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Randy Radic

Randy Radic has 9 articles published.

Music Review: ‘Hit the City/Diamonds’ by The Rock Masters Band

in Music by
Rock Masters Band

Style: Rock, Indie, Blues, Psychedelic

Reviewed by Randy Radic

Billed as a “rock and roll supergroup” from Finland, the original Rock Masters Band was formed in 2007 by Sami ‘Haxu’ Hakala. That version of the band included Henka Fagerholm on bass; Mano Rantanen on drums and Teemu Holttinen on guitar. After two albums, the band broke up.

In 2014, Hakala decided to resuscitate the name of the band and pursue his vision of rock and roll. The result of this pursuit is Hit the City/Diamonds, a double single. Both tracks feature a variety of Finland’s top musicians, along with Hakala, who also added his wife, blues vocalist Riikka Hakala, to the mixture.

Hakala refers to this new recording style as “desert recording,” i.e. one-off recording sessions rather than the more expansive full albums most listeners have come to expect.

The first track, “Hit the City,” is the better of the two. It’s a rocker infused with a funky blues rhythm that is heavily layered with keyboards and guitars. Sadly, the drums seem to be almost an afterthought, as if someone said, maybe we should have some drums. The arrangement suffers from the sheer tonnage of the layering, while Hakala’s vocals lack punch. He’s not a true rock n’ roll wailer; his voice is monotonous, deteriorating when it should be blasting off. Lyrically, the song is little more than a blatantly revamped version of Petula Clark’s “Downtown.”

“Hit the City’s” only strong point is the guitar work of Teemu Holttinen, whose solo in the middle of the song demonstrates his creativity and versatility. Less layering and more of Teemu’s raging guitar might add zest to the song.

“Diamonds,” the second track on the double, is poorly arranged, coming across as syncopated. It too is heavily layered, which drowns the melody behind a wall of sound. And Hakala’s voice sounds off-key and strident, like he’s trying to mimic Robert Plant, but can’t pull it off. The lyrics of “Diamonds” suffer from redundancy. The same phrase repeated ad infinitum ad nauseam does not make a rock n’ roll song.

The songs aren’t terrible; their biggest flaw is that they are boring. There’s nothing distinctive about the melodies or the arrangements. Alas, The Rock Masters Band produces the style of music that video game-makers love to use – rock n’ roll to shoot zombies. The rock n’ roll version of elevator Muzak.

There’s nothing compelling about The Rock Masters Band.

Delilah Sings Sarah + 1

in Music by
Delilah Sings Sarah + 1

Reviewed by Randy Radic

Delilah Sings Sarah + 1 is the name of the album, which is a tribute to Sarah Vaughan, the American jazz superstar known as “The Divine One.” Vaughan sang what was called lounge jazz, but because of her dynamic voice it became something more. The danger for Toronto’s Delilah, who, like Madonna, goes by a single name, is the comparison factor: can Delilah sing the songs The Divine One made famous without being banished to Weeny Hut, Jr., along with Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Born in Hungary, Delilah’s family immigrated to Toronto, where Delilah became enamored with lounge jazz. She began singing and before long had carved out a place for herself in Toronto’s jazz clubs. Her tribute to The Divine One is Delilah’s fourth album. Her first album, called Jazz, covered the well-known classics of the genre. A safe move for a first album, Jazz received praise because of Delilah’s sultry voice. For her second album, Delilah took a bit of a risk, combining jazz with a gypsy influence via her Hungarian roots. The album, Gypsy Love, played better than expected. On her third effort, Delilah decided to go with what she liked. The result was Sweeterlife, a collection of Delilah’s jazz favorites.

Delilah Sings Sarah +1 is another foray into the risk category. Not only is she risking comparison with a jazz icon, but she is paraphrasing the title of The Divine One’s most popular album, which was Sarah +2. In Vaughan’s case, the title was simple: Vaughan sang accompanied only by a guitar and a double-bass. In Delilah’s case, the title is a bit more complex. Delilah eschews the guitar and the double-bass, replacing them with the whole orchestra. +1 is indicative of the addition of “Smile” to the album.

The first track on the album is “September in the Rain.” The arrangement is smooth and traditional, which lends itself to an easy familiarity. The orchestra is tight and not overly dramatic. Delilah’s vocals are sultry but avoid the trap of breathy sex-kitten that contemporary divas tend to fall into. It must a Marilyn Monroe thing. In any event, Delilah sidesteps the hidden snare, which allows her to strut her stuff. Her voice is strong and radiant, with excellent phrasing.

