IN RETROSPECT: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that an album can turn 20, when it sounds as fresh as the day it was born.

On this day, 25th August 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her debut and thus far only solo studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia Records).

Following her years with hip-hop group Fugees (also featuring Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel), Hill, born and raised in New Jersey, used every ounce of her creative intelligence to curate something that would not only go on to win Grammys, or receive acclaim from critics and peers alike, but would serve as an educative tool for (but not limited to) her people – hip-hop in its truest sense, and at its most important.

(more…)

IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

(more…)

IN RETROSPECT: The Weepies – Hideaway

The Weepies are currently in the middle of a 10-year anniversary tour for their album Hideaway (2008), so I thought it would be apt to revisit one of the folk-pop duo’s best known projects and share some of my favourite picks from it!

Weepies Steve Tannen and Deb Talan1
Photo credit: The Weepies

If you’re not familiar with The Weepies, they are an American band comprised of husband and wife musicians (how awesome!) Steve Tannen and Deb Talan. Yes, their names were already kismetically like that before they met. Even spookier is that the two were fans of each other’s music – again, before they’d even met. That obviously made it easier for them to eventually meet, which was at one of Tannen’s shows back in the early 2000s. They decided to join forces and if we fast-forward to today, they’ve released five studio albums (2015’s Sirens, the latest), got three kids, and as I mentioned before are now on this tour to celebrate 10 years since the release of Hideaway… I’m almost certain you’ve probably heard them on one of your favourite TV shows.

(more…)