WHAT FANS ARE SAYING ONLINE ABOUT THE DAILY NEWS :
Comparing Donnie's music to the "soul" music of today is wrong. Why? Because Donnie's music is what soul music used to be - music from the soul.
Although I like many of the soul/neo-soul/R&B-artists out there, it is obvious that commercial demands set limits to what they can do. Almost all songs now seem to follow some blueprint; what harmonies can be used, how many bars the intro/verse/chorus/bridge should be, and so on. Stuff like instrument solos and "too much shouting" - as one other reviewer put it - is outlawed.
Donnie on the other hand is simply true, raw, unfiltered, unbridled S-O-U-L! If this music would've come out in the 70's, it would've hit hard, and Donnie would've been ranked up there with Sly Stone, Stevie, Donnie Hathaway, Commodores (I mean the 70's Commodores, the pre-Nightshift Commodores), and EWF. Unfortunately, Donnie's breath-taking talent is most likely never to get anyware near that level of appreciation today, since everybody's ears are so tuned to the bridled, conformed-to-MTV-and-radio kind of soul that is the order of the day.
To all who love true, fonky, gritty, in-your-face soul with a message - support Donnie and BUY this album! You will NOT regret it!
This is a truly beautiful collection of very original songs. As someone who goes back far enough to have seen Donnie Hathaway, Stevie, Curtis Mayfield (Donnie's obvious influences) in person many times, I am completely blown away with his take on their teachings. The lyrics are highly intelligent, spectacularly sung and, IMHO, stretch the boundaries of soul music well-beyond former limits. And, man, the pulsating, great rhthyms and bass parts. Wow.
This man is genius! If you like old school, then you can again have faith in our younger generation! Political content, soul and originality wrapped neatly in the daily news.....And if you have never seen him live...shame shame shame.....can a brother get on the radio instead of the garbage they play....
Donnie's talent knows no limits. His vocal skills and delivery packs a punch. I love the way he deals with topics tha most artists would not conceive of singing/writing about. He has depth and breadth of knowledge as it relates to being socially conscious. He understand the struggle and he offers his audience a mirror in which to check ourselves. I am sorry most of mainstream radio (Urban Contemporary, R&B and Hip-Hop etc.) will not be courageous enough to play his music on the air. Donnie is a reincarnated soul from the Civil Rights Era. He has a fan for life.
Donnie is brilliant on this sophomore effort! "Daily News" finds Donnie stepping out of the Stevie Wonder mold that shaped "The Colored Section." From the first track until the latter one the listener is assaulted by a conflagration of gospel, funk, and soul. Not as initially musically catchy as the songs on "Colored Section," these songs are just as colorful, if not more harmonious and gripping. With song titles such as "Suicide," "Atlanta Child Murderers," and "Mason Dixon Line," Donnie got himself booted from Motown. No mainstream artist has the audacity let alone the ability to pull off such complex artistry but Donnie does so with ease. It is impressive that he is able to sound righteous and uncompromising without being too preachy or didactic. Given the seriousness of the issues of which Donnie sings, one would expect each to sound to sorrowful and dreary, but the opposite is the case. For example, I found myself bouncing and snapping my fingers to "China Doll," but then I told myself, wait a minute, is he not singing about a little girl getting rape. The challenging and sensitive nature of the material does not stop Donnie from crafting empowering anthems accentuated by his mellifluous, soulful vocals. Hats off to Donnie's production team, particularly Steve "the Scotsman" Harvey, for producing a sound that fits Donnie's voice like a glove. Here is a track-by-track review of this album:
"Impatient People" - exposes the debacle that was the rescue relief effort of hurricane Katrina: "I'm not a refugee, I am a evacuee, treat me like animals can we be civil ya'll?" Background gospel vocals permeate this song.
"911"-This could easily be America's national anthem as Donnie admonishes the nation to come together. Donnie's idealism and sincerity really shines through on this one.
"Over-The-Counter Culture" - Donnie uses the pharmaceutical industry as a metaphor for the cookie-cutter crap the media shoves down our throat. It is nice to hear a rap verse from Phonte. This song has a very bouncy, dance vibe.
"Classifieds" - This song has a opening line that immediately draws the listener: "This world sho' nuff need a gardener. More than just chronicling the ills of finding a job this song is plain poetry infused with great gospel singing. Very reminiscent of Stevie Wonder.
"Suicide" - A nice flute flutters in the background as Donnie sings about the virtues of living over committing suicide. "It is worth the living, I'm a living witness," Donnie chants. Amen brother!
"If I Were You" - I like this version so much better than the radio one. The warm keys, harmonica, and wah wah guitar can be heard in lieu of bombastic bouncy horns. Caution - this is very addictive.
"Robot" - Rick James synthesizers can be heard on this, and that is a good thing. The robot is any instrument, human and otherwise, that commandeers your thoughts and emotions, and Donnie is tells the robot "to get your dirty hand off me." Amen to that, brother.
"Atlanta Child Murderers" - I am too young to recall this event but I do know that it was a tragic moment in the black community where black children were murdered arbitrarily and brutally. There have always been conspiracy theories in the black community holding the federal government for certain ills. Donnie indulges this paradigm by labeling the murderers as a conspiracy to experiment on the black community's children. It is up to you to agree with this premise. An excellent and provocative song nonetheless.
"For Christ Sake" - The brother takes it to the pulpit on this one, crooning "greater than shall ye do." This is more spiritual than religious, and the chorus literally takes you higher. A very uplifting and encouraging song!
"Mason Dixon Line" - The title obviously references the historical line that separated the slave-owning South from the non-slave-owning North. This song exudes modern gospel.
"China Doll" - find yourself bouncing to groove although he's singing about child molestation. He calls a family friend pedophile and demands that he leaves the little girl alone. The style of this song is reminiscent of how Stevie Wonder executes "Big Brother."
"The Daily News" - Invariably, most news is bad news, so there is no shortage of material for Donnie to sing about here.
"If I Were You" (Radio Version) - I am sure most of you have heard this already. Check out the video on youtube if you have not.
This is a masterpiece of modern, progressive soul deserving of much attention and acclaim. Sadly, "The Daily News" will be overlooked by the masses.
released June 19, 2007
With bassists Bobby Watson & Sekou Bunch, guitar wizards Jimi Macon, Al McKay (EWF) and Bobby Watson, Keyboards from Larry Dunn (EWF) & Wayne Linsey amongst others ...how could this album not be funky ?
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