Sunday, 29 January 2012

NEW MUSIC REVIEW: I-Octane + Lana Del Rey + Kirk Franklin

Artiste: Lana Del Rey (Born To Die)
Due out: Jan. 30
Best tracks: “Radio,” “Dark Paradise” and “10 Million Dollar Man”

Moody, haunting and beautifully performed, Lana Del Rey’s breakout hit single, “Video Games” is a song so steeped in sixties nostalgia and bottomless warmth one could easily believe the singer is a world-weary chanteuse. Alas, Del Rey (whose name is an amalgam of Lana Turner and Rio Del Rey) is a talented 24-year-old New York-born, London-raised songbird and songwriter who shows a knack for making the melancholy entirely melodic and mesmerizing. Her newly arrived debut effort, the morbidly titled Born To Die, is already one of the year’s most talked-about releases (especially in the wake of that disappointment of an SNL performance). But Born To Die is largely a winsome record full of glamour and wink-winks to the heyday of Nancy Sinatra and the like. Tyrone’s Verdict: A-

Artiste: I-Octane (Crying to the Nation)
Due out: Feb. 14
Best tracks: “Missing You” and “Puff It”

I-Octane’s full-length debut effort, Crying to the Nation, is among the year’s most eagerly awaited reggae/dancehall releases. While the 16-track album is a showcase of I-Octane’s wholesome meditations and call-to-action anthems, he’s recruited Agent Sasco (“Missing You”), Tarrus Riley (“All We Need Is Love”) and Albarosie (“Space For All of Us”) for collaborations. Known for gritty songs exploring socio-political matters, I-Octane shines most on cuts that speak to the heart and mind concerns he has for the social status quo and humanity. “No More Violence” and the yearning title track are particular standouts. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

>> Also new music: Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin has assembled his most beloved career hits for the Essential Kirk Franklin (out now). Prepare to stomp, shout and get lifted.

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