Reviews

Wes Dean’s Call for Unity: Why “Time to Bring Back Peace and Love” Is the Song We Desperately Need Today

By 44faced on May 18, 2024 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Wes Dean’s song “Time to Bring Back Peace and Love” is a hopeful and uplifting song pinpointing what is most important in our lives: unity. In a world where there is a lot of division, this song reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters, no matter how we might appear different on the surface. The lyrics and melodies work together to make us feel united and encourage us to show more compassion and kindness.

Through an immaculate blend of acoustic guitar and vocal layers, the song communicates a wondrous harmony and peace that mirrors the very same qualities we would experience if we managed to continuously remind each other that through unity, we would live much better lives than our divisiveness leads us to see otherwise.

Wes Dean is a talented musician with a rich voice and great guitar skills. His song not only sounds good but also makes us think about being kinder to each other. “Time to Bring Back Peace and Love” is a song that can inspire people to come together and create a more loving world.

This song is more than just music; it’s a call to action: “We’ve gotta love our fellow man. It’s time to bring back peace and love.” It invites everyone to raise their peace signs and work towards unity. Listening to Wes Dean’s music feels like taking a step towards healing and making the world a better place. Join him in spreading peace and love through his inspiring music. – Review by 44faced.

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Intensifying the Pulse: Entorge’s “To The Edge” Redefines Deep House Energy

By 44faced on Apr 06, 2024 in Reviews - 0 Comments

Entorge’s “To The Edge” is a deep house masterpiece, a high energy short 2 minute, 38 second quickly ebbing and flowing anthem that’s sure to shake everyone’s bodies back and forth on the dance floor.

A pulsating bass that pumps like a fast heart rate, a catchy stabbing resonant low bass synth, with melodically dancing yet ambiently reverberant melodic synth licks, quivering together with mid-range vocals glowing widely in the stereo field as it throbs high intensities of energy in its expansive hall-like atmosphere, filling the space with a repetitive call to “push it to the edge.”

Structurally, after establishing the oscillating energy and introducing the catchy bass line that continues to act as the song’s grounding, a subtle reverse crash cymbal eases us into the onset of first verse with its vocal entry, soon after a bridge—or more like a staircase—takes us up risers and more reverse cymbals, to a hook—“We’ll push it to the edge, to the edge now”—with the eighth-note melodic synth licks, leading to a further section of intensification led by punchy four-to-the-floor snare hits, which then speed up into sixteenth-note beats, and then into another further intensified section.

“To The Edge” continues along the lines of constant intensification from one section to the next, only to rest on the hook twice, albeit with carefully placed production additions, mostly in the form of adlib synth licks, driving us throughout with its house four-to-the-floor to an ending section that is a culmination of the song’s energy into a climax that makes listeners feel as if they’re dancing in a palace, ending with the aftertaste of “‘Cause I love the way you make me feel” continuing to decay in your thoughts as the reverb trail of the synth, drums and voice all fade away into the night.

Entorge (pronounced “entourage”) is a German producer/DJ. Entorge composes melodic elements with hard-hitting bass in his tracks, a distinctive approach influenced by the legacy of Avicii.

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NoKissing – GreenEyes & EyeLiner

By 44faced on May 07, 2022 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

NoKissing, evokes depth and delicacy in his newly-released single, “GreenEyes & EyeLiner,” which came to fruition after a string of recent singles releases.

The single emerges as the latest unraveling of the American singer-songwriter’s (from Detroit, MI) soul-searching through his wide range of genre-bending influences from Kurt Cobain to Juice WRLD. Each of his releases are stepping stones on a journey increasingly revealing an introspective expansion of the artist’s mind and heart.

Shrouded in secrecy, outside NoKissing’s melodic outpourings, he discloses nothing more than bite-sized fragments about his music, which serve more as hints rather than clarifications. About the single, NoKissing’s few words of self-description are as concise as they are a question mark in and of themselves, that “this song is ambient, upbeat, with reflective subject matter.”

Taking these questions into the release, together with visually-arousing lyrics, attention-demanding voice, enticing bridges, a catchy hook within smooth production, the listener encounters a floating motion, melancholy blended with beauty, reflecting the confrontation between the mind’s paradoxes and the emotional release that the music provides both artist and listener.

“GreenEyes & EyeLiner” comes as a major artistic milestone for NoKissing, after his recent single release, “Leave Me Alone,” and the music videos for his captivating singles, “BADTHING” featuring MVRV, and “GreenDay,” the latter of which has racked up over 51K views on YouTube to this day.

