If you know ANYTHING ABOUT ME, I don't really do the 'review' thing too well. I'm not about going around talking about music I don't 'like' and 'reviewing' music would probably require that in some capacity. So hence the reason I don't call these 'reviews'.
Throughout this post you may hear me reference the night this was recorded as if I was there. That will be because I was. You can read all about it if you just click here.
You can go to DIRECTLY to their website and purchase the album/video package or Amazon... The album is also available on iTunes (I heard the video package was too but I am not sure. GO CHECK THOUGH. IT IS RUMORED TO BE...)
"Dear Friends" is a double-disc CD/DVD digipak that features the full acoustic concert performed by the band's current touring lineup of Zo!, Sy Smith, and singer/songwriter Jeanne Jolly " - Per FE Music
To quote Phonte Coleman himself in a recent concert...
"The Foreign Exchange is not....a NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION....."
Please support them in the manner that you best see fit. They are MY FOLK and I still cop so I would expect nothing less from you.
Here is the tracklisting once again..
01. Introduction/Fight For Love:
In case you don't recognize the voice, that was none other than Patrick Douthit, known professionally as 9th Wonder, who introduced the group. I am going to assume that you know the relationship between Phonte & 9th and leave it at that. Great to see him come out and support them that evening as he did come back into the control room and take in the show with some of us.
02. All Roads:
This song, at present moment, is on CONSTANT REPEAT in light of the recent event in my life. My Father's passing. During this recording, my Father was still alive and residing in the fine state of North Carolina at the time. I actually didn't get to see him during that particular trip due to circumstances but I did see him PLENTY BEFORE HE WAS GONE. When I first heard this song in its studio form, it actually reminded me of my parents. Probably not the group's intent when the song was written but good music does that. It has more than one meaning. Ya dig?
03. Take Off The Blues:
All I am going to say is 'What ya gonna do when you REALLY DON'T WANNA DANCE BY STANDING ON THE WALL? Get your back up off the wall... " That good ole grown folks traveling music...
04. Lose Your Way/Band Introductions
This is one of those 'tracks' that is DEFINITELY ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE. The 'parts of this' that didn't 'make the cut' on this part I FULLY EXPECT TO MAKE IT AS A SKIT SOMEWHERE DOWN THE LINE. Or knowing Zo! and Tay, it will just bloom into a full song.
05. House Of Cards:
It felt like they were floating on a magic carpet and levitating on stage when they sang this joint. Seriously. They transitioned from the Intro joint and just seemed to SOMEHOW KICK IT INTO ANOTHER GEAR. How I don't know nor do I want to know. It was about this point that I started to realize just how MAGICAL this event was. 'Tay took another swig of room temperature water and killed it.
06. Greatest Weapon Of All Time:
Sy Smith's stories/Phonte's sense of timing...Hilarity. This is one of Zo!'s joints and again it is all the way live. If you can see her live, do it. That's all I will say. (Wait, I have said that before...) Tay's breakdown of BBD's "Do Me" reminded me of when I realized that Big Daddy Kane was bugging as well when I was a little older.. (Eight to eighty...crippled and crazy..)
07. Something In The Way She Moves:
He (Phonte)..no THEY...(Foreign Exchange) covered JAMES TAYLOR. James. Taylor. Do I REALLY NEED TO SAY ANYMORE? If you don't know who that is, GET YOUR MUSIC GAME UP. (Not dissing you either. No really. Go see who he is. You are missing out.) This is probably the thing that I love about this band the most. They are not pigeonholed by what they think you 'want to hear from them'. They sing what they want. How they want. When they want. Without fear. They show their musical range and knowledge almost every time they pick their respective instruments.
"All songs are like your children..." - Phonte on how he feels about the songs he writes..
08. Laughing At Your Plans:
I want so desperately for someone to take this to a country station, drop it off and have it catch fire. It deserves to. It is actually 'genre-less' in many senses but I know most would SAY IT IS COUNTRY. I am thinking that FE wouldn't care WHAT YOU CALL IT AS LONG AS YOU CALL IT GOOD. Having Jeanne Jolly on the track, which was PERFECT outta the studio, made 'perfect' seem like not enough. If that makes any sense. She owned it. Period. Seeing/hearing Nicolay back there with Chris on his 'Daughtry' vibe (for this and ALL THE SONGS) WAS DEFINITE TREAT TOO. That should be noted. By now, most of you have seen Nicolay do that if you caught them on tour recently but at the time, this was his FIRST TIME doing it in front of a live audience. (Go back and read the re-cap above. He discussed that with me a bit). I don't think you know just how much I love this damm song.
As Phonte stated, this is an old favorite. For them to 'swing it' was RIGHT UP THEIR ALLEY AND IT SOUNDED GREAT. Then they hit us with this....
When. They. Took. This. Song. Country. I. Lost. My. Damm. Mind. I lost it again when they CHOPPED AND SCREWED IT. Live. No effects. No gimmicks. They. Slowed. Down. Their. Voices. Instruments. And. Replicated. The. Song. Chopped. And. Screwed.
Do I really need to say more? I didn't think so....
10. I Wanna Know:
Audience participation. Guitars. Down home feel and more. All in one song. Perfect way to end it.
11. Steal Away feat. Jeanne Jolly:
I want more of this. Period. That's all I will say.
12. All The Kisses feat. Amber & Paris Strother of KING:
I look forward to seeing them perform this song live in Columbia. I will keep my fingers crossed that there are more songs in the can with them as well.
Those last two tracks are BONUS TRACKS to the album. Both are STELLAR TRACKS introducing two artists that you may not have heard of before. Jeanne Jolly and KING. You should DEFINITELY familiarize yourself with them.
I haven't 'seen' the video yet so I can't speak on it. I have heard I am in it too. Even if that is not the case, I know I will still enjoy it. Welp, that sounds like it will be another blog post honestly. 'Till then.......
.....Go out and support this good music people. It is out there. You have to find it. You should also get on your local radio stations about playing stuff like this or SUPPORT THE ONES THAT DO. (There are stations out there that play The Foreign Exchange too. Shoutout to you.)