Ledisi, The Truth

Ledisi, typically known for belting out ballads, is back with a new album and an expanded sound. She still be sangin’, but there’s an exploration of more up-tempo grooves with this project as she shares what life has been like for her in recent years. as She’s let go of toxic relationships and learned new lessons about herself, life and love.

“I changed my life!” Ledisi told Amazon. “With every album I grow, and with The Truth, I am really starting to accept myself fully. I mean, I’ve always felt great about myself, but this time, I’ve gone to a new level.”

She describes this project as “vibrant, sensual and fun,” and she’s right. Her fans will be pleased. And those who didn’t know before should get into her.

Available at iTunes and wherever music is sold.


Aloe Blacc, Lift Your Spirit

Aloe Blacc, ever versatile, has previously been a rapper and a soul singer. But this time around, the singer/songwriter is presenting his music with more pop-alternative sensibilities and a touch of blues. The lead single, “The Man” (which we heard on his prelude four-song EP, Wake Me Up) is more in the pop vein of musical sounds. Overall though, a majority of this project taps into the ’60s and ’70s, yet still maintains enough modern appeal to keep millennials interested.

Blacc’s baritone is oft reminiscent of Bill Withers on most of the songs. And just when there are moments where he seems to get a bit monotone, he switches up the key—like on “Red Velvet Seat,” a love song where he taps into his falsetto range. Overall, this is a solid album for Aloe Blacc and a successful attempt at switching up his sound. But if you are stuck on some of his grittier previous releases, then you might miss that element here.

SZA, “Babylon”

Top Dawg Entertainment’s SZA is next up on the R&B front. The 23-year-old recently dropped a new video for her latest single, “Babylon,” and says that her EP, Z (follow up to last year’s popular, S), will drop on April 18. The hypnotic song complements the video, which features SZA frolicking in nature until she gets to the lake, where she strips herself of material possessions and baptizes herself in the water (which I’m assuming is a metaphor for her lover’s affection). Her nasally soprano, big hair and siren-like beauty are a striking combination as she sings about losing herself and “being crucified” and vulnerable in a rocky relationship.

Tank, “You’re My Star”

Tank’s sexy falsetto—in combination with a mid-tempo beat driven by trumpets—create the imagery that he’s standing on the mountaintops proclaiming his love for that special girl. “You’re hotter than the sun/Baby you’re my one, you’re my star,” Tank sings, just to get the message across. This is an anthemic, feel-good essential for a night-out-on-the-town soundtrack. It’s available on iTunes today.

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and fitness. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl or at GangStarrGirl.com.