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Tuesday Reviewsday: James Brown, Jason Moran, Kutiman and more

Foreign Fields
Foreign Fields

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We're joined every week by our music critics for Tuesday Reviewsday, where we talk about the latest in new music. This week, Oliver Wang from Soul-Sides and music supervisor Morgan Rhodes join Alex Cohen in studio. 

Review by Morgan Rhodes

"Little Lover"

Artist: Foreign Fields
Album: Little Lover
Song: "Little Lover"
Summary: This duo from Nashville is back after a single in 2011 and an EP in 2013. Their latest single is a bit more electronic leaning, which is a good thing.  The marriage of folk and electronica works on the lead of single and the forthcoming project — dreamy, folky and cool.  

Artist: Jason Moran
Album: All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller
Songs: "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose"
Summary: Poet Michael Longley wrote "Elegy for Fats Waller" in the early sixties.  Fifty years later, composer and jazz wunderkind Jason Moran's impressive All Rise: An Elegy for Fats Waller, pays homage to the celebrated pianist and entertainer with interesting nuanced interpretations of Fats Wallers' classics. 

Artist:  Various Artists
Album: Late Night Tales
Song: "Requieum Pour Un Con," by Serge Gainsbourg and "King Heroin" by James Brown
Summary: Almost two dozen songs make up Franz Ferdinand's latest effort, the uniquely curated Late Night Tales.  Skipping across decades and genres, Franz has gathered a cadre of artists and hits and compiled a little something for the grown, sexy, well-versed and cosmopolitan listener.

Review by Oliver Wang

Artist: Kutiman
Album: Thru You Too (forthcoming)
Song: "Give It Up"

"Give It Up"

Summary: Kutiman is an Israeli producer who first came to prominence in 2009 when he mined YouTube music instructional videos as sample snippets and began creating original music videos based on those slices. At the very least, it demonstrates some strong technical editing skills and infinite patience for crawling through hundreds of videos. But his music also raises these deliciously complex questions about copyright, about what’s borrowing and what’s stealing, and meanwhile, he’s doing it all through songs that are pretty damn good considering the source material. He has a new six song EPs on the way.

Artist: Stax Music Academy (William Bell + Snoop)
Album: "Take Me To the River" soundtrack
Song: "I Forgot To Be Your Lover"
The soundtrack to this new documentary about the import of Stax Records in Memphis does the re-recording old classics with new/old artists’ gambit that seems to be mandated for this sort of project. “I Forgot To be Your Lover” is one of the great Stax songs that William Bell recorded back in the ‘60s and it’s become a hip-hop favorite for sampling so perhaps it’s [appropriate] that this new version would bring Bell together with a rap artist — in this case Snoop Dogg. I think it’s… interesting. Don’t hate it, don’t exactly love it, but it is an attempt to continually make past recordings relevant in the current day. I’ll be curious to see if this catches on with Snoop fans at all. 

Artist: Your Old Droog
Song: "Secondhand Gunsmoke"
Your Old Droog is a young, 20-something white rapper out of New York who had the hip-hop internet engaging in conspiracy theories for most of the summer. If you’re a rap head, you’ll note that Droog sounds a lot like Nas. Almost a perfect replica… and as he dropped a EP out of nowhere, with no press, no appearances, people just thought it was Nas, pretending to be someone else. It wasn’t until the other week that he finally appeared in person at Webster Hall to put the rumors to rest. Honestly, I thought it was more fun pretending it was Nas versus some young gun who just sounds like him. Either way, “Secondhand Gunsmoke” is brand new — just came out last week — produced by J-Zone with an assist from ego trip’s Sacha Jenkins, who helped break the Droog story to begin with.