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"James Joint" is an interlude that lasts for The song is a mellow Jazz[1] and neo-soul song, that features keyboards built over rising bass riffs that create a thickly textured groove, the song takes influence from neo-soul and was compared to the work of Stevie Wonder, due to the use of a harmonica.[2] The songs "light keys and synth bass" were compared to the work of producer Thundercat by Patrick Lyons, who also noted Rihanna's vocals as being "low-key" and "warm".[3] Lyrically "James Joint" speaks about a love, "laced" with weed, wild lovemaking and danger.[4]

"Kiss It Better" is an electric song that features guitarist Nuno Bettencourt[5]

"A Night" samples "Only If for a Night" by Florence + The Machine, and heavily warps Florence’s original in a trappy, chopped-and-screwed way.[6] The song features a "dark anthemic production"[7]

See also[edit]

Speaking on the album's musical style, Minaj stated that the album would "focus on rap" and "feed the core rap fan", whereas Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded explored more prominent elements of dance music.[8] In April 2014, Minaj told MTV News "the tracks on [my next album] are back to my hip-hop roots. And I don't think it's something that I'm necessarily trying to do. As soon as I started working on my new album, that's just the songs that I've been writing". When asked if the album would have a track like "Super Bass", one of her previous pop-friendly singles, Minaj replied with "hell no".[9] Samantha O'Connor of Exclaim stated Minaj had found the balance between her "pop obligations and rap expectations" stating Minaj had found her "middle ground", O'Connor described the album as a return to Minaj's original "raw hip-hop roots"[10]

Minaj stated the album's lyrics touch upon themes of her family, loss, death and her struggle with guilt. Continuing to expand on the themes of guilt, Minaj stated she suffered from guilt due to working, which in turn left her relationships to suffer.[11] In September, Minaj stated that "it was her best album to date" saying she had grown as a writer and was able to speak about topics that she had felt uncomfortable sharing two years ago.[12] Later that month, Minaj characterized the album with it consisting out of "raw talent, emotion, hard spitting and everything that people have come to love about Nicki Minaj".[13] The album was described by Tom Breihan of Stereogum as being an "intimate, personal album" which mainly focuses on a "breakup", which Breihan compared to Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak" and Blur’s 13.[14] Samantha O'Connor of Exclaim described the albums lyrical content as being "more personal, more timeless and more connected to her own artistry here," continuing to state Minaj displayed her vulnerable side.[15] Samantha O'Connor of Exclaim described Minaj's rapping technique as being "slick-tongued"[16]


Studio album by Lianne La Havas
Released July 31, 2015
Recorded 2014–15
Genre Neo-soul
Lianne La Havas chronology
Is Your Love Big Enough?
(2012)Is Your Love Big Enough?2012
Singles from Blood
  1. "Unstoppable"
    Released: July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01)

Blood is the upcoming second studio album by British recording artist Lianne La Havas, set to be released through Warner Bros. Records on July 31, 2014. Following the release of her critically acclaimed debut Is Your Love Big Enough? (2012) La Havas embarked on a variety of tours and festivals before travelling to Jamaica. During La Havas time in Jamaica she attempted to regain a connection with her roots, the exploration inspired La Havas to being writing the follow up to her debut. During her stay in Jamaica Lianne met with reggae producer Stephen McGregor who would subsequently go on to help produce the album.


Following La Havas signing in 2010, to Warner Bros. Records, she spent the following two years developing her songwriting skills before releasing any music publicly.[17][18] Her official debut single "Lost & Found" was released in the UK on 30 April 2012,[19] and her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? was released on 9 July 2012 on Warner Brothers. The album was released to universal acclaim from music critics, later winning the Album of the Year at iTunes UK as well as receiving nominations for a Barclaycard Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Best Album.[20] Following the release of the album La Havas supported it with numerous tour dates and festivals including the RockNess music festival,[21] Glastonbury Festival 2013.[22] and the Isle of Wight Festival in June 2013.

The writing and recording for "Blood" was inspired by La Havas travels to Jamaica.

Following the touring La Havas embarked on in order to promote her debut album "Your Love Big Enough?", she traveled to Jamaica along with her mother in order to regain connections with her roots.[20] During her time in Jamaica La Havas played music for her family along side dancehall and reggae producer Stephen McGregor (known under his production name Di Genius), who would later go on to produce the majority of the songs on Blood.[20] The exploration of La Havas roots inspired her to begin writing, she stated that the albums writing process and the songs were all related to "the feeling of who you are and where you come from," whilst the albums music was inspired by Jamaica's love of grooves, rhythms, and syncopation.[20]

During the albums recording process La Havas, took inspiration from her mixed Greek and Jamaican heritage and the “clarity” she discovered when going revisiting her youth.[23] Besides Stephen McGregor, La Havas worked with a variety of other producers, the albums lead single "Unstoppable" was produced by Paul Epworth and built upon an instrumental recording by Ninja Tunes trio The Invisible, Unstoppable was written in order to help La Havas repair a relationship that she had previously ended.[20] As well as Epworth, 'Blood' featured production work from Mark Batson, while Aqualung's Matt Hales co-wrote the song 'Wonderful' with La Havas and Disclosure's Howard Lawrence. 'Green and Gold' was co-produced and co-written by Jamie Lidell.[24]

