RECOGNIZE THE SOUL VOICES!
Outside of my personal discovery and the overwhelming enjoyment of sharing my knowledge with others, many of my posts come from conversations that I have with other people. A conversation that came up recently and one that I stay in conversation about is the debate on the annoying similarities of the newer r&b artists that have come out over the last few years. Who's who? Lets get one thing straight before I start though. Let it be known. There is a definite difference between rhythm & blues and soul music. Once you realize that fact, your music experiences will be so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Okay, now that I have stated that, we can get back on with the topic at hand. Some folks feel like everyone in r&b is sounding like the other guy or girl that's already out? These days where there are really only a handful of producers that are getting the majority of the work, I guess it could seem like everyone sounds alike? Not to mention the creativity and freshness with the choreography of these r&b videos have remained stagnated for the same reasons, so how can you honestly defend the shallow evolution of the genre? "Omarion, wasn't that the same dance move that Chris Brown did when he was immulating Usher who was paying homage to Michael Jackson?" Hmmm?? Plus, how come the song subject matter for these artists are so simular in context? If I hear another song about some female in her jeans or the thug I'm in love wit, I might just have to slap somebody! Most adults over 25 yrs. old feel like rhythm & blues is for the teenagers and soul music is targeted for the adult crowd in 2006? If you let the popular tv show "106 & Park" on BET dictate the tone, then the previous statement would be accurate. When was the last time you saw an independent soul artist on that video countdown?? Is it me or does every so called, "male r&b artist" sound like a girl? Maybe, puberty hasn't kicked in yet? Where are the voices like K-Ci and Johnny Gill you ask? Well, here are two soul katz that I think have what it takes to fill that void.
Hailing from Florida, Urban Mystic is what I would classify as a hiphop soul artist. He blends the essence of sultry soul with gritty hiphop beats. Urban's deep and powerful vocals are enough to make the average listener pay attention, but it's his raw passion that will leave a lasting impression. The "Ghetto Revelations: 2" project is Mystic's second album release. Honestly, the new project is an updated version of the debut. Most of the great songs from his first album were carried over onto the second one, with a few new tracks added for good measure. I'm not mad at that either. If you didn't get it right the first time, try, try again! The subject matter of both albums covers all aspects of urban life from the up and downs to falling in and out of love. The track that made me an Urban Mystic fan is actually featured on both of his albums and it's entitled, "Where Were You?" If that track doesn't have your head bobbin' then your neck must be broke! I have always been a fan of the "back down memory lane" type tracks since, Ahmad's "Back In The Day" remix joint from the 1990s. That's for all of my golden era hiphop heads out there. If you don't know who Ahmad is...just skip to the next line. Urban may just leave you mystified if you give him a chance?? Checkout his website and listen to some of his tracks.
Another voice to be reckoned with is soul crooner Anthony David. Anthony David has been doing his thing for a minute, but like most soul artists he's relatively unknown. I will admit that I wasn't checking for Mr. David back in 2004 when he dropped his previous project entitled, "3 Chords & The Truth" for the world to hear. It's not like that album wasn't nice, but Anthony just wasn't on my radar back then? Just recently Mr. David released his second album entitled, "The Red Clay Chronicles" that has a nice soothing vibe to it. His voice has a richness that can't be denied. I'm really feelin' this album, but I notice that some folks who liked his previous album feel like the new project has abandoned some of his original accoustic style? You be the judge. Listen to both of Anthony David's albums and hear what you think. My favorite track on the new Red Clay album is called, "Smoke One!" Damn, I don't even smoke, but after hearing that track I might just start?? The song has a simple theme that we can all relate to and think that is what had me on the first listen, outside of the catchy beat and smooth vocals. There are several tracks on this album that are worth your attention actually. Too bad he will probably never get the attention he deserves though? There is some good news for soul fans though. Anthony David has his new album available for you to listen to on his website free, so make that move.
Hopefully, you true soul music lovers have already added these gents to your music collection, but if not here's your chance.