Urban radio sayonara

Champion of Japanese pop and ’80s college rock catalog that Musicwhore.org is, this site is not above exploring the upper echelons of the music industry charts.

I will always have a place in my heart for Janet Jackson, no matter how her wardrobe malfunctions. But Madonna, darling, the leotard …

And while I may head for the ACO and Utada Hikaru portions of my playlist first, there’s room enough for these so-called urban artístes.

Kanye West, Late Registration

I’m the bad type of fan who wants Kanye West to do nothing but write "Jesus Walks" over and over again. It’s not the actual tune I want to hear on repeat — because I can just turn on the radio for that — but it’s the zeigiest of the song. He challenges an industry that won’t let him succeed by singing praises to God, while at the same time writing a hook that insures "people in a club will be screaming out ‘Jesus walk with me’". I didn’t encounter anything that achieved that intersection of social commentary and art on Late Registration. And I also came away from the album feeling West believes his press a bit too much …

Mary J. Blige, The Breakthrough

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is, in essence, a blues singer. The theme of her albums distilled is, "Come around and let me tell you of my struggles and how I overcame them." Mary J. Blige knows her message, and she knows how to deliver it. Sincerely. So listeners can either play along with the role she has forged through life experience. Or they can expect more. I just remember coming away from this album thinking I liked Love & Life better. Thing is, I have the suspicion Love & Life may not be comparable to No More Drama, to which I have not listened.

TLC, Now and Forever: The Hits

I should just get used copies of Ooooh! On the TLC Tip! and Crazysexycool and be done with it. Thing is, I think I’d like Ooooh! On the TLC Tip! a lot more than Crazysexycool — the tracks from TLC’s debut included on Now and Forever: The Hits caught my ears much more easily than the ones from the trio’s starmarking second album. I already own — and reviewedFan Mail, which outstrips everything else TLC has done. The loss of Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes is quite palpatable on the tracks representing 3D. In context of the group’s other work, the 3D tracks sound brave but deflated. Evidently, Now and Forever is geared for listeners with a pre-disposition to TLC, of which I count myself. I’m not going to plead a case for TLC to the Musicwhore.org constituency with rockist leanings. That’s like convincing a Clay Aiken fan that they too can love Number Girl as much as I do. But I think TLC is cool, and I won’t deny I listen to them.