Sunday July 22nd 2001

Ah, another week has passed and again it's time for a news update. July so far
was not that packed with new album releases as August is looking to be, but still
this week 2 promising new sets, the third Aaliyah album and after an absence of
nearly 9 years Michael Cooper's fouth solo album. Singles from both artist can be
found in the singles section of this website.
As said, August is looking to be really busy as far as new albums is concerned.
Look out for Mary J. Blige, IMX, Maxwell, Brian McKnight, Joy Enriquez and The
Isley Brothers. An interview with the Isley Brother about their new album "Eternal"
can be found here.

Michael Cooper - This Heart Of Mine

This weeks sees the release of a new album by Michael Cooper. Michael is best
known as leadsinger of Con Funk Shun who scored several hits in the 70's and
80's with songs like "Ffun", "Shake And Dance With Me", "Too Tight", Love's
Train","Electric Lady" and "Burnin' Love". In 1987 Cooper left the band to persue
a solo carees and this album is his fourth solo effort. But Michael is also back with
Con Funk Shun, performing 70 to 80 shows a year. The band also recorded some
new tracks for the United We Funk CD, together with the SOS band, Barkays, Dazz
band early 2000 as a tribute to Roger Troutman and toured with the outfit.
The first single of this new album "Your Face" is a bright acoustic guitar-lit dedication
to his children."Looking For Another Pure Love", a Stevie Wonder song, Michael
Cooper respectfully makes his own.
The album is pretty much about the interaction between men and women and although
that's been done before it still matters! Everybody can still relate! Like the titles "Break
Me Off", "Humpin' 4 Your Love," "All I Wanna Do" and the almost X-rated
accompaniment to any steamy session, "1-900-Next2 Me" don't say that clearly enough.
But the track that really touches the soul is "There's No Me."
Of course as a once and forever member of Con Funk Shun Michael Cooper thought
it would be fun to reprise one of the act's biggest crossover singles. But on "Too
Tight (Latin Lover)" the hook is slower and silkier, with the Latin-rap twosome Triple
C joining him in the aural party.
Other tracks on the album are "Just Give Me Love" and "Montego Dreams"

Aaliyah : Aaliyah

Aaliyah returns with her third album simply titled "Aaliyah", which opens with the
new singles "We Need A Resolution", a track from the darkside of RNB and making
encouraging headwasy likely to result in another top 20 hit for this multi-talented
young woman. "Loose Rap" is a bass-driven monster that demands consideration for
future singles status. However the killer track is the stunning "Rock Da Boat" which
effortlessly combines the retro 80's groove with all the aded ingredients of today's
RnB sound. "More Than A Woman" is bound to be the next single, mixing all the
qualitites of "One In A Million" and "Try Again".
Left field RnB takes centre stage in the shape of "Never No More" and the quirky
"Extra Smooth". Jerky beats get an airing on "U Got Nerve" and this together with
the smooth as silk, downlow swayer "It's Whatever" will be rinsed out on radio.
The album finishes of with Aaliyah's club monster "Try Again


Other news this week :

Raphael Saadiq In The Studio

Popular singer-songwriter Raphael Saadiq is holed up in his Sacramento, California-
based Pookie Lab recording studio working on his debut solo album. The still-untitled
project is due later this fall on Universal/Pookie Records, which announced this week
that Saadiq has written all of the album's songs and is now laying down tracks with
the help of some soon-to-be-announced special guests.
Saadiq, one third of powerhouse trio Lucy Pearl, is also producing tracks for the next
Macy Gray project and working with the Isley Brothers on their upcoming album.
There's also talk that Saadiq is working to bring the members of Tony Toni Tone
back together. Tony Toni Tone, which disbanded in 1998, comprised Saadiq, his
brother Dwayne Wiggins, and their cousin Timothy Christian.


The diet according to Luther

R&B mainstay Luther Vandross is planning to write a book about his battle with
obesity. "It's an autobiographical approach, because I want to make sure that's it's
understood that this is how I did it and this is what happened with me," the now
svelte singer says. "This is not what I'm suggesting you do, but everybody wants to
know, 'How did you do it?'" he says. The 50-year-old Vandross, whose tall frame
once carried more than 330 pounds, said he has been able to keep his weight down
for almost three years by staying away from what he calls "illegal foods" -- rich soul
food - and a daily regimen of exercise.
Earlier this month, Vandross' self-titled J Records album debuted at No. 2 on
Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 6 on The Billboard 200.


Jackson Single Won't Be Released In U.S.

Michael Jackson's first album of all new material, Invincible, won't be released
until September 24, but it's already sparking some marketing controversy. The
Jackson camp has announced the first single from the release will be "Rock My
World," but that it won't receive a commercial release in the U.S. While it will
be released as a commercial single in foreign markets, "Rock My World" will
only be released to radio stations and clubs in America.


P. Diddy Directing Video For Usher's 'I Don't Know'

Rapper also appears on next single from new album 8701.
Usher has a lot to be proud of this year. His single "U Remind Me" is a certified
hit, selling close to 100,000 copies in its first week of release and reaching #1 on
the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks charts. The album's
next single, "I Don't Know," which features P. Diddy, is already bubbling in the
Production on a clip for the Neptunes-produced "I Don't Know" will begin in the
next couple of weeks in Los Angeles with P. Diddy in the director's seat, according
to Usher's spokesperson. P.D. and Usher are no strangers - the then-teenaged
crooner was one of the opening acts on the Bad Boy Family-headlined No Way Out
tour in 1997, and going even further back, Diddy executive-produced Usher's self-
titled debut in 1994.


Ginuwine, Eric Benet and Sparkle featured on new Jimmy Sommers album

Going out on the town tonight? Saxophonist Jimmy Sommers says that two tracks
in particular from his sizzling, guest-artist-studded new set 360 Urban Groove have
just the right vibe for a Friday night.
Asked if any of the tunes on the new album gave him a special jolt, Sommers
mentioned his sassy Boz Scaggs cover, which features rapper Coolio; and an R&B
up-tempo tune featuring singer Ginuwine. He said: "I love the 'Lowdown' track, and
I love the 'Let's Go Party' track. Yeah, those two tracks really are uplifting. And, ya
know, getting ready for a Friday night, you really, you put it in and jam it and it
really makes you feel good, ya know?"
Sommers's 11-track album also features guest appearances by French duo Les
Nubians, R&B heartthrob Eric Benet, smooth jazz guitarist Norman Brown,
singer-songwriter/producer Raphael Saadiq, and onetime R. Kelly protege Sparkle.
The Higher Octave Records album was released June 19.


News 2001