“Just Friends” is the next track. Again, Delilah’s voice is spot-on: sultry with a hint of huskiness that complements the musical arrangement, which carries just the right amount of 1950s kitsch.

The fly in the ointment is “Whatever Lola Wants.” Delilah’s voice is weak to the point of being insipid. And this is a song that screams for a quixotic attitude that it doesn’t get. Instead, Delilah sounds self-conscious and hesitant. The arrangement doesn’t help matters, sounding like a tinny roundelay played by amateurs. The whole thing just falls apart, droops and waits for someone to drag it out back to the dumpster. Delilah should have nixed this one and told the producer what Delilah wants.

“Smile” is the +1 song. Fortunately, Delilah, the orchestra and the producer have marshalled their forces after the “Whatever Lola Wants” fiasco. The arrangement is soft and warm, and Delilah turns off the sultriness, replacing it with a mellifluous candor that transcends the music.

Delilah displays a wonderful voice, a vivacious instrument of expression. It’s perfect for the big band sound. The range she demonstrates on Delilah Sings Sarah +1 is – hopefully – a harbinger of a forthcoming album of original songs. It’s time for Delilah to venture forth.

High Art in Low Places

in Comics by
Prison Town

By Anthony Tinsman

You hear “underground comics,” you think The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Tijuana Bibles, or Shojan porn starring interdimensional penis monsters. Nothing you’ll see listed in a Tokyo Pop brochure, or easily passed on a magazine rack at your local info shop. Sometimes you find underground comics with a real message.

The problem of their inherent obscurity is also their appeal. Discovering a ‘good’ one is more rewarding. In this case, discovering a new publisher. The Real Cost Of Prisons Project delivers several fantastic comics. Prisoner of the Drug War and Prison Town: Paying The Price dish scintillating social critique wrapped in ink-blot barbed wire. They are sharply traced outside the lines of other dryly recited public awareness announcements.

Each comic thrills like a dark cell-block on your fist night in jail.

Mainstream comics lose their shit compared to Prisoners Of A Hard Life: Women and Their Children. Full of transactional sex workers, histories of child abuse and “indifference to human life” depicted in gritty details that would make Paul Pope cry plagiarism.

Artist Susan Willmarth is that good. What else have you done lately, Willmarth? How far in the underground must avid readers search to find thee?

The Real Cost of Prisons Project follows a long line of underground art zines and comic books. They just aren’t famous like the “underground-breakers,” including R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffith, who have become accepted as mainstream artists, entertainers and even pundits.

Crumb is the subject of a major documentary and various books of criticism; Spiegelman is a Pulitzer Prize winner, for Maus, and was a contributor to The New Yorker; Griffith has produced a long-running syndicated comic, “Zippy,” and all have collectively published several popular monographs.

So why are other underground gems not out in the public?

It isn’t for a lack of organization. Community projects enthrall the volunteers at The Real Cost of Prisons Project, whose mission is to “bring together prison/justice policy activists with political economists to create workshops and materials which explore both the immediate and long term costs of mass incarceration on the individual, her/his family, community and nation.” They use their comics as an educational and fundraising tool. They follow suit with trendy “anarchist zines,” like Slingshot, printed by Berkeley College Press. Both give free copies to prisoners upon request. Both are producing good stuff. Why have they eluded the mainstream?

Part of the problem is perception.

As Robert Williams, founder of Juxtapoz, said, “The worst thing we could do is throw in comic books.” To him, and many cultural authorities, comics still carry the stigma of low-brow. Williams summed it up, “If you show sequential panels, all of a sudden your magazine becomes a ‘funny book.'” Art magazines like Juxtapoz, Art in America, and Artforum are trying to bring back representational art to the American forefront.

Williams suggests that comics are not a part of that revival. “The story is more important the picture itself. So we leave that job to comics’ publishers.”

