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Scott D. Gribble RSS Feed (Baltimore MD)

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Bobby Womack - Greatest Hits
Bobby Womack - Greatest Hits
23 used & new from $4.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish this collection correctly represented Womack's talent, January 5, 2005
Bobby Womack is simply incredible at times. His soul voice can only be compared to his mentor, Sam Cooke. Seeing Womack's career can only give us a glimpse into what Cooke could have been. Womack is just as an incredible songwriter as he is singer and this CD shows it. As said before Bobby Womack's music is a beautiful thing for soul fans.

This collection however, is just simply not as good as it could have been. To be perfectly honest, I really dislike every track on here that came from 80 and beyond (Check It Out, Ain't Nothin' Like The Lovin' We Got , I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much, Save The Children). Womack sounds completely different, in voice, style, and music. He sounds less soulful and more R&B (which for him is taking away so much) and the production just sounds almost pop. "Sweet Caroline" is really unnecessary, we've all herd the Neil Diamond version so much it's hard for anybody else to really do it.

The real reason it's so disappointing that these tracks are on there is because there's SO much they could have put on here. If I had to make a greatest hits album of his, the excellent tracks would be fighting for room on one disc. How could they possibly have left off "Across 110th Street" not to mention "If You Think You're Lonely Now", "If you Don't Want My Love", "Where Do We Go From Here", even "Quicksand". I don't even claim to be a huge Womack fan, yet I know there's better stuff. So, to see Capitol really waist a lot of space on here and not include other classics is just frustrating.

That aside, there are some amazing tracks on here. "I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You" is classic and "The Preacher/More Than I Can Stand" is an epic live track. All In all, there are 13 of the 19 tracks that I really enjoy and to be honest it's more than worth getting this collection to start you off on Bobby Womack. Although I'm not sure I would recommend another "Greatest Hits" collection of Womack instead of this one, I would encourage people new to Womack's music to start hear and realize there's more & at times even better stuff out there.

Where I'm Coming From
Where I'm Coming From
Offered by oldiesrus1
Price: $79.99
9 used & new from $40.02

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Masterpiece, January 5, 2005
This review is from: Where I'm Coming From (Audio CD)
In the 70's Stevie released an unprecedented series of masterpieces. This is the beginning of Stevie's creative control on his music and the start of his incredible run. Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life are all well-known for the masterpieces that they are by both fans and critics, yet Where I'm Coming From seems to be lost in the shuffle.

Where I'm Coming From, starts surprisingly different than the others, with the haunting "Look Around". It's clear to see Wonder wanted to set the creative tone and conscious lyrics early on. "Do Yourself a Favor" is a funky social commentary that repeatedly tells us "educate your mind". "Think of Me as Your Soldier" & "Something Out of the Blue" are both musically dense ballads. The first is one of his best ballads and the second is pretty deep lyrically with his metaphors.
"If You Really Love Me" is an excellent song, as it somehow handles both being a ballad and fast paced song back and forth. "I Wanna Talk to You" is really the only song I could do without, really only because of the voice repeating the title annoyingly (but then again that's probably the point of the song). "Take Up..." is a feel-good track, that is good enough to somehow avoid sounding cheesy.
"Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" is a forgotten classic and perhaps my favorite song of all time... for any artist. Wonder's music and his metaphorical lyrics are so emotional the song is literally heartbreaking. "Sunshine in Their Eyes" was Stevie's first attempt at two part songs, and here the second half "Everything is Happening" is the best conclusion to any of his albums (excluding Talking Book with "I Believe").

After done listening to it for the first time two things came to mind: there's no way that was only 37 min long, and I simply cannot believe that I've never heard anyone talk about this album. I never thought this album was going to be as good as the rest, but thankfully I was wrong. As with the rest of his series, Where I'm Coming From is stunning musically and lyrically. As with the entire Stevie Wonder masterpiece series, it really just depends on your opinion which of his albums is the best (and just like the others this could be to some the best). But if you neglect this one you're ignoring another spectacular piece of music. While all of Wonder's other masterpieces have been re-released and remastered, for some reason this one remains only available as an import. But, don't let that deter you from getting this album it's worth the Import price, so don't waste your time waiting for the re-release. Please don't let another masterpiece to his collection slip away like it has for so long.

