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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Peven Everett
Studio Confessions
ABB Soul Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The neo-soul sound is taking over the production of 'progressive rap,' a title that members of that supposed genre are not especially fond of. Just ask Talib Kweli or Black Thought if they fall under the category of 'prog-rap' and they will surely demur. It's sort of like the term 'Intelligent Dance Music' - If cut up beats are intelligent, is that to say that ass-shaking house isn't? And in the rap world, if Slum Village is progressive, is that to say that Kool G Rap isn't? The 'neo-soul' part of the equation doesn't seem to stir as much ire, after all, if you break it down, it's pretty inoffensive… 'neo' meaning new and 'soul' meaning smooth and artfully crooned R'n'B. It's an update on a 40 year old genre of music, simple as that.

Peven Everett is a new addition to the world of neo-soul, following in the footsteps of artists like D'Angelo, Bilal and Jill Scott. This talented musician and singer plays a bevy of instruments, including guitar, sax, flute, keys and trumpet, just to name a few. He lets loose a subtle but buttery voice over this entirely self-written and arranged album, Studio Confessions. The music picks up where the work of the Soulquarians (Common, D'Angelo, Slum Village) leaves off, albeit in a low budget form. The overall production is slightly sub par, most likely due to the limited budget that Everett had to work with in the studio. The Harvey, Illinois, singer's songs sometimes border on smooth jazz, as in the weakly rapped "They So Cold," a track which flows over a uninspiring flute loop. Studio Confessions' closing track, the instrumental "Sankofa" also suffers at the hands of outdated synth sounds buzzing over a meandering melody. But don't distress too much over the stumbling points as there are solid moments throughout Studio Confessions, like in the tracks "One More Time" and "I Wanna Make Love," both of which feature Peven's slinky singing over soul and jazz riffs that become repetitive but are saved by his obvious talent and personality. For all of it's faults, it's good to hear an album like Studio Confessions to illustrate soul and R'n'B that doesn't fall into the common themes of commercial radio jamz, like songs about wifeys and licking different parts of the body. Which is not to say that those themes aren't intelligent, or IR'n'B, but they are getting kind of tired. Peven Everett seems to be tired of them too and has taken his songs above and beyond, even if the music isn't yet as strong as it undoubtedly will be in the future.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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