Month: September 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Shemekia Copeland “Outskirts of Love”

Outskirts of LoveShemekia Copeland is one of the up and coming female stars of the blues genre and her latest release, Outskirts of Love, proves that she means business.

Copeland is a storyteller and on the opening track, “Outskirts of Love”, she sings about multiple characters in certain situations outside of love. She describes a woman still dressed to the nines in her wedding dress, waiting at a bus stop with her suitcase after pawning her wedding ring to a young girl waiting for her mother to be finished prostituting her herself to a man inside a hotel room.

The “Devil’s Hand” is your classic, blues jam — it showcases her soulful, more bluesy side of lyricism, vocals, and guitar. “Woke up early one morning / Saw the devil playin’ his hand / You know he wrecked my life / Just like a hurricane / When you’re playing with the devil / Don’t you know you’re playin’ a losin’ hand / ‘Cause cheatin’ is all that the devil understands / Please Mr. Devil / Go back where you belong…”
Copeland even brings country to her traditional blues sound on “Drivin’ Out of Nashville” where she sings about traveling to Nashville to become a huge music star and leaving music capital with “a body in the trunk.” It is definitely a different side of Copeland, definitely applaud her for trying something out of her comfort zone, but the blues are absolutely her genre, and where she most excels.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Painted Palms ‘Horizons’

HorizonsPainted Palms is a band that has a vibe that ranges from 60’s pop to 80’s new wave, but nonetheless they know how to do it well. On Horizons, the record is all about the pulsating dance beats. The sophomore record is a 40-minute record dedicated to the just the beats and they do it oh so well.

From the beginning to the end, it sounds like a remix album, which makes you wonder if there is an ‘original’ track with an electric or acoustic guitar, or just synthesizers. It’s like you’re taken back to the 80’s dance floor with the pulsating beats and flashing neon lights. Even the song titles are set up to reflect the dance nature of the record: “Refractor”, “Gemini”, “Echoes”, and “Tracer.”

The psych-pop duo opens the record with the tune “Refractor” which immediately brings the 80’s to mind with the synthesizer beats. The duo sings: And when I’m with you / I know we feel the same / Don’t have to tell you / You see it in my face / And when I’m with you / There’s nothin’ in the way / Don’t have to tell you / You know that it’s true. They even seem to add some pulsating, electronic, dance beats in some way to the end of the song.

“Disintegrate” is an amazing four and half minutes of synth pop perfection. ‘Cause you never even tried to see me. The track has the right amount of head-bobbing vibe and doesn’t overdo it; it engages its listener, but not to the point where it is annoying or overwhelming.

Overall, this record has such a fun, head-bobbing vibe to it. Very 80’s. It’s definitely for those who enjoy synth pop, 80’s new wave, indie pop, and a combination of those genres. Horizons is definitely not a record to fall asleep to, but perhaps for late night hang out dance party with friends.