Exclusive Review: Andrew Farstar – “Classics” Album/LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art for Andrew Farstar’s “Classics” LP

This album of classics, just like the album name ‘Classics’ suggests, is a nostalgic treat from the way-back-when machine that features a vast array of songs from renowned artists that we’ve come to know and love over many years. With the voice of Sydney-based artist Andrew Farstar at the helm of this record, tackling these beloved anthems with a modern and youthful approach that gives us a whole new perspective on these high profile covers, ‘Classics’ is not just a run-of-the-mill tribute or half hearted renditions, it’s a visceral reimagination.

Featuring chart-topping hit songs on the record that includes classics like “Your Song” (Elton John), “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love” (Crystal Gayle), “Sealed With a Kiss” (Brian Hyland), and many more, Andrew Farstar breathes new life into these songs with a modern millennial signature sound that brings out a whole new world to songs that have been loved for decades by a widespread of fans from many different generations. His versatile and multifaceted mid-to-high range vocals are precise and punctual as they are charming as well. He also brings these tracks out in a way that could resonate with younger generations, who will find an entirely new perspective and appreciation for songs older generations may or may not know…but most likely definitely do.

The musicianship factors and production value parallels perfectly with both performance and structure. A lot of the tracks have a distinctive sound that could be reminiscent of artist pioneers like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, James Arthur, Harry Connick Jr., and those of a similar caliber. But, when it comes to the overall execution, Andrew finds a way to truly make these songs his own reimagining in a way that gets us to appreciate these classic tunes in a whole new spectrum. Basically, if the renowned artists that wrote these songs took a listen to Andrew‘s versions, they’d be definitely mind blown at the brilliant balance between the insatiable feeling of originality and familiarity he brings to these songs. It’s an album of nostalgia, skilled musicianship, and a demonstration of making something completely your own when it comes to artistic merit.

You’ll love every rendition of these songs that Andrew has put together and will remind you that these songs still can have a major relevance in your life. You’ll love ‘Classics’ from beginning to end, unconditionally. You’ll be glad we recommended this to you. You’re welcome.

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Exclusive Review: DJ Raw B – “Uncorrupted” Album

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

With a dynamically versatile style and several decades in the business, it’s no wonder pioneer artist/creator DJ Raw B has garnered unwavering accomplishments over the years. And he continues to do so with his latest album ‘Uncorrupted’.

Combining a raw, unique 90s approach with a clever modern spin, this album is a blast of nostalgia as well as a breath of fresh air. The production value is high quality and provides the perfect textures to make this record really stand out both musically and lyrically. Tracks like “Toscin” and “Genesis” have classic 90s grooves with smooth beats and eclectic twists and turns that really showcases DJ Raw B‘s signature sound, while other tracks like “Unspeakable” and “Keynote Speaker” have hauntingly ambient vibes that balance atmosphere and smooth bass lines, and are easily the standouts of the album.

DJ Raw B is no stranger to the industry though; he began hitting the ground running in the early 90s as a co-host/DJ for the critically acclaimed underground San Francisco-based hip hop show Beat Sauce, who brought on a plethora of notable guests including industry heavyweights like Jay-Z, Eminem, OutKast, Common, the Black Eyed Peas, Mobb Deep, among many others. By 2001, DJ Raw B became “Best Local Club DJ” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, playing shows that ranged from underground hip hop clubs to more lavish higher-end venues. DJ Raw B also got involved with many different collaborations, including Smash Mouth’s performance of their hit song “All Star” in the movie Rat Race. He has also garnered success in the radio circuit, including working on KMEL’s “Sway In The Morning”, KCBS News, and KNBR’s “Morning Show With Murph & Mac”.

With a resumé like that, it’s no wonder that ‘Uncorrupted‘ has the uniqueness that it does, and you can very much hear a successful and skillful DJ throughout every track’s duration. And if you haven’t heard DJ Raw B yet, then this album will make you an instant fan. The album is currently available online and all digital music streaming platforms.

