“My Own Lane” is the second album from LA rapper Kid Ink. Production by DJ Mustard and other luminaries, along with collaborations with Chris Brown, Elle Varner, Machine Gun Kelly and some new faces, elevate this CD above the average California mixtape release. Be aware, there’s a Parental Advisory for explicit lyrics.
The soundtrack to the DVD “From the Ground Up” helps to show how Mac Dre built the Thizz Nation and how other artists including Kilo Kurt carried the torch after his death. This CD serves as an aural history of the Thizz Entertainment label and stands as a testament to Mac Dre’s vision. (Parental Advisory)
Juvenile’s latest album “The Fundamentals” is being criticized as being too formulaic and thuggish, but his fans seem to disagree, making it one of the hottest rap CDs of 2014 so far. The Southern rapper isn’t breaking any new ground, but his club hits are infectious and there are sure to be more chart-topping singles on the way. (Parental Advisory)
Formerly the lead singer of the country duo Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles has released her first solo album, “That Girl”. The album covers a variety of styles, from bossa-nova to 70’s arena rock to lite FM and a little bit of soul. In each, Jennifer’s distinct voice is unmistakable and Rick Rubin’s production allows it to shine.
“The River & the Thread” is an intensely personal album for Roseanne Cash. The songs trace her dad’s life growing up in the Deep South and pay homage to historical landmarks such as the site of Emmett Till’s murder. She refuses to be defined by “country music” and the result can only be labeled as purely Americana, with a good sense of pop.
Casting Crowns is a Christian rock band from Daytona Beach, Florida. They are Grammy and Dove award winners and have set Billboard chart records for sales. Their new album “Thrive” keeps the faith of their previous recordings while adding some songs in a new low-key groove.
Bruuuuce! On April 14, 2014 HBO will premiere the documentary “High Hopes”, featuring behind the scenes footage of the making of the album. Springsteen and his collaborator on the album, Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine), will explain the concept of the album and how old fans will find some new twists. Listen to the CD first so you know what they’re talking about.
“Mind Over Matter” is the sophomore effort from California’s Young the Giant. Haven’t heard of them? If you like Coldplay and Kings of Leon, give this band a try. Breezy pop leads to anthemic rock and the album as a whole will leave you feeling some good vibrations.
American Idol winner Ruben Studdard (AKA the Velvet Teddy Bear) has released his 6th album “Unconditional Love”. It’s a mix of standards and originals and all of them are charismatically old school smooth and romantic. It may be a little too late on the calendar for Valentine’s Day, but that holiday can be every day with tracks like “Meant to Be” and “The Nearness of You”.