In The Spotlight: Alicia Keys – Time Machine

The new single from American singer Alicia Keys. Time Machine hails as welcome return for Alicia and sounds altogether different from her material since the days of You Don’t Know My Name, Fallin and Empire State of Mind that hailed her as an R&B star. Though Girl on Fire did see a somewhat noticeable shift in her music. Her new single has a rhythmic back beat that goes on like bump, bump, bump, bump. In a way it’s almost like a pre-hook. As always Alicia’s voice just completely nails it and is smooth, soft and melodic but without overdoing it. Whenever she sings you know that she is going to hit the high note, and with minimal effort.

It’s during the chorus when she sings Go out of your mind (Out of your mind) that she really goes into her own and reminds you why she’s the amazing artist that she is. What I like about this song though imparticular is that it sounds like a change in musical direction, for example Underdog did signify some change but Time Machine takes it further. Almost as if she’s being just that little bit more daring each time till she ends up somewhere new.

The video that accompanies the song shows her at an arcade/roller-skating rink and shows Alicia hanging around with a group of people singing. Every few moments she looks straight into the camera and sing. It’s quite good, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watchtime_continue=224&v=NFCsuDcWqY0&feature=emb_loo

In The Spotlight: Aphrodite ft. Wildflower – ‘See Thru It’ (Sigsworth Remix 2002)

What can I say other than this is one drum and bass classic. See Thru It was produced by British Drum and Bass DJ/Producer Gavin King, better known by his stage-name, Aphrodite, and has making music for over 14 years. This version came out way back in 2002 with female vocalist Wildflower. Song wise the lyrics are sharp and quick-paced, and during the verses the do speed up and somewhat witty, also there’s something about them that gets you. Dare you to mime/sing to it at the pace. The back beat is fast-paced and totally energetic but one of the things that I like about it is that police car sirens are used in the background all the way throughout. Overall this was, and still is, a decent track to listen to and if you’re a fan of the drum and bass genre check it out

The video that accompanies the song shows Wildflower sitting in a car with a police car behind her. Just as a man from the police car begins to approach her, she races off and evades them. For the rest of the video it’s just clips of her driving past buildings (computer generated) and occasionally dancing. If anything, 16 seconds into the video it all becomes computerised. Still, it’s worth watching though  🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIq0cJfhkz8

In The Spotlight: Mura Masa – Deal Wiv It

First heard this a couple of weeks ago and just got instantly hooked to it, and it’s actually a really catchy track to listen to. Alex Crossan, better known by his stage-name Mura Masa.  Musically it’s in a similar vein to The Streets and Slaves. In fact, when I first heard this, I actually thought it was from one of them. Deal Wiv It is a good strong record and has an in-your-face rawness about it. The lyrics are somewhat edgy can carry raw emotion, not to mention bitter story telling. Further proof that occasionally writing and singing about one’s own life makes for stronger, catchier songs. The line ‘Deal Wiv It’ becomes a hook in how Mura tells both his peers and himself to deal with things. A bit of a ‘I don’t care what’s going on/what you think. Deal with it. Alex Crossan aka Mura Masa is definitely someone who the music scene’s been waiting for to give it a good shake-down. So far this is the only track I’ve heard from him an I already like him. What I enjoy about the track is the upfront raw, unapologetic, honesty of the lyrics behind the music itself.

The video is a raw as the song itself and it follows a person during a single day as he goes from his house/flat to outside onto the street. At the end of the video he’s in a vehicle with a guy. In terms of the creativity behind the video it’s very similar to the song, and music behind both The Streets and Slaves e.g. low-budget and writing songs about everyday life.

🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0uvt97Xn20

Graham Norton/Craig David

As always the male legend that is Craig David performed a medley of some of his hits including Seven Days and the ever famous Fill Me In. As far as male singers go it’s great to see him back after so long away and he hasn’t lost any of his touch. Vocal-wise his singing is a smooth and fluidic as ever, can carry raw emotion and it still melodic. Accompanied by just an acoustic guitarist Craig put on a great performance and reminded us of why he has still got what it takes. I admit that even though I’m not a huge fan of R&B I’ve still got a soft spot for artists like Craig David.

Also on the sofa were Daniel Radcliffe, Miriam Margolyes, Alan Cumming and Sharon Horgan discussing upcoming projects

In Conversation With… Will Robinson

My piece with Nottingham’s Will Robinson, the man behind I’m Not From London. One of the main guys behind the region’s music scene. Have a read and enjoy

https://whatson.guide/2019/12/01/in-conversation-with-will-robinson/

 

 

In The Spotlight: The Lumineers – Hey Ho

Perhaps one of their most infamous songs around to date, Hey-Ho, is best described as a folk, indie/rock type of song. It is very much an easy listening sort of song and one that you can just as easily sing along to. In terms of the musical structure of the track it is melodic, upbeat and a rather chirpy one. The song is taken from their self-titled debut album back in 2012 and is one of those sorts of tracks where you can never really tire of it no matter how many times you listen to it. The song itself was written by founding members, Wesley Shultz and Jeremy Fraites. As songwriters they are incredibly talented, even with instruments. Since I first heard this track, I immediately liked it, and if you like indie/folk/rock music you’ll see why. An absolute classic to listen to.

The video that accompanies this song features is a fairly basic one and just features members of the band walking down a corridor just singing and dancing. Now what is also interesting is that the hospital itself looks like it has been unused and there is no lighting except for the light pouring through the windows and outdoor light decorations adoring the corridor. During the video they are accompanied by a young woman then by several extras who are dressed similarly to the band themselves. The video ends with the duo giving a small performance to room full of extras whilst clapping in beat with the rhythm.

🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4

 

Graham Norton/Harry Styles

Former One Direction star’s new singer, Harry Styles’s new single, Adore You, is out now and even I have to admit that it sounds alright. I heard it for the first time this evening and it does have a proper rock-type sound to it and vocally Harry’s singing seems to have gotten better. In terms of his singing his voice has more of a roughness to it which it didn’t have before. He actually sounds more like an actual musician and is leaving his boy-band image behind and is coming more into his own now as a solo artist. If the rest of his upcoming album is as good as his new song this could mean a progression into becoming a more serious musician. The performance did have a fishy element to it bearing in mind there was fish being projected in the background.

Since the group split up their music seems to have got better, sounding less manufactured.

Also on the sofa was Jodie Whittaker, Michael Palin, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Kevin Hart with banter and laughs as well as discussing upcoming projects.