Small niche presses and independent publishers have risen to the challenge of saluting that stigma with a stiff middle finger. Comics have played a serious role in every significant social event. From “The Yellow Kid” tamping down national fervor during the lead up to Americans first colonial adventure in the Spanish American War in Cuba and the Philippines, to cutting edge web-comics depicting earth shattering tales of the Iraq War, such as David Axe and Steve Olexa’s March 2003, covering an embeds hairy trip during the Iraq elections, or Sand by Mark Chadbourne and Nathan Massengill, about the haunting after fatal friendly fire in a sand storm.

Literary sequential art runs up and down the spectrum of timeless themes with Olympian endurance. It is “Art” indeed. Screw cultural authorities.

The Real Cost Of Prisons Project’s writers Ellen Miller-Mack, Susan Willmarth, and Lois Ahrens have worked hard to adjust the role of underground comics to fit a scary issue. Prison reform. The art is top notch, matching the scale of nightmarish reality for millions of Americans behind bars. Urban and grim you’d expect the same radical primitive neoliberalism or anarchist flaws as other activist-art, but surprises abound with graphic nuance that would arch Will Eisner’s brow.

It’s rare. Seek it out. Savor it.

If you are a fan of raw noir inking, stunning graphics and literary comics, then The Real Cost Of Prisons Project has something you need to read. They serve as landmarks for art from the gutter. Richer for its beginnings.

_____

ISBN-10: 0-9763856-2-7

ISBN-13: 978-0976385622

The Real Cost Of Prisons Project, www.realcostofprisons.org, info@realcostofprisonsproject.org

5 Warfield Place, Northampton, MA., 01060

‘Psalms of Zahyin’ by CalatrilloZ

in Music by
CalatrilloZ

Release Date: June 22, 2015

Reviewed by: Randy Radic

Speaking of overcompensation, CalatrilloZ is an operatic, hard rock, metal band from London. The band is a quintet: Zahyin handles vocals, arrangements and composition. Mobius plays bass; Azriel is one of two axe-men, the other being Vargovar; drums are the purview of Jimmy Sticks. They bill themselves as “a circus troupe of wanderers.” And they take their faux personas to the point of no return, including fictional personal histories, outlandish costumes and Kiss-like make-up. In other words, CalatrilloZ is rock n’ roll cosplay.

The band’s first full-length album is called Psalms of Zahyin, and although no explanation of precisely what the title refers to is provided, it can only be assumed it is a reference to the Hebrew letter Zayin, which is the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In Modern Hebrew, Zayin is defined as either penis or fuck or fornication. Whether or not there’s some cryptic meaning to the title, no one but CalatrilloZ knows. Maybe it’s as simple as ‘songs by some dude who calls himself Zahyin.’ Whatever his assumed name means, Zahyin has a strong voice, but not a whole lot of range. He sounds a little like Geddy Lee, but not nearly as distinctive.

The only way to describe the songs on Psalms of Zahyin is melodramatic opera. Layered guitars, keyboards and drums, along with machine-gun like phrasing proliferate all six tunes. There are a lot of breaks, where the guitars fall away, followed by Zahyin’s wailing voice, then the guitars swell again and the break-neck cadence resumes. It’s all very reminiscent of Freddy Mercury and Queen, only not as good. CalatrilloZ seems to be trying to imitate “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 4/4 time. They almost pull it off, but not quite. Although they deserve kudos for a valiant attempt.

The first track on the album is “Origins,” which sets the stage for all the other songs: heavily layered guitars and operatic voices. Some of the harmonizing is well-done; more would be better, except most of the songs appear to be vehicles designed to show-off Zahyin’s vocals. “Lords of Misery” is the second track. Of all the songs on the album, this one approaches “Bohemian Rhapsody” most closely. It begins with an opaque curtain of guitars, and then slides into a tinkling piano that has potential, but is eschewed for a veritable tornado of guitars. Next up is “I Am Alive.” During the first stanza, Zahyin does a credible imitation of Geddy Lee, but then relapses into his usual wailing.

“Long Winding Road” is perhaps the poorest song on the album. The lyrics are dismal to the point of being inane. And the guitars just scream for the sake of screaming. On the fifth track, entitled “A Glimpse at a Fool’s Destiny,” the drums are extended, especially the snare, allowing Jimmy Sticks to demonstrate his chops. Listeners have to admit that Jimmy Sticks thrashes with the best of active rock n’ roll drummers. Lyrically, the song falls flat because Zahyin’s voice takes on a sing-songy intonation, like a child’s nursery rhyme.