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Exclusive Review: KiNg EmErY – “Hail KiNg EmErY” Album

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

There’s some serious street heat coming out of the south right now. Coming out the gate armed with his debut album ‘Hail KiNg EmErY’, Dallas-based Rapper/Hip Hop artist KiNg EmErY has been hitting the ground running since his inception, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Conjuring a versatile signature sound that encompasses elements of R&B, Trap, EDM and Indie Hip Hop, KiNg EmErY‘s innovative style combines clever lyrical outbursts, sing-songy hooks and smooth vocal transitions that brings out a perfect balance of originality and familiarity; giving the listener a nostalgic callback to old school Rap and today’s more modern textures. With an arsenal of 35 tracks on this album, there’s something on this record for everyone. With several feature artists on this debut album including Aud Rigo, N’Less Fee, Karrma, Johnny From The Block, Drippazay, DeuceDev and several others, the album brings a fresh flow of diversity from start to finish with a vast array of talent contributing to several tracks.

Songs like “Freedom” and “W.W.Y.D.” are dynamically visceral, ambient, and showcase a progressive approach to the album that continues throughout the album’s duration, which gives it charm you rarely hear in today’s Hip Hop. Straight bangers like “Aggressive” and “Hella Bitches” bring a cohesive energy that really adds to the overall flavor to the record, and are catchy and fun – perfect for the club scene and any bass-driven car system

‘Hail KiNg EmErY’ is an effective and accessible record that you’ll be putting on your playlists and favorites list from the very first listen. The album is currently available online and all digital music streaming platforms everywhere.

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Exclusive Review: The Harmalators – “Master Of The Speed Of Light” Album

Fun, energetic and charismatic might be a few words to describe music duo The Harmalators. Comprised of twin brothers Marlon Kay (bass guitar/vocals) and Norman Kay (guitar/keyboards and vocals), the Santa Rosa, California-based pair continue to pave their musical path with their latest album ‘Master Of The Speed Of Light’, produced at Mesa Recording in Sebastopol, California.

With a crafty and well put-together catalogue of 8 tracks on this album, The Harmalators bring forth a signature sound that has something for everyone; diligently combining elements of Classic Rock and Pop flavors reminiscent of both old and new music eras we’ve all come to know and love. With both brothers sharing vocal duties throughout this record, the album’s catchy melodies on songs like “Time Is On Your Side” and “Cell Phone Addiction” really showcase a fresh, fun loving approach that is bound to stick in your head. “I Love That You Love (I Don’t Want Our Forever To End” is also a standout on this album; a magical and uplifting acoustic track that adds versatility, depth and encompasses different angles to the duo’s songwriting style and technique. All 8 tracks tie together perfectly and provide a brilliant balance of equal parts originality and familiarity, giving the audience something fresh yet still identifiable.

The Harmalators have been going strong for over 10 years and have acquired an array of accomplishments including a feature on national television, the Mediabase charts, and have had three #1 hits on HitsYouLove Radio in Chicago. Now armed with a new album and an insatiable industry buzz that continues to expand, The Harmalators are ready to take 2020 by storm and proceed to hit the ground running without any sign of slowing down anytime soon. ‘Master Of The Speed Of Light’ is available now online and several digital music streaming platforms.

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Exclusive Review: Terry Blade – “Misery” EP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Hailing from the cityscape of Chicago, artist/singer Terry Blade brings a fresh new voice for today’s new generation in the form of many tasteful genre blends. His debut album ‘Misery’ is not only a gem, but an array of emotions especially when listened in headphones. It’s a journey and experience that really encompasses his craft and ultimately raises the bar for solo artists of his caliber, and this 6-track record is direct proof.

Touching on personal and realistic themes of sexuality, sensuality and mental health, Terry‘s baritone voice is a very distinctive and effective approach to the ambient song structures and lyrical content in every measure. With a dynamic vocal style reminiscent to industry greats like Sam Smith, opening acoustic track “The Unloveable” is a powerful start to this record and really captures Terry‘s versatility in both vocal melodies and precision. Meanwhile “The Mentally Ill” provides a subtle and atmospheric beat that showcases different angles of Terry‘s vocal ability as well as 2-3 part multifaceted harmonies. “The Widow” is a beautiful piano-driven song with several soothing vocal layers that really draw you into the song and a signature R&B sound that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity; hinting at elements of 90s and today’s more recent chart topping figures among the genre.

Closing track “Tick Tock (The Lonely)” has a very clever doo-wop style intro that leads into a very smooth bass-driven melody with electronic touches that really delves into a deep range of emotional layers. This song, just like the others, is the type of song you can feel from both the production style and vocal content equally. Its subtlety is at times mysterious but always leads you to a place that gets you to connect with Terry Blade on that next level you seldom hear with other artists. And that’s what makes ‘Misery’ so effective – its power to bring you to a place of emotion and artistic merit, which shines brightly through every song via Terry‘s voice. This is an album that needs to be heard to be believed. It’s currently available online and all music streaming outlets.