Stream NoKissing – “GreenEyes & EyeLiner” on Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/0aREwVoblVPygqt7kTXWm5

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Thom Bullitt – Nobody

By 44faced on May 04, 2022 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Nobody is a new collaborative project between Thom Bullitt and Ryini Beats. Featuring primarily acoustic instrumentation, this EP serves as a break from Thom Bullitt’s usual hard-hitting rap songs, choosing instead to take a more laid back and stripped down approach.

Thom Bullitt is no stranger to experimentation, and Nobody takes a turn for the laid back while sustaining several of his stylistic signatures. The most noticeable stylistic signature that Thom Bullitt carries through to the project is his one-of-a-kind vocal delivery, which continues to surprise in terms of its pitch and inflection, as he never enters the track with what you’d expect.

Some songs carry through Thom Bullitt’s long-known rap style over the acoustic guitar accompaniment, such as “This Hotel Room,” “Saturdays, “Smoke Break,” and “Give Me My Roses.” Others go all-out songwriting, like “Alone,” “Never Come Down,” and “Nobody.”

Each song acts encapsulates a specific moment filled with emotion, sometimes introspective (e.g. “Alone”), and other times social (e.g. “Propaganda”), and at other times simply chill as Thom Bullitt takes us on a smoke break with him. The “moment” atmosphere is created often with song fade-ins and fade-outs that give a feeling that each song is the entrance into its own universe, while the common acoustic instrumentation and production throughout maintains the consistency that you’d look for in an album or EP project.

“Propaganda,” also featuring Tsa Da Don, includes some subtle instrumental additions of pad synths and drums to up the pace from the previous tracks, setting the tone for a social commentary on the project.

My personal favorite in this project, however, is “Alone.” Thom Bullitt reaches for a incredibly well-rounded songwriting approach, and conveys strong emotions through singing that uses his characteristic slightly off-pitches and inflections as a technique that he takes full control of—and also with lyrics capturing a very relatable feeling of our current times.

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Drey Viloria – Diary ov a Dreamchaser Chapter I (Album EP)

By 44faced on Mar 02, 2022 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

New Jersey-based artist Drey Viloria delivers mature, thought-provoking, and honest lyricism within an ambient and optimistic space, driven by hip hop (from experimental, through old school, through trap, through modern mainstream), R&B, pop, disco, and other influences. Often, when hearing of a young up-and-coming artist who produces, records, mixes, and masters his own material, it is expected that somewhere along that chain, the artist would reveal his amateur abilities. That is not the case with Drey Viloria’s four-track EP, Diary ov a Dreamchaser Chapter I.  With this EP, Drey rather shows the workings of a rare perfectionist along the chain of production, recording, mixing, and mastering, which compliments his insightful lyrics and authentic vocal delivery.

In Drey Viloria’s own words, the four songs on Diary ov a Dreamchaser Chapter I, “express the thoughts and feelings I have, while on my journey of chasing my dreams and finding my purpose in life.” As such, each track is a moment of scrutiny and discerning on aspects of life relevant to every person, given from Viloria’s own unique perspective, inviting listeners into an inner journey upon flowing instrumentals that each capture waves of different emotions.

The first track, “Heroes,” explores a breathing-like tension-and-release feel of wavy ambient synths fluxing together with percussive stabs within a cloudy space as Drey Viloria opens by asking questions that unfold into an introspective dialog. “Fear Plagued,” the EP’s second track, earns the title track of the EP with a recurring hook-like lyrical approach that explores fear and its effects on a person, starting phrases with “When you’re fear plagued,” (e.g. “When you’re fear plagued you become paralyzed, all those fears fake, when you do recognize it’s a clear waste of imagination”). A descending chordal motive as a bed of synth pads in the Benzy Beats’ instrumental together with the relentless lyrical investigation that revolves around the theme of fear acts like a journey down a staircase into a new room filled with a wide spectrum of observations that ultimately inspire an approach of letting go of fear in order to wake up into a new world of opportunity. The sharp percussive upbeat beat with synthesized female-sounding vocals as backing melodic material on “HateDaLuv?” carries Drey Viloria’s contemplation on a relationship that goes through the motions of inquiring, justifying, and clarifying in a down-to-earth back-and-forth with himself trying to enter the elusive mind and heart of the female: “How u gonna hate da luv when da luv don’t do u wrong?” On “New Again,” a bright and encouraging almost-80s sounding synth-led ostinato dials together with Drey Viloria into the struggle of moving ahead in life, in the rap game, while maintaining a strong sense of self and centeredness in what can often feel like enemy territory: “still keeping faith when things seem off.”

