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Tinie Tempah

Happy Birthday

Tinie Tempah’s latest EP mixtape is a solid, diverse collection from the British rapper. He enlisted tons of cameos from the likes of Big Sean, Pusha T, Jim Jones, J. Cole, Soulja Boy and a handful of Brits less well-known this side of the Atlantic (but no less talented).

A lot of Tinie Tempah’s appeal comes from his straightforward style and easy to follow flow. Add in a little bravado, remix and sample some hits, and you’ve got a catchy mixtape. The diversity comes in the production — some tracks, like “Mayday” have a dirty south feel, while “Fuck It I’m Gone” sounds more like pop. There’s also the adorable little rendition of “Happy Birthday” that opens the EP. It’s a throwaway, but still a nice touch.

Ashley Dean

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Stage Whisper

No one can deny that Charlotte Gainsbourg is an interesting artistic presence in whatever creative endeavor she has going. The French artist has found time between being a fashion muse and shooting a range of quirky films to record some quirky music. She first gave the music thing a go by dueting with her father, Serge, in 1984 on a song called “Lemon Incest” and he produced her first album two years later. After a twenty-year break, Gainsbourg launched “5:55,” a melancholy pop album, to critical success.

Her fourth album, “Stage Whisper,” mixing seven unreleased studio recordings, some from her work with Beck on her third album “IRM” and eleven songs from her live performance on tour, is a somewhat flawed enterprise.

Gainsbourg shows that she can be a chameleon when it comes to music too, channeling Alison Goldfrapp successfully on “Terrible Angles” — a track reminiscent of “Train” but tinged with the despair of a floundering human being. She also does a good mix of Bjork and Kate Bush in “Set Yourself On Fire,” a psychedelic trip into the ’70s. “White Telephone” is like a lyre voyage to a misty vampire den where Gainsbourg’s singing acts as a hypnotizer for the unsuspecting victim. Associated Press

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