The last song on the album is called “Z, the Psychopath.” It is full-fledged opera, as if someone decided Wagner should be performed by a thrash band that aspires to mimic Queen. Racing guitars and keening voices don’t necessarily make a rock opera. CalatrilloZ needs to take a hint from The Who’s Quadrophrenia. Songs need melodies to work. CalatrilloZ has the thematic portion down pat.

All in all, Psalms of Zahyin is an ambitious undertaking. CalatrilloZ should be commended for bringing cosplay to rock n’ roll, especially the concept of fictional background narratives. And the operatic element is a nice touch, if it’s accompanied by strong vocals instead of shrieking guitars. The band has the requisite talent; they just need to put the puzzle together.

CD Review: ‘Holiday From Eternity’ by Artur U & the New City Limits

in Music by
Artur U & the New City Limits

Style: Alternative, Rock, Pop

Released: February 27, 2015

Reviewed by Randy Radic

In Finland, rock music is called suomirock or Finsrock and, unfortunately, few Finnish bands enjoy success in America. Probably because most Finnish rock bands rely heavily on potent keyboards, and thrashing guitars. Apparently, in Finland, the fine art adage “if you can’t make it good, make it big,” has been adopted as the primary precept of rock music: if you can’t make it good, make it loud.

The band consists of Artur U on vocals and steel guitar; Johanna Saarinen on vocals and percussion; Tuomas Orasmaa on the keyboards; Miika Suomalainen on bass; and Toni Mantyla on drums. The band has replaced the thrashing guitars with a steel guitar, added layering and vocal harmony. They kept the keyboards.

Regrettably, the band’s endeavor falls short, although there is a certain arcane energy to the music. Still, a number of elements are out of balance. First, the band puts too much emphasis on the keyboards, like every other Scandinavian band. Second, the steel guitar just doesn’t cut it as a rock n’ roll instrument. It’s fine for Country Western music, where its familiar crying twang provides accentuation. But it strains all tolerance as a lead instrument, simply because it sounds artificial. And third, the band’s vocalists, in a content-free a way as possible, have given an entirely new paradigm to the meaning of the word ‘harmony.’

Artur U’s voice is akin to the singing of a great pale beast of the sea as it attempts to harmonize with the breathless hyper-feminine voice of Johanna Saarinen. The result is two tinny voices singing an emotionless, monotonous roundelay.

Of the ten tracks on the album, two have been identified as winners. “On A Holiday” is the band’s lead single. Imagine Alice In Chains performing King Crimson with weak voices, an overload of fuzzbox and a steel guitar. And lots of heavy layering. It’s a psychedelic nightmare.

The other track, called “Monkey House,” dredges up mental images of Pink Floyd covering a song by Humble Pie. Repetitive lyrics, along with wimpy vocals and a melody paralyzed by indecision provide a grim, barely endurable listening experience.

Holiday From Eternity is more like the musical version of Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation than a holiday. Artur U & the New City Limits, although they get an ‘A’ for effort, is relegated to suomirock mediocrity.

CD Review: ‘My Depression is Always Trying to Kill Me’ by Vince Grant

in Music by
My Depression Is Always Trying to Kill Me

Style: Indie/Singer/Songwriter

Reviewed by Randy Radic

There are many real-life examples of musicians destroying everything around them, but depression is nothing to scoff at or make fun of. It’s a serious and debilitating disease. For those musicians that are lucky enough to come out the other end of the dark tunnel, if they can put what they experienced into lyrics and music, it can be something special. Perhaps the trick to being a rich and famous rock star is to be depressed, recover, and go on to compose songs about it. But it is doubtful any of them would recommend it.

Many musicians end up in rehab for drugs and alcohol abuse; and surely a number of them suffer from depression. Usually, they admit to the drugs and alcohol because it’s part of the rock n’ roll mystique. But most people, musicians or not, don’t want to openly admit to depression. There’s a stigma attached to it, even in today’s world.

Not singer/songwriter Vince Grant. He says, “Drugs, alcohol, depression, they took me out.” He went through rehab, successfully, and now directs his energy into his music, an outlet for not only creative expression but also as therapy. “I write songs to cope. I’d like to say I write songs to heal, but that may be asking too much.”

Whatever the concatenations of cause and effect, listeners should hope that Grant continues to cope by writing more songs. For the Muse of depression is inspiring wonderful tunes.