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Exclusive Review: Project Rod Williams – “Spin Me” Album

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

After Rod Williams‘ debut album ‘Fire’ released in January 2019, an insatiable buzz was set and would ultimately lead the pioneer Artist/Songwriter to begin his journey on his sophomore record. Now, in May 2020, Williams has done just that with his newest collab-driven and electronically infused juggernaut ‘Spin Me’, and it doesn’t disappoint in the least.

Under the official name Project Rod Williams, this ten track album is led by Rod himself as principal songwriter/synth/programming/backup vocalist alongside co-lead vocalists Ben Dial and Matt Williamson, who are reprising their roles from Rod’s first record, respectively. Other notable artists including Aleisha Leo and Fabian Hernandez also make contributions to the record as well. From the gate of the opening track “Shake It On The Dance Floor”, the album immediately introduces an atmosphere that is packed with many clever punches. Combining elements of Dance, Funk, Pop, Rock and Indie, this opening smasher gets right into business and really showcases an unrelenting strength of both talent and high quality production value that sets the tone for the rest of the album. With well executed three part harmony vocal melodies, catchy groove beats, melodic song structures and many different electronic textures, this record really brings the dynamics of technical production and strong songwriting to the forefront with cleverness and staying power.

The grooves continue on “Don’t Stop Me Baby” and title track “Spin Me”, which both bring additional touches to the album that really exceed your expectations after the opening track. The mysteriousness of songs “Because” and “Tears” are completely visceral and really show off the versatility of this record and are definitely standouts of this album. The consistency of the record is definitely worth noting and it makes it very easy to delve into and get comfortable with. The vocal ranges are instantly noticeable and beyond impressive when they first kick in; the dueling vocal tracks and signature synth sound really comes together in a way that gives a nod to 90s/early 2000s Dance elements with a complete modern makeover into something completely of its own kind, producing equal parts originality and familiarity with its overall execution. Most of all, ‘Spin Me’ is an accessible album for both fans and new listeners alike. It’s an impressionable album, and you can tell that it was written and produced with absolute care. If you haven’t heard Project Rod Williams yet, then this album will make you an instant fan. ‘Spin Me’ completely lives up to its title. The album officially drops on May 24th and will be available online and on music downloading platforms.

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Exclusive Review: Mannis – “Scared Of Love” and “L.A.” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

We have some heat coming in real hot for the platform, and it comes in the form of the self-produced and self-manifested recording artist and creator, Mannis. The up and comer just dropped two lead singles, which are gonna be featured on his upcoming EP Killed By Love, and so far have created an insatiable buzz that has his fans and St. Louis music scene talking.

After spending his college years at Indiana University writing and releasing music, Mannis graduated with an audience of more than 30,000 monthly listeners/fans on Spotify and a respectable growing fan base. Now with his new EP slated for a 2020 release right around the corner, the R&B/Hip Hop vibe artist dropped two singles that encompass his craft brilliantly. “Scared Of Love”, his first single, is a seductively passionate song with a vibrant beat structure and visceral feel. His clever lyrical outbursts are diligently executed with a precise knack for genuine melody choices that truly bring out the song’s charm and wit. It’s a perfect first impression if it’s your first time hearing Mannis, and his warm, versatile vocal textures are a major standout on this track that will leave you intrigued and eager to hear more.

Which brings us to “L.A.”, his second anchor single. A track that leans more towards a city life vibe and club banger for the dance floor. With Mannis‘s voice still at the helm of the forefront and carrying the song from start to finish, this is another catchy angle of his voice that showcases his signature sound in a way that is effective and innovative; giving the listeners a taste of something fresh while still maintaining a vibe that balances equal parts originality and familiarity. “L.A.” really gets your blood pumping and it’s a track that will likely be next to impossible to get out of your head.

When it comes to these singles, vibes is what comes to mind. The inventive production value aligned with Mannis‘s ambient vocal melodies really bring atmosphere to these songs and leave an unforgettable impression on you. Both of these tracks will absolutely entice you to grab his upcoming EP when it releases, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. You’ll be thanking us later.

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