Sunday August 27th, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- Kelis - Kelis was here


Music news headlines this week:

Joe Answers The Musical Question, Joe Who?

R&B singer Joe answers a frequently asked question with the title of his
new album, Joe Who? Joe Thomas, and asks one with its first single, "Where
You At."
The single is not about him, although its title is probably a question he's
heard a lot as well: Joe hasn't released an album since 2003's And Then ...
"It's about searching for that loved one who you might of made a mistake
with, just saying things that weren't meant to be said at that time," Joe
explained of the single, for which he just shot a video. "So now I'm on a
search trying to find where she is."
"Where You At" was produced by red-hot Sean Garrett — who has penned #1
hits for Usher, Beyoncé and Chris Brown — and features newcomer Papoose.
"I got a lot of collaborations on the hip-hop side, [because] I'm a huge
fan of hip-hop," Joe said. "I got Papoose, I got Nas, I got Fabolous, just
to name a few."
Joe's publicist would not confirm other reported guests, but noted that
the Underdogs, Cool & Dre and Bryan-Michael Cox are among the producers
who contributed tracks.
"I really went out and did everything on my part that I could do to make
the best album that I can," Joe said of his new LP, which is due September
12. "I would say it's my best album so far. I expect it to do big things."
He plans to help it along with a tour, although dates have yet to be
confirmed. "I tour pretty much every year." he said. "I love touring
because that's the biggest appreciation that you can get, when you're
performing and someone sings it back to you."
Joe said he's also developing an upscale men's clothing line called J
Thomas and a liquor called Sojo. "It's part of the tequila family," he
said with a smile.


Legend Avoids The Obvious On Sophomore Album

R&B singer/songwriter John Legend will follow-up his Grammy-winning 2004
Sony Urban debut "Get Lifted" on Oct. 24 with a new album, "Once Again."
Among the producers involved with the project are Kanye West, Raphael
Saadiq and, with whom Legend wrote seven songs in their first
five days of collaboration, including the single "Save Room."
"I didn't go into the new album thinking about the Grammys I had won,"
Legend tells Billboard. "It's one of the greatest challenges of writing
music-for it to not sound like what you think it's supposed to sound like
or sound like the last album."
"The mind state we kept while working on this record was one of hunger,
humility and fear," says. "Since John and I first met, both of
us have sold a lot of albums and won a bunch of Grammys. But we didn't
think about that."
Saadiq adds that the pressures of recording a follow-up to a
Grammy-winning album can be extraordinary. "You always put the pressure on
yourself," he says. "That's how bad songs happen."
Legend spent about six months working on "Once Again," during which time
he amassed 30 songs. "It was one of the most productive periods of my
life," he says. "I was focused only on music. For the first time I didn't
have to worry about school or a job."
Though many of his new songs are about the emotional angles of love, from
bliss to the pain of a cheating partner, "Once Again" also houses a few
social gems reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, particularly the
song "Show Me."
"It's a spiritual love song," Legend says. "You could be talking to God or
your loved one in bed at night. It asks real questions about what's
happening in the world today -- about wars and people dying and why God
takes some and not others."


Lionel Richie Says He Enjoyed Working With Young Guns On "Coming Home"

Veteran singer and songwriter Lionel Richie is winning in a number of
radio formats with his new single "I Call That Love," which was written by
Stargate and Taj. The track is accompanied by a new video directed by
Jessey Terrero and featuring his daughter Nicole Richie in a Breakfast At
Tiffany's-style fantasy also starring CSI: Miami's Adam Rodriguez.
"I Call That Love" is the first single from Richie's upcoming album,
Coming Home, due September 12th on Island Records. The project pairs
Richie with top contemporary hit makers Jermaine Dupri, Raphael Saadiq,
Dallas Austin, Sean Garrett, Chuckii Booker, and others.
Richie ruled the charts in the '80s and early '90s with self-penned tunes
like "Hello," "Dancing On The Ceiling," "Three Times A Lady," and many
others. So why did he feel he should call on the talents of other young
songwriters? Richie says: "How did I get in this business in the
first place? I was a little kid over in the corner watching Marvin Gaye
record, watching Stevie Wonder record. And the word is called... I was
learning. My overall philosophy is, the day you ever decide you know it
all is the day you're out of the business. I love the idea of, yes, I'm
Lionel Richie, I'm established as Lionel Richie, but what's happening
around me?"
"I Call It Love" is gaining on the urban AC, smooth jazz, and AC charts
this week.


Roberta Flack's Music School Is her Way Of Giving Back

Roberta Flack's upcoming New York City music school will offer more than
just music studies. Flack, who has been developing the school with her own
money and private donations, told that plans are
progressing nicely, explaining that, "Right now I am building a school in
New York for children to study music free of charge. I bought two
abandoned buildings in Harlem. The facility, which is known as the Black
Cultural Centre of New York, will offer free liberal arts classes for
talented students when it opens next autumn and will house a permanent
faculty of teachers, classrooms, a recording studio, an auditorium and a
performance cafe."
She said that the school is her way of saluting all the talented teachers
and mentors who guided her along the way: "There are so many young artists
who have talent but they need support. I had such good teachers when I was
young, I just wanted to give some of that back." There has been no
announcement as to when the school will be open for admission.
Roberta Flack says that she spends most of her off-time with her
animals and children-based charities: "I have animals in my life. I have
12 animals that live with me. Five dogs and seven cats, and I have
projects with children, I have several children out of the country that I
support through organizations, like Feed The Children, Children's
International, Save The Children -- all of those. I contribute to and I
try to be as involved as I can, so I'm not just a dollar, y'know?"
Earlier this year, Flack released The Very Best Of Roberta Flack,
featuring 17 tracks, including her hit duets, "Where Is The Love" and "The
Closer I Get To You" with Donny Hathaway, and "Tonight, I Celebrate My
Love" with Peabo Bryson. The career-spanning set also includes her three
Number One hits, "Killing Me Softly With His Song," "The First Time Ever I
Saw Your Face," and "Feel Like Makin' Love."
Roberta Flack will next perform on September 10th in New York City at
Lincoln Center.


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