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Tarantino's Thoughts:

Good Musiq is back! No pun intended at all, but really I've been grooving for the past week or so literally overdosing on R&B (and the uncategorizable Prince, of course, love to the legend).  Ironically enough, I've been getting a lot of heat from quite a few people about being “heartbroken” and or “in love” due to my overdose; but believe me, neither is the case (OK maybe … maybe not).  Anyway, this month has been absolutely filled with so many worthwhile musical releases that I'd love to talk about, but realistically it just won't be possible to cover them all.  So here's what I do promise. Any subject I decide to touch, whether a week or 2 weeks from now, will surely be worth the read and listen.  Presently, I felt as though it was crucial for me to zone out and share some great music from one of Philadelphia's own soul singers … Musiq Soulchild.  Quite frankly, this was more than necessary after waiting 5 long years for the solo album (Not discrediting the joint project 3 years ago nor “The Husel” persona); but trust me it was worth the wait.


Backtracking a little, when I first discovered that Musiq's new album Life On Earth dropped, I questioned one of my close friends about not letting me know the project was out (I mean this guy is a Musiq fan, R&B connoisseur). Being as though I wasn't around for the internet memes and harsh criticism, I soon came to learn why he hadn't told me.  Eventually discovering “The Husel” persona and the reasons why my friend in his words “fell off” Musiq, sparked curiosity.  Multiple google searches in, I experienced confusion, understanding, and acceptance in different stages.  After a moment of clarity from Musiq's Breakfast club interview, I listened and then knew Life On Earth would be exactly what fans of the artist wanted.












With a blend of fresh  uptempo funk and R&B, “Wait a Minute” starts off the album beautifully as the soul singer belts with subtle aggression singing:


“I been out here tryna' get at anything but I feel like with you I might have found the one … I think it's time to make it real now like …”,


easily creating jazzy sounds of love that the soul star became known for.  Pulling out all the stops, the record breaks down halfway through exchanging aggression for soft harmonious sounds, assisted by lyrics of love from Willie Hyn.  As the story begins, “Who Really Loves You” pleads an honest case, denigrating superficiality–“All the lies, yeah they might work and get you by … You gon' mess around and wake up, and ask yourself who really loves you girl”–never once losing hope in genuine fervor.


Sticking to the topic, assisted by cracking snares that pretty much give the record an “old-school” vibe; “Heart Away” feels good and delivers an even better message–“some people don't listen, heartbreak by admission, no one is responsible to protect your heart. Only fools go rushing hopelessly for nothing … ”–as the hook simply states: “You just can't give your heart away”.  In his best Tony Toni Tone rendition, Musiq delivers his auto-tune assisted melodic version of “Loving You” that becomes more than welcoming, slightly stepping away from the conventional sound you may have grown accustomed to.  At the Halfway mark, “I Do”, “Changed My Mind”, and “Walk Away” are like treats for fans of the R&B vet, setting an emotional soundtrack to highs and lows of any relationship; alongside heartfelt lyrics and prodigious vocals to match.


“Can we get back, what we've lost, are we too far gone? … To turn it around”–


“Far Gone” empathetically written, Musiq portrays a man coming to grips with falling out of love surrounded by memories of what used to be.  Both sides of the spectrum revealed Rapsody reinforces the female perspective, meshing well on record, while depicting obvious bitter rivalry in their fictitious relationship.  Readily progressing, “Part Of Me” opens with the extraordinary vocals of JoiStarr tenderly singing: “I don't even know what you there with her for, You know she don't make you happy babe … I wanna do something bout' it, what can we do about it … ”.   Musiq emphatically objects stating–“I tried baby I tried, to do something about it, do something about it, but you wasn't bout' it … How the hell am I happy, if when I'm with her all I think about is you”–both sharing beautiful narratives of true love never dying.


Making way to the end, the album momentarily switches back to an upbeat tempo with “Alive and Well” as the crooner provides a jovial jazz influenced record that kind of gets overshadowed due to its placement (yet still a great record).  “The Girl” and “Life On Earth” cap off the project in polished fashion, flawlessly serenading listeners with numerous sounds of love.


From beginning to end, Life on Earth is everything avid Musiq Soulchild fans should come to expect.  Blessed with unblemished songwriting alongside immaculate vocals, the album never once lacked vigor.  If you found yourself worried when the world was introduced to “The Husel”; I'm here to tell you that this, and that, are totally different … but actually still one and the same (sometimes it's just best to listen and pay close attention).  So if you happen to be “in your feelings” (like me), or you genuinely just enjoy organic eclectic R&B (also like me).  Make sure to check out Musiq Soulchild's new album Life On Earth available now via stream or purchase via iTunes.

Peace & Love,
(Darnell Schoolfield)


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