Behind the Scenes of “4:44”

One of the biggest complaints that fans may have about the
”4:44 album” is that it is too short. That is really the only thing that most people that have become fans of Jay-Z are saying. They were impressed with his raw and open dialogue through his lyrics, and they wanted to hear more. It was obvious that producer No ID had more to give because he had already created as many as 500 different ideals over the time that he was getting ready to work on the album. He was coming up with different type of concepts and he wanted to embrace a new sound.

Jay-Z decided that he would be open about things that were going on in the marriage, but he also wanted to address issues about race and the never ending battle between black and white. Jay-Z had a lot to talk about, and he wanted to make sure that people heard everything that he was planning to say in a voice that sounded familiar.
That is why he tapped into No ID again and created the soulful sound that he has made popular through with other artists.

It is interesting to see the way this album unfolds because the last full-length album that Jay-Z was a part of was the “Watch the Throne” album with Kanye West. Anyone that is following the career of Kanye West is aware that No ID is his mentor. When most people here the new album without looking at the linear notes they will automatically assume that Kanye may have been on part of the production. No ID has gained a lot of attention because he was the sole producer for this album. The collaboration that he had with Jay-Z would prove to be one of his best today.

Cat Stevens New Album Celebrates an Important Musical Milestone

It’s a rare person who can rightfully claim to be the voice of a decade. But for many people, the soundtrack of the 1960s was written by Cat Stevens. His first album was released in 1967 and it gave voice to youth in search of positive cultural growth. A lot’s changed in the world since then. One of the most surprising to many is the simple fact that Cat Stevens now goes by the name Yusuf Islam. However, name changes aren’t exactly new to the musician. He was originally named Steven Demetre Georgiou and only took on the name Cat Stevens when performing.

No matter what the name, the music continues to showcase a running theme. The celebration of his first album should be no different. Early music reviews pay special attention to the message of peace contained in songs such as “See What Love Did to Me”. The continuity of his underlying message is one of the reasons why his new album, The Laughing Apple, can be seen as a bridge between his older and more recent works. It’s not just a celebration of the past. The album also celebrates the present and the future.

Fans should also be excited to hear some older songs finally getting a real studio release. Two tracks, “Mighty Peace” and “Mary and the Little Lamb”, are revised performances of songs which never made it onto an album. The artist also took a moment to describe some of the work which goes into his creative process. It’s readily apparent that he takes his time with a song and only releases when he feels it’s ready. One of his examples details an eight year journey to find the proper way to express some deeply felt sentiments.

In total the new album will contain eleven tracks. This mix of new songs, older works, and revisions should provide a wonderful mix of nostalgia and novelty to any Cat Stevens fan.

The Return of the Prince Era

Everyone was shocked by the death of Prince, and it seems like there was a definite hole in the sole of fans that were longing for more Prince music. It was a travesty that he died so suddenly because everyone knew that he still had a lot of music in him. “Purple Rain” is the biggest success from the mind of Prince Rodger Nelson. He would prove to be a prolific singer, songwriter, dancer and musician that would make a very bad habit of stockpiling tracks.

There are a ton of fans that may have wanted to hear many of the old school tracks that he may have kept to himself, but he was always a very private person that only believed in giving fans a fraction of what he created. The
“Purple Rain” era was no different. For this album he did what was considered a standard in 1984 by releasing 9 tracks for the original score to the movie. Michael Jackson would have a comparable nine-track album for “Thriller” as well.

The death of Prince would prompt an interesting reopening of the vault. It would allow fans to gain access to the new Prince unreleased tracks that would play a great role in reviving many tracks that may have never been accessible before. There is a lot of praise for this re-release of “Purple Rain” that has bonus tracks that were featured in the movie but never officially released anywhere. There are also tracks that have never been heard anywhere else outside of spontaneous concerts and bootleg albums.

The expanded “Purple Rain” collection shows a side of Prince that is reminiscent of the Purple Rain era. Fans are quite pleased with these high-energy tracks that give them a little bit more of the hit maker during this era.