New Quincy Jones Album: B-

16 Nov

Last week I got my greedy little hands on Q: Soul Bossa Nostra the new studio album by R&B legend/producer Quincy Jones. When I say “got my hands on it” I mean forked out $12.99 of my hard earned cash money for it. My feelings are mixed.

I like the premise of the album. Of course, I love anything that throws it back and does a little sampling. With Quincy Jones, you can pick your era you want to “sample” from. I mean this guy has constantly been working on something since the 1950s. So the options were pretty wide open. And if you are familiar with Michael Jackson’s Thriller then you know that he has got talent. If you are not familiar with Thriller then you are either an alien or a member of Indonesia’s Baduy Tribe.

Most of the material on it though, aside from a sampling of his “Soul Bossa Nova” and “It’s My Party” are from the 70s and 1980s. Again- OK with me. Where I have a problem with this album is coming up.

Let’s skip to the album highlights. Here they are in no particular order:

“Strawberry Letter 23″ (featuring Akon)
“Give Me the Night” (featuring David Banner, Jamie Foxx)
“The Secret Garden” (featuring Usher, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, Barry White, Tyrese, Tevin Campbell)
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” (featuring T-Pain, Robin Thicke)

All of the above are worth downloading and worth the money. Mostly they are just up-tempo remakes of the originals. Which, when done by artists like these, turn the old songs into something worth another listen. Makes me remember why I liked them so much back in the day.

The lowlights?

“Soul Bossa Nostra” (featuring Ludacris, Naturally 7, Rudy Currence)
“Get The Funk Out Of My Face” (featuring Snoop Dogg)
“It’s My Party” (featuring Amy Winehouse)

Skip these tracks. I get annoyed with the fact that Q produced this whole album and all the artists feel a need to shout out to him incessantly through each track. We get it. Quincy is “the king” “the man” “the greatest.” It was a little too much for me. He should have remembered his own motto and checked his ego at the door.

The Snoop track is overproduced, as are some of the other weaker tracks on the album. Too many horns. Too tight sounding. Winehouse’s remake of “It’s My Party” is pitiful. Sounds like someone sobered her up a little, propped her up in front of a mic and told her she was at 1960′s karaoke night. There is nothing new in it or unique about it. I’d take Leslie Gore’s version any day.

Overall, an ok buy. If you want to skip buying the album and just buy a few of the tracks, you will probably save a little cash. If you only get one track from the whole thing, I would recommend “Strawberry Letter 23.” Enjoy.

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3 Responses

  1. JJ says:

    Too many horns? Quincy has always been a bit brassy when he can’t layer background vocals. Rent the movie “Listen Up,” and you might understand his approaches a little more, though you still may not appreciate them. “Quincy Jones is like butter on toast.” I’d had enough when Shaq declared that on the Juke Joint CD…and by Ice T, Mellie Mel, Big Daddy Kane and company on “Back on the Block,” which is marking 25 years. Such repetitiveness could be replaced by another harmonica track from Jean “Toots” Thielmans.

  2. MB says:

    Better bet: Norah’s “Featuring Norah Jones,” a semi-eclectic, duet-laden, decade-long song pack: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-norah-jones-featuring-norah-jones-blue-note-2131520.html. Not revolutionary, but kinda fun.

  3. Avatar of cassie cassie says:

    thanks for the input, guys!

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