And a new year is upon is. For those who have not made their resolutions yet, fear not. The astrological new year doesn't begin until we enter Aries according to the fantastic Neil Paris at newworldastrology.com . So you have until the 21st of March.
Personally, I don't make resolutions for the coming year. I'm more apt to make them for the coming week, or even the next day. They are usually terribly petty things like 'I will NOT buy that Britney album because she sucks.' Or maybe 'Until Madonna has a happy song out, I'm going to play 'Express Yourself' until my CD player wears out.' Last week it was 'I'm going to make fun of anyone wearing those hideous Lance Armstrong bracelets**.' Today I feel the need to 'Laugh at anyone who thinks Eminem has talent.' All easy resolutions to keep, mind you.
Just a couple weeks ago I made a resolution on the way to the music store; 'Today I'm going to buy Queen Latifah's new album.' And wouldn't you know it, was able to actually keep that one too!
'The Dana Owens Album' is the latest work of prolific superstar Queen Latifah. If you didn't know, Dana Owens is her real name. Dancing around the musical spectrum of classic tunes, Latifah has created a very mature sounding collection of music. There is no rap to be found here. In its stead, blues and pop standards ride with ease against soul classics.
Tracks like 'I Put A Spell On You' and 'Baby Get Lost' are so richly orchestrated, you could stop there and feel sated. But this is The Queen we're talking about, and she just keeps letting you have it across the rest of the collection.
Up and down the tempo goes, swinging on tracks like 'Close Your Eyes' and 'Hard Times.' This is obviously a collection of music that's close to her heart.
There's even a downtempo version of 'California Dreamin' to sink your teeth into. Al Green even chimes in on her version of his song 'Simply Beautiful.'
In my spotlight is the very richly funked up 'The Same Love That Made Me Laugh.' Latifah starts hollerin' by the first minute into the song. The tambourines and the wah-wah bass line float in against the string chorus so that by the time the harp starts playing, you're wondering when Bill Withers will jump out of your speakers and start singing.
It's no surprise, with the caliber of production and vocal performance why this album has been nominated for a Grammy.
** And no, you cannot bitch about my sound off on those damn yellow bracelets because I bought 100 of them. How many did you buy? Hmmmm? They look tacky people. Go out and buy them all, but don't wear them, because I WILL make fun of you. Trust.