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Aloe Blacc – ‘All Love Everything’ Album Review

Aloe Blacc resides in us with his album about familial love – ‘All Love Everything.’

Of course, Aloe Blacc is not a name we are unacquainted with in the world of music. We are all far too familiar with his beloved classics of I Need A Dollar, The Man and Wake Me Up, when he became an artist on the lips of music lovers with his album, Good Things back in 2010. But of course, the name of Aloe Blacc has not been seemingly present in the music spotlight for over a decade since.

With temporal shifts in consumer trends, industry chart-topping rules and an artist becoming less relevant from one day to the next, it seemed that Aloe Blacc has become a forgotten figure in an industry that forgets easily.

But of course, as with the case with familiar favourites, we fall back into their music. I myself, first fell back into Aloe Blacc’s music when he released, fun-happy bop, Brooklyn in the Summer back in 2018. With continual single records and candid attempts in film soundtracks, he has returned to album form with his 2021 work of All Love Everything.

Adding to his already heartfelt artistic palette, Blacc’s warm and generous offering feels like he never left.

Inspired with the prospect of fatherhood, this album embarks on a new journey for the Californian singer-songwriter as he delves into the challenging of turning such a journey into lyrics and melody.

While not advising to be pigeonholed into one set genre and being uncomfortable discussing himself as a pop or a folk artist, he tells us his songwriting genre is solely “thematic.” While his music draws anticipation on all genres from soul, folk and contemporary pop, Aloe feels that his music follows rather a theme, instead.

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“Rather than a genre, my music follows [a theme] I call A.I.M: affirmation, inspiration and motivation.”Aloe Blacc

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All Love Everything is the next installation within the A.I.M catalogue and fulfils Aloe’s ambition to express his gratitude for family on such songs, “Glory Days” and you guessed it … “Family” – as well as fitting in the time to showcase the importance of support with, “My Way” and “Corner.”

Soulful, powerful and trying to be exactly what it wants to be, Aloe Blacc’s return to the music industry is as fulfilling and triumphant as his voice is.

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GRAMMYs Controversy: “work with us, not against us.”

In a first for the academy show, stand-in president, Harvey Mason Jr. declared a speech last night, to join together and share the love of music, as it should be loved.

Amongst the controversy and boycotting drama with The Weeknd and Zayn Malik, Mason addressed these concerns in an aid to “build a new Recording Academy that we can be proud of.”

“Tonight I’m here to ask the entire music community to join in – work with us, not against us – as we build a new Recording Academy that we can all be proud of. One that will continue to do the work and serve everyone in the industry. Now we might not get it right 100 percent of the time and we certainly won’t be able to make everyone happy, but we will provide support in times of need.

We will preserve music and educate the next generation. We will advocate for the rights of all creators to make sure they can continue to earn a fair living making music. And we will stand up for what’s right and fight for greater diversity and more equal representation. This is not a vision for tomorrow, but the job for today. Our work is important because music is important.” –

HARVEY MASON JR, Interim President and CEO

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It certainly seems that the GRAMMYs are keeping themselves barely above water, and making us all aware that they themselves are aware of the outcries and rebuttal the award show has recently received. Striving for “greater diversity and more equal representation” – in an age where it seems easier to do so than ever before with our immense talent from all areas – only time will tell if the Recording Academy will set out to what they’ve promised over the next few years.

Let me know if this will ring true, or is merely here-say to protect their image.

Here all the winners from the Grammys 2021:

Questionable nominations; inconsistent qualities – is this the same case of “Popularity over Musicality”?

Record Of The Year

‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘Colors’, Black Pumas
‘Rockstar’, DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
‘Say So’, Doja Cat
‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish – winner
‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa
‘Circles’, Post Malone
‘Savage’, Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

Album Of The Year

‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko
‘Black Pumas’, Black Pumas
‘Everyday Life’, Coldplay
‘Djesse Vol.3’, Jacob Collier
‘Women In Music Pt. III’, Haim
‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa
‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’, Post Malone
‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift – winner 

Song Of The Year

‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘The Box’, Roddy Ricch
‘Cardigan’, Taylor Swift
‘Circles’, Post Malone
‘Don’t Start Now’, Dua Lipa
‘Everything I Wanted’, Billie Eilish
‘I Can’t Breathe’, H.E.R. – winner
‘If The World Was Ending’, JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Thee Stallion – winner

