illReview: “Days & Nights” Daley

daley

My first music purchase in 2014 went toward another buzz-worthy UK soul brother by the name of Daley. Gareth Daley first made noise back around 2009 when his cover of Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings” illuminated a growing R&B resurgence. His EP Those Who Wait followed with the superb cover as well as my favorite “Let It Go.” A few singles and a lovely Marsha Ambrosious duet later, his full length  arrives stateside.

The debut is rich with his unique falsetto and neo-soulish tendencies. Love songs abound, Daley gives us a variety to swoon over. The opening “Time Travel” ebbs as a perfect introduction, building on each bass-driven crescendo. The Pharrell-produced single “Look Up” is an inspiring, sing-a-long pick me up. Heartache is the focus of “Blame the World” which delves into Daley’s strong songwriting skills.

The two-year old “Alone Together” still shines as if it was released yesterday. And the pleasant “Be” will make you long for someone to share the album with. The twelve-song set is a bright and strong effort from the new artist. Days & Nights is out now. And be on the look out for Daley on tour in a city near you.

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ill: “Follow Me” Rochelle Jordan, video

stan here at millist for Toronto’s own Rochelle Jordan. And the fact that 2014 is ringing in new music from her is a blessing from her Canadian crown on high. The angelic-voiced songstress dropped “Follow Me” late 2013. The smooth joint from prime collaborator Klsh is another gem of R&B freshness. The video finds ROJO parlaying the town with her girls (very Yonce). Can’t wait to hear what Jordan has in store for the new year.

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ill : “F For You” Disclosure feat. Mary J Blige, video

Great 90s house with soul vocals Batman!?!

So slap me because I’m super late to the infectious duo known as disclosure. They’ve been buzzing the electronic dance world as of late. I just generally hadn’t gotten a chance to tune in, you know from all the other white djs looking for a nut to move your butt. But these two are no fluke, and on the remix to a track on last year’s “settle,” they’ve surprised us by adding hip-hop/soul artist Mary J. Blige. Not only is the infectious collaboration the epitome of flirt on the dance floor, it’s another pleasant stage in Blige’s evolution as an artist. Really can’t wait to see what she and they do next.

Get. In. This.

 

 

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illReview | “All That Remains” The Walking Dead S2.E1

TellTale Games finally released the follow up to last year’s riveting The Walking Dead video game series. With a story adjacent to the graphic novel and AMC cable series,  Lee Everett’s fight for life in post-zombie outbreak Georgia garnered multiple awards for it’s emotive storytelling. No other game prior (one could nod at PS3′s The Last of Us as a successor in this respect) had so strongly and beautifully captured a human connection between characters and players. If you finished the first five episodes, you’re quite aware of how season 2′s heroine, Clementine, wound up our sole protagonist.

“All That Remains” orients us back to the desolate America that is The Walking Dead. Clem is about a year or so older, maturer for her age given the circumstances. Everything is quiet. Too quiet. What starts as a somewhat placid day soon turns to terror as we’re reminded how fragile the human psyche is under distress. A clumsy error results in drier consequences, leaving Clem running solo. With the tactics she learned from her late protector, she manages to find a new group. But we know all too well the danger in trusting those who survive.

Gameplay remains similar to the previous iteration using quick time commands to initiate actions. Controls feel smoother given we’re an entire season and other game franchise (Wolf Among Us) into these mechanics. The decision-making is still there and continues to uphold the intensity. Conversations merit wildly different reactions, aiding in the rich storytelling. The episode also packs some harrowing moments, including a full blown first aid simulation that feels more suitable for Lara Croft.

Can not wait for Episode 2 and how Clem’s new surroundings will illustrate the series this time.

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ill25: the Rest

So that series was supposed to last the first 25 days of December.

Yeah, about that…

Here are the rest of the contenders. With a few extra. Merry Christmas

“V.S.O.P” K Michelle

“Electric Lady” Janelle Monae ft. Solange

“5 Days” INC

“Nuclear” Destiny’s Child

“Do What U Want” Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly

“It Won’t Stop” Sevyn Streeter

“Hood Pope” ASAP Ferg

“All the Way Home” Tamar Braxton

“Turnt” Dream ft. Beyonce & 2 Chainz

“We Loved It” John Legend ft. Seal

“Almost Is Never Enoug” Ariana Granda ft. Nathan Skyes

“Ridiculous” Raheem DeVaughn

“Look Up” Daley

“Talkin About Nothing” Big K.R.I.T.

 

 

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ill25: “Them Ni**as” Hit -Boy & Audio Push

If Pharrell and Timbaland are the MJ & Kobe of production this year, newcomer Hit-Boy (“Ni**as in Paris”) is the LeBron. Two years after WTT he’s signed and left G.O.O.D. Music and is vetted on running his own label HS87. This imprint released a self-titled mixtape earlier this year with a list of collaborators. My favorite track was the Audio Push (un der rat ed) assisted “Them Niggas.”

Atop a bass heavy beat, the opening track gives you C-Murder tease. This is only the beginning of a young man destined for greatness in the near future.

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ill25: “Power Trip” J. Cole ft. Miguel

Born Sinner may have not delivered like fans and critics wanted, but it still remains one of the strongest hip-hop releases of the year. Cole’s dark obsession with someone else’s gal erupted to the point of nausea. Due to Miguel’s pre-hook and a very shady video, it’s garnered Jermaine a Grammy nom for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.


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