The title of Grant’s EP is My Depression is Always Trying to Kill Me, and it’s a gem. The first track, “Melancholia,” is anything but elegiac, even though the lyrics are introspective. The song alters from soft guitars and Grant’s hypnotic voice to a swelling, surging chorus. During the softer portions of the song, the simple yet strong guitar accents are aurally provocative. Good stuff!

“Oceans II” provides a So-Cal rocker with REM influences, while “Edge of the World” slows things down, sounding almost like a ballad, except the lyrics are too concessive for a ballad. “Edge of the World” is passable, but Grant’s voice shines when the tempo is more upbeat, which is precisely where he goes on “How Many Times You,” probably the best tune on the EP. It’s another So-Cal/REM-ish rocker that builds appropriately, with an outstanding lead guitar solo by Doug Grean. The way Grant utilizes Courtney Love-like guitar accents sets the song apart.

The last track on the EP is “Sweet Addiction,” which is too somber and too slow. Grant’s voice displays a heavy angst that is unappealing. Speaking of Grant’s voice, it is distinctive and mellow, revealing a cheerfulness that he might not feel, but nevertheless is there. His voice reminds listeners of Chris Isaak, but is not quite as cavernous.

The enormity of Grant’s talent is evident on My Depression is Always Trying to Kill Me. The arrangements are splendid and the musicianship, along with Grant’s conspicuous vocals, makes the EP a winner.

CD Review: ‘Excuse Me’ by Joe Blessett

in Music by
Joe Blessett

Style: Jazz, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, Electronic

Released: January 12, 2015

Reviewed by Randy Radic

Multi-talented Joe Blessett recently released an album of his music. Among Joe’s panoply of talents: engineer, internet radio station owner, entrepreneur, composer, producer, videographer and internet recording artist. The album is called Excuse Me.

The term that most aptly describes the album’s music is Fusion. A fusion of jazz, blues, rock, soul and electronica. Excuse Me is definitely original, creative and unlike anything else anywhere. Horns, synthesizers, drum machines and bass swirl energetically, propelling the unconventional compositions along their sometimes serpentine, sometimes linear paths.

Excuse Me comprises twelve tracks. The first track is “Excuse Me,” a short piece impossible to categorize. It begins with a soft piano, then adds voices to the mix, followed by Spanish guitar licks and what sounds a little like a church choir. Ascetic, austere and devout to an astonishing degree, “Excuse Me” advises listeners to expect the unexpected.

The fourth offering on the album, “Taking It Down,” features a divine alto saxophone played with plangent severity on top of an electronic melody bubbling with jazz allusions. “Paying Bills” presents a tripartite fusion of Hip Hop, funk-a-delic and electronic dance music. The result is impulsive and reckless, like facts made ambiguous by rumors.

Joe slows things down on “Limelight,” which, if she were a man, sounds like Nina Simone performing leisurely Hip Hop. And near the end of the album, “Good to My Girl” provides a bluesy, Hip Hop tune that just doesn’t work. It’s simply too repetitious, both musically and lyrically.

The last track on Excuse Me is the most experimental piece. “Athene’s Theory” takes listeners where no listener has gone before: to the edge of galactic music. The song evokes visions of an unpredictable sci-fi movie that has long abandoned anything as mundane as a plot. Imagine Blade Runner without its protagonist, Harrison Ford. Initially, it’s ridiculous nonsense, but then it develops a remarkable charm.

Excuse Me is certainly not for everyone. But the album’s extended, thumping bass lines, along with its fusion of a variety of musical disciplines, contrives to produce an unprecedented musical adventure.

CD Review: ‘The RAP-ture’ by 832

in Music by
The-Rap-Ture-CD-Cover

Style: Rap, Hip-Hop

Reviewed by Randy Radic

Hip-hop music came to life during the 1970s, when it was called “disco rap,” and like most genres of music, it has traveled through various stages of growth over the years. Around 2005, Hip-Hop music suffered two simultaneous changes. First, Hip-hop attained mainstream status. Second, the bottom dropped out of sales, declining 44% over a five-year span. This massive decline in sales led some critics to assert that young people were tired of Hip-Hop and its insipid lyrics – lyrics that glorified violence, the humiliation of women and a dissolute lifestyle.

