Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Year In Music, Pt. 5 ... Danielia Cotton, The BellRays & Little Jackie

It has dawned on me, that I haven't really written much about female artists or bands featuring females. Well, being of the female variety myself, that just won't do!

Danielia Cotton: Rare Child

Back in May, I was browsing around the Internet. I tend to do this a lot in an effort to find something that catches my eyes and or ears. I happened upon a story about singer/guitarist Danielia Cotton. As part of the story they had a song being streamed from her then upcoming record Rare Child. Said record was coming out the following week. I liked the song. The following week rolled around and the record became a part of my collection.

I like this record. It stayed on repeat on my iPod for a few weeks and in heavy rotation for a good while after that. Cotton has a great voice. She has one of those voices that goes from rockin' out to soulful acoustic tinged songs flawlessly. Hers is a warm voice. A lot of times when singers start wailin' and rock shoutin', it gets painful to listen to especially when people don't know when to stop. This doesn't happen in Cotton's case. She has one of those nice blues rock shouts and she is tasteful in using it.

Lyrically, Rare Child is a personal record. This is one of those records that's best if you just sit and listen to all the way through ... you know something we used to do on a more frequent basis before iPod's, playlists and shuffle modes became the norm. The songs do however stand well on their own for those who don't listen to records as a whole. There's really no filler on this record but the highlights for me are, "Make U Move," Rare Child," "Let It Ride" and "Bound."

I think if you're a fan of warm voiced blues rock female singers you'll like Rare Child.

Track Listing
  • Make U Move
  • Testify
  • Didn't U
  • Bang My Drum
  • Rare Child
  • Running
  • Righteous People
  • Dark Desire
  • Let It Ride
  • Bound

The BellRays: Hard Sweet and Sticky

I became familiar with The BellRays sometime in 2007 when I was going through a female rock singer phase. Some browsing around the Internet led me to Lisa Kekaula, The BellRays' throat. A fan was born.

Earlier this year, The BellRays released Hard Sweet and Sticky. I had instantly been taken by their previous release Have A Little Faith. On first listen to Hard Sweet and Sticky, I was a little disappointed. However, after a few listens I started getting into it. Where as their previous effort was more fiery, this outing was a little more understated. Kekaula's voice was still spot on but overall I felt like it was missing some unmph.

"Psychotic Hate Man" and "Pinball City" both display The BellRays familiar punkish side. My favorite song on the album is "Foot Prints On Water" which also appears on an earlier album the band released. The other highlights, "One Big Party," "Infection" and the low key "Blue Against The Sky."

I like the record but it's not my favorite effort by The BellRays. Would I recommend it? Yes, but I would probably suggest picking up some of their earlier works first.

Track Listing
  • The Same Way
  • One Big Party
  • Infection
  • Coming Down
  • Footprints On Water
  • Blue Against The Sky
  • Psychotic Hate Man
  • The Fire Next Time
  • That's Not The Way It Should Be
  • Wedding Bells
  • Pinball City

Little Jackie: The Stoop

I decided to buy The Stoop by Little Jackie after getting the title track as a free download from some service or another. I was familiar with Little Jackie vocalist Imani Coppola's work already so it wasn't a big stretch that I might check out this release.

Normally, I'm not a fan of modern pop flavored R&B and even less of a fan of the hybrid R&B/Hip-hop genre. But, "The Stoop" caught my ear with it's laid back infectiousness. Often times, you're misled by a catchy single and the rest of the album holds nothing similar and you end up disappointed. This doesn't happen with The Stoop. The whole album is full of catchy songs. It's a fun record. It often mixes upbeat catchy music with some rather caustic lyrics. It was a perfect summertime record.

I went to see Little Jackie back in October. The songs translate well live adding to the fun sing-a-long nature of many of the songs. The highlights for me, the amusing "LOL," the upbeat fun "The Kitchen," "28 Butts" and my personal favorite, "Cryin' For The Queen."

Fans of upbeat, catchy, pop infused R&B should check The Stoop out if it's not already in your collection.

Track Listing
  • The Stoop
  • The World Should Revolve Around Me
  • 28 Butts
  • Guys Like When Girls Kiss
  • Liked You Better Before
  • LOL
  • Cryin' For The Queen
  • Black Barbie
  • One Love
  • The Kitchen
  • Go Hard Or Go Home