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Autographed by RaekwonOnly Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II is the fourth studio album by American hip hop recording artist and Wu-Tang Clan-member Raekwon, released in 2009.
Serving as the sequel to his critically acclaimed debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995) [Rolling Stone magazine placed Pt I at number 480 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list], Pt. II features guest appearances from several Wu-Tang members, as well as Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss and Beanie Sigel. In maintaining the structure and concept of its predecessor, Pt. II contains a loose storyline of a mafioso crime boss, as told mainly from the first person point of view. In contrast to the first album/story where the main character is attempting to leave behind a criminal life, here, he has seemingly embraced this life. The narrative has these older characters taking a look back at their pitfalls and spoils as they have finally risen to the top.
The New York Times called the album "impressive" and stated "That it’s inconsistent with everything in hip-hop that surrounds it only adds to the album’s charm". Michael Saba of Paste called it "a classic, and one of the best albums to come out of the New York rap scene in the last decade".
The album was included on several publications' year-end album lists, including Rolling Stone, which ranked it the twenty-fifth best album of 2009. Time named it seventh-best.
Like the original, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II sets the stage with the intro, but here it's some Raekwon history courtesy of Papa Wu.
On Pt. 1 it was fictional dialog introducing a loose concept album. Besides the introductory dialog and the album's look-alike cover -- tinted purple, as if it were a Cash Money screwed & chopped mix of Pt. I -- the only traits this sequel shares with the original Linx is that it's the Wu rapper in top form, spitting out rhymes worthy of the Wu logo and pushing his guest list to work harder, as evidenced by Ghostface, Jadakiss, and Cappadonna all sounding at the top of their game.
The productions are equally magnificent, with Pete Rock, the Alchemist, and even Dr. Dre all living up to their lofty reputations. Inspectah Deck and Wu secret weapon Mathematics out-RZA the RZA on their 36 Chambers-flavored cuts -- the awesome "House of Flying Daggers" and "Mean Streets," respectively -- but if it's possible to create a poignant beat track, it has to be the soulful loop on "Ason Jones," a tribute to Ol' Dirty Bastard made all the more moving when you notice the beat comes from the late J Dilla. Raekwon's lyrical highlights come back to back as "Gihad" slaps the current rap scene for all it's worth while "New Wu," with Ghostface, Method Man, and RZA on production, renews hope that the Wu-Tang dynasty will return with a vengeance.
If it looks long at 22 tracks, it'll still leave the Wu heads wanting more. This sequel may have little to do with the original, but if the title helps to point out this is the Shaolin poet's best work since 1995's Pt. I, then so be it.
AutographedThe Park Avenue Hillbilly is an album by Dorothy Shay, released in 1963.
Dorothy Shay (April 11, 1921 – October 22, 1978) was an American popular comedic recording artist in the late 1940s and early 1950s, who later became a character actress. Born in Florida, when she began her singing career, she took vocal lessons to lose her Southern accent. She sang for the USO during World War II. She signed with Columbia Records and recorded a series of hit records. In her singing engagements, she performed dressed as a sophisticated urbanite while talking like a rural Southerner. Her biggest hit was "Feudin' and Fightin'", which reached the top 5 on both the country and pop charts. She was a regular on Spike Jones' radio show.
In 1947, her album, "Dorothy Shay (The Park Avenue Hillbilly) Sings", was rated number 1 in Billboard magazine's Best-Selling Popular Albums. She was the first female artist to have a number 1 album on the Billboard chart.
She played a nightclub singer, also named Dorothy, in the 1951 Abbott and Costello movie Comin' Round The Mountain.
Shay was the musical guest on the second season premiere of The Jack Benny Program in 1951.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a fan. She performed at Eisenhower's Inaugural Ball in 1953.
Shay returned to show business in the 1970s with a recurring role as Thelma, owner of the Dew Drop Inn, in the TV series The Waltons. She died of a heart attack in 1978. Upon her death, the writers of The Waltons wrote her character off, with the mention that she sold the Dew Drop Inn and moved to California.
Weezer, also known as the Black Album, is the thirteenth studio (and sixth self-titled) album by American rock band Weezer, released on March 1, 2019.
