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Connected

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 17, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Featuring guest turns from Rapper Big Pooh, Von Pea (of Tanya Morgan), and longtime Foreign Exchange collaborators Darien Brockington and YahZarah, "Connnected" was originally released on BBE in 2004. The album has been officially out of print for years and original pressings currently sell for upwards of $50 on Amazon and eBay. The new +FE Music reissue contains the original "Connected" album, as well as all the accompanying remixes and instrumentals packaged in a specially priced double-disc digipak complete with all the original artwork. Having full ownership of this album really means a lot to us, as this is truly where it all began. We thank you for your support over the years, and as always, thank you for listening.

Review

As cliché as it sounds, music does have the ability to bring people of various background and ethnicities together. Think not? Witness Connected, the debut album from the Foreign Exchange. North Carolina-raised MC Phonte, one-third of Little Brother, and Dutch producer Nicolay formed the duo and crafted the ethereally lush hip-hop album without ever meeting face-to-face. Using the marvels of modern technology, the group traded verses and tracks over the Internet. The result is anything but mechanical. Nicolay crafts soulful, intricate backdrops that draw comparisons to producers Pete Rock and Kanye West. On the appropriately titled "Nic's Groove", the producer crafts a pitch-perfect midtempo track over which Phonte and Little Brother cohort Big Pooh trade verses. Phonte also enlists a host of upcoming artists to guest on the set. The group's MC teams with newcomer Median on the emotional "Be Alright". While Median holds his own, Phonte is in full command with a personal lyric about dealing with the ups and downs of everyday life. Meanwhile, "Sincere", which features R&B songstress YahZarah, will have listeners falling in love with hip-hop and each other all over again. Connected is a prime example of the power of good music uniting different worlds. Maybe our elected officials could take a page out of the book of the Foreign Exchange. --Amazon

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Foreign Exchange Title Theme

  2. Von Sees

  3. Raw Life

  4. Hustle, Hustle

  5. Let's Move

  6. Nic's Groove

  7. Be Alright

  8. Sincere

  9. Brave New World

  10. The Answer

  11. Come Around

  12. Happiness

  13. Foreign Exchange End Theme

  14. All That You Are

  15. Be Alright (Nicolay's Easy Breezy Sunday Afternoon Remix)

  16. Call

  17. Downtime (Nicky Troutman's Bounce To The Ounce Remix)

  18. Nic's Groove (Back To The Basics Remix)

  19. All That You Are (Nicky Van Halen's 1987 Monsters Of Rock Tour Remix)

  20. Nic's Groove (Nicky Mason's Electric Bounce Rock Skate Remix)


Disc: 2

  1. Foreign Exchange Title Theme

  2. Von Sees

  3. Raw Life

  4. Hustle, Hustle

  5. Let's Move

  6. Nic's Groove

  7. Be Alright

  8. Sincere

  9. Brave New World

  10. The Answer

  11. Come Around

  12. Happiness

  13. Foreign Exchange End Theme

  14. All That You Are

  15. Be Alright (Nicolay's Easy Breezy Sunday Afternoon Remix)

  16. Call

  17. Downtime (Nicky Troutman's Bounce To The Ounce Remix)



Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: +FE Music
  • ASIN: B004ZYGCLS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In August 2011, The Foreign Exchange reissued their debut "Connected"- an album that had been out of print for a number of years. Originally released in 2004 on the British based label BBE Records, the album had an interesting backstory. Little Brother member Phonte Coleman was fresh off the critical acclaim of Little Brother's debut "The Listening" when he heard an instrumental piece done by Dutch producer Nicolay Rook. He asked to lay some vocals over the song- which became "Light It Up", the B-side of "The Listening" single "Whatever You Say". From there, they recorded an albums' worth of material by way of instant messaging, e-mail and traditional mail without ever meeting each other. By the time "Connected" was released in late summer of 2004, they didn't meet each other in person until they had to tour to promote the album. Although this seemed unusual, this was not the first time a project was done in this manner. In fact, Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard did the exact same thing with his side project The Postal Service- predating The Foreign Exchange by a year. Critical acclaim was instant and massive by music critics and fans alike. Unfortunately, the album went out of print in 2008- just as they were releasing the follow-up "Leave It All Behind". Copies became expensive and difficult to attain for a few years, until they took matters into their own hands- they acquired the rights as well as the master recordings to reissue the project on their own label Foreign Exchange Music.

This album could be best described as downtempo, melodic hip hop. Musically, it has more in common with the "Do You Want More??!!??!" era of the hip hop band The Roots. Look no further than the song "Von Sees" featuring an appearance from Von Pea of Tanya Morgan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great introduction to the FE legacy.This is a hip hop album, but with the same level of excellence that the following joints have.You can't understand the growth or transformation of this wonderful group without having this one.Listen to their albums in chronological order and see what I'm talking about.
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I think someone already said it, but this is without a doubt the most beautiful Hip-Hop album I've ever heard. I typically dislike when artists blend rapping and singing as it always strikes me as corny and insincere for whatever reason. Here, however, it's done so smoothly and balanced and the lyrics are so relatable that I wish it was done more often. It's difficult to classify this as one particular genre of music (which is furthered by the fact that the Foreign exchange switches up music styles with each album). The deluxe edition comes with both the original album (including a few remixes) and the instrumentals on a separate CD. The instrumentals are all dynamic enough that they would warrant a separate purchase if they were released as a separate album (which they originally were), thankfully you get the best of both worlds by buying this re-released edition. Definitely an album that should be in everybody's library.

P.S. Just look at that album cover!
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Awesome album. Can't complain when you have Phonte's flow and lyrics over Nicolay's beats. The beats are a happy medium between high energy and chill groove. I also love the story behind the making of this album (which makes the group name "Foreign Exchange" that much more fitting). Favorite songs are "All That You Are", "Nic's Groove" and "Happiness".
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Format: Audio CD
I stumbled across this album on Amazon after picking up Phonte's new album "Charity Starts At Home".

Originally released in 2004, this album was WAY ahead of it's time. Nicolay, the producer, does some amazing things for 2004. Synths, solid drums, and killer hooks carry this album (as well as Phonte's excellent lyrics). The album has a mellow laid-back hip-hop with a touch of R&B feel to it. At times it sounds like a Tribe Called Quest or even a Mos Def album.

All of the tracks are great, I've never had to skip any when playing the album. A few that stand out:

- Raw Life
- Let's Moove
- Happiness

This album is an absolute winner that has totally been slept on! Highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
One of my favorite hip hop albums from the instrumentals
the best songs are ..........

6. Nic's Groove
9. Brave New World
12. Happiness
14. All That You Are
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Amazing. Thank goodness for feel good music. Foreign exchange is one of the reasons why I fell in love with neo soul. Great CD a must have in the collection
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Format: Audio CD
Classic album that I still bump since 2004...Phone is excellent over Nicolays smooth eclectic beats...Now if only they'd make a Connected pt.2????
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