Steve Horowitz: Smooth—the title “Honey” is a good one for this tasty track. Of course it is honey being poured over a naked lover; so sweet, so sticky. The skin so…. yeah, you know. Sometimes a kiss is just not enough. The passions run hotter. Real life is messier than this, but a little imagination can make real life better. [7/10]
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Timothy Gabriele: I’m guessing Pharrell’s major contribution is the beat, which is unspectacular, but this is a lyrical exercise anyway, a talent showcase. I usually don’t fall hard for these types of tracks unless the backing track is also pulling its weight. It can do so in a minimalist way (The Roots’ “Web” springs to mind), but I need something other than “Hey, this guy’s got a good flow.” A$AP Rocky is undeniably talented and has a number of rewind-worthy tracks, but this one’s a decent candidate for the dustbin. [4/10]
Blues rocker Reed Turchi steps outside his band TURCHI for a solo turn that shows off his musical influences, including Randy Newman, JJ Cale, and T Rex. Speaking in Shadows dials back the blues a bit and gets some Memphis soul grooves going that lend these songs a funky quality. Case in point is “Everybody’s Waiting”, a tune that shows off those Newman touches with its relaxed, pop/soul vibe. Despite the upbeat melody and beats, the song has some serious undertones.
On Friday, February 5, NNA Tapes will release Secret Meeting, the first collaboration between saxophonist Travis Laplante and trumpeter Peter Evans. And as far as collaborations go, it is a pure one. Both are playing from the hip, running back and forth between peaceful pedal tones and lightening-fast skronk. Stylistically falling somewhere between Laplante’s avant-garde super group Little Women and his breathy side-project Battle Trance, Secret Meeting is a sprawling album celebrating “an umbilical cord-like connection” between the two musicians.
Dustin Ragucos: If you’ve ever decided not to listen to non-western music because something like Jerusalem In My Heart’s If He Dies, If If If If If felt boring, then good news: “Assossamagh” is a steady road-tripper’s dream. Guitars have a serious strut, and Imarhar follows the beat of his own metre. [7/10]