Drey Viloria’s embrace of a down-to-earth and honest ongoing dialog that unfolds throughout the EP is also masterfully captured in the music video to “Fear Plagued.” The EP’s centerpiece brings Drey’s image to life with colors that perfectly match the song’s darker mood, and with an emphasis on the his introspective nature and style by illustrating his lyrical notebook, which leaves you with an image of a deep individual inviting others into his journey to make sense of himself, his life, and life in general, and to mutually enjoy from the unraveling clarifications and confusions.

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Ethanpil – Welcome to the Madness

By 44faced on Sep 11, 2021 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

West Coast producer, songwriter, composer, and rapper, Ethanpil evokes a dynamic truth, and shifts between high energy bangers, motivational orchestrally-dramatic productions, and a relentless drive to get listeners charged song after song in his newly-released debut album, Welcome to the Madness

The album emerges as the latest unraveling of the California born-and-raised artist’s long string of hip hop and rap productions, where he has produced, mixed, and mastered works by Yukmouth, D’Lo, King Chucky, Steady, B3, Montana Montana Montana, and Cold Cody. Each of the album’s ten tracks are an aggressive, enterprising, powerful, and tireless journey into Ethanpil’s creativity.

Songs like “Litt” and “Popin Shyt” are high energy and set the mood for the project, while songs like “Alive,” “Bounce,” and “D Booker” set the tone and atmosphere of the album’s dynamic truth.

Ethanpil is the stage name of Sir Douglas Anthony Beeks. The name means “Everything has a natural purpose in life.” Ethanpil was born in Long Beach California, and he currently resides in central California.

In 2008, Ethanpil co-founded the production team SKIMASK PRO FAM (Skimask Production Family) and has had local radio success with a couple of his songs gaining radio airplay. In 2018, Ethanpil released his 1st mixtape, On a Mission, with S.T.E.A.D.Y.. He also featured and collaborated on individual tracks with local artists. Ethanpil has worked with several producers in collaboration works and has released debut solo album, Welcome to the Madness, on September 10, 2021.

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Thom Bullitt – Nightrider 2021

By 44faced on Aug 24, 2021 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

In the words of Thom Bullitt, Nightrider 2021 is “inspired by my experiences with hallucinogens and late night speedruns” and it was “designed to imitate the mental changes that occur through a long night out on the town. Blending synths with hip hop I can honestly say this is my most unique and creative EP to date!”

Nightrider 2021 shows a true artist at work trying to break past boundaries and explore new territory.

I’ve been following Thom Bullitt ever since he released his EP, Roses, which was a unique sound in its own right. The blend of outback experiences and hip hop, country-style guitar with smacking beats—Bullitt has eluded genres since his beginnings, hybridizing and experimenting to create a sound and style all his own. The Cooler King and The Cooler King 2 added depth and layers to the sound that he introduced in Roses, and being the unique sound and style that Bullitt was carving, one would think that he would continue developing in that direction. Nightrider 2017, and now, Nightrider 2021, however, sharply turns into a completely different direction.

“Return of the Nightrider” opens the album with a spacey fade-in leading to a four-to-the-floor beat that lays the foundation for Thom Bullitt’s characteristic vocal sound that simply needs to be heard to be understood how it fits into a space all its own. Trying to describe Bullitt’s vocal sound is a great effort: it is rap, but has an off-pitch feel to it, as if he purposefully—yet very naturally—selects pitches different to the musical scales that drive together with him.

As the album’s lead track, “Sunset,” sets in, this becomes all the more evident—a recurring ostinato of vocal delivery expressing the feel of the lyrics perfectly, “riding into the sunset.” It is a mesmerizing and soothing experience that gives a true feeling of heading down a long road into the sunset, inviting the listener with Bullitt on a captivating trance-inducing entrance to a new dimension.

The music slows down in “City Lights” but Bullitt’s vocal delivery goes up a notch in energy, once again emphasizing Bullitt’s artistry, bringing something different each time to what you expect, yet making it sound natural and that it simply works. High-pitched backing vocals and samples of a car driving away are like cherries on the top of a track that continues the driving feel of all of Bullitt’s output, and the tempo of “City Lights” makes it fit authentically into the blend of the album at track three.

“Floating” begins with a mellow rising mild-synth-stab riff on delay that sets the scene for a truly floating track expressing the freedom of getting high into the thick of the night. The hook of “Floating” leaves a memorable mark, in its first appearance at the opening lyrical stage of the track, which leaves you thirsting for its successive return throughout: “Floating through the night with the wind in my hair, walking in the clouds, it’s a breath of fresh air, another pack of weed got my mind crystal clear, the night slowing down till the world disappear.”

