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posted Jan 20, 2009, 6:32 AM by Vu Nguyen
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day, here are some songs about change. King wanted change for the equality of everyone... making it possible for Barack Obama to become the first black President.

MLK Day is a fairly recent holiday, it only came into existence in 1983 when Ronald Regan signed it into law.  What you probably didn't know was that some states didn't call it Martin Luther King Day.  Utah called it Human Rights Day, while Virginia combined a bunch of people into the Lee-Jackson-King Day.  It was only recently in 2000 did all the 50 States decided to call it the same thing.

Either way, enjoy your Monday off work!

Also, please also check out Ben Sollee's A Change is Gonna Come and Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday (Martin Luther King Jr).

Manze Dayila & The Nago Nation's "Change" is about Barack Obama and how he is our president. The music has its roots in African beats and rhythm, much like all their songs from their Solé album. Although "Change" isn't on their (debut?) album, the song is a free download on their website.

According to Dayila's biography, she was a refugee from Haiti (she was 19 when she rafted into Miami Beach!). The Haiti would explain why some of their songs have a Carribean, with just a dash of Reggae, in them. Half of the album are also traditional Haitian Folk song ("Kwi", "Miseye Rigaud", "Kafe", "Papa Loko", etc).

The stand-out track for me is one of the few English songs on Solé called "That Feeling". The song also features an additional singer/rapper called Bennchoumy Elian, who also sung on the other English song "I Want to Be Free".

Other stand-out track is the "Solé", which although I do not understand the lyrics - I feel it is a sad song, as if a mother is weeping for her child. With the absent of music on this song, it made for an even more powerful emotional connection.

Since most of the album is not in English, which also gives it a Worldly touch. If you enjoy World music, especially Afro-Pop or Afro-Hip-Hop, this album is worth checking out. You can purchase Solé via cd baby ($14) or download via itunes ($10) or amazon ($8).

The Brilliant Mistakes are an indie rock/Americana-esque band from Brooklyn, New York. Their music also have great catchy melodies, unlike banging pot/pans and quirky sound of indie music these days (don't worry, I have a few of these experimental albums for review - so fans of this sound will be happy).

Between the two singers, keyboardist Alan Walker and bassist Erik Philbrook, I would have to say that I like the Walker songs - they sound vaguely like Ben Folds. The Philbrook vocals sounds more alt-country.

I'm more drawn to their upbeat songs like "The Circle's Not Broken" and "The Day I Found My Hands". Even though I didn't know the words to their songs, I feel like I could probably make up words to rhyme with their lyrics.

Their "change" ("Good Year For A Change") has nothing to do with politics, but you can read what you want in it.... 2009 will be a great year for a change, right? Anyway, the song sounds a little subdue, but it shows off the Folds-vocals as I mentioned earlier. I think the song may be about changing your life, a fresh start, and finding someone new. Possibly not looking back.... but the song seems to reflect on the past.

You can find out details on how you can purchase their album on their website. The page also lets you download "The Circle’s Not Broken" - the upbeat song that I liked, so check it out.

I've previously wrote about Y-Love before, so I was kind of interested in seeing what he's up to. His latest release is a collaboration with fellow Jewish songwriter Describe.

Much like the "Change" song by Manze Dayila, this "Change" song is the excitement of a new political change in the White House. The song has some auto-tuning vocals, with that distinctive Yiddish sounds of the H sound like in "hhhheh". The lyrics comes in fast and furious and Describe's lower vocals slows down the song when it needs to be.

As described by the press material, The Change EP consists of four songs. But instead of releasing the EP in one release date, they are dropping each song per month, starting tomorrow (January 20th). The other scheduled release are February 24th for "Make It", March 31st, and April 28th.

All details will be updated over at, which contain links of how you can buy the song(s).
There's no "Change" in title, but if there was an alternate title to the simply titled "Obama Song", it would be about change and the message that we can make a difference. This toe-tapping, hand-clapping, feet-dancing song by Michael Franti & Spearhead is very catchy. The song features many vocals, Best of all, the song is free to download via

We