The  Soul of O.V. Wright
The Soul of O.V. Wright
Price: $7.99
68 used & new from $2.79

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O.V. Wright is the definition of Soul, December 27, 2004
This review is from: The Soul of O.V. Wright (Audio CD)
I don't know why I've never herd of O.V. until recently. I honestly first picked up on him after looking through the credits of a rap album. The sample listed was O.V.'s "Motherless Child" and based on that song and the reviews here I got the album. I really didn't think `The Soul of...' would be as good as it ended up being. A lot of the music sounds similar to an Al Green song ("I've Been Searching", "I'm Going Home" etc.), but his voice has a much deeper Sam Cooke sound to it. I'll admit that I skip over a couple of the songs on the album, but the good songs are so strong it practically blows you away. I got four other soul albums at the same time as O.V. and this one surprisingly was the best of them.

If you love soul music and you've never even herd of O.V. Wright, I would highly recommend adding this album to your collection. Do Not Hesitate!

Favorite tracks: "When You Took Your Love From Me", "Born All Over", "Ace of Spades", "A Nickel and a Nail", "Drowning on Dry Land", "I've Been Searching", "Motherless Child", "I'm Going Home".

In The World: From Natchez To New York
In The World: From Natchez To New York
Price: $12.01
69 used & new from $0.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In The World is a high quality album you won't regret owning, December 23, 2004
This truly is a great album. I'm already a fan of artists like Muddy Waters & have a decent amount of Jazz albums from Coltrane and Miles. But, I'll have to honestly admit I picked up this album after hearing him play the horn on Nas's "Life's A B****", "Dance" & others. This album is a LOT better than I expected it to be.

The music is a combination of blues, jazz, soul, poetry, and other genres. Olu has a classic blues voice, in which he sings on every song but two. "Bubber (If Only)" features a female & "Jungle Jay" features Nas, both of whom speak poetry over Dara's incredible production and horn. Every other song features the voice of Olu.

Some songs are have more of a jazz feel to them, others are pretty up tempo (almost a Caribbean feel to them), Dara gets pretty soulful on others, but I'd say a little less than half are Blues songs. More powerful than his voice, is the composition of the album. The music is stirring at times, evoking any mood he chooses, the way only a veteran can do.

In The World is great for just background mood music, yet at the same time is powerful enough that when you sit down to really listen, it'll still grab your ear. If you're even slightly interested after reading all these reviews, I'd highly recommend you pick this up. That's exactly what I did and I'm more than satisfied.

Pretty Toney Album
Pretty Toney Album
46 used & new from $0.38

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghostface Killah may have the most consistent career ever, December 17, 2004
This review is from: Pretty Toney Album (Audio CD)
Ghostface just doesn't make bad albums, you should know that by now. If you like Ghostface's style of rap (mile-a-minuet jargon or intricately detailed story telling) then you're be ready for another great installment to his career. If you don't like his style, which is not for everyone, that's fine: The Pretty Toney Album is probably not for you.

The thing that takes this album to the next level is the sampling style and production. The majority of the songs are heavy in soul samples, straddling the line between creativity and blatant jacking. Somehow, to Ghost's credit it just works. Although Ghost uses a host of producers, it flows really well together and the styles don't seem that different from each other.

The intro sets the stage for Pretty Toney, Ghost makes this music for the art and himself... not to please everyone. So either get behind him or step back. "Biscuits" sets things off nicely with True Master production using an uncredited sample. [...] is a quick typical dark RZA track.

"Beat The Clock" is the first incredible track. Minnesota provides the fast paced beat, which sends Ghost literally racing. "Metal Lungies" is another outstanding track, which uses some nice deep horns over a dark beat provided by No I.D. Sheek & Styles only add to this track, which has a Wu-Tang feel to it. "It's Over" uses an almost identical piano loop from Biggie's "Who Shot Ya?", although it's not noticeable at all, since the track takes a completely different direction. Ghost goes into his story-telling mode on this one, he's been one of the most consistent at doing this for the past decade.

