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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ruby: Dusk 'Til Dawn (Dusk 'Til Dawn Records, 2004)

Along with Crystal Sierra and D'Mello, here is another unique R&B artist from the early 2000s that went unnoticed. While Sierra had the Latin flavor and D'Mello was influenced by Caribbean and classical music, Canadian artist Ruby - real name Ruby Goralia - incorporated Hindi-style singing and slight Bhaṅgṛā influences into her music. Thankfully nothing like the fusion rubbish that was popular in the UK in the early 2000s and more in line with contemporary R&B with light breathy vocals. An exceptional album but sadly an obscure one.

I Really Like To... 4:34
Make U Mine 4:42
Tonight 4:33
Don't Wanna Try 4:15
Beautiful 4:47
Think About 4:59
No U And Me 4:29
What's The Chance 4:44
Chalte Chalte 3:00
Find A Reason 4:09
No Good 4 U 5:01
Tonight [Remix] 4:31

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Joy: Here We Go Again (GS Entertainment, 2002)

More indie R&B from the Golden State and a mixture of contemporary R&B, G-Funk and gospel. Very similar to another California artist I've posted CoCo Short but maybe not as raunchy. These days the artist Joy Normond loans her voice to Christian events and has released a further three full albums of gospel music. You can visit her site here.

To The Studio... 2:01
Here We Go Again (feat. B-Smoove) 3:08
Call Me (feat. Marlon Bowen) 4:45
Head Over Heels 4:11
Can't Get Over You 5:03
Party (Interlude) 0:35
Put Your Hands Up 3:39
Time To Get Things Jumpin' 3:39
Your Smile (feat. Ed Simental) 4:11
I Shall Not Be Moved (feat. Step Of Faith) 3:58
One Family 3:20
Haters 4:26
Bet You Didn't Know 5:06
Thank You 1:59

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ashley Ballard: Get In The Booth (Advance Release CD) (Atlantic, 2001)

Yet more unreleased Rodney Jerkins with teen-pop singer Ashley Ballard who was signed to Atlantic Records in 2001. She was one of a handful of teen-pop singers (the other notable one being Mikalia) who were marketed as a slightly less bubblegum form of Britney Spears. While Spears and even Aguilera were churning out the same repetitive Disney channel slop in the early 2000s, a small number of others went down a slightly different route; some adopted a slightly rockier tone while others such as Ballard tried to appeal

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kiley Dean: Simple Girl (Advance) (Beatclub/Interscope, 2003)

Further unreleased music from Britney Spears' former backing singer Kiley Dean who, with the help of Timbaland, put down a first rate effort in 2003 that would've wiped the floor with many of her contemporaries. She had everything going for her - including a voice that would've put Spears and even Aguiliera to shame - but unfortunately she was lost on the dim-witted public who seemingly couldn't separate her from Tim's other former protegee Aaliyah. Dean's debut single Make Me A Song went down like a lead

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Of Age: Finally (Street Pride Records, 1999)

For those who were curious about what TLC might've sounded like had they not gone all futuristic for their third album, look no further than this indie trio, also from Atlanta, GA. Mixed by Organized Noize (who were previously involved with the production of CrazySezyCool), the style is predominantly old skool R&B with funk and East Coast hip hop influences. I'm not saying that they bear an exact resemblance to old TLC - their sound is slightly more soul than pop - but songs like He's With Me and Everybody especially sound like they might've been written with them in mind. Sadly I don't know anything about the group but the album was produced by McKinley Horton, a former keyboardist in the 80s soul & funk group Cashmere.

Interlude I 0:34
He's With Me 4:12
Almost Give Me Love 4:42
Interlude II 0:19
Ooh We Wah 5:17
Interlude III 0:19
Nobody Needs To Know 4:34
Sweet Love 4:18
No Matter 4:34
Interlude IV 0:30
Honey 5:15
Interlude V 0:19
All My Love 4:56
Everybody 3:34

Monday, October 12, 2015

Amari: Sunshine (Promo CDr) (Tommy Boy/EastWest, 1998)

Further unreleased music from Washington DC-based trio Amari and a further casualty from the terrible EastWest Records who it seems have the biggest back-catalog of shelved albums on this Earth. Originally set to be released in the late 90s, the album's lead single "Callin' (Will You Players Ever Learn?)" was featured on the Soundtrack to the 1997 motion picture "Ride." Another song "Get Down With Me" was featured on the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie "Nothing To Lose." Unfortunately, due to unknown

Friday, October 9, 2015

F'Tru: And Then At Once...Success! (TPSK Records, 2001)

Another obscure group out of Milwaukee which has more of an old skool sound, mainly chilled R&B mixed with New Jack Swing influences. The group's lead singer is Patrice Downey, who is now a solo artist with a few albums on CDBaby. I don't know for certain but I believe that some of the material recorded for these (particularly the one here) may be originally be from the group's unreleased second album. A top group for smooth R&B lovers.

One... (Interlude) 0:59
Don't Ask 4:27
Keys Don't Work (Interlude) .. 0:31
Joke's On You 4:18
Fallin' In Love feat. Raw Ta.. 3:46
Lovin' You 3:44
One Nite Stand 4:23
Love Sequel 4:42
We Need To Talk (Interlude) 0:42
Stay Around 4:29
Don't Give Up On Me 3:49
Damn 4:35
You Can't Be 4:14
What Am I To Do 5:18
Ooh (Interlude) 1:58
Trouble feat. Mr Jordan 4:41
Apollo Nite 3:29
Black Moon feat. Dan Vaughn 2:46

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dannii Minogue: Universal February 2004 Sampler (Promo CDr) (Universal Music Publishing Ltd, 2004)

At a glance this Universal Records sampler seems completely unremarkable but seeing as Dannii Minogue has been a guilty pleasure of mine for many, many years, I just had to buy this CD. Track 12 was, in part, one of the main reasons why her 2006 compilation album The Platinum Collection was scrapped as Minogue was apparently unhappy with the inclusion of some previously unreleased tracks without her permission. Shortly after the project was cancelled, Unleashed was released in its place. Some of the rejected tracks such as Tut Tut (Does Your Mother Know?) and Karma Is A Bitch leaked in HQ several years back but the above one (titled here as Each Finger Got An Attitude) sadly did not. Seeing as the project wasn't imagined until 2006, the track's inclusion on this particular sampler is somewhat of a mystery but apparently it was intended at one point to be a double-A side with the cancelled single It Won't Work Out in 2004. At 2:42 it is rather a short track but regardless I am quite happy to finally have it in HQ quality (though it does sound slightly unmixed.) 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tslané: You Are Nothing (Without Me) (EP) (NuSoul Records, 2002)

A lot of other "collectors" turn their noses up at CDbaby artists; it seems as if an album or single doesn't cost three figures to buy then it is not worth their time but I am willing to give anybody a chance so long as it is early 2000s, the sound is good and can be purchased as an actual physical CD. I've come across quite a few amazing acts there, such as Milenia (an soulful trio made up of former backing singers for Prince) and the contemporary R&B group Fe'Male, whose unreleased work is posted here. The above artist, from Baton Rogue, LA, is also another great find. Released in 2002, it is as good, if not better, than similar work by similar artists at the time and her voice is somewhat reminiscent of a softer, more melodic Anita Baker. Unfortunately this is the only thing she ever did though it does appear (as judging from the back of this CD) that she was in the process of recording a whole album.

You Are Nothing (Without Me) 5:04
You Are Nothing (Without Me) - Radio Edit 4:26
No Not This Time 3:44
Pure Satisfaction 4:10