It's been a long time since I've reviewed anything on here, other than my commentary in my Song of the Day posts. With so much new stuff out there lately, I've been wanting to put out some thoughts on what's good and what's not. I've been itching to review Janet Jackson's Unbreakable, Avici's Stories, Ellie Goulding's Delirium, Adele's 25 and more, but I just haven't had the time. Well, I've got a little at the moment, so I'm going to share a review of my favorite album of the season and that's Robin Schulz's Sugar.
You may know Robin Schulz from his melancholy and mesmerizing working of Lilly Wood and the Prick's hit Prayer in C last year, and I've posted a few of his songs both from his last record, Prayer, and the current one that I'll be commenting on below. Robin Schulz is a German deejay/producer whose touches on the songs he reworks simply catch my ear with every tune, and after his successes with Prayer in C and remixes of Mr. Prob's Waves and Clean Bandit's Rather Be, Robin seems to be shooting for stardom and competing with the big name deejay/producers like Avicii, Calvin Harris and the like with his latest, Sugar.
Sugar begins where Prayer left off, only this time in a more pop friendly manner. With tender melodies and funky beats, differing guest vocalists on each track, Sugar is an awesome mix of funky jams and chill beats, and a must for anyone who loves dance music with chill vibes. There's not one song I can say I truly dislike. Check out my thoughts on Sugar...
Oh, I know why you chasing all the headlights
Oh, 'cause you always tryna get ahead of light
Baby, when you go
You know I'll be waiting on the other side
And I know it's cold
But if you stay then I could keep you warm at night
Sugar opens with the song Headlights, a tender and beautiful song with sung by raspy voiced singer Ilsey. The song starts out with some very melancholy strums of the guitar, but soon revs up into more uplifting and inspirational strings. The song was released ahead of the album, way back in April, and it actually reached #17 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Now this was the song that got me from the start! What so far is the biggest single off the album, the title cut one of the best tracks on the whole thing, and that's saying a lot. With funky guitar riffs and smooth vocals from Canadian singer Francesco Yates, this one's as smooth as anything and oh so funky! Check it out...
Sugar how you get so fly...
This collaboration with English production team Disciple is very mellow. Not my favorite, but it still does what chill music is supposed to do, and that's provide some pleasing, relaxing beats as a background to almost anything.
Show Me Love
From what appears to be the newest single, Show Me Love has the potential to do very well. I posted it as Song of the Day last week and it garnered a respectable number of clicks. I've also played it for some friends who all liked it, as well. This one is another chill tune, melancholy and melodic and it features some really nice male vocals, presumably from an artist named J.U.D.G.E., who is credited with collaborating on this track. Great song!
Love Me Loud
Here's a super-pleasing tune that's also got potential. I simply love the vocals from folkish singer Aleesia, and the chorus is both uplifting and super-catchy. Love Me Loud is another favorite after the title cut. Check it out...
Oh, this one's just so sweet and happy! With jazzy horns and soulful R&B vocals, this tune sounds like something that would come out of a modern-day Motown. Another great one with some help from the French production team of Nius and soFLY, as well as some sampling of Marvin Gaye.
Find Me is a haunting electronic jam that would work great on a late-night dance floor.
The horns that begin this song sound like a call to arms from the Planet of the Apes, lol. Seriously though, this is another nice one, but it's pretty much as dramatic as the movie by the same name. If we go down, we'll go down together...
This Is Your Life
Out of all the songs on Sugar, this one reminds me the most of Robin's previous set. It's very chill, very melodic, and again a perfect background song for any situation.
When I came across this one on my first listen of Sugar I immediately recognized it. Unfortunately it is the only song I sometimes skip off the album, and that's only because the original version of the song, by Eagle Eye Cherry, was such a good song that to me it's hard for anybody to match the intensity of the original. This version features a female singer named Solomay and it's nice, but no match for the original.
I can't help but think of Macy Gray when I hear this one. Guest vocalist New Zealander Graham Candy has a most unusual voice for a male singer, but I checked out some of his own stuff and sure enough, those are his vocals on the track. Nevertheless I will probably always hear Macy when I listen to this nice love song.
Here's a song that reminds me of something Avicii would do. It's with bluesy, jazzy and a little dancey/chill-loungey collaboration with producer Henry PFR and singer Jeffrey Jey of Eiffel 65 fame. Great production and definitely a nice complimentary jam to this set!
World Turns Grey
Here's yet another head bobbing groove mix, this time of New Zealand singer Princess Chelsea's World Turns Grey. This one also has a melancholy feel, as the title might lead you to believe, only this time it's the piano and soft vocals that give the song its aura. Nice!
Under the moonlit sky
The stars fall and die
How the sea rages, oh love braises
It's like the world you've known
Before it's lost and gone
Unlike a world you've seen
Before it's lost to me
The final track has got a familiar voice, and feel, to it. Electronic music legend Moby offers up his services in this nicely produced tune, and The Void Pacific Choir lends an ethereal, gospel feel to this beautiful song.
So there you have it! If you're a fan of quality electronic music that's varied, danceable and just utterly enjoyable then I highly recommend Robin Schulz's Sugar. One of the best albums of the season!