"Holla" & "Save Me Dear" do something I'm not sure I've heard before. They both have Ghost rapping not just over soul samples, but the entire original song. I'll admit it was a weird experience hearing The Delfonics "La-La (Means I Love You)" in entirety easily recognizable in the background of "Holla". After I got over the initial shock, I realized the way Ghost's lyrics match up with the original song make this truly exceptional. "Be This Way" is also heavy with this soul sample of Billy Stewart, ghost flips it into a dark depressing track. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album; Nottz's production is just incredible.

"Run" could be in the running for Ghost's best track ever. RZA just brings a sick beat, that's got that ominous Wu-Tang song yet creates a sense of urgency. Police and sirens in the background only help out. The whole song really pulls together on the concept of being on the run from the police, plus Jadakiss and Ghostface rhymes are both clever and well paced. Defiantly the best track on the album.

"Tush" has some great production and is sure to have some people loving the track. As many that like it will hate it because of Missy's spot or the "single" quality of it. I can see people's opinion either way, but it doesn't cause a problem on this album even if you want to skip it. "Love" is a pretty solid introspective song, yet it lacks the production and emotion that Ghost's previous tracks like this have had (see "All That I Got Is You").

Two skits are actually short songs, rapped like short stories: "Keisha's House" & "Last Night." The latter especially will have you questioning why it was cut so short. The other skits don't take away from the album and are typical Ghostface skits (lots of yelling, mostly incoherent dialogue. Ghost fans should be used to this.)
There are some missteps on this album. "Ghostface" has a really weak beat, wack chorus, and has nothing to bring to the table. "Tooken Back" is just really silly and Jackie-O simply is not welcome.

As a quick note, it's worth mentioning that Def Jam should have paid up for the samples and allowed Ghost to release the album as it was originally presented, it is a classic. The tracks left off would seriously take this album to untouchable status.

At the end of the album, the big thing that makes you look past the missteps is the fact that you can listen to the other tracks over and over again. I've had this album since it came out and I can honestly say, while it's not the best I've bought this past year, it's easily one that I listen to the most. There's just something about it that makes multiple listens not just easy, but something that you want. You know an album is really good when you just keep finding it going back into your system after a long period of time. It might not be the best album of the year, and it might not even be the best of Ghostface Killah's catalogue, but The Pretty Toney Album is certainly going to have you listening to it as if it was.

Nas - Video Anthology, Vol. 1
Nas - Video Anthology, Vol. 1
DVD ~ Nas
12 used & new from $5.80

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "From Nasty to Nas, Nas to Escobar", December 17, 2004
This DVD is one of the better Video Anthologies I've seen. Most music video DVD limits the artist's videos in order to justify another collection. Ironically enough, even though this DVD is Vol. I, they really didn't leave anything off (even the bad videos).

The videos from Illmatic are great. "It Ain't Hard to Tell", "One Love", "Halftime", "The World Is Yours" dominate the DVD from the start (and rightfully so). Very rarely do you get to see these kinds of videos any more, and it's refreshing to see the gritty & grimy-ness match that of the album.

"If I Ruled The World" & "Street Dreams" are from It Is Written. Both videos have some pretty nice concepts and are well shot.

The controversial "Hate Me Now" & "Nas Is Like" come from I Am... While "Nas Is Like" is an incredible song and video, "Hate Me Now" starts to show the demise of Nas as he rolls into his career slump.

Both "You Owe Me" & "Nastradamus" (from the same album title) are horrible songs and videos. Although I'm glad they included them as a painful reminder of how lazy Nas got. It's really interesting to see these.

Stillmatic marks a triumphant return for Nas's career and video quality with the original "Got UR Self" & inspired "One Mic". Nas does not just return to what works, but pushes boundaries and embrases new concepts here.

Finally "Made You Look" returns Nas to his Illmatic days, while "I Can" is even better as a video than a song.

