Dave Matthews Band / Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King / RCA
The four talented musicians may have made their bed in the deepest corner of darkness while finishing their seventh studio album, but such a form of depression has ultimately created a time to rejoice. In fond memory of saxophonist LeRoi Moore, Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King is an artistic record electrified by funk melodies and soulful lines of poetry. Along with numbers such as “Grux” and “Why I Am” that are fondly dedicated to Moore, there are other tracks like “Spaceman” that feed off hip and delicate grooves. Dave Matthews Band can seem lost in the evolving snowball that is today’s music, but Big Whiskey.. isn’t meant to conform as it’s a picture painted for people, not industry sharks.
Download: “Spaceman”, “Baby Blue”
Black Eyed Peas / The E.N.D. / Universal
Instead of expressing themselves through familiar audacious beats, the Black Eyed Peas have spun themselves into a universe run by auto-tune fanatics and Eiffel 65. The E.N.D. spills a variety of club-thumpers, but it seems more like a collection of electronic misfits than a spectacular record. The male trio do some of their best work with ear-shrinking rhymes (“Imma Be”) but Fergie’s straining voice often resembles a sloshed mockingbird (“Meet Me Halfway”). Such lows are more than apparent on the album as several tracks seem unnecessary and often leave listeners pondering where the superstar group has drifted off to. With The E.N.D., it’s clear they’re lost in space.
Download: “Rock Your Body”, “I Gotta Feeling”