Release and promotion

Blood was released on July 31, 2014 through Warner Bros Records. The album was distributed in six release formats, including two 12 inch vinyl's, one of which included an exclusive signing, the CD was also released as a standard version and an elusively signed version, whilst the digital download was released in a standard format and a iTunes mastered format.[25] La Havas previewed 'Blood' at various intimate shows, starting at Brigton Komedia on May 18, followed by London's Wilton's Music Hall on May 19, and then dates in Amsterdam and Berlin later in that month, before going on to perform at Glastonbury, Latitude, Gentlemen of the Road and Bestival that summer,[24] The albums lead single 'Unstoppable' was made available to stream on April 1, 2015 and was released for digital download on June 1.[26]


The album opens with "Unstoppable" a Jazz and Pop song, that opens with breezy chimes[27] and is built over gentle bass riffing, strings, piano, and an subtle electric guitar.[28] The song features an easy-going instrumentals, that features uplifting lyrics.[29] Caitlin White of the publication Stereogum described the songs production as "sweeping" accompanied by "flickers of rich, velvety rhythm guitar," White continued to note the songs lyrical content as glorifying the "kind of relationship that spurs both parties to unspeakable heights."[30]

Blood' — Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Unstoppable" Lianne La Havas Paul Epworth 5:29
2. "Green and Gold" La Havas, Jamie Lidell    
3. "What You Don't Do"      
4. "Toyko"      
5. "Wonderful"      
6. "Midnight"      
7. "Grow"      
8. "Ghost"      
9. "Never Get Enough"      
10. "Good Goodbye"      
Release history
Region Date Format Edition Label Ref
United Kingdom July 31, 2015
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
  • Warner Bro
United Stated digital download [32]


Choose Your Weapon
Studio album by Hiatus Kaiyote
Released May, 2015
Genre Neo soul
Label Flying Buddha
Hiatus Kaiyote chronology
Tawk Tomahawk
(2012)Tawk Tomahawk2012
Choose Your Weapon


Lead vocalist "Nai Palm" described the album as an "extension" of their debut, and stated she and the band had no intention to make a one genre body of work. During the recording the band wanted to tribute the styling and format of a mixtape, so they incorporated a range of interludes. When recording the album the band wanted to create a body of work that was not "temporary" stating that; "everyone is just looking to release the next hot single, this record is in tribute to listening to an album from start to finish where there is a narrative that takes you to all these different soundscapes."[33] The band recorded the songs individually and then put them in order with the interludes.[34] All the albums tracks were written by Nai Palm. The interludes were written and produced when the band would gather and just be "vibing as musicians." Some of the songs on the album– like “Fingerprints”– were written when she was 16 and “Jekyll” was one of the first songs she ever wrote. “Breathing Underwater” is a song that Palm wrote when she and the band were on tour.[35]


"Choose Your Weapon" is an neo soul album consisting of eighteen tracks, lasting seventy minutes. The albums production is characterised as being filled with "brain-liquifying synth-grooves, arousingly-unsettling time signature shifts," and "agile polyrhythms." The albums music was described as not being one genre but instead taking a variety of influences from a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, soul, R&B, West African funk, samba and latin.[36] Ryan B. Patrick of Exclaim! described the albums sound as containing "elements of late '90s, early '00s neo-soul: kick snares, electronic organ and bass guitar."[37]

Andy Kellman of Allmusic described the album as being more refined than that of the bands debut, Kellman described the album as being built on "vocal melodies and guitar wriggles sneak up and tickle the ears, burbling electronics mingle with spiny acoustic guitars, time signatures abruptly switch and stun."[38] The albums lyrical content touches upon various themes including natural and supernatural topics as well as speaking about technological subjects.[39] Other songs on the album speak of a more personal subject matter, "By Fire," is a burial song inspired in part by Palm's father's house-fire death.[40]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 90/100[41]
Clash 8/10[41]
Exclaim! 8/10[41]
The Guardian 70/100[41]
HipHopDX 90/100[41]

Upon release "Choose Your Weapon" was met with rave reviews from music critics. The review aggregator Metacritic has given the album a normalized rating of 88 out of 100, based on 6 reviews, indicating 'universal acclaim'. [41] All Music praised the albums genre mixture, that covered a variety of era's; "'50s bop to '60s MPB, or '70s art rock to '80s boogie, or '90s neo-soul to 2000s dubstep."[41] HipHopDX praised the albums ability to create "fresh" soul from different "angles", the reviewer continued to call Choose Your Weapon as one of the year’s best albums.[41]

The A.V. Club commended the albums complexity and structure, stating the albums music bolts "in unexpected directions just as they seem to settle into a groove."[41] Clash Music praised the albums "vibrant and uninhibited" nature, but felt the interludes were unnecessary and "only act as murky limbos between its better parts." When reviewing the album The Guardian stated "Listening to Choose Your Weapon can hover between delirium and frustration, delight and outright annoyance, often in the very same beat."[41] Exclaim simply called the album "a solid groove."[41]


Chart (2015) Peak
Australian albums chart (ARIA)[42] 22

See also[edit]

Criteria Studios (The Hit Factory Criteria Miami) was one of various studios the song was recorded at.

