Purple Skies by De’Vide (Review)

Review of Purple Skies by De’Vide

De’vide is a band from Ipswich which consists of band members Lex Flowers and Barny Holmes. I’ve known Lex for quite a number of years now and he is an incredibly talented MC, songwriter and DJ. Added into the mix Barny a successful singer/songwriter this duo is set to be unstoppable.

De'Vide release debut single Purple Skies

De’Vide release debut single Purple Skies

You might recognise them from The Voice UK – season 2 where they made it into Jessie J‘s team and were watched by millions. From there, they want on to perform in London’s Jazz Cafe and the launch of London Fashion Week. As well as supporting many well known artists doing summer festivals along side Naughty Boy, Amelia Lily and Wiley. After a lot of radio play and support from BBC 1xtra, Capital Xtra and more they are now enjoying world tours and being managed by Mega Man one of the founding members of The So Solid Crew.
Then what dropped into my mailbox? A quick email from Lex with news of their latest promo video for a track entitled ‘Purple Skies‘. The song starts calm and mellow, with a soft beat and the soulful sound from singer Barny. Theres not too much going on which is great as it makes it sound raw and fresh and takes you into a relaxing, peaceful state of mind. It definitely makes for a great listen. Then the song takes a spin and with the lyrical MC Lex mixing his unique sound and flow into it – it all falls into place.
There’s no denying these guys have talent, I mean, doesn’t making it to Jessie J‘s team in the Voice UK say it all? If she can see their raw unique talent, then you’d be mental not to see it as well.
Make sure to check their social media and youtube channel for other videos and covers they have done so far. They’ll become one of your favourites like they are mine.
Review by Natalie Combey-Yildiz

Don’t You Find by Jamie T (Review)

Review of Don’t You Find by Jamie T

Jamie Treays, better known as Jamie T was once lauded as the biggest prospect in UK music.  It even got to the stage where the Wimbledon born performer was nicknamed the one man Arctic Monkeys.  Well it has been some time since we last heard anything to speak of from the man himself, in fact the best part of half a decade.  It seems an age since Zane Lowe named Back in the Game his “Hottest Record in the World”.

Review of Jamie T Dont You Find

Review of Jamie T Dont You Find

So, Don’t You Find represents Jamie T‘s comeback.  Is it any good or should he have stayed in hs hiatus?

Well the video underpins exactly what the boy is about, performing in an average house on a guitar.  No need for any thrills, good honest gritty music, with a bit of a grubby edge.  The almost mono verses at the start of the track are broken by some mesmerising female vocal/noises, which then links to a bit more of a pitch from Jamie T.

The female vocal adds a real edge to the track.  The lyrics are quite meaningful when you take a real listen.  He is essentially recounting those instances when you continually think about or even obsess about that person, you really shouldn’t.  The composition of the music is first class, strong gritty beats and great sounds of strings and a guitar.  The way the female vocals loops in, adds an eerie nature to the track and the way Jamie T, extends his style throughout to a kind of crescendo is superb.

I absolutely love Don’t You Find and if this represents the quality of Jamie T, then welcome back sir.  Its a pleasure to have you at the table of modern music once more.

Old Kent Road by Lucky Elephant (Review)

Review of Old Kent Road by Lucky Elephant

 
London collective Lucky Elephant are to release their new album The Rainy Kingdom through Sunday Best on September 8Produced by Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart, The Bees), the album features the track “Old Kent Road” which, along with the already aired “British Working Man“, is available as instant grat upon pre-order of the album: http://smarturl.it/TheRainyKingdom
 
The album’s first single “British Working Man” was nearly the title track, “…but we didn’t want to spend a year explaining to people that it’s not a BNP record.” Both this song and “Old Kent Road” are accompanied by stop-motion animation videos set in a recognisably modern London (the DLR and the London Eye are both visible, as is an Apple laptop), depicting the life and repetitive routine of an office drone. The visual style will evoke nostalgic associations with – depending upon your generation – Trumpton/Chigley/Camberwick Green, Postman Pat or Bob The Builder, all set in an ordered society where everything turns out alright. In Lucky Elephant‘s world, however, there’s always the unsettling suggestion that things won’t turn out so well: the sight of a passenger plane passing overhead is accompanied by the sound of a WW2 bomber.
Lucky Elephant

Lucky Elephant

 

A slow burning yet hypnotic piece that drags you in to its melody and then wont let go. The fusion of sound and video come together well to tell a simple tale of a street that everyone knows.

