Boulevards has become quite an established act in the US funk music scene. On 11th February 2022, he is already releasing his fourth studio album, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud. I had the opportunity to have a listen before the album release.
Boulevards – About The Artist
Boulevards is the alter ego of Jamil Rashad. He is from Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, but is nowadays living in New York City. Rashad debuted with the album Groove! in 2016, followed by Hurtown, USA (2017) and Yadig! (2019).
Boulevards – Electric Cowboy – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 42 minutes.
World keeps spinning,
Life keeps turning,
Wheels keep burning,
Broke with no money,
Clothes look dirty,
Wife won’t love me,
Friends act funny,
Turn over you
You can’t really state that the album starts with a positive, uplifting mood. However, the vibe of the song and the powerful arrangement leads to the catching funk spirit with a touch of R&B. Nice opener.
Born in Carolina mud, out the womb I made a fuss
Talked a fool when I cuss, momma made me take the bus
Children always picked a fight, held my ground with all my might
Rose to be the blackest king, kiss my little pinky ring
The first lines of the lyrics turn the song into something like the hidden title track of the album. The instrumentation feels monotonous. Nonetheless, Together has a nice groove and makes you move.
3. How Do Ya Feel
Already the first notes of the song gave me the feeling I expect of modern funk music. The snaggy bass sounds are the most present musical elements, which are refined by Boulevard’s vocals. Nice song.
Boulevard’s fans don’t get too many new songs in this part of the album, where four out of five tracks have already been leaked as an appetizer for the Electric Cowboy. Thus, no surprise at Surprise, which orientates a bit towards soul. The melody is dominating the lyrics in here in major parts.
Hooked is a rather slow song. It nicely touches electronic music styles – for example, some sections remind me of house music. Again, the vocals take rather a background role.
Hooked on you, hooked on you
You’re like bad habit, I just can’t kick
I’m hooked on you
6. Where Is Da Luv?
Jamil Rashad is asking Where Is Da Luv? – and I feel a lot of love for his sixth album track. The song is one of the best ones on this collection, the breathing sounds lead to a characteristic element, the vocals are clear and are not drowned by the melody. Lovely one.
7. Better Off Dead (Feat. Nikki Lane)
I haven’t heard any of Boulevards’ single releases so far – thus, I have been especially looking forward to this collaboration with Nikki Lane. The song has a great atmosphere, even though the lyrics are again more on the dark and melancholic side. Lane fits nicely in the sound of this song.
8. God Bless Ya (Be Thankful)
The way Fed Up, Look Son, Gave Up, You Run and God Bless Ya, Be Thankful are repeated in this song, almost feels like a mantra. Working with two background vocalists adds a to this a bit of “threatening” atmosphere.
9. Ain’t Right
The synthesizer and distorted bass and guitar sounds are the key melodic elements of Ain’t Right. This leads to an almost psychedelic atmosphere. Definitely a special touch, even though it is not my favorite one.
10. Modern Man
Bass, guitar, organ/piano and rhythmic instruments – the style of Modern Man is rather traditional and hand-made. The song has a very dramatic, signature sound, which again turns it into a special listen.
Time has a very laid-back style, almost reminds me of lounge music. Cool song, which is using interesting instruments like the Wurlitzer or the vibraphone to create that special sound.
Problems comes with rather gentle tunes. Thus, it feels like the perfect outro of the album. Very interesting melodies with organ and pedal steel guitar sound. A good good-bye from this set of 12 songs.
Boulevards – Electric Cowboy – Spotify
Here is Boulevards’ fourth album on Spotify:
Boulevards – Electric Cowboy – My View
Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud is a versatile modern funk album. Here and there, I feel that the songs have not reached their maximum potential. Nonetheless, the album is entertaining and also somehow unique in the current era of music. If you are giving it a listen, you will definitely have a good time.
Funk on Flyctory.com
Here are all postings on Flyctory.com related to funk music:
“Rides on Rail” Postings
Here is everything about trains, trams and other rail vehicles: