My beloved birth month. The forgotten month in the year. You’re often overlooked for June and July and treated like the door mat of summer. You’re sweaty, you don’t have holiday’s, and we usually have to go back to school, so you’ve got the trifecta of unfortunate calendar circumstances. But you know what? You have something special - music. I mean, you just kept on giving, week after week after week. Even the dog days of summer couldn’t hold you back. So, I’ll just call it now. You’ve been the best month of music this year and I don’t see anybody beating you.
Your son, Stanley
August has been a month jam packed with high quality releases, particularly for R&B and Hip-Hop. August has featured releases from, Raphael Saadiq, who after a nearly decade gap in between albums released Jimmy Lee; Snoh Aalegra, whose album -Ugh, those feels again has reintroduced a level of vulnerability, storytelling, and vocal ability into the music world, and is carrying her from the underground to a wider audience; Taylor McFerrin’s Love’s Last Chance, a personal favorite, captures the best of Funk, Soul, Jazz, and House musics; Raposody’s Eve, a wide-ranging ode to Black Women and Women of Color, and features Rapsody at her lyrical peak, aided by producer, 9th Wonder; a long awaited release from Little Brother, showing the music world how much we missed their songwriting, humor, and production. August has also featured freshman releases from singer-songwriter, Baby Rose and producer and singer-songwriter, Emmavie.
Below are some of Kevin and I’s favorite songs from the month, and a bit about why we love them! Songs 1 — 14 were selected by Kevin, and songs 15 — 26 were selected by me, Stanley. We hope you listen to the playlist, find some songs you like, and check out the entire album!
Stanley: Taylor McFerrin — Memory Digital (Featuring Anna Wise)
After releasing Early Riser in 2014, Taylor McFerrin’s Love’s Last Chance is his first album in 5 years. And he didn’t disappoint! His new album is funky, thoughtful, well-produced, and so much more. In a jam-packed month of music, Love’s Last Chance is without a doubt my favorite album. In particular, Memory Digital , a duet between McFerrin and Anna Wise, is reminiscent of R&B from 70s and 80s, as the duo sings the hooks in unison. McFerrin’s vocals are laid back, and the grove is tight. It’s all you can ask for from a song.
Stanley: Raphael Saadiq — I’m Feeling Love
Early this week I bought a CD. A compact disc. In 2019. It doesn’t make much sense, honestly, but I needed to have a physical copy of Raphael Saadiq’s Jimmy Lee. Thematically, Saadiq’s new album is deeply introspective, self-critical, and redemptive. Musically, Jimmy Lee does all of things you’d want from Saadiq, it’s funky (really funky at times), great bass lines, and solidly composed songs. On I’m Feeling Love Saadiq takes a steady, slow burning Hip-Hop beat, and puts a tight bass line over top. It’s a masterpiece.
Stanley: Mac Ayers — Shit Covered in Gold (Featuring Tiffany Gouche)
With Juicebox serving as his third full length album, Mac Ayers has proven to be a thoughtful songwriter and talented composer. Playing multiple instruments, Mac Ayers wistfully moves from song to song, and follows in the tradition of artists like D’Angelo and Raphael Saadiq. Shit Covered in Gold , which features singer-songwriter, Tiffany Gouche, mixes smooth vocals, a bass line accenting on the 2 and 4, a faint, but important, rhythm guitar.