Posts tagged soul

Music Pick: The Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur

 
The Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur

The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur

To Build A Home
Into You
Breathe
Music Box
Familiar Ground

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cinematic orchestra - HustleBear.com
Ma Fleur is one of my favorite albums. God damn this is gorgeous! I was reading something when I first put it on in the background. I had to stop reading. I actually laid down in my bed and didn’t do anything until the album finished. Suddenly realizing I’m in the presence of greatness, I didn’t want to dilute my first experience.

I was a fan of Cinematic Orchestra’s earlier albums, because I like well executed jazzy electronic chillout, and I noticed their previous album went in more beautiful and sweeping directions, but it was never anything close to this album. Sounds like a completely different band. Surprised me that they had this within them. Ma Fleur is minimal. This music doesn’t sound like it’s created from nothing. The music here sounds like it’s what’s left after all the fluff has been carved away. Stripped down, raw, bare, honest, open, and so beautiful. Very gentle yet so intense, this is a gorgeous and carefully crafted piece of minimal jazz soul. Maybe this isn’t the aggressive masculine music you would expect from a blog about achievement and hustling called Hustle Bear, but yeah, this is a touching masterpiece of strong emotional impact, and I thought this should be shared.


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Music Pick: The xx – XX

 
The xx – XX

Music Pick - The xx - XX

Islands
Crystalised
Shelter
VCR
Infinity

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The XX
This is one of those albums you’ve got to let grow on you. When I first listened to it I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe I actually listened all the way through that boring piece of shit album. I couldn’t understand what the buzz was about, it didn’t click with me, and I never intended to listen to it again.

This music is sparse. Very minimal electronics over a minimal acoustic sound with a male/female duet that goes for personality over precision. I like simple soft minimal music, I just didn’t like this album.

Some day later I heard the song “Islands” come on the radio again. I was in jammed traffic and frustrated in a hurry. It kind of hit me, whoa, this is really pretty, and it’s so soothing right now. I was kind of pissed that the song ended so soon and some crappy My Chemical Romance song came on and totally ruined the vibe. I gave the album another chance and I couldn’t believe I didn’t first realize how awesome this is. Even almost 2 years later it’s still one of my favorite albums to play in my room while I do whatever various things I do. I literally could listen to this on repeat all day.

The Beatles wrote a lot of very simple and light hearted songs that were surprisingly epic and touching. That’s kind of how I approach XX. Everything is stripped away, the vibe is very easy going and playful, yet the undercurrent is deep and soulful. I love this album. Lower your guard, clear your head, enjoy.

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Music Pick – Groove Armada: Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)

 
Groove Armada – Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)

Music Pick - Groove Armada - Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)

Suntoucher
Drifted
Raisin The Stakes
Fogma
Healing

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groove armada - andy cato - tom findlaySticking with Groove Armada, compare the sound of their later albums I’ve reviewed with their earlier sound here on “Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)”. They used to have this more chilled jazzy house electro soul R&B vibe; yeah just check it out. A masterpiece in its own right, this album flows between intimate and increased energy, fantastic for playing during chill get togethers. I like how each song has a long intro to set the vibe and establish itself as it draws you in. As the band’s name suggest, their grooves always kick ass. For more of Groove Armada’s jazzy chilled house vibe check out their even earlier album that put them on the map: “Vertigo“.

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Music Pick – Groove Armada: Soundboy Rock

 
Groove Armada – Soundboy Rock

Music Pick - Groove Armada - Soundboy Rock

The Things That We Could Share
Paris
Love Sweet Sound
The Girls Say
Lightsonic
Drop That Thing

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I love this album, but I was really upset when I first heard it. That’s because I loved Groove Armada’s more intimate jazzy chilled house of their earlier albums, and this clearly was not that. But Soundboy Rock grew on me, to the point that it’s now my favorite Groove Armada album to listen to.
Soundboy Rock sounds like it was created by completely different musicians than their latest Black Light/White Light albums that I previously reviewed. This has an urban soul hip-hop electro beach dance party vibe. Yeah listen to it, you’ll see. Feels like I’m walking down the Venice Beach boardwalk in the 90s, but transported into the future. This is a perfect Summer album.
I immediately hated this album when I first heard the jarring opening song “Get Down”. My mouth dropped. What the fuck is this shit? Sounds like I’m being skinned alive in a Vietnamese prison camp. Fortunately that horror ends there, it’s consistently high quality for the rest of the album.

Groove Armada Soundboy RockHighlights:
I always skip that bastardized shit that precedes it and start this cd off with track 3 “The Things That We Could Share”. It’s got a cool urban groove, and sets a cool tone for a great LA pool party.
By far my favorite song here is “Paris”, even though it doesn’t quite fit in. Lush atmospheric electro soul. Holy shit, this is fucking gorgeous! I would love if they came out with a really chilled out album of songs of this type.
I’ve got a secret to tell you, I don’t like rap. Except for a few cases, like here. I just can’t deny that “The Girls Say” is actually a fun, clever, well constructed rap song. Check it out above.
“Love Sweet Sound” is 70s disco soul diva vocals meets electro-house dance party.
“Lightsonic” is reggae vocals meets electro-house dance party.
“Drop That Thing” is not the sort of song I’d normally like, it’s aggressive electro-hip hop about shaking your ass, but the music is really clever and captivating.
“Song For Mutya” is a totally respectable urban pop song with a nod to the early 90s, and probably would have been a massive hit back then.

Groove Armada keeps reinventing themselves while consistently showing us how creative and clever dance music can be. Soundboy Rock is a must have.

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