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20 Watts Ghostface Killah’s Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City by JohnCassillo
Ghostface Killah's soulful experiment is a success

Ghostface Killah's soulful experiment is a success

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Ghostface Killah’s “Paragraphs of Love” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 17/20 Watts

Ghostface Killah’s new album Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City is a highly creative and uniquely conceptual work. Ghostface, one of the nine original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, strays far from the venomous battle raps he was dishing out in the early nineties. The love-themed Ghostdini is a marked departure from older themes, displaying his versatility even as a chart-topping artist.

As Ghostface said himself, the album is R&B-inspired, and all of the songs, both from a production and lyrical standpoint, have a soulful and loving feel. Ghostface also recruited a handful of singers to help him with the choruses and progressions on the songs. Appearances by Lloyd, Estelle, John Legend, Adrienne Bailon and Raheem Devaughn provide the album with a coherent feel that strengthens the fluidity between the track listing. Continue reading

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News of Note: Ellen Degeneres is Fourth American Idol Judge, Minus the Bear Play the Westcott, Ghostface Killah Track List and More by 20watts
Ellen Degeneres just might entice us to watch American Idol

Ellen Degeneres just might entice us to watch American Idol

Whoa — I might ACTUALLY have to watch American Idol now.  Ellen Degeneres, the oh-so-lovable, dance-crazy comic, was named the show’s fourth permanent judge just an hour ago, according to MTV.  Degeneres has no legitimate music credentials that we can name, but hey, neither did Paula Adbul!  And Degeneres is at least pretty funny. Katy Perry, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Mary J. Blige and Shania Twain will also serve as guest judges. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The Bird and the Bee Play Ellen Degeneres]

Minus the Bear’s fall tour is old hat around here — the Westcott Theater has, after all, been shouting their November 17th date from the mountaintops — but the acclaimed prog-rockers officially announced the four-week tour late this afternoon.  According to a press release, they’re touring in support of an upcoming fourth album, produced by Joe Chiccarelli (of White Stripes/My Morning Jacket fame), to be released in early 2010.  Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, though no price is currently listen on the Westcott Theater’s site. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Jack White, Chill Out!, 20 Watts Reviews Yim Yames’ Tribute To EP]

Ghostface Killah announced the track list for his September 29 album Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City.  “Baby,” the first single, is an auto-tuned love ballad that was recently released via Myspace.  The album, which is primarily R&B, will have guest appearances by Estelle, Kanye West, John Legend, Lloyd and Fabolous.  Ghostface will be performing at The Westcott on November 12 at 8 p.m.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Music Video Spotlight: Raekwon’s “The New Wu“]

Pitchfork posted a three-minute clip from Sufjan Stevens‘ “The BQE” multimedia set, to be released October 20.  “The BQE” features a bizarre combination of footage of NY’s notoriously congested Brooklyn- Queens Expressway, with Sufjan’s music playing in the background.  Click here to watch the clip.  Sufjan will be performing at Castaways in Ithaca on September 23. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #156: Sufjan Stevens Announces an Intimate Fall Tour]

SPIN reports that the new Micachu & the Shapes video for “Turn Me Well” premiered today, courtesy of the band’s surprisingly big fan, Bjork. The track, which juxtaposes a mechanical pop sound with more natural, organic visual layouts, is their second single off of Jewellery, which came out in March. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #79: Weird New Band … Micachu and The Shapes, Memories and Photos from Siren 2009 (Micachu and The Shapes Live)]

Daytrotter has some fabulous new sessions up this week, including a sleazy synth dance party from electro-pop all-stars Junior Boys and a gloriously rustic folk affair from the Duke and the King.  Here at 20 Watts, however, we’re most excited for the upcoming Deer Tick session, which Daytrotter announced it will tape this week.  We all fell in love with the chain-smoking, raspy-voiced John McCauley at last Sunday’s Positive Jam festival — and by we, I mean all the girls on staff.  His Daytrotter session will surely show why.  In other news, Deer Tick also announced today that they’re extending their fall tour, which includes dates with Jonny Corndawg, Cotton Jones, Holy Sons and Dolorean.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Deer Tick Plays Ithaca, 20 Watts Reviews Deer Tick’s Born on Flag Day]

Why is it that you never hear cool pop songs from Denmark?  Or Finland?  Norway, even?  Anyway, Fredrik — yet another sick electro act from Sweden, that mecca of Scandinavian pop — released a preview from their second album Trilogi on Stereogum today.  All layered synth films and moody introspection, “Locked in the Basement” takes some surprising Baroque pop and electro-glitch turns.  We can only hope that Trilogi does the same when it drops November 17 on The Kora Records.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Swedish Meatballs 1: Familijen, Swedish Meatballs 2: Kleerup]