It's nice they included all these videos, instead of just giving us the "best of". People are going to enjoy different videos in different ways. It's even nice to hear on the commentary that Nas believes "Nastradamus" was a huge failure. Speaking of the commentary is pretty good. It lasts for a minuet or so into each song, and is often pretty insightful. Besides that there are really no other special features. It would be nice to have something else, but i bought this for the videos, so I'm more than satisfied.

My only real complaint is that seeing as this is an "Anthology" there's no reason why the first half of the videos are out of order. How hard is it? So it's kind of annoying, but overall does take away from the overall quality. It also would have been nice to have some of his guest spots on video, especially his earlier works.

Bottom line: This is a Nas video DVD with every video released from his albums. You get exactly what you pay for in that and they don't cut any corners. While they could have (and almost always) done more... this is an excellent DVD.

Reasonable Doubt [Explicit]
Reasonable Doubt [Explicit]
Price: $14.12
84 used & new from $9.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond a reasonable doubt, the verdic is: Classic, December 9, 2004
Forget all you know about Jay-Z/Jigga that you have come to know over the past 8 years. Reasonable Doubt shows a younger more focused Jay-Z, yet lyrically still at his peak he returned to in later years. The more street focused album sounds similar in a lot of ways to Nas's Illmatic (though it never quite reaches the same genius).

The album starts off with the Scarface adapted monologue, into "Can't Knock the Hustle". An excellent track as Jay-Z shows from the beginning his talent. You should know that you're not going to hear anything on this album that sound remotely like a radio or club hit. "Polictics As Usual" as well as "Brooklyn's Finest" are literally just lyrical showcases, the latter with Notorious B.I.G. "Brooklyn's Finest" is a classic track that's really forgotten even in Biggie's death. How could you forget his playful jab at his longtime enemy "Me and Gutter had two spots/ The two for five dollar hits, the blue tops/ Gotta go, Coolio mean it's gettin `Too Hot'/ If Faith had twins, she'd probably have two Pacs/ Get it? ...Tu-pac's". Follow this track up with Dead Presedents II (the single was revised for the album) which the Nas sample was later referenced in their heated beef ("Yeah I sampled your voice, you was using it wrong/ You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song").

Feelin' it is good laid back track about Jay-Z just trying to enjoy life. It's interested how much life has changed for him, as now this same concept ends up being "Big Pimpin". "D'Evils" is excellently produced by DJ Premier who also handles "Friend or Foe" & "Bring it On". Through Jay-Z's career he seems to shine the best on a Primo beat, and on this album is no exception, "D'Evils" in particular is one of the albums best tracks. "22 Two's" is another ridiculous lesson in rhyming by Jay (using to or too or 2 - 22 times). "Can I Live", perhaps the best on here, uses an Isaac Hayes sample from "The Look of Love". The sample isn't just 5 seconds repeated over and over again, Jay-Z takes advantage of Haye's powerful score and matches them with solid lyrics.

The album is solid all around, with no real filler. Even Memphis Bleek sounds promising on "Coming of Age" & "Can I Live II" (rare for him!). "Ain't No" gets the most recognition of this album, as it was a hit from the Nutty Professor Soundtrack, but it's really overshadowed by every track on here. Even tracks you don't normally hear mention of are excellent. "Cashmere Thoughts" which nobody ever talks about was actually a Hip-Hop Quotable in the Source, if you listen to it you'll know why. "Regrets" closes out the album and is about as deep as Jay-Z gets personally in his career, until The Black Album.

This album rides on the strength that each track is strong in it's own way. This is a classic, and would recommend it highly for people who HATE Jay-Z. Trust me and others, he's a completely different rapper here. In fact I would almost hesitate to recommend this to "fans" of Jay-Z who's favorite tracks are "Can I Get A", "Izzo", "Excuse Me Miss", anything he's done with R. Kelly, or any other singles. Sorry you won't find those here. All you're gonna get is Jay lyrically going off over some classic NY production, just worrying about making music. Ironic how Jay-Z even admits this was his best effort and yet the people that seem to love him most ignore this classic. Since soon (maybe) we won't have any more new Jay-Z material it's about time to go back and get his best yet.

