Sunday, July 16, 2006

Burn Baby Burn

As Toronto is in the middle of a heat wave, it is only fitting that I look at a few artists I have discovered via the Summer Burn disc I received. Since 14 of the 17 songs listed were by artist I had never heard of before, it will take a while for me to cover them all.

Random Song 1: Lauren Hill - To Zion

Lily Allen

Lily Allen was actually on the mix that I sent out. I came across her song "LDN" (linked in a previous post) online a few months back and just loved it. At 21 years-old, to say Lily is poised for big things would be an understatement. Her debut album Alright, Still is hitting stores in the UK this week (July 20 in Canada, and August 1 in the US), and the leadoff single "Smile" has already hit number one on the UK charts. She is often compared to The Streets, which I do not think is accurate at all. Lily Allen reminds me more of early Nelly Furtado, in the sense that she is a musical sponge. She takes aspects from many different genres and creates her own unique brand of pop. Just by listening to songs like "LDN", Little Things" and "Alfie" (who knew interventions could be so catchy), it becomes clear that Lily will not be heading the Britney Spears route anytime soon.

Many say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Personally I think an argument can be made for revenge. The chart topping "Smile" from Alright, Still:

Random Song 2: Outkast - Idlewild Blues

BC Camplight

The first couple of times I listened to the track Blood and Peanut Butter, I thought that I was listening to a British artist. Not because the Summer Burn disc was sent from the UK, but due to the fact that it reminded me a lot of Badly Drawn Boy's work. This is not a knock against B.C. Camplight; on the contrary, it should be taken as a compliment (even if slightly backhanded). After two weak albums, I hope Badly Drawn Boy will finally get back to his earlier form and craft songs like Camplight's Couldn't You Tell. Hailing from Philadelphia, Brain Christinzio's B.C. Camplight focuses on piano driven pop tunes. His debut album Hide, Run Away was released in the summer of 2005. While B.C. Camplight's material is far from groundbreaking it is good easy listening for a Sunday afternoon.

This clip was taken from one of B.C. Camplight's live performances:

Random Song 3: The Fugees - No Woman No Cry

Akira The Don

The insert that came with the Summer Burn disc stated that Akira The Don "is one of the most exciting voices in British hip-hop...bringing intelligence and political outrage back into a genre that has been overrun with guns, pimps, and drugs." Currently making a name for himself in the British underground scene, yet if he keeps making track similar to "Oh! (What A Wonderful Thing)" he may become a fixture in the mainstream. Akira The Don clearly was a fan of the 90's cartoon The Maxx (an underrated classic). Similar to The Maxx, Akira the Don uses both dark subject matter and humorous moments as a vessel for his social commentary. Akira's song Living In The Future looks at our reliance on technology. While tracks like Gitmo (ft/ Narstie) and Boom (ft/ Why Lout?) use popular samples to help convey his political views. For more on Akira The Don visit his website.

When it comes to global politics are we just listening and giving in? Akira The Don seems to think so, here is his video for "Clones" (Ft/ Bashy):

Ipod Workout Plan: Cassius - Feeling For You from the album entitled 1999. Not everyone can achieve the fame that Superman, Spider, and Batman have obtained. Some superheroes need to work from the ground up:

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