Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

Natalie Jean: “Haiti Mwen Renmenw” – the wonderful use of the economy of sound

On “Haiti Mwen Renmenw”, the new album by songstress Natalie Jean, the composition is brilliant, with wonderful use of the economy of sound (i.e. high quality vocal deliveries with calculated use of instrumentation), emotionally raw and thematically consistent. I have listened to every nuance of every note on this album. It is a brilliant album, by a brilliant artist…and I don’t even understand a single word that is sung! Why? Natalie, who is a multilingual singer – performing in English, Spanish, and French – has sung the entire album in Haitian Creole, apart from the closing track L’Amour a L’Infini”, which is in French, clearly bringing to the fore the roots of famous Haitian artist Guy R. Jean, who just incidentally happens to be Natalie’s father.

“Haiti Mwen Renmenw” contains ten tracks bathed, in both fast paced Latin rhythms, and slow burning ballads, executed with the excellence we’ve come to expect of Natalie performances over the last few years, as she has evolved into an all-embracing singer of enormous potential. This recording sounds like the greatest hits album of an artist in her 20th year of recording. Every song is perfect and meticulously crafted. It’s analogous to a box of chocolates, where you can’t decide which is your favorite, and after you listen to each song, you say “omg” out loud.

All the songs are different, and even sung differently. I adore Natalie’s vocal phrasing ad boundless energy in the opening “Se Kanaval”, which you can imagine by the title, invokes imagery from a euphoric street carnival, and will have you dancing in rings around the room. Though accompanied by an upbeat tempo, “Smoking Ke Fan” deals with a slightly melancholic theme of a local fishmonger who never finds real happiness beneath his everyday working facade. The song was penned by Guy R. Jean.

The exuberant and rhythmic “An Selebre Papa Dambalah” deals with one of the most celebrated spirits of Haitian Vodou. Damballah is known as the Sky Father and the primordial creator of all life. He rules the mind, intellect, and cosmic equilibrium. “La Pe” is a plea for peace for Haiti and relies exclusively on Natalie’s melodic voice and the accompanying percussion. “Lan Nuit Nou Tounin Lougarou” translates roughly into ‘The Night We Become The Werewolf’, and represents the warding off of evil spirits. Again, the power of the percussion plays an important part in the song structure, and in support of Natalie’s fiery vocals.

“Endepandans” signals one of the album’s higher points. The song which embodies how Haiti got its independence and how they should try to reclaim it again, shows off all the facets of Natalie’s forceful vocal performances when she puts her mind and heart to it. “Saut-D’eau” is an ode to the famous waterfalls where thousands of Haitians travel to ask the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and her voodoo counterpart Erzulie for healing in a yearly pilgrimage. Another extremely high point on the album is represented by the track “Marabou”, a ballad about the beauty of dark skinned women. Here Natalie is able to elaborate on the sensual and romantic nuances of her vocal delivery. Something she does with delicacy and luxuriating taste.

“Haiti” as the name suggests is about the country and its best known characteristics. But if you’re expecting a happy-go-lucky carnival-esque rhythm, be prepared for an intense and edgy acoustic guitar driven soundscape and an almost rock-like vocal delivery from Natalie. “L’Amour a L’Infini”, or ‘everlasting love’, closes the album in style, with Natalie again forging all the emotion and raw vocal power she can muster in a song which describes the sentiments of ‘a greater love’. A rabid fan of Natalie Jean’s music, I’d been waiting for a new album, but I was not expecting one in Haitian Creole. Despite my breathless anticipation and confidence in Natalie’s ability, I couldn’t shake a slight fear that somehow, “Haiti Mwen Renmenw” wouldn’t be able to live up to my monstrously high expectations.

Well, multi-award winning Natalie has not lost one ounce of her touch since her previous release. The stunningly mature vocals of a still so youthful and yet such a refined woman, the striking musical arrangements, and the unique style without the overproduction continue to reveal an artist who wants to remain true to both her own style and her family legacy. She has the looks and the potential star power, and I think that the latter case might yet come without having to redefine herself in terms of some marketing craze that has less substance and is otherwise bland. In her performances, Natalie is energetic and passionate. Her music is unique and special, for it can be listened to from various perspectives and angles. Regardless of whether you are happy or sad, Natalie Jean always seems to have a song apt for the moment. And even when you cannot understand the language, it does not matter one little bit, as the music will take you exactly where you need to be!

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