The atmospheric electro jams of Quebec’s Michael Silver, alias CFCF, will soon have an album to call home.  Silver announced today that his debut full-length, Continent, will drop October 27 on Paper Bag Records, preceeded by an October 6 EP, The Explorers, with Swedish synth-pop darling Sally Shapiro.  You may recognize CFCF from his official remixes of dance greats like Crystal Castles, HEALTH and Hearts Revolution; the plaid-shirted party god will also be playing an October 1 show in Toronto, and DJing several sets at the CMJ Marathon in New York. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Crystal Castles Start Drama, HEALTH Play Myrtle Avenue]

Jack White and the Raconteurs have been nominated for a Country Music Award, according to Rolling Stone. The group was nominated for Best Musical Event after teaming up with country artists Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe on “Old Enough,” off the group’s second album, Consolers of the Lonely. White is currently gearing up for a tour with his other side project, The Dead Weather. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Interviews Tiny Masters of Today, Editor’s Pick #134: Jack White, Chill Out!]

RS also reports that Sonic Youth has had to postpone its performance at the Austin City Limits festival after an injury to guitarist Lee Ranaldo. The alt-rock legends had to move several dates back to January 2010 after Ranaldo fractured his wrist while playing tennis. The band released its 16th studio album, The Eternal, in June. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Review’s YACHT’s See Mystery Lights]

— 20 Watts Staff

Keane and Kanye West Collaborate on New Track by ashleycollman
July 22, 2009, 12:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Keane shouldn't collaborate with Kanye

Tom Chaplin, lead singer of British alt-rock band Keane, has confirmed a collaboration with Kanye West, according to NME.com. After one day in the studio they have produced a song, which needs to be finished and should be released by the end of this year.

This collaboration has a pretty lukewarm promise. Kanye definitely hit an all-time low last year with the release of his heavily auto-tuned 808s & Heartbreak, which gushed about Kanye’s personal losses.  Meanwhile, Keane’s biggest hit yet is the love ballad “Somewhere Only We Know” — suggesting that, most likely, this upcoming collaboration will be on the touchy side.

The problem is that Keane are good at this type of music and Kanye is not. Then again, Kanye is a loose cannon; though his music this past year has been heavily influenced by his private life losses, he still contributed to the upbeat track “American Boy” with Estelle.

We hope this collaboration will yield such success — but overall, we’re not holding out breaths.

–Ashley Collman

Releases of the Week: El Da Sensei and Estelle by zegoldst
November 25, 2008, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

El Da Sensei – Global Takeover

El Da Sensei, truly one of the underground kings, proves to his fans that despite his two-year hiatus he is back and better than ever.  Global Takeover takes jazzy samples back to the forefront of hip-hop.  El Da Sensei tears a wrecking ball through these tracks with his hard hitting flow that captures every listener.

One of the great things about underground rappers is that they have a signature sound and there are a lot of tracks on this album that El Da Sensei brought from his 2006 release The Unusual.  Another great thing is that rappers are always looking for a way to expand and this can be seen when El Da Sensei collaborates with Jazzy Jay. “Super-Fly Jazzy-J (Interlude)” is a great track that pays tribute to his idol and paves the way for the next track “Got Fire”.

Overall, Global Takeover takes El Da Sensei to a new light and will (hopefully) take him from his humble New Jersey beginnings to global master status.

Best Track: “Got Fire feat. Doujah Raze”

Estelle – Shine

Although Estelle is anything but fresh news she still deserves a shout out for bringing back the Lauryn Hill style of singing and rapping.  She was more or less discovered by John Legend and has been taken under the wings of greats including Cee-Lo and Kanye West.  Shine takes any listener back into a reggae dub style with flare and an all-star cast that proves Estelle can keep up with the competition.

Pretty Please (Love Me)” is one of those tracks that you can’t stop listening to.  It takes us back to the simpler days of R&B hinting on Al Green, Curtis Mayfield and a bit of James Brown.  Cee-Lo and Estelle complement each other beautifully with their trade off verses and soothing melodies.  The music on this track is amazing as well.  The drums hit a hip-hop beat and the piano flows through the song as the background choir brings out the texture of this colorful song.

Overall, this album is something to be cherished.  Sure, not every track is incredible or even very good but the it’s awesome that we can still find singers that love good, classic hip-hop and R&B.

Best Track: “Pretty Please (Love Me) featuring Cee-Lo”

-Zach Goldstein