Highlights: Alicia Keys, ‘Here’


★★★ Alicia Keys aims for big, socially conscious ideas on her sixth studio album ‘Here.’ Those ideas aren’t always executed seamlessly, however. Alicia Keys tends to take her time when it comes to releasing new albums.  Here, her sixth album, arrives four years after her last (Girl on Fire).  Here is different from previous Keys…

The ‘Birthday’ Album: Celebration Playlist


So… two years ago, I composed a post that was titled Three Songs With The Word “Birthday” In Them To Celebrate My Birthday. Now two years later, also on my birthday, I’m celebrating with an expansion of that brief playlist. Call this the ‘Birthday’ Album – a playlist comprised of 14 songs celebrating my birthday. Some…

Review: DJ Khaled, ‘Suffering from Success’


Khaled’s Not ‘Suffering from Success’, perhaps suffers from a lack of innovation…  DJ Khaled⎪ Suffering From Success⎪ Cash Money ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 22, 2013 If there is one reservation I (and likely others) have with DJ Khaled’s albums, it is that generally they all seem ‘one-dimensional’.  Maybe that is a harsh critique, or…

DMX, Undisputed: Album Analysis


Background Once ubiquitous rapper DMX (of “Party Up (Up in Here)” fame) releases 2012’s Undisputed, his first studio effort since 2006’s underperforming Year of the Dog…Again.  DMX was once a preeminent force on the hardcore/east coast rap scene, scoring five no. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 (’98’s It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, 99’s…