"Hips Don't Lie" was initially written and recorded by Wyclef Jean Lauryn Hill and Pras for the Fugee reunion, the song was titled "Lips Don't Lie" at that point, but was never completed due to the Hill's dissatisfaction with the song.[43] Charlie Walk, who at the time was the President of Epic Records called Pras to stated he wanted to do a remix of the song with Shakira, following the call Hill left the group and the Fugee's reunion was over.[44] The song was then given to Shakira and alone with Jean and longtime partner Jerry "Wonder" Duplesis they produced "Hips Don't Lie". Jean was asked by Shakira's label to record a remix of 'La Tortura,' Jean refused stating he already had a record the Shakira would be perfect for, the record was Jeans own song "Dance Like This," which he recorded with Claudette Ortiz for the Dirty Dancing (Havana Nights) soundtrack.[45]

Shakira co-wrote the song with Wyclef Jean, Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, Omar Alfanno, LaTavia Parker and Vinay Rao, whilst production was handled by Shakira, Jean and Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis. Jean also served as the songs guitarist and programmer alongside Ramón Stagnaro who also provided guitar, Hermides Benitez, Richard Bravo, Archie Pena, Roberto Cuao all contributed the songs percussion, whilst Gustavo Celis and Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis added further programming.[46] The songs recording took place at various studios including Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; La Marimonda Studios, Nassau, Bahamas; Olympic Studios, London, England; Platinum Sound Recording Studio, New York, NY; Sonido Azulado, Bogota, Colombia and The Warehouse, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[47]

Lion Babe[edit]

We wanted there to be a certain duality, like there is with Blondie, with me as the frontwoman, you might think I’m Lion Babe, but it's like, no, we’re Lion Babe. We liked that. It’s about embracing your uniqueness and rocking it.

— Jillian Hervey, speaking to Billboard magazine in regards to the duo's stage name.[48]

Jillian Hervey is the, daughter of singer-actress Vanessa Williams and Ramon Hervey and initially planned to pursue a career in dancing.[48] Lucas Goodman began producing in his dorm room at Northeastern University before moving back to New York and interning at retro-minded Truth & Soul Records.[48] During this time he found a a vinyl version of Eunice Collins' "At the Hotel 1974" and would go on to sample it for "Treat Me Like Fire."[48] After meeting through a mutual friend Goodman encouraged Hervey to try a soulful style of singing similar to that of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.[48] The duo went onto name themselves "Lion Babe" which they described as taking on further meaning over time, the name stemmed from Lucas’ horoscope sign a Leo and Hervey’s hairstyle.[48] The duo released "Treat Me Like Fire" in December 2012. During SXSW the following March, rapper Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) contacted Lion Babe and asked them to open for him. The duo acquired a record deal with Interscope records that summer, and kept in touch with Glover who would go to guest on the lead single, "Jump Hi," from their self-titled debut Extended Play.[48]

Following an underground following, Lion Babe released their debut self-titled Extended Play digitally on December 15 2014, alongside the digital release the duo released vinyl and stream versions of the project with two extra songs.[49][50] The EP was written and produced by Hervey and Goodman, under his production name "Astro Raw" and received positive reviews from music critics who described it as "a warm-blooded blend of soul, R&B and electronica" and noted similarities between Hervey and Erykah Badu.[50][49] Rapper Childish Gambino was the only other artist who made an appearance on the EP making the collaboration the trios second.[50]

Hervey states she is inspired by "classic vocalists" including Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Tina Turner and Chaka Khan, whilst Lucas Goodman, is inspired by and studied the work of producers J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Timbaland.[48] Speaking on his influences Goodman stated “Their techniques were like magic to me,” during his production Goodman tries to bring funk and soul into a modern context, with the goal to create an iconic performance and a music brand similar to Prince and Iggy Pop.[48]


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  9. ^ "Nicki Minaj Says 'Hell No' To Another 'Super Bass'". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
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  12. ^ "Fall Music Preview 2014: 25 Must-Hear Albums". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
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  18. ^ "3 UK Female Singers to Look Out For". 22 June 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Lianne La Havas' Sold Out Scala Show To Be Streamed Live". 6 March 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d e "Lianne La Havas: 'debuts knew song". Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  21. ^ Lynn, Kirstin. "RockNess 2013: Lianne La Havas raises the bar in supreme soul diva set". STV. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  22. ^ Lachno, James (1 July 2013). "Glastonbury 2013, Day Three review: other stages: Bobby Womack, Lianne Le Havas, Sir Bruce Forsyth". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
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  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Reviews for Choose Your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote - Metacritic". Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  42. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
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  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i Buerger, Megan (December 09, 2013). "Origins". Billboard (magazine). Retrieved June 09, 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  49. ^ a b Gracie, Bianca (December 15, 2014). "Origins". Idolator. Retrieved June 09, 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  50. ^ a b c "Origins". DJ Booth. unknown. Retrieved June 09, 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)

External links[edit]