Turned out the critics were wrong. Hip-hop was still popular; perhaps even more popular than ever. The declining sales were the result of technological advances. Listeners were still listening to Hip-Hop. They just weren’t buying CDs. Instead they were downloading, streaming, sharing, etc.

Nowadays, most Hip-Hop artists continue to rap about life in the fast lane; their songs lionize drinking, drugging, violence, bling and promiscuity, along with an endless supply of money. Like Hollywood, they offer entertainment and diversion from the hard realities of life.

There are a few, however, who have chosen to “keep it real.” Such as 832, two brothers named Nawlege 405 and Solomis who hail from Oklahoma City. The brothers – 832 – get back to their roots, back to the days of disco rap. The title of their new album is The RAP-ture, which is a religious double entendre that speaks of their intent: to elevate Hip-Hop out of its doldrums to new heights.

“The Prayer” is the first track on the album, and it sets the religious tone. The song starts off with “You Keep Me Hangin On” by the Supremes, and then segues into lyrics about how entropy is everywhere, warning that everything falls apart unless mankind is wary.

As the tracks move on, so does the theme of ushering in a “new world order.” In “Burn featuring Juju,” Juju carries on a discussion with the devil, which evokes visions of Jesus in the Wilderness, resisting the temptations of worldly power. From there, the tracks trundle on, espousing a cultural upheaval and victory over vice and immorality.

Actually, the lyrics are very moving; the production values are excellent as are the arrangements. There’s a religious fervor to the album that’s hard to resist. Nevertheless, by the end of the album the lyrics assume a plastic sheen, as if the religious theme of the album is simply another gimmick. Only this gimmick is socially and morally acceptable. In other words, there’s too much pious preaching about mankind banding together to usher in Utopia.

There’s a lot to be said for the trite entertainment value of living with Peter Pan in Never Never Land, which is of course pure fantasy. But maybe that’s what people want from their music. That being said, The RAP-ture is well-worth a listen. The two brothers were gifted with wonderful voices, and there is no question about their songwriting abilities.

 

CD Review: ‘For The F.E.W.’ by D. Green

in Music by
D. Green

Style: Hip Hop

Reviewed by Randy Radic

Bronx hip hopper, D. Green, has a new album out. It’s called For the F.E.W. And it’s brilliant! Green’s lyrics are simply dazzling, going far beyond the usual hip hop quatrains. Green doesn’t simply write lyrics, he engages in verbal pyrotechnics. For example:

“I even lost my inspiration and have yet to find it … still

The beauty of this game has been losing its sex appeal.”

The opening track on the album is “FansEveryWhere,” the lone tarnished song on the album. The lyrics, as on the entire album, are excellent. But the beat is anemic and amateurish, not at all indicative of D. Green’s talents. And the melody simply doesn’t exist.

“Ingenuity” is the second track, and it exudes flamboyance held under careful control. Green’s strong tenor voice complements the song’s throbbing beat. The arrangement is spot-on and whoever mixed it at Full Tilt Productions deserves a round of applause. “Ingenuity” is the perfect musical vehicle for the Top 40 playlist. It’s that good.

Another song, probably the best on the album, should also rapidly climb the charts of Pop Music. It’s called “Like This,” and features the crystal clear falsetto of LoVel during the chorus, a chorus that can only be described as Wow! What makes the chorus so wonderful is the harmony achieved by Green and LoVel in conjunction with the melody, which is simply beautiful. It’s a love song that manages to circumvent the usual saccharine clichés and cloying schmaltziness associated with hip hop romance.

“Still” resembles an amalgamation of dub-step, hip hop and electronic dance music. It’s ambitious and original, containing an innovative beat that borders on the ultramodern.

The final track on For the F.E.W. is “It’s Simple,” a straight forward hip hop tune that features the poignant vocals of Katie Frost. “It’s Simple” is a song about remaining true to oneself and one’s roots even in the midst of fame and fortune. Ms. Frost’s voice invests the song with a sense of douceur de vivre, the sweetness of life. During the chorus, her solitary crooning provides listeners with great satisfaction because of its purity.

For the F.E.W, by design or by talent, seems preordained for popularity. It’s mainstream, but doesn’t sound commercial. In other words, it’s not industrial hip hop, the typical overly-stylized rubbish that seems to currently dominate the genre. For the F.E.W. is an excellent album that should appeal to everyone.

 

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