Rivers Cuomo rumbled about recording The Black Album back in 2016, when he was in the thick of promoting The White Album -- a record designed to modernize the adolescent angst at the heart of Weezer's earliest music. Cuomo gamely pursued this concept with Jake Sinclair, a producer weaned on '90s Weezer, but once The White Album hit the stores, he seemed more interested in creating its counterpart, a record that abandons the light for dark, where the vocalist sings profanities on record for the first time.
It was a high concept for a band so devoted to high concepts it couldn't resist recording two other conceptual records -- Pacific Daydream, a 2017 LP which was another salute to the West Coast, and a surprise covers album called The Teal Album -- before unleashing The Black Album in March 2019. At first glance, this color-coded LP appears to live up to Cuomo's promise: the singer swears like a sailor throughout an album that's helmed by Dave Sitek, the moody mastermind behind TV on the Radio. Superficially, these are elements that could be part of an album that showcases a darker Weezer, but the vibe of The Black Album is sunny and playful.
Filled with bossa nova rhythms, glam stomps, and power pop, The Black Album moves swiftly and stylishly, deliberately generating memes as rapidly as it spins out hooks. There's no other way to classify "Zombie Bastards," a song designed to play equally well as bumper music and fan-made videos, a song where Cuomo knows that the title alone carries the tune's water, so he runs out the lyrics to the chorus with "keep on blah blah blah." This isn't a sign of laziness so much as economy. He'll deploy his wit when he needs to -- witness the devious Neil Young dig at the start of "Byzantine," co-written with Laura Jane Grace -- but he also realizes that pop is the alchemy between catch phrases and catchy melodies, where the sum is greater than the parts.
Sitek's studio sharps provides an invaluable assist in this regard, pumping up the mean pop and skewed art aspects of Weezer in equal measure. Unlike Pacific Daydream or The White Album, The Black Album doesn't appear to have designs on modern rock radio; there may be sops to the audience, but there's no attempt to chase a trend. All this means is that The Black Album feels like the most fully realized latter-day Weezer album: it may flagrantly draw from old and new elements of pop culture, yet it belongs to its own feverish world.
Love this album.MacDougal Blues is a solo album by Kevn Kinney, released in 1990.
Island let him do this album to get the Folk out his system and to keep it out of Drivin' n Cryin's next album, Fly Me Courageous, which they wanted to rock.
Kevin Kinney, known professionally as Kevn Kinney, is an American vocalist and guitarist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the Southern rock band Drivin N Cryin. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kinney formed Drivin N Cryin after moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1985.
A prolific songwriter, collaborator, and performer, Kinney has been noted for his numerous side projects throughout his career, all the while keeping Drivin N Cryin an active band.
As a solo artist, he produced the 1990 folk rock album MacDougal Blues with members of R.E.M.
Drivin' n' Cryin's Kevn Kinney joins the folk fray with a stunning solo acoustic debut backed by the band and producer Peter Buck. The classic case of a brilliant songwriter stuck within the confines of an okay band, Kinney came bursting forth as a great new talent on the new folk scene with songs like the emotional "Not Afraid to Die" and lilting "The House Above Tina's Grocery." This release was mostly unheard by those who might have appreciated Kinney's unique spin on Southern culture.
Boston, Mass is the second album by The Del Fuegos, released in 1985.
The Del Fuegos' debut album, The Longest Day, sounded like a great bar band roaring through a beer-fueled set on a Saturday night, but their sophomore effort, Boston, Mass., found the group sanding off a few of their rough edges and adding a touch of pop polish to their sound.
While producer Mitchell Froom had added keyboards to a few cuts on The Longest Day, he's much more of a presence on this set, and the slinky romanticism of "I Still Want You" and the late night vibe of "Coup De Ville" are more adventurous in their conception and approach than anything on the first album. The Del Fuegos' energy and no-frills rock & roll attitude carried them over the rough spots on The Longest Day, and here it helps them skate past the slick spots of Boston, Mass.; the interplay between Dan Zanes and Warren Zanes' guitars may be tighter, but they still know when to crank up the amps and how to leave some space to breathe, and bassist Tom Lloyd and drummer Woody Geissman remain a crack rhythm section who keep this music in gear at all times.
Beyond a bit more gloss than it needs, the greatest flaw of Boston, Mass. is that the band didn't have quite as many good songs at their disposal as they did on the debut, but while it's not the group's best album, it comes in as a close second and time has been kind to it.
While this is not in my normal music selections, it looks quite interesting (possibly quite audio system challenging).