the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest

the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest

the student newspaper of Shorewood High School

The Tempest


Expertly curated music ray-commendations

Voodoo – D’Angelo

Voodoo is an outstanding record released in 2000 by the R&B singer/songwriter/instrumentalist D’Angelo. A true masterpiece of an album. Although it truly defines the late 90s Neo Soul movement, it is not confined to any era, making it timeless. 

This record was written, recorded, and produced between the years of 1996 and 2000 at Electric Lady Studios, which was constructed by Jimi Hendrix and used by the likes of Stevie Wonder. It features many outstanding musicians, such as Questlove – the hip hop goat of the drumset, Pino Palladino – the British powerhouse bassist who tours with the likes of John Mayer, James Poyser – roots member keyboard virtuoso, and Roy Hargrove – outstanding jazz trumpet player (listen to Earfood). And of course D’Angelo himself, multi-instrumentalist and crooning vocalist. A true powerhouse of R&B, D’Angelo handles instruments, songwriting, and production of this album. Another outstanding figure involved in this project is none other than your hip- hop producer’s favorite producer: J Dilla. Although Dilla did not produce any of this record, he was still quite present at recording and his influence is seen throughout. 

This album is smooth, groovy, and organic. Despite its smoothness, it takes a very rough quality that gives it a human and almost live-sounding feel. The band also known as the Soultronics weaves together woozy drums with disgusting basslines and spicy trumpet parts almost seamlessly. Lyrically the album touches on everything from temptation to the struggle of African Americans, to love, to partying.

Some standout tracks on this LP include “Playa Playa”, “Left and Right”, “Send it On”, “Untitled (How Does it Feel)”, and “Africa”. The entire album is a masterpiece, I would personally rate it a solid 10/10. 

Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the Red Hot Chili Peppers breakthrough album, released in 1991. The same year grunge acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam released their breakthrough albums Nevermind and Ten. These three albums truly shaped what rock would look like for the decades to come. 

This record was written, recorded, and produced at a mansion in LA under the supervision of Rick Rubin, the man behind artists such as the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and many more. The album was written after Mothers Milk, a minor success, but BSSM made them into stars. On this record, we have Anthony Kiedis – whose wild vocals and complex lyrics are the perfect icing on a flawless cake. Chad Smith – a stellar drummer whose combination of booming rock beats and tight funk beats perfectly wrap the album in a tight blanket of rhythm, Flea – the band’s famous bass player who brought funk/slap bass into the 90s and 00s, and John Frusciante – an overlooked guitar God who redefined the guitar in the 90s and truly flourished on this record.

This album is funk-rock at its best. Booming beats with tight rhythm guitar and rowdy rapped vocals on top. It switches from the rowdiest and hedonistic tracks such as “Suck My Kiss” or “Apache Rose Peacock” to beautiful introspective ballads like “Could Have Lied” or “Breaking the Girl”. A massive album running at a whopping 73 minutes, there is not one skippable song on this double LP. 

Some other standout tracks include “Power of Equality”, “Give it Away”, and “Funky Monks”. This album is yet another 10/10 release by the Chili Peppers, and in my opinion, has not been topped. I would put this record in the top 5 albums ever released as well, it is truly exceptional.

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About the Contributor
Matthias Jackels
My name is Matthias Jackels, I am a staff reporter and photographer. This will be my first year on the newspaper. I joined newspaper because I love writing and talking to others, as well as photography. It really gives me the opportunity to connect with my peers around the school.

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