“Midnight Rhymes 2” changes up the atmosphere of Nightrider 2021 with an epic and motivational feel. It is as if a reminiscence of the come-up as a rapper while driving high in the night with a friend. That friend is featured rapper, OchiTommy, who integrates into the song lyrically and in a call-and-response manner—a refreshingly upgraded approach to introducing a featured rapper on a track, that he lives as part of the track, and weaves in and out with Bullitt, and not like so many features where the featured rapper simply lays down their verse around the general theme of the track.

Although once again starting with delayed synth stabs and arpeggiated synth sequences, and still holding the characteristic driving feel that Bullitt holds consistently not only throughout this album, but throughout his output in general, “Battery Acid” still manages to successfully introduce a different emotional aspect. This time, optimism penetrates through more than anything else. Accompanied by a new kind of bassline that travels around the low-end up-and-down in octaves of four chords that cycle throughout, Bullitt describes a high feeling of being above everything in the midst of the night. Lots of seeming metaphors weave together lyrically, from the title, “Battery Acid” supposedly blending between high on acid as well as keeping with the recurring driving theme, and the driving themes of eyeing the long road ahead optimistically—it is very easy to relate to as looking forward to higher long-term goals that a person moves to. And those are just tastes of what could be interpreted from this gem.

Each track successfully gives a different feel while holding a common theme: the common elements of four-to-the-floor beats, delayed synths, and Bullitt’s consistency with lyrical themes, and the differences notably come from a distinctively different BPM in each time. Producers would be wise to take note of the BPM changes from track to track in order to learn how to change up an album so innately while maintaining a consistent integrity of theme. The album’s closing tracks “Highway” and “Sunrise” manage to continue this theme throughout the album. Also, by the time you reach the closing track, “Sunrise,” you start feeling how you just went through a whole night with Thom Bullitt, literally from dusk till dawn. And Bullitt continues an inspiring head-held-high approach at every stage of the journey, inviting the listener to join him.

By this stage, I feel exactly what Bullitt mentioned, that the album was “designed to imitate the mental changes that occur through a long night out on the town.” It truly succeeds to encapsulate that feel, musically, lyrically, and also structurally.

Stream Thom Bullitt – Nightrider 2021 on Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/4LQ8W03qGTPdSZlfkPaYhs

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Thom Bullitt – Sunset [Single Review]

By 44faced on Aug 06, 2021 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

“Sunset” is the lead single from Thom Bullitt’s upcoming synth/hip-hop EP, Nightrider 2021, which is the official follow-up to his 2017 EP, Nightrider

Opening with descending arpeggiated light synth stabs among a wave of atmospheric pads in a minor key setting the scene for a four-to-the-floor melancholic drive that bases Thom Bullitt’s characteristic vocal delivery that always does something different to what you’d expect, mostly in terms of pitch and inflection.

As with all of Bullitt’s materials, the lyrics and vocals penetrate confidently throughout. As with several of his songs, the hook and verses seemingly flow as a unified whole, playing repetitively throughout, with looping additives and subtractives over the course of the song. All of the song’s elements weave harmoniously to sweep the listener into a fluctuating, wavey, rolling and riding atmosphere, skillfully communicating Bullitt’s messages about heading out into the unknown, “while I ride all night into the Sunset.”

The vocal reverb and call-and-response with the voice expanding to the sides and coming back to the middle operate as a strikingly balanced atmosphere with the sharply hitting drums down the middle, and the synth pads flowing around the sides.

All in all, a mesmerizing and soothing experience that gives a true feeling of heading down a long road into the sunset, Thom Bullitt invites the listener with him on a captivating trance-inducing entrance to a new dimension.

Stream Thom Bullitt – “Sunset” on Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/7m1h09ksygsQDFWQJiqg6l?si=qRvahWaWSkimbox7BzByDg&utm_source=copy-link&dl_branch=1

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About Thom Bullitt: Born April 1, 1994 in Houston, Texas, Thomas Rodney Oates, Thom Bullitt was primarily raised around Rock & Roll, Blues, and Pop, contrary to belief. In 2004, Thomas would move away from the big city life in Houston to a more relaxed life in Edmond, Oklahoma – a suburb just north of Oklahoma City; shortly after which, he discovered and fell in love with Hip-Hop. Thomas began writing songs in high school – the first of which came in 2010 – and was eventually labelled in the senior yearbook as “Most Likely To Move To Houston And Become A Rapper” by his classmates. Shortly after graduating high school in 2012, he began recording his songs, but it would take time for him to develop his own style and comfort within the music industry. Thomas released his first full-length EP in December 2015 titled ‘The Cooler King’ under the moniker Thom Bullitt – a self-chosen title utilizing his high school nickname derived from his love of classic Steve McQueen films as well as a creative take on the shortened version of the name Thomas. Over the next years, Bullitt would go on to release 2 more EPs – ‘Bricktown Nights’ in 2016 & ‘NIGHTRIDER’ in 2017; ‘NIGHTRIDER’ being created as a way to transition out of the music world. Following the release of ‘NIGHTRIDER’, Bullitt would take a nearly 3 year hiatus from music to rediscover himself while fighting a battle against depression and alcoholism.