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

‘Un Dia (One Day)’, J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy
‘Intentions’, Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
‘Dynamite’, BTS
‘Rain On Me’, Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – winner
‘Exile’, Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

‘Blue Umbrella’, Daniel Tashian
‘True Love: A Celebration Of Cole Porter’, Harry Connick Jr.
‘American Standard’, James Taylor – winner
‘Unfollow The Rules’, Rufus Wainwright
‘Judy’, Renée Zellweger

Best Pop Vocal Album

‘Changes’, Justin Bieber
‘Chromatica’, Lady Gaga
‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa – winner
‘Fine Line’, Harry Styles
‘Folklore’, Taylor Swift

Best Dance Recording

‘On My Mind’, Diplo & Sidepiece
‘My High’, Disclosure featuring Aminé & Slowthai
‘The Difference’, Flume featuring Toro y Moi
‘Both Of Us’, Jayda G
’10%’, Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis – winner

Best Dance/Electronic Album

‘Kick I’, Arca
‘Planet’s Mad’, Baauer
‘Energy’, Disclosure
‘Bubba’, Kaytranada – winner
‘Good Faith’, Madeon

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

‘Axiom’, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
‘Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard’, Jon Batiste
‘Take The Stairs’, Black Violin
‘Americana’, Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill Frisell
‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’, Snarky Puppy – winner

Best Rock Performance

‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple – winner
‘Not’, Big Thief
‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘The Steps’, Haim
‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard
‘Daylight’, Grace Potter

Best Metal Performance

‘Bum-Rush’, Body Count – winner
‘Underneath’, Code Orange
‘The In-Between’, In This Moment
‘Bloodmoney’, Poppy
‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Ace) – Live’, Power Trip

Best Rock Song

‘Kyoto’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘Lost In Yesterday’, Tame Impala
‘Not’, Big Thief
‘Shameika’, Fiona Apple
‘Stay High’, Brittany Howard – winner

Best Rock Album

‘A Hero’s Death’, Fontaines D.C.
‘Kiwanuka’, Michael Kiwanuka
‘Daylight’, Grace Potter
‘Sound & Fury’, Sturgill Simpson
‘The New Abnormal’, The Strokes – winner

Best Alternative Music Album

‘Fetch The Boltcutters’, Fiona Apple – winner
‘Hyperspace’, Beck
‘Punisher’, Phoebe Bridgers
‘Jaime’, Brittany Howard
‘The Slow Rush’, Tame Impala

Best R&B Performance

‘Lightning & Thunder’, Jhené Aiko & John Legend
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé – winner
‘All I Need’, Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
‘Goat Head’, Brittany Howard
‘See Me’, Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance

‘Sit On Down’, The Baylor Project featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor
‘Wonder What She Thinks Of Me’, Chloe X Halle
‘Let Me Go’, Mykal Kilgore
‘Anything For You’, Ledisi – winner
‘Distance’, Yebba

Best R&B Song

‘Better Than I Imagined’, Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello – winner
‘Black Parade’, Beyoncé
‘Collide’, Tiana Major9 & Earthgang
‘Do It’, Chloe X Halle
‘Slow Down’, Skip Marley & H.E.R.

Best Progressive R&B Album

‘Chilombo’, Jhené Aiko
‘Ungodly Hour’, Chloe X Halle
‘Free Nationals’, Free Nationals
‘Fuck Yo Feelings’, Robert Glasper
‘It Is What It Is’, Thundercat – winner

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GRAMMYs 2021: Do the Grammys Matter?

As they snub favourite artists such as The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar from their acclaimed prizes, sift through the mud of allegations from racism, sexism and a lack in diversity to artist picks – it shows just how unfit they are as judges to music.

With the Grammys receiving such a subjective onslaught each year and as interest rates fall on their overall importance as awards, do the Grammys even matter anymore?

Short answer simply is: no.

Unlike the Oscars, the prestigious academy award for music has seemingly lost its original tact, and is out of touch with the rest of the world. Unlike the Oscars that actually awards films based on glowing prospects, reputations and sheer camera-rolling etiquette, The Grammys is a congruent cess-pit of odd nominations, shameless bigotry and is showing a side to the music industry that is rather ugly.

With so many prestigious and culturally-defining artists in the industry that have been snubbed of such an award (Queen, Bjork, ABBA and Jimi Hendrix to name a few) it is easy to understand why The Grammys has been scrutinised for their lack of desire to produce a decent academy award show to celebrate the best of music – as they choose to instead award their “white friends and counterparts” in the industry – and receive backlash of racism and bigotry because of it – and not the distinctive artists that have made a impact against the status quo of the industry.

