Rick James’ ground-breaking Street Songs exposed Motown’s struggle to grow and change alongside the shifting pop music landscape.
El Michels Affair’s Yeti Season is soulful, modern mood music with enough twists and turns to keep things interesting from start to finish.
Nubiyan Twist’s Freedom Fables maintains a sense of fun and of engagement among the ensemble and with their invisible audience, that’s as important as the high quality sonics.
In this PopMatters exclusive, the directors, choreographers, and dancers behind Tina Turner’s platinum-selling Private Dancer video 45 recall how the Queen of Rock went from MTV to number one.
These are recordings prematurely aged, but their grit belies fresh sounds that speak to Djibouti's history as a port region connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Horn of Africa.
From January 1967 to January 1972, Aretha Franklin, one of 20th-century pop music's towering geniuses, stood the pop world on its head with a run, inconceivable today, of 11 albums. Tony Scherman's biography in progress about the Queen of Soul covers those years.
A recent compilation of rare covers by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings only highlights what we've long known. Soul music is of a rare and special breed capable of uniting people across many societal lines.