Pop-Ed: Music from My Mom – R&B, Soul & Funk

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Music from My Mom – R&B, Soul & Funk – An Editorial by Asia Martin

I can remember music being a big contribution to the fun and hilarious moments that I had with my mother, Dana. From us mimicking moves in the “Rhythm Nation” video to her twirling me around the living room while Mr. Vandross sung ‘Never Too Much’ as I goofily tried to learn the “bop” (just in case a guy at the high school dance knew it). I should have paid more attention because some college guys did know it. And its hard to forget waking up to Donnie McClurkin’s Live In London shouts and croons flying up the stairs and busting my bedroom door open on Sunday morning.

In honor of Mother’s Day and to celebrate how my mother and yours have influenced the musical taste of their offspring and marked family memories with nostalgic playlist and legendary albums, I will review two of my mother’s favorite albums Go For Your Guns by The Isley Brothers and I’m Still In Love With You by Al Green.

Go For Your Guns – Side 1 & Side 2

My mother was attracted to this album because of the popular and well sampled song (i.e. Ice Cube’s ‘It Was A Good Day’) ‘Footsteps in the Dark’. One of my favorite tracks, as well, that is buttery smooth in vocals and in the instrumentals. That and ‘Voyage to Atlantis’ were the only slow jams on the album that speak to the type of Isley Brothers I know them as.

The rest of the album is funkier and rock enthused. Songs like ‘Climbing Up the Ladder’ and ‘Livin’ the Life’ have basic/classic rock styles and focus on the non-romantic entangled parts of life. Electric lead-ins and solos by piano and guitar are pretty rampant throughout the album. Considering that the album was released in 1977, I’m not too surprised the album reflects the trending sound of that period.

This is an album I’m glad was shared with me.

Rating 7 out of 10 stars.

I’m Still In Love With You

This  well known album is dedicated to love in classic R&B ballads that feature acoustic instrumentals, churchy organs and light wooing vocals.

Al Green’s fifth studio album is no surprise to anyone who has listened “I’m Still In Love With You” and “Love and Happiness” since birth. The other songs follow the same formula of love professing and pleading on gospel-like rhythms.

I enjoyed each track especially the playful yet seductive intonations in the vocals. Hearing a developed and seasoned singer show off his range is just as entertaining as bare instrumentals during a breakdown.

Although this album serves as more than just a famous work of art to my mother, with its ties to her teenage memories of 1972, I was not impressed with most of the  album sounding the same vocally and rhythm-wise.

Rating 7 out of 10 stars.

I am thankful to my mother for introducing me to great musicians in the genres of R&B, soul and funk. I’m most thankful that she was able to share one of the best musical eras – the 70’s.

Happy Mother’s Day!
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Asia Martin is a staff writer for Pop-Break covering TV shows and movies that make her laugh or cringe. She spends most of her daytime hours assisting Hurricane Sandy relief at The Children’s Home Society of NJ, yes people are still in need. In her spare time, she runs her own social media management business, Rising Dynamics, LLC and freelance writes. Asia is a graduate of Rutgers University with a major in Journalism and Media Studies. She loves superhero cartoons, films and Comic Con but continuously skips out on comic books #sorrybutnotsorry Follow Asia on Twitter: @ColoredIn
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