Lucky Elephant’s Deptford-born and bred keyboardist Sam Johnson knows the neighbourhood in the film intimately. His band-mates, however, bring more of a distance: fellow gadget-twiddler Paul Burnley is from Bradford, and the line-up is completed by North Londoner Laurence Clack on drums, and vocalist Emmanuel ‘Manu’ Labescat, from the south-west of France. Together, on this album, they pursue the relatively-uncharted “band as social historian” role also explored, in recent years, by Public Service Broadcasting, British Sea Power and Eccentronic Research Council.

 
Johnson discovered Ken Ashton‘s We Was All One documentary more-or-less by accident. “It was probably a bored internet moment, clicking around, you go down these weird alleys. And immediately, I said ‘This is amazing’. We all became slightly obsessed with it. When you’re writing you need a spark, and usually it’s heartbreak or lost love, but we used this. It was a microcosm of so much that is going on.  Not just in South East London or London or England even, but the whole of Europe.”
If you want to see Lucky Elephant, in action a good opportunity is coming up at the end of this month Thu 31st Jul – Sun 3rd Aug at Camp Bestival. 
Review by Doug Duffin




World Peace is None of Your Business by Morrissey (Review)

Review of World Peace is None of Your Business by Morrissey

Morrissey is best remembered for his time in The Smiths and weirdly dancing round with flowers.  He has a back catalogue  longer than the arms of a man with extremely long arms.  Morrissey, doesn’t do things in the normal way. In 2010, the star published a list of the top albums from his back catalogue and termed it, “the albums I am most proud of”. To the surprise of many, not one reference to any of his albums with The Smiths or even for his critically acclaimed solo album Viva Hate.  What could be considered a deliberate attack on the commercialism facing music, even courting his own music as a demonstration, I prefer to think, its just another indication of Morrissey eccentricity.

Review of Morrissey new album

Review of Morrissey new album

Musically, for me, World Peace is None of Your Business, is a little difficult to grasp.  Perhaps understandably and deliberately by Morrissey and his backing band, given the top list.  The backing provides as much gusto as it does unorganised (or perhaps organised) chaos.  Sometimes there is just noise, sometimes there is expert composition.  The noise and distortion is part of the production but to be completely honest it feels a bit distracting.  The drumming is expertly executed, but at times there seems to be an effect added.  In short, whilst the music is at times brilliant by the backing band, it sometimes flatters to deceive.

The brilliant thing about World Peace is None of Your Business is exactly what makes his music special.  In I’m Not a Man, Morrissey sings about why he doesn’t conform to standard macho expectations of being a man.  Although, I am not sure he really had to explain himself, his demeanour, lyrics and build hardly make you think he is anything but a creative, thoughtful soul.  Not the type you would expect to see brawling down the pub on a Saturday night.

The album is lifted further by great tracks such as Smiler With Knife and Staircase at the University, both of which demonstrate Morrissey at his best.  Brilliant melodies and accomplished vocals.  These aren’t isolated tracks and several other highlights on the album are present.  The album is more upbeat than its predecessors and Morrissey seems much more an intrinsic part of the overall sound rather than being the only part of the sound with the rest revolving around him.

The back half of the album goes a little darker.  Several rants appear to bring us closer to Morrissey of old, but World Peace is None of Your Business never seems to transcend in to the depths of depression and political rants of previous Morrissey albums.  He does seem to display a bit of an issue with kids though.  Not sure Morrissey is a fan, so don’t let him babysit for you.

Overall though, World Peace is None of Your Business is a good record.  Whether or not the mood change is enough to get you dancing or even to lift your mood, it is a good album.  Not my usual cup of tea, but nonetheless worth a listen.

 

Eminem Live At Wembley Stadium (Gig Review)

Review of Eminem Live At Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is the home of many historic moments, some great gigs and amazing boxing bouts that drive arena passion.  Of course it is the spiritual home of football with major English Cup Finals taking place here over the years and of course home to the England football team.  Whom, after their recent World Cup have a lot to make Wembley a happy place.

Review of Eminem Gig at Wembley

Review of Eminem Gig at Wembley

Well fear not, one Marshall Mathers, became the first rapper to headline the huge 90,000 all seater arena.  This was also the first gig the Detroit born rapper had played in the city for over a decade.  The crowd made up largely of a huge contingent of white middle class males, was hyped beyond belief.  The atmosphere was electric and definitely befitting of the huge backdrop.

Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, may have as many critics as he does fans, but one thing is certain, he is a legend across musical genres.  Eminem still plays the bitter, twisted adolescent to a tee, despite the fact he is now a mere 41 years old.  This was underpinned across numerous elements of the set, but not least by his stirring rendition of My Name Is.  The performance of the track was so strong, that you could be forgiven for thinking this was fresh from his head and the current state of his life.

The set had a little bit of everything, Eminem, courted controversy by appearing with a chainsaw and symbol of his past Friday 13th hockey mask.  It was disturbed as well by gay and women’s rights activists, something that has followed the rapper throughout his career.

The set was moving along strongly as Eminem grew in confidence.  The crowd really rocked though when (not such a) surprise guest Dr Dre came on stage to perform.  Next Episode, Still Dre, Nuthin But a G Thang and Forgot About Dre were accomplished performances by the duo who seem to be made for each other.  Dre, despite being a multi-millionaire after the recent acquisition of his small headphones business by Apple, performed like the master that he is.  In fact, sometimes Dr Dre surpassed the young apprentice.

For me, Berzerk was the performance of the night though.  The hints of old skool rap permeated the stadium and made the crowd rock as one.  Other highlights and definite crowd pleasers included Toy Soldiers and Sing For The Moment.  Whilst the show was definitely a bit more high budget than the early rap battles, captured so well by 8 Mile, Eminem still delivers the kind of show that would befit a freestyle king.

The underlying feeling that you never quite knew what might happen next during the show added a little spark.  Eminem displayed menace and passion in is performance, a definite highlight of the live music calendar this year.

The Boom Needs You

Sonic Boom Six – The Boom Needs You

The likes of Pledge Music and Kickstarter have been propelling the music industry through new waters for some years now. Artists have been trying to cut out the middle man and perfect the art of DIY music for what seems like an age, offering up incentives and prizes if their loyal fan base will part with some of their hard earned cash, placing it directly in to the hands of the artists rather than the whole stream of people that each take their slice of the metaphorical pie, often leaving artists with just the crumbs. These days, more and more bands and artists are trying out their own ‘fan funded’ projects, and quite a few of them have had some incredible results.

Sonic Boom Six

Sonic Boom Six

An electro ska band is next up to try their luck and, so far, Sonic Boom Six appear to be doing pretty well for themselves. In order to raise funds for their fifth album ‘Operation Boombox’, the London based band are offering up a whole range of colourful and wonderful incentives to their fans in exchange for cash, love and support. These tantalising treats range from a fiver to over two grand, so depending on your budget and love of all things electro, there’s something for everybody! Fancy a t-shirt? A vinyl? A download? What about a house show or your name in the album credits? If all of that is a little too mainstream for you then you could always hand over a grand and get your name tattooed on lead singer, Laila K. The choice is yours!

With over 200 days left of this pledge, Sonic Boom Six have already reached 61% of their goal with no signs of slowing down. Fans have gobbled up much of what the electro band has offered, including a launch track ‘The Boom Needs You’, apparently so popular with fans that the band has added it to the list of incentives free of charge ( just a little social media love in return). SB6 are also promising to donate 5% of money raised after the goal has been reached to a Teenage Cancer Trust, which does seem a pretty low percentage especially after a goal has been reached but is still quite an honourable gesture.

The band promises that their new album will be full of bouncy reggae beats, a bit of a switch from their electro ska roots but something to get the body moving none the less. Whatever happens and wherever they go next, it’s obvious that Sonic Boom Six have done an excellent job in building themselves a fan base that will back them all the way.

You can check out the Sonic Boom Six Pledge page here.

By Hev Bailey

Fresh by Babyface Monster ft Ace Da Vinci & Kenlo Key (Review)

Review of Fresh by Babyface Monster ft Ace Da Vinci & Kenlo Key

Right first off, when people normally ask us to listen to their music via Twitter we normally have to decline.  Not because we are some music snobs or think we are too good for people pimping their sounds out, more the fact that invariably it is average at best.  We, at Music Eyz have a value, don’t rip apart new acts, as they are starting out, as they can still develop.  We would rather not cover them.

Review of Fresh by Babyface Monster

Review of Fresh by Babyface Monster

So when Babyface Monster sent us a message on Twitter we thought the worse.  Here we go, another stateside rapper who thinks he is the next LL Cool J or Ice Cube.  Then when we opened the link to the sounds, my god how wrong we were.