Because if they start awarding acts who go against the “system” of upending gender stereotypes (Queen) and make albums that go against their specified genre (The Weeknd) what does that say about the system of the industry itself? Something that cannot be controlled it seems …

But its important to note that something like the Grammys is not so definitely clean-cut like other competitions like the Olympics. When it comes to who sang the most impressive or made a defining moment to the world of music, well then, that becomes a bit more objective. With it, comes the usual backlash and sparks of fury as such an award because it is such an opinionated sport.

But to me, I think this is what makes Grammys not matter most, because at the end of it all, while it is fun to see who will win a Grammy, it ultimately doesn’t affect how we (me included) view an artists’ work. When we listen to a piece of work, do we define how “good” it is if it won a Grammy? No, we think it’s good because it’s simply good music. For me, they are not one and the same.

So with that being said, I think that the sheer novelty of awarding music based on something so objective certainly makes it an easier target than most other award shows. But, let’s be honest, they haven’t helped themselves in the past, have they?

Let me know what you think to this topic of conversation – and more importantly, will you be watching tonight?

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Former suspended CEO stating on how ‘rigged’ the ceremony is …

Grammy’s controversial moments show just how implausible it is as an awards ceremony …

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Let’s Talk: Are Women Underrepresented in Music?

A study of “800 songs from 2012- 2019” finds that less than 23% of artists and 2% of producers are women …

With it being International Women’s Day yesterday, I decided to hop on and be late to a topic of conversation again.

A recent study has shown the bleak reality of active women in the popular music industry. With only 23% out of the 800 songs noted as being women artists, and with the industry still being dominated by their male counterparts – will this ever change for the better or remain for the worse?

It is great to note the importance of ethnic and gender diversity in the music industry, and this great divide is no different. Whilst this study reveals the history of the industry and why there are days to support such feats from women (even though it should be a yearly thing) in such industries, why is it so dominated with men? It’s time to consider these questions and get back to me.

Are men more musically adept at music than women? Is that why there are more of them? Or are they more likely to succeed in an industry where there is no push-back for men – as opposed to women? Is the lack of women causing less and less women to stand up and take seemingly “male-led” roles? Or are the women that have pushed into the industry, the stronger few? Whatever happens, these boundaries need to broken, the stereotypes shed and equality needs to be shared for the sake of music.

I certainly think the mantra surrounding the music industry and how overpowering the male consistency is throughout, shows a further unwillingness for women to start a career in music and venture forth into other like-minded roles like producers and label managers. And the conceived individuals who believe anything different, only make it worse.

Those who have been successful, are merely the stronger few. It is a sombre story to tell but with more awareness being raised for this concern, I really do hope the tides will turn for women in the music industry. Time will tell, I suppose.

Let me know your thoughts below.

WOMEN IN MUSIC:

Delve into the importance of a women’s role in the industry below:

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Let’s Talk: Is there any personality in music anymore?

Looking back over the years and playing your favourite music from past eras – the 70s and 80s – it is so liberating to hear music strife with personality, creativity and dexterity. With the change in style, creative process and actual genre, you can see the shift how the dynamic has changed, with physical instruments ultimately stripped for processed lo-fi beats, sampled acoustics and recordings. So, what happened? Where did the personality go in music?

There’s often times where I listen to current, topical music and I almost always reminiscence about past music that had “actual” instruments. Hiring a studio and actually playing the parts, rather than delegating sampled beats to each playmaker. You can always tell if a part is true to itself or not, because every drum hit is played differently and every guitar chord struck sounds melodically different. That is, if an instrument is involved.

Two of my favourite musicians on YouTube have recently delved into this subject and it’s quite interesting to look into. As they perused through the top 10 on Spotify, they tried to find any type of “actual” instrument in the song. Whether that’d be an actual drum kit or an actual person playing the accompaniment of the guitar. The result is probably what you’re expecting.

Nevertheless, I’ll leave them below so you can have a look and have a laugh like I did.

Hoped you liked ’em as much as I did. Anyways, this is important insider knowledge to our talk today. Is there any personality in music anymore? Does music have to have actual instruments for it to be personable and more musically adept? Or is it merely old folks who are beating a dead horse and saying that current chart music is crap again? Let me know what you think to this one.