The cover? Awesome. The album? Well... did I mention the cover's awesome?
• Swollen Members, Armed to the Teeth - Look, it's not that this is a bad album. It's not. The cover is fucking sweet, and the production is decent. I don't know. It's just not my thing. I've listened to a fair amount of Moka Only (a fourth of the group), and I get the same sort of feeling about him. He's okay, and there are like three of four songs that I can really get with. But overall, it just feels a little empty to me.
• Georgia Anne Muldrow, Early - Just what the name says, this is a collection of early unreleased Muldrow recordings. I like her music, but she kind of goes a little too out there for me sometimes. This is just straight-ahead Rhodes-and-piano neo-soul, light, bouncy and really, really good. There's a slight detour back into more-modern sounds toward the end ("In Love Again"), and it's excellent as well. Muldrow is up there with Badu and Joss Stone in my short list of awesome modern soul singers.
• The Formula Project, Evolve - Maybe Nelly's to blame, but I'm just not a big fan of sing-rapping. Can't explain it. I'm a big fan of E. 1999 Eternal, but for the most part, it's not my cup of tea. A fair amount of Evolve could be considered R&B, but even with that caveat, it's still just kinda pedestrian. On the positive side, "She's Gone" kinda sounds like a DJ Cam b-side. Hopefully getting KRS-One to drop a verse on "Shine Again" pays off.
• Gift of Gab, Escape 2 Mars - Blackalicious may go down as one of my favorite hip-hop groups. I just like everything they do, whether it's their albums or side projects (Mighty Underdogs, the GofG solo albums), and Escape 2 Mars is no exception. His last solo record had the same sort of space theme, and it works once again. "Richman, Poorman" smooths out the beat from Black Milk's "Bounce," "El Gifto Magnifico" rides a Latin beat and "Some of the People" works a bouncy piano, all with Gift of Gab's constant-motion lyrics.