In the Cookie Jar
There is one undeniable fact: Lizzo is the star of summer 2019. While many already knew this powerhouse phenomenon from her 2016 single “Good As Hell,” slowly hearing tracks from her latest full-length album, Cuz I Love You, are undeniably spectacular and full of messages of self-empowerment and standing tall. The summertime anthem that “Juice” has Lizzo’s slick lyrics and sharp vocals on full display. From the cheeky and soaring title track to the rock-infused and definitive girl power anthem “Like A Girl,” this package is chock full of hits. “Crybaby” shows off Lizzo’s R&B style, while “Better In Color” is Lizzo at her absolute best. If there is any artist that Lizzo seems to be influenced the most by, it would be Missy Elliot, which is why seeing her join Lizzo on the brooding turned raucous “Tempo” works absolutely seamlessly. The best way to sum up Lizzo and Cuz I Love You is her Real Housewives tagline that she recently gave Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live: “I took a DNA test and it’s come back that I’m 100% that bitch.” And this summer, Lizzo definitely is.
Rosabel: The Album
It is common knowledge worldwide that whether they are in the DJ booth or in the studio producing or remixing, Ralphi Rosario and DJ Abel are absolute musical legends. For years, fans have gotten the opportunity to hear them spinning live, both together and on their own, but we finally have the ability to listen to a compilation of their work on Rosabel: The Album. Predictably, the package is some of their most amazing work, along with some brand new tracks exclusive to this album. Kicking off with the pulsing “Don’t Talk Just Listen,” this track sets the tone for the entire package. Along for the ride on the package are some of the biggest voices on the dance floor today. Tamara Wallace joins the team on the seductively lush “Freak” and on the fantastically retro feeling “Anything For You.” The stunning Jeannie Tracy shows off exactly what the fans love about her on the down tempo “Your Love” and then turns around to set the dance floor on fire on “We Need Love.” Even Terri B! checks in on the absolutely classic sounding “Let There Be House.”
There are a couple more treats on the album that you will need to hear for yourself, but I will tell you that Alan Jackinsky checking in with his Private Mix of “That Sound” is a crucial listen on this package. It would also not be a proper Rosabel package without the big voiced dynamo that is Jeanie Tracy coming on board along with Tony Moran and Deep Influence for the “Tony Moran + Deep Influence Club Mix” of “Cha Cha Heels.” As summer commences and the tea dances kick off, this is the perfect soundtrack to get us into the groove.
From the moment the title track “Hello Happiness” starts to kick off, we hear those familiar and breathy vocals of the legendary soulstress Chaka Khan. On her latest package Hello Happiness, we are treated to vintage Chaka with a 2019 remix of sorts. “Like A Lady” shows the songstress in superior form with big vocals, while “Too Hot” harkens back to a Chicago blues club style, with some intimate vocals included. “Like Sugar” takes us to the funkified beginnings where many of us remember Khan from originally, while “Isn’t That Enough” shows that while she has had some time out of the spotlight, Chaka Khan has returned in beyond fine form and is ready to take her place among her contemporaries.
I have followed the ethereal artist known as Aris for quite some time in this column and was eagerly anticipating his newest package Love. The package, a combination of dance-infused bangers and soaring ballads is an absolute home run. Choosing diverse accompaniments and utilizing daring sounds makes Aris’ music stand out on its own. “Reborn” puts Aris’ growling vocals onto a soaring track of renewal, while “All For Love” is an 80’s inspired low key romantic anthem. “Rain” harkens back to the sounds of The Romantics of decades ago, while “Handle It” is a bit of a Caribbean styled departure for Aris’, but like most vacations, this one is most welcome!
One of the best parts of the package is the fact that he has chosen to take some of the tracks and remix them on the Deluxe version of the album. The “Pierre Parnis Club Mix” of “Reborn” is the perfect kind of rock/house fusion, while “Run To You” gets a percussion heavy mix courtesy of the “E39 Sunrise Remix.” One of the crowning achievements musically (and I am sure personally) on the package is hearing the familiar and lush vocals of Paula Cole on “Love.” Hearing her amazing vocals frames the track perfectly, and the almost heavenly qualities that her vocals contribute match Aris’ grounded vocals perfectly.
Top 10 from DJ Matt Bailer
- Christine & the Queens – 5 Dollars (E11even Remix)
- LIZZO – Juice
- PARTY PUPILS & MAX ft. ASHE – Love Me For The Weekend (Extended Mix)
- JACK BACK – (It Happens) Sometimes (David Penn Remix)
- PARRALOX – Creep (Extended Mix)
- MAGGIE ROGERS – Light On (Adam Turner Remix)
- JAX JONES x YEARS & YEARS – Play (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
- CHEAT CODES ft. KIM PETRAS – Feeling Of Falling
- KIESZA – Take Me To Church (Yastreb Remix)
- MATOMA ft. JOSIE DUNNE – Sunday Morning (Jaded Remix)