Immortal Soul of Al Green
Immortal Soul of Al Green
6 used & new from $42.00

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box sets or Al Green collections just don't get any better, December 9, 2004
Al Green really deserved a box set like this for a long time. He's had an unprecedented amount of hits and quality songs, even before he ventured into his Gammy winning gospel days. I could never find a greatest hits collection that had everything I wanted, so I ended up having to buy several and still fell short. I cannot think of another Box set that I've seen that is as complete as this one.

My only complaint is that they try to fit his songs into "Sex", "Love", "Salvation" & "Soul". You couldn't really break all of his songs down like this, so they end up making odd pairings like "God Is Standing By" on the Sex disc. They should have done a better job at matching the themed discs or just not worried about naming them at all. But, the booklet is pretty extensive and the packaging is done really nicely. Even better is the quality of the recordings, which sound better than ever! This alone should be enough for the die-hard fan to get this.

Nothing is missing from this collection; the songs are in their complete original form (no short single versions of "Let's Stay Together" or "Beware"). The only track I can remotely think of that I'd like to be on here is "Free At Last" and I'm sure huge Al Green fans might have one obscure favorite that don't show up here. But, it doesn't get better than this. If you enjoy Al Green & love soul music, making the big step now to get the box set is defiantly worth it. Even with all of his albums and greatest hits that I already have, this is STILL worth owning. For a fan of Al Green, soul music or any music this is an excellent gift.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2008 12:28 AM PST

Jackie Brown: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture (1997 Film)
Jackie Brown: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture (1997 Film)
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $8.88
161 used & new from $0.27

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Collection of Soul... but still missing something, December 6, 2004
This is an excellent soundtrack collection, the songs for the film fit perfectly into the theme. If you're a fan of soul music, after seeing the film you'll probably immediately jump at the chance to own this soundtrack. That's where I was coming from.

Most of the songs that you hear from the film are all here. You can be sure that the stand out moments of the movie with their related music is all here. From the opening segment with Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street", to "Inside My Love" and of course The Delfonics' "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time" which is almost the theme song for the movie. This is not purely a soul soundtrack, although Johnny Cash's "Tennessee Stud" is a welcome inclusion (especially relating back to the film), but the last two tracks might make most expecting pure soul just end the disc. No matter the tracks included are nothing to argue with, except possibly the inclusion of Foxy Brown's "Letter To the Firm". As a rap fan, this is a horrible inclusion, it shows up in the movie for like 10 seconds when Max is in the music store (you could have inserted any song here, just a waste).

My only other problem with the soundtrack is that it did not give me everything I wanted or expected. With the disc only running 51 min. with the skits it really could have been done better. The Supremes' "Baby Love" is missing as is Jermaine Jackson's "My Touch of Madness" (which is pretty hard to get a hold of), and most notably The Delfonics "La-La (Means I Love You)". Also, if you have watched the DVD you'll no doubt be trying to figure out the infectious tune played during the menu's: it's The Meter's "Cissy Strut", also not included. In addition, none of the music that serves as the score is included here. Most of these songs were actually composed by the legendary Roy Ayers originally for the "Coffy" soundtrack (which actually also stars Pam Grier). I would recommend getting this soundtrack for same score.

All in all it's a solid soul soundtrack. It fails in comparison to other soul soundtracks and compilations that I have (Dead Presidents, Chronicles etc.), but I would certainly recommend it for soul fans as well as fans of the film. If it had included all or most of the films song it would no doubt be a corner stone in anyone's collection.

God's Son
God's Son
Offered by Thessaly's Trinkets
Price: $3.91
87 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm the man's man, a rapper's rapper" - Nas finally gets it, December 2, 2004
This review is from: God's Son (Audio CD)
I've let this one marinate for two years now, and has stood the test of time by only sounding better as time passes. Without a doubt, no one can argue that this is Nas's most personal, artistic, introspective album... and it certainly ranks up there with many of Hip-Hop's finest. This is a sound from Nas we've yet to hear, like watching a boy grow into a man through his music over the past 10+ years.

