I Used To Do It For The Love A Long Time Ago/When All I Ever Wanted Was Love/I Used To Love Without Fear A Long Time Ago When All I Ever Wanted Was Love/Then Somebody Came Around And Tried To Hurt Me — Marsha Ambrosius
I Think I Finally Understand/How You Could Love Someone And Leave Them/It Must Be Hard To Be A Man/Holding Back So Many Feelings/I You Slip Away Long Before You Gave Reasons/Couldn’t Hold You Down If You Wanted To Go — Goapele
Love Is Not Blind It’s Just Deaf And It Is Dumb/So How Could I Fool Myself Thinking You Were The One?/How Sad, How Undignified/Now I Found You Out/This Is My Last Goodbye — Lianne La Havas
One of those days during my high school years, freshly mixed CD in hand, I hop in my cousin’s car with him and simultaneously pop my CD into his CD player. We begin to drive and the CD begins, too. Here’s an example of the track list:
1. Now Tell Me Who Wanna Fuck With Us? Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust. 2. New York To The Heart But Got Love For All. Lie And Die In The Fire Where I Learned To Ball. 3. I’ve Tried That Love Thing For The Last Time. 4. Mmm Ain’t This Some Shit? Pull Up In The C-A-D-I-Double-L, With The A-C.
Four tracks was all it took to elicit a comment from my cousin. He said to me, “What kinda mixes you make? Hip Hop or R&B? Choose one or the other punk.” His mixes will be straight hip hop or straight R&B. That shit didn’t work for me(2:55). I really can’t listen to straight hip hop or straight R&B alllllll day. I need a variation of the two. It’s just my personal style. My last two posts have featured hip hop songs, so now it’s time to take it down a notch into some R&B.
R&B songs have a way of touching my heart and soul in ways that Hip Hop songs won’t ever be able to. Maybe it all boils down to the fact that, as much as I try not to be, I am a hopeless romantic. If Hip Hop is my husband, R&B will forever be my male-mistress.
I love love love love love me some Marsha Ambrosius, Goapele & Lianne La Havas (all of which I have seen perform live) so I thought it was best to start my R&B bit with them.
Marsha Ambrosius, that name might sound familiar to you, used to be a part of the group Floetry (I’ll let you do your own research on them, and I suggest doing so). In March 2011, she put out a solo project called Late Nights, Early Mornings. This is, hands down, one of my favorite R&B albums. The track I have listened to the most is “Lose Myself” which is actually a Lauryn Hill cover. I prefer Marsha’s version over Lauryn’s, but hey that’s just me. Anyone who has ever loved, lost and then evolved into a better version of themselves — I, for one, am one of those people. Or simply, somebody who has ever been in a troubled relationship (and not necessarily a relationship with a person; maybe an addiction or anything that you have given meaning to in your life). I identify so much with all of the lyrics to this song. I will never tire of it. Her voice is heavenly, it starts out in a tone similar to one that is used when talking but don’t be fooled she can hit them high notes too! She hits the high notes in all the right times of the song. She also has a playful song about getting over an ex that, soon after the breakup, already has a new girl and Marsha sings on the track, “I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player. Hope that she Kim Kardashian’d her way up. Don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a lay up.” And I’m sure we’ve all been there on this one…you just can’t help be bitter! She recently released a new single called “Cold War,” which starts out in that high pitch voice of hers. It is a soothing song about a relationship between two people that aren’t ever really on the same page. The song was released in anticipation for her new album Friends and Lovers which is supposed to drop early 2013. Shortly after releasing “Cold War,” she released a free EP called Hors D’Ouevres which can be downloaded here.
Next up on the playlist is Oakland born singer, Goapele. Her voice is melodic, soothing and sophisticated. Some of her past songs include, “Closer”, “My First Love” (which is one of my sister’s favorite songs), “Different” which features Clyde Carson, “Too Much The Same” and “You.” Her most recent album, Break of Dawn, was released in October of 2011. But this past November, she released Break of Dawn (Deluxe Edition) which includes all the same songs from before but with a few bonus editions, including a song that was remixed by Los Rakas! Was it even possible for the already sexy, sensual “Play” by Goapele to get even sexier? One listen to “Play” featuring Los Rakas, and your answer will quickly be, “yes!” The song “Tears on My Pillow” is one of my favorites by her. Have you noticed that I’m a fan of sad love songs? “Tears on My Pillow” is a dark, hopeless song but the melody gives it light. How sad is it when we watch a relationship end right before our very eyes? To make matters worse…there is no stopping it from happening. So what’s left? Letting your tears hit the pillow as you mourn the loss of it all. I think it’s all, simply beautiful.
Simply beautiful she is, and her name is Lianne La Havas. I’ve saved the best for last. Stay tuned for my piece on her.