Eventually, Bullitt decided to return to music, this time under the stage name Papillon – the French translation of butterfly, which was deemed fitting based on both mental and physical growth as well as a new sense of self-comfort in the world. Bullitt would release his first EP using the name Papillon in September of 2019 titled ‘Roses’, which was met with shock and curiosity due to the fact that this EP featured a more Country & Rock influence than his previous endeavors, which featured a heavy Dirty South Hip-Hop sound. Following the release of ‘Roses’, Bullitt would transition back into releasing new music under the Thom Bullitt moniker to avoid confusion and lower the risk of his music getting lost in someone else’s discography. With a new outlook on life and a renewed love for Hip-Hop and creating music, Bullitt chose to create a sequel EP to his 2015 release, titled ‘The Cooler King 2’, which went through many changes before eventually being released on October 5, 2020.

During his career, Bullitt would become one half of the Oklahoma City based hip-hop group Bacardi Gang, a title he still carries to this day even though the group is no longer actively working together. Accompanied by the catchphrase “LIVIN IT”, Bullitt has been keen to let his music speak for itself and is rarely seen actively using others to influence his progress, preferring instead to maintain a low profile and avoid drama letting the music itself take the spotlight.

ApiiGo $even – Heat

By 44faced on Apr 15, 2021 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Opening with a muffled synth riff and reverberated calls that sound as if they’re in African, possibly reflecting ApiiGo $even’s African roots being raised in Bko, Mali, West Africa. But now that he is based in New York, ApiiGo $even abruptly slams in at just the 12-second mark in his new single, “HEAT,” with an delayed ostinato trap riff vocal that quickly catches a space in your brain while the deep 808 pumps your heart and chest in a fully intense trap and drill-inspired trap atmosphere, but with lyrics aimed at motivating and inspiring. ApiiGo $even continues ripping bars freely over the beat for the full two-plus minute duration of the track, drawing on his experiences in a freestyle-like but expertly-positioned wording over a beat that is a banger for all club DJs to take note of. All the while, the beat layers a dark pad synth riff over a drum beat of closely-positioned smacks, taps and flams, adding to the general intensity of the track. ApiiGo $even’s “HEAT” is one to get you moving at the club, to get you motivated at the gym, to pump the bass out of your vehicle, and to wake you right up in the morning.

ApiiGo $even released his debut single “HEAT” on April 12, 2021. It showcases his lyricism in a uniquely constructed piece of musical artistry. His sound exhibits his versatility and prowess and will surely cement his style as well as pave the way for the varied expressions of his musical ideas and artistic craft. This is the music that will push the boundaries of our perception as well as inspire and drive us to introspective conversations.

ApiiGo $even is a multi-talented vocalist and rapper born in NY and raised in Bko, Mali, West Africa. Now based in NY, he is making music that is driven by a desire to motivate, inspire, comfort and spread love and joy to all those that hear it. Born Alpha Traore, ApiiGo $even is the embodiment of originality and uses his experiences, roots and musical acumen to create an amalgamated and original sound. He is fluent in French, English and Bambara and he is versatile enough to do all kinds of styles but mainly focuses on trap and drill.

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Oberry – Void Offering

By 44faced on Oct 18, 2020 in Music , Reviews - 0 Comments

Nihilism and existential dread gain expression through a lo-fi, drenched, punk, emo and trap single by Oberry, “Void Offering.” The track contains a blend of varying energies from a walking-pace arpeggiated clean-guitar three-chord classic punk riff through a riding trap beat verse with its characteristic 808 bass, punching kick and snare, and flamming hi-hats, drawing out to sparse clean-guitar arpeggiated bridges, as well as unexpected snare fills leading into angst-filled four-to-the-floor headbanging-worthy hooks. The distorted vocals and heavily filtered sound throughout, drowning the clarity of the lyrics, successfully express a nihilistic existential dread.

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Subscribe to Oberry on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCN9Y4Ti1RUvH3Vk8ZPt8_wQ

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