If you didn’t know already, Jay-Z was executive producer of ‘The Great Gatsby‘ alongside Baz Luhrmann and Anton Monsted. The trio did an amazing job producing the screen version of the famous book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, written in 1925. The film is an eclectic mix of Baz Luhrmann’s signature colourful outrageous style, with a hip hop (in parts) sound track and a modern-day sitcom / comical vibe from the, in places comical, naration by Tobey Maguire. If you havent seen it already, you should, its out in 3D too, should you wish to don the shades.
The most controversial song on the soundtrack is the Amy Winehouse cover, ‘Back to Black’ performed by Beyoncé and Andre 3000. Mitch Winehouse (Amy’s father) is said to be furious about the cover and has publicly voiced his view on the new version. If you listen to it in comparison to the original, hands down, Amy wins – there is no question there. But as I have listened to the Beyoncé & Andre 3000 version more it has definitely grown on me and deserves credit in its own right. It also works a treat in the movie – which I guess it what its purpose was – so that’s a tick for Jay-Z.
The soundtrack is a strange mix of artists and melodies that somehow work together. My favourite track has to be Jay-Z’s ‘100 $ bill’. The song is used to set the scene for the era at the start of the movie, showing the boom of the stock market and the party scene. Although weird at first for hip hop to be used for a movie set in the 1920s – again somehow, maybe with the vivid Technicolor and other ‘out of place’ features – it works.
Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie’s ‘A little Party never Killed Nobody (all we got)’ is bound to be a club hit for summer 2013. A pumping house tune with a 1920s flapper vibe and vintage mic vocals. Doesnt really float my boat but no doubt, along with the film being a hit, this one will fill many a dance floor.
Lana Del Ray excels herself with her sugar sweet ballad ‘Young and Beautiful’. Perhaps grows on you more if you’ve seen the movie and appreciate the meaning of the song in the context of the story. It wreaks of romantic tragedy, which is what the movie’s all about.
Beyoncé wasnt the only one doing a cover on the album, Emeli Sande does her own 1920s cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’. The tune sounds more like the Puppini Sisters than Emeli Sande – but nice to hear her doing something different for once.
Other artists on the album include Will.I.AM, Bryan Ferry, Florence and the Machine, Coco O, The XX (every song sounds the same – and this one is no exception) Gotye, Jack White, Nero and Sia
The full album tracklist:
1. 100 $ Bill – Jay-Z
2. Back to Black – Beyonce and Andre 3000
3. Bang Bang – Will.I.AM
4. A Little Party never Killed Nobody (All we Got) – Fergie & Q TIP & GOONROCK
5. Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Ray
6. Love is the Drug – Bryan Ferry and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over the Love – Florence and the Machine
8. Where the Wind Blows – Coco O. of Quadron
9. Crazy in Love – Emelie Sande and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The XX
11. Hearts a Mess – Goyte
12. Love is Blindness – Jack White
13. Into the Past – Nero
14. Kill and Run – Sia
- The Great Gatsby (smaxtedreviews.wordpress.com)
If like me you were a big fan of Aaliyah back in the nineties, you are going to LOVE Cassie’s second album ‘RockaByeBaby’ (Bad Boy Records) released on April 11th 2013. Cassie (aka Casandra Ventura) first shot to fame with her 2006 hit ‘Me & U‘ from her first album ‘Cassie’. This tune still sounds really current – it will always be on the classic R&B list. Other hits from the album included ‘Long Way 2 Go‘ and ‘Must be Love’
Since launching her debut album, ‘Cassie’, the sultry beauty has released a number of songs on their own that havent really cut the mustard, either failing to enter the charts or just not climbing them. In 2012 Cassie featured on Nicki Minaj‘s song ‘The Boys’ with a new edgy look shaving half her head. The tune was a bit of a flop with the best part of the song / video seeing Cassie looking better than ever in her white swimsuit. Its no wonder the Filipina / American / Mexican (apparently the perfect mix) stunner is also a model.
So, the new album, ‘RockaByeBaby’ ….. we think it rocks. Cassie stays true to her style; soft, monotone robotic raps with sweet singing and a big does of attitude and sex. She has kept her new badgal image and a couple of the tracks, including ‘Do my Dance‘ and ‘Bad Bitches’ reflect this. Aside from the track the album is named after ‘RockaByeBaby’, this is not an album to party to, this is an album to sit back and smoke a blunt to. It’s chilled like Winston. That said – It does offer a good variety of sounds.
This is our favourite track on the album, ‘Numb’ featuring Maybach Music‘s Rick Ross. The video, directed by Ali Nazari, works well with the track; lotsa smokin, Black and white parts and Cassies soft vocal tones contrasting against Ross’s beats.
The only other track on the album with an official video right now is ‘Paradise’ featuring Wiz Khalifa. The tune is definately a bit more up tempo than ‘Numb’ but still pretty chilled. The tune has a real nineties feel to it and Wiz does his thang well in a cool hoodie from http://www.joyrich.com . Wonder what Amber Rose thought of him rappin with Cassie? We predict this will be a hit this Summer 2013. Although chilled, you could def go slow on the dancefloor with your boo to this one.
Cassie features a number of artists on this album. She doesnt hold back on ‘I Love it’ featuring Fabolous, which in parts reminds me of a toned down version of Rihanna’s ‘Cockiness’.
You decide – how cool is this mashup featuring Lord Flacko (aka A$AP ROCKY – did we tell you we’re seeing him live in Brixton on 22nd May?).
Other similarities include her track ‘Addiction’ featuring French Montana, where the beat sounds like a recycled version of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’:
Two tracks that dont seem to ‘belong’ on the album, but we think are pretty cool nonetheless are right at the end of the E.P are ‘Bad Bitches ft Ester Dean‘ (possibly our favourite track on the album) and ‘Do My Dance‘ featuring Too Short. Both tracks are much more uptempo than the rest on the album and we can see ‘Bad Bitches’ being a bit club hit for Ibiza 2013.
Weaker tracks on the album include ‘Take Care of me Baby’ featuring Pusha T and ‘Sound of Love’ featuring Jeremih which has a bit too much autotune for our liking. Cassie samples Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kid’ beat in her track ‘I know what you want’, which is possibly the only good thing about it.
Overall Cassie’s ‘RockaByeBaby’ is worth downloading, you wont regret it. You cant help but fall for her soft sweet vocals and that sexy beat.