Check out Novel’s album Review written by our BE New York Editor Phonz L. Thomas of http://www.theprinceofallmedia.com/
Last night (2/2) I attended an exclusive listening session at Capital Records here in Manhattan for the label’s newest signed recording artist, NOVEL. Now I had already checked out his mixtape – 808s and Mixtapes, and his EP – I Am Future Black President. However, last night was at the first ever premier listening session for some of the tracks on Novel’s debut album, The Audiobiography – dropping in March. For a man who “wrote eighty-five percent of the record,” I must say this now – what I heard was beyond exceptional!
The Audiobiography will not going to be just “another album from another Hip Hop artist”. This album and the artist are both something more. True music connoisseurs will listen to this and understand that this man is telling a story about his life through this album. Novel’s brand of music will not easily be able to fit into one genre either, as the tracks are a collage of Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Alternative, Country, and Rock influenced. This man is in fact not just a Hip Hop artist. He is a singer, songwriter and producer as well. This man has been in this business for ten years, he has produced and written for artists such as Kelis, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Leona Lewis, Talib Kweli, Sammie, Tweet, and Monica, so it’s only fair that his own album be a masterpiece.
From the Intro, The Audiobiography takes off running like a racer on a racetrack that just heard the last shot fired at the starting line. His first radio single, Makes You Happy is a soulful blend of Hip Hop tittering on the cuff of Neo-Soul. This is one of the few tracks that Novel did not produce (production by DJ Toomp) but yet made his own. It has a down south type of flow, but never the less, it sets the tone for what’s about to come on the rest of the album.
My favorite track hands down is Think We Landed. Novel stated it’s a song about chilling with a girl while being buzzed. The track has that kind of Gnarls Barkley meets Maroon 5 feel to it. The sound is a blend of Hip Hop, Alternative, and Electronica all in one. This track will definitely be a great club banger for when you want to get the party started on a Friday or Saturday evening. (Side note: a vote was taken last night at the listening party about what his first single should be, and this one was most favored!)
The next track reviewed is a track called Song Cries. Novel said he got the idea from an old Jay-Z track he heard where song cry was the hook. This version of the song actually features Novel’s father, Mickey Stevenson – who was a head at Motown Records back in the day on Novel’s version. It’s a very Neo-Soul sound to it.
“I Am…Future Black President” EP – Available Online Now
“The Audiobiography” in stores March 24 2009
Wonderful is a very personal and intimate song. He recorded it with Chrisette Michelle and it’s actually a story about his ten year-old daughter and how for the first two years of his daughter’s life, he did not know about her. When he finally did find out about her, the song describes how his daughter is an image of him. This song is one that will definitely bring a tear to your eye.Novel decided to add the song, I Can Be President on the album – which is a song of empowerment aimed at minority men. It captures President Obama back in November after his historical win for bid as President. It’s a song that basically lets the next generation of young minority men know that this time in our American history proves that you can do anything if you work hard at it.
A very close to heart song that will be making the album is a song Novel wrote on his first album titled, Velvet Sky. While the song has a Prince-like Purple Rain element to it, the song itself is about losing someone who has passed on. Novel stated that the artist Prince heard this track and had to meet him after hearing it. This was the only track that was played all the way through and you could tell was Novel’s most favorite track. This track is definitely another tearjerker.
Novel brings a very Deep South sound on the song, I’m Not Drunk, I’m Just Drinking – which has a ‘country meets ballad’ sound to it. The track tells a story of a guy who’s in a state of being a little intoxicated but thinking and his woman for some reason thinks he’s clowning her when in actuality he’s just chilling. It’s a very good joint.
It was an honor to learn that the group of listeners who attended last night’s event was the first people ever (outside of Capital Records staff that is) to hear excerpts from this album. Overall, I believe that this is going to be the best thing to hit the music scene since the iPod was invented! As I stated earlier, this man’s album tells a story and has something for everyone on it. Novel stated last night; “I think everybody takes something from everybody. It’s just how you do it,” when commenting on his musical influences. I’m encouraging everyone to stay tuned for The Audiobiography in March. Its real music unlike anything you’ve heard in recent years. Yeah, you could run out and get a new Lil’ Wayne album or Soulja Boy, but I guarantee anyone else’s album you get won’t evoke emotion in you as The Audiobiography will – and as true music should do. I recommend checking this dude out and listening to his story, as you may learn something.
– Phonz L. Thomas, The Prince Of All Media