Music Watch & Listen

MC Lyte

In this issue of LAX Magazine we are honored to have hip-hop legend and Grammy winner MC Lyte give us her take on a couple of divalicious ladies. In old school versus new school reviews Lyte checks out Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis.

Get to know MC Lyte’s new group, Almost September, featuring renowned producers Whitey and Jared Lee. Their groovin’ tracks are currently available on iTunes and you can catch them live in Los Angeles in July. Hit them up on myspace at myspace.com/Almost September

There are such huge expectations for this new artist. Automatically the title song, “Bleeding Love” reminds me of Jordan Spark’s “No Air,” yet I know there is something distinctively different about the two. She has a raw talent that feels very seasoned, but truth is she’s got so much further to go. I mean that in the best way. I can liken it to a seasoned player on a court versus a rookie who has just arrived but continues to score. Leona has what it takes and I look forward to hearing more from this young vocalist. Though the texture of her voice is wildly refreshing, there’s something about the production that’s predictable for “Better in Time” and “I Will Be”. “Forgive Me” reminds me of a Whitney Houston song and I guess if she’s not doing it then someone else should. She melts over this traffic with an amazing amount of confidence that exudes through every note. “Misses Glass” feels like everything we’ve been waiting for, however “Yesterday” is the best rendition of Mariah Carey that I’ve heard thus far. She’ll do well, I’m sure!

Years later and there’s still such an excitement that overcomes R&B/hip-hop lovers when Mariah drops a new compilation of songs. Although we share the same prefix — MC — she undoubtedly hums a tune like no other. Here with this new release she captures the essence of a true Mariah Carey sound. A formula once created by Jermaine Dupri for long ago group Xscape has seemingly worked for Mariah for years now. “Touch My Body”, one of my favs, is exactly what I mean when talking about a formula at work. “Touch Me” moves the crowd in the clubs and on the radio, making the tune a perfect sing-a-long song for the beginning of spring. “I’ll Be Loving You Long Time” uses a popular Debarge song as the sample that rocks this joint. I love the melody and it’s a feel good song. This will certainly get a lot of play on my long drives up the coast. Some singers NEED to dance, however with the notes MC is capable of hitting she needs to move nothing but those vocal chords. Oftentimes, I believe she holds back. She gives only what is necessary to make a hit, occasionally allowing her octaves to kick in for the bridge and vamp out of a number. I love it!! What a strategy! E=MC2 = another success to add to the already fascinating discography.

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