Friday, August 28, 2009

Underrated Artists, Part 1

I was looking through my ipod for something I haven't heard in awhile, and I came across a few artists that I really think should get more airplay/props. Now I'm not talking about one hit wonders like Johnny Kemp aka Mr. "Just Got Paid, It's Friday Night" (although that's a great song to listen to on the drive home on Friday...or maybe that's just me). I'm talking about substanative artists that are truly talented that just don't seem to hit the mainstream airwaves for one reason or another. Without further ado, here's my list...

Daris Rucker-Back to Now

This album came out after Hootie and the Blowfish really blew up, and of course, Hootie's huge success pretty much solidified that listeners would automatically think any solo stuff would be of VH1 fodder. Since the album was released on Hidden Beach, it should tell you what kind of sound it's definitely a neo-soul effort, and there are some standout tracks on it that should be worth your time/download. One of the best has got to be "Exodus"...

Dionne Farris- Wild Seed-Wild Flower

Remember Arrested Development (not the amazing show on Fox, but the group that came out in the 90s that had everyone wanting to play a game of horseshoes?) Anyway, Dionne left singing lead for that group, had a hit from the Love Jones soundtrack ("Hopeless"), and then released a solo album that spanned a minor hit "I Know", which was perfect for repeated VH1 viewings. The album is definitely a good one, but the standout is "Passion", a midtempo rock song with a great bassline. This is one of those songs that takes serious pipes to sing, and I think it was really ahead of its's got an Evanescence vibe, but Dionne's strong, controlled alto gives it a sultry feeling that you usually don't hear these days.

Glenn Lewis-World Outside My Window

Why this guy didn't become a huge superstar is truly beyond me. Good looking, great lyrics, fabulous voice reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, and yet his second album was never released. I can't explain how good this album'll just have to take a listen for yourself.