Emmanuel Elone: “Black Leather” is a pretty good song. Kat Von D’s vocals are beautiful, and compliments the great rhythm flowing below her. Her singing feels even more powerful on the chorus, where her vocals are either stacked, or she has backup singers that improve Von D’s performance. Lyrically, “Black Leather” isn’t a slouch either, with lines that are simple, poetic, and put together well. “Black Leather” may not blow you away, but it is a good listen nonetheless. [6/10]
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Pryor Stroud: Laura Mvula sings in concentrated whirlwinds of sorrows and dreamscapes and untempered howls of poetic revelation, a fact that is never more present than in the rushing-through-the-bloodstream chorus of “Phenomenal Woman.” It’s a chorus that seems to knock the air out of your lungs, only for you to realize that it is Mvula who is belting toward breathlessness, not you. But her artistry seeps through the track as a whole. The production is a rich nu-soul mosaic of hopscotch R&B and Janelle Monáe-esque afrofuturist funk, and the verse showcases Mvula’s vocal versatility. In short, “Phenomenal Woman” should increase anticipation for The Dreaming Room tenfold. [9/10]
At the conclusion of the last episode of Supernatural, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester unsuccessfully attempted to both exorcise Lucifer out of Castiel (Misha Collins) and kill Amara (Emily Swallow), only to see her abduct Castiel/Lucifer, whom she referred to as “God’s favorite son”.
Kansas trio Moreland & Arbuckle plays a smokin’ bluesy brand of roots rock that’s so hot it could burn the house down. Harmonica lines intertwine between gloriously visceral guitar lead parts and everything is underpinned by a heavy rocking beat. This stellar band has a new album on tap releasing on May 6th, Promised Land Or Bust, their first for influential Chicago blues label Alligator Records. “Mean and Evil”, the record’s first single, will have you chasing down this release, which Dustin Arbuckle says is their best yet. Moreland & Arbuckle bring it on every album, but Promised Land Or Bust does indeed up the ante for one of America’s finest blues groups.