Seinabo Sey & Opinions on Brian Eno

Seinabo Sey

Swedishneo-soul singer Seinabo Sey is emerging as a major voice in pop music, blending R&B and African rhythms. She joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance. Then they review the new album from pioneering ambient producer Brian Eno.

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The hype of Beyoncé’s Lemonade has effectively swept the nation–all 12 tracks rank among the Billboard Hot 100, the phrase ‘good hair’ will never again be used so nonchalantly, and the singer has become the first act to not only reach #1 with her first six studio albums, but also debut at that top spot.

As we’ve said before, death is always a good career move. And Prince is also having a good sales week. While it remains to be seen who will benefit from such sales, five Prince albums–including some Greatest Hits– rank among the top 10. This feat hasn’t been achived since 1963. While Jim and Greg understand the outpouring of affection for the Minneapolis singer, they aren’t sure why fans need to own multiple copies of Kiss.

Dweezil and Frank

Guitarist Dweezil Zappa, son of rock legend Frank, has made changes to the name of his current tour Zappa plays Zappa to avoid a $150,000 lawsuit threatened against him by his siblings. Since Frank’s widow Gail Zappa died in October, two of the four Zappa children, Ahmet and Diva, control the Zappa Family Trust. It was this trust that informed Dweezil he did not have the permission to tour under his act’s former name. So, he’s being forced to tour as Dweezil Zappa plays Frank Zappa. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

Seinabo Sey

Swedish artist Seinabo Sey may be a bit of an old soul, but her music is breaking new ground. This week, Greg and Jim chat with pop/ neo soul singer Seinabo Sey, who just released her debut album Pretend. Sey was raised in Sweden, born to a Swedish mother and a Gambian father (musician Maudo Sey), but growing up, she idolized American pop & R&B stars like Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys, which is evident in her sound.

A few years ago, she teamed up with Magnus Lidehäll, an accomplished producer who has worked with Katy Perry, David Guetta, Avicii and more. The result really lets Sey’s authetic voice shine through.

The Ship Brian Eno

The Ship

If you’ve ever listened to Sound Opinions, you’ve learned one thing – Jim loves himself some Brian Eno. Eno has worn many hats over his long career, starting as a member of Roxy Music, collaborating with artists like David Bowie, and producing commercial successes for U2, Talking Heads, and Coldplay. His own solo output has varied wildly in style, recording pop albums in the ‘70s and basically inventing ambient music. His latest work, The Ship, is a concept album about the Titanic and the slaughter of World War I. Greg says Eno is finally merging his pop and ambient music, resulting in one of his best albums yet. He’s freed himself from traditional song structures and rhythms to create cinematic images filled with orchestral synthesizer colors. Greg gives it a Buy It, impressed that Eno is still coming up with new ways to express himself. In a shocking turn of events, Jim is less impressed. He thinks that Eno’s voice is the strongest tool in his arsenal, yet here he’s burying it under the mix and fussing with Vocoders. Jim loves some ambient Eno, but feels he’s done it better than on The Ship. But Jim says the doo-wop inflected cover of The Velvet Underground’s I’m Set Free is amazing, earning The Ship a Try It rating.

Greg

Lost in the global media spotlight on Prince’s death was the passing of another important musical innovator – guitarist Lonnie Mack, who died at 74 on April 21. Born an Indiana farmboy, Mack inspired generations of artists by blending country, blues, and soul on his famous Flying V guitar. He was one of the first to turn the whammy bar into a true textural instrument. But Greg feels Mack’s vocal style is sadly underrated. He was a true soul singer, and Greg calls his recording of Why from the 1963 debut album The Wham of That Memphis Man! one of the great vocal performances of the era. Because of that, it’s Greg’s Desert Island Jukebox selection of the week.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!