The album jumps off to a great start, as Nas hits the lyrics hard over the smooth James Brown samples provided by Nas himself. The Beginning of this album Nas establishes himself and to make sure everyone knows his come back "Stillmatic" was no fluke. "The Cross" follows these lines by laying to waist his grips in the rap game and the country. Eminem's production here provides a backdrop that only intensifies Nas's attitude. "Made You Look" is simply put classic Nas. This is why he's considered to be one of the best, and Salaam Remi's beat is as rugged as anything off Illmatic. When the beat comes to a screeching halt it can't even stop Nas from continuing to rip it ("And I like a little sassiness, a lotta class/Mami reach in your bag, pass the fifth/I'm a leader, at last this a don you wit/ My nines'll spit, n****z loose consciousness!"). There couldn't be a better follow up than the storytelling rhymes of "Last Real N**** Alive." Nasir paints a perfect picture of the hidden beef in the NY rap scene during the 90's, more than a few big names are dropped. This track is puts Nas up there as one of the best at story driven songs, who else could have pulled this one off??

The album takes a break from it's brilliance up to this point so Nas can, once again, try and plug his less than stellar crew on "Zone Out". "Hey Nas" picks things up a little with a smooth track, good for cruising and Nas carries the flow nicely here. I'm sure you've herd the single "I Can", and while I applaud the subject matter, I really just can't feel the chorus and some of the lyrics. You'll either love this one or want to skip it.

God's Son really gets back into it's true form with Alchemist's (of Mobb Deep fame) "Book Of Rhymes", where Nas provides the original concept of reading some of his scrapped rhymes out of his old book. This provides a wide scope of subject matter, and some creative stuff (he even chooses to scrap one mid-sentence, teasing the listener). "Thugz Mansion" follows, but unfortunately Nas has chosen to redo the original, which was already perfect, so that Tupac does not outshine him. Bad move considering we've already the herd the original it on Better Dayz. Alchemist returns to provide a dark synthesizer heavy "Mastermind." This is basically so Nas can just drop gems of genius on the track ("I knew, they kill hoes too like Rae Carruth/ They used to spray troops, now they managing groups").

The album starts to get more personal as Nas gets some help from Alicia Keys over the some sick piano on "Warrior Song". It's hard not to get wrapped up as Nas just flows as seamless over the beat as the piano, revealing to the listener his personal struggles as he watched his mother pass away. This is pretty much as deep as Nas has ever gotten into his real personal life. "Revolutionary Warfare" is another nice Alchemist beat, give us a much more light-hearted track, featuring Lake (who if you remember from Nas's shout outs all the way back through Illmatic has been locked up for a looong time). "Dance" is reminiscent of Tupac's "Dear Momma" except Nas makes himself even more vulnerable. The production for this track really sends chills down your back as Nas laments once again over his recently passed mother. It's so rare that someone bears their soul like this that Nasir's sung chorus is more than forgivable, even Olu Dara's horn to fade out the track is just a beautiful piece of work. Nas closes out the album with "Heaven" which will require multiple listens because of the subject matter and his incredible display of skillz with his flow. The Bonus Disc is also worth getting, with three tracks it defiantly adds to the album, although "The G.O.D." with Swizz Beatz on the boards, is probably the only one that deserved to make the final cut.

God's Son accomplishes something that Nas has always found difficulty with, matching his skills and flow with subject matter and (for the middle part of his career) creativity. It's all here. Nas never falters lyrically on this album; he's back to his best. He goes back to his street rap roots, he shows his storytelling abilities, he introduces original concepts, he doesn't hold back on his angers, and he goes deeper than he's ever gone - at the same time, proving that he's mastered his art. The sound of this album is different than any other Nas album I've heard. It's great to see Nas continuing to grow in his music, making this album a more than solid effort: it's a couple of miscalculations and one or two more amazing tracks short of classic.

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