve got to get up and move/Listen to the instruments play their tune/They can play all day/Your imagination is all you need/Grab a microphone and you can take the lead/Go ask your mom and dad/And you know they’ll be glad/They’ll spend the day with you/Put on your dancing shoes/And have a dance party.”  It would be so easy to see this song in a live setting.  Both kids and grown-ups will be dancing and singing along so happily, the lights on the stage flashing in time with the band.  And even a music video in the same vein would make sense.  It’s just a fun, infectious song that will instantly get stuck in listeners’ heads and on their lips.  It’s just one of the songs that make Together such a fun album for the whole family.

While it boasts a slightly different sound than ‘Dance Party,’ Together’s penultimate song ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ is just as fun and memorable a song.  Whereas ‘Dance Party’ was more of a throwback to the great names of funk, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ boasts more of a poppy 90s vibe.  The mix of the song’s piano line, guitar, and tambourine backed by Marty Beller’s drumming by itself makes the song so infectious.  Lyrically, Peasley perfectly captures the joys of childhood friendship as she sings, “When my friends and I get together/We always have a really good time/We laugh and play/And spend the day/With one thing on our mind/We have fun, fun, fun/As long as we can/When we get together/The day never ends/Fun, fun, fun/Until the sun sets/You’re my best friend/Til’ the very end.”  Kids will relate to these words just as much as parents to these words.  For kids, it celebrates the joys that they are currently feeling as they develop friendships and learn about the joys of having that social circle and those relationships.  For parents, it will take them back to their own childhoods.  What better way to get rid of the stresses of the work week than reminisce about better times? Kudos to Stacey Peasley for that.

‘Dance Party’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ are two great examples of what makes Together an album that every family will in fact enjoy listening to together, thus the album’s title. The album’s gentle closer ‘Snuggle Daddy’ is one more example of what makes this album so enjoyable for families. It would be a surprise if this song doesn’t put a smile on a parent’s face and a slight tear of joy in said parent’s eye. Peasley sings of the joys felt by a young child spending those all-important minutes before bed with his or her father. What really makes this song great isn’t just the song’s gentle musical side or even its lyrical side, but the fact that it could come from the angle of a young boy or girl. The song’s gentle, almost sleepy vibe is a perfect complement to the lyrics. Peasley sings from the vantage point of the child, “AFtermy bath/Before I go to bed/I like to lay close/And rest my head/On my daddy/Snuggle daddy/Sometimes we hide/So mommy can’t see/Under the blankets/It’s just me and my daddy.” She goes on to sing of the child happily reading a bedtime story and more before heading off to dreamland. It’s such a short song. Yet it is so emotionally powerful. Being such a powerful piece, it is a wonderful finale from Peasley on her debut. And alongside the likes of ‘Dance Party’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ it makes even clearer why any parent should listen to this record. It will bring such joy to not only children but parents, too.

The songs noted here are three fine examples of what makes Together such a standout release from Stacey Peasley. Especially being an independent release it is a surprise that none of the major children’s music labels picked her up. Perhaps after hearing the noted songs, those same labels will give her more of a chance. The same can be said of the heart wrenching ‘Far Away’ and the fun bath time song ‘Soapy Bubbles’ ‘Far Away’ comes across as delving into the difficult topic of a young child being stuck between two divorced parents. That’s a tough topic for kids, which is why so few children’s entertainers tackle the subject in their music. Mrs. Peasley is to be highly commended for such bravery. And on the totally opposite side of things is the much more lighthearted bath time song ‘Soapy Bubbles.’ This fun little romp is sure to put just as much of a smile on the face of any listener regardless of age. Peasley sings of the joys a child feels playing with bubbles in the bathtub. What parent can’t relate? This parent certainly can, watching his own son’s eyes glimmer with joy as he blows them around the tub. It’s just a fun song. And it’s one more addition to an album that while it has been out for a few years is still just as good as any album that has been released this year. As a matter of fact, had it been released this year, it might have even made this critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s albums.

Audiences will get a chance to hear all of the songs noted here and even more later this year when Stacey Peasley performs live at the Long Island Children’s Museum Show. That concert is scheduled for Saturday, December 27th at 11am. It is an all-ages show. To get more information on this show, more upcoming dates, and to keep up with all of the latest updates from Stacey Peasley, audiences can follow her online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Stacey-Peasley-Band/60359963730 and http://www.staceypeasley.com. Fans can also order both of her current releases through her official website. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.