Babyface Monster with the help of pals Ace Da Vinci & Kenlo Key deliver some real Hip Hop, in the shape of Fresh.  This is what we have been crying out for. Beats cut back to basics, some nice basic music and clear lyrics delivered with some passion.  The three rappers compliment each other perfectly, bouncing off each other.  The track changes as the chorus is delivered with some old skool feel.  The addition of some genuine sounding scratching on the track is also a welcome for me, this has been badly missed on modern music.

Each and every verse on Fresh is delivered with real skills.  These boys have real flavour and the intro of some bells or similar, really does have hints of LL Cool J.  Now I never knew anything about any of these boys until the link was sent, needless to say, they are ones to watch and have Babyface Monster has been followed on Twitter.

I can’t wait to hear some more, stripped back, rugged NYC real Hip Hop from these boys.  Well done Babyface Monester et al

They Don’t Want It by DDark (Review)

Review of They Don’t Want It by DDark

Its been a while since we listened to any new material from British rapper DDark.  Its not like the boy has been quiet though, he has been honing his skills and ensuring he keeps his place at the table of underground UK Hip Hop.  So what is They Don’t Want It actually like?

Review of They Dont Want It by DDark

Review of They Dont Want It by DDark

The video  kicks off in a bit of a weird fashion with an intro to a video from an artist that seems more like a public service announcement for the use of recreational drugs. (Don’t do drugs kids!)  After that DDark kicks in with some uncharecteristic singing, hitting you with the title straight away.  Then we get on to DDark‘s lyrics.  He opens with some rhymes about how he has worked at his craft rather than just being one of those spotted and making it big.  Naming no names.

Throughout the track we are treated to some dark beats and some eerie sounding EDM style music.  I know this is the trend at present, but I can’t wait until Hip Hop gets back to proper dirty beats, heavy bass and under produced music.  Hip Hop is more difficualt now the rules around sampling are in force but we shouldn’t lose the base of hip hop.

That last paragraph may have been seen as a slur, it wasn’t meant to be.  DDark is using a sound that is current and for that he should be credited, I just don’t believe in EDM connected to Hop Hop.  DDark does peoduce some strong lyrics in They Don’t Want It and his flow is tight as always.

This won’t be a commercial hit for DDark despite the EDM leanings and the sung chorus, but its still a quality track.  Keep up the good work DDark.

 

Problem by Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea (Review)

Review of Problem by Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea

Ariana Grande is quite an accomplished artist, without really setting the scene on fire.  We here at Music Eyz quite like the way she can adapt her style and delivery to different types of music.  A bit of pop, dance and a little more on the urban tip.

Review of Problem by Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea

Review of Problem by Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea

Problem probably combines them all, in a bit of a roller coaster of a track.  Within the track there are some horns, mainstream beats and a nice pop hook.  Add to that Ariana‘s sweet voice and a bit of a male vocal whisper, underlying the entire chorus and you have a bit of a winner upbeat pop track.  That is to do Ariana a dis-service though, she actually shows a pretty good vocal range on Problem.  Oh and lets not forget the added spice.  Yes Iggy Izalea appears.

Unlike on a number of these tracks, the rapper is a bit of a filler.  Weak rhymes just there to add credibility to the track and to aid sales.  The verses normally stink of being pasted over the track at a later date.  Not here.  IggyIzalea‘s rap really cements the track and feels like it belongs.  It breaks up the pop balance and lifts the pop backing.

Overall, the track is a good pop number which deserves significant airplay and a slant at chart success.  Watch this space.  Lets just hope this slice of pop pureness, Ariana Grande, doesn’t do a Miley on us.

Champion by Princess Nyah (Review)

Review of Champion by Princess Nyah

Princess Nyah has been getting a lot of exposure thanks to her new track Champion, premiered on DJ Target’s 1Xtra show.  Champion starts off hard and gritt, with dirty beats and a real deep male vocal, not what you mght expect from a Princess.  Don’t worry though, Princess Nyah is on the track quickly and demonstrates that she belongs on such a heavy track.

Review of Champion by Princess Nyah

Review of Champion by Princess Nyah

She delivers strong vocal rap from the off.  Kind of like how we might have thought Rita Ora may have developed until she became really commercial.  Champion is a big tune thanks to Princess Nyah, displaying good vocal ability and an almost dancehall style tone to her voice as the backing changes for the chorus.

Champion is unmistakably British and is excellently produced.  Perhaps the biggest crticism is the fact that it is over pretty quickly, I would love love to hear a few more verses and see her extend her vocal a little.  The beats were brilliant and definitely befitting a successful urban hit.

Video now added