Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Wikked Lil Grrrls
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock
Wikkid Lil' Grrrls is a sexy, sophisticated blend of hip-hop, jazz, dance, rock and soul. Add Cee-Lo Green of Goodie Mob, Sean Lennon and a crew of producers including Dr. Dre cohort Camara Kambon (Eminem, Mary J. Blige) a... more »
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Wikkid Lil' Grrrls is a sexy, sophisticated blend of hip-hop, jazz, dance, rock and soul. Add Cee-Lo Green of Goodie Mob, Sean Lennon and a crew of producers including Dr. Dre cohort Camara Kambon (Eminem, Mary J. Blige) and Wikked Lil' Grrrls is as wikked cool as Esthero herself.
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 07/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Esthero is sure to win the hearts of disgruntled music fans everywhere, in the opening moments of her second album, "Wikked Lil' Grrrls." It opens with the announcement, "I'm so sick and tired/of the shit on the radio/on MTV they only play same thing/no matter where I go, I see Ashanti in the video/I want something MORE!" Well, who doesn't?
It takes a certain amount of guts and flair to successfully harpoon the flaws of the music industry, or to demand to know why "a grown-ass man can videotape a little girl/but we still see his mug up on our video screens." Alas, the rest of the album isn't quite as riveting or as bold. But the Toronto singer's jazzy-funky-trippy-retropoppy sound is colorful enough to keep listeners stuck there.
The songs after that tend to focus on sexy love, or on the loneliness of being betrayed romantically. That in itself isn't too exceptional -- what is exceptional is the sparkling trip-hop melodies, the catchy complexity, and the inclusion of piano, guitar, lots of horns and earthy, funky beats. They spice up what could have been a terribly ordinary pop album.
To grit things down, there's also some colorful rapping from Shakari Nite, Jemeni And Jeleestone, and some exceptional work in the swooning, funky "Junglebook" by Outkast's Andre 3000. The only one that doesn't work is a collaboration with Cee-lo Green, who sounds horribly out of place in a trippy ballad.
The songwriting is pretty good but not exceptional, though Esthero falls through in the occasional sour line like "would you let me lick you with alliteration and tie you up with similes?" Her husky voice makes up some of that lost ground, usually sticking to the jazz vocals, but sometimes shifting over to a sultry trip-pop style.
Esthero's "Wikked Lil' Grrrls" may not be the stuff of which musical revolutions are made, but it's a little rebellion all on its own. And a pretty funky, danceable one as well."
This Is "Growing Up?"
LHB | Dallas, TX | 09/18/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One reviewer writes below to the effect that while "Breath From Another" may have been great on hangover mornings during college, "Wikked Lil' Grrrls" is much more attuned to her recently acquired "maturity." As someone who's about 2 decades on the wrong side of that kind of "maturity," I find it impossible to understand how younger people view this as an artistic advance over her superb first album. It's excellently recorded, and overproduced--if anything. Her voice is still amazing. But to my ears, it sounds like a very young Ella Fitzgerald grew up to be a Hello Kitty accessorized, Oprah watching, bleached blonde slut. The dark, distinctive trip-hop and jazz influences of her first album have been discarded in favor of predictable girl-band choruses and a smothering atmosphere of forced, phony-feeling sexuality. If this is what consitutes "maturity" nowadays, I'll pass. If you're looking for distinctive jazz influenced trip-hop/downtempo music that has what Igor Stravinsky called (in reference to Prokofiev's music) "the unmistakable imprint of a strong musical personality" pick up "Breath From Another." This is way too lowest-common-denominator mainstream pap (despite the occasional, all-too-brief moments of brilliance) for me.
A sticker on the cover of this CD's shrink wrap called it "Long Awaited." Maybe so, but given how utterly forgetable and disposable this is, I doubt if her next album will be."
the bandwagon | northern New England | 01/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely love her voice, and hearing it I realize what a long wait it has been for this CD. The more I listen, the more I recognize its complexity. There is a lot to like, bits of jazz, lounge, rock, hip hop, and they all flow together nicely. I find myself reaching for it often. I admit I could live without the spoken word sections (never holds for repeated listening) but is not really intrusive. Hopefully we won't have to wait so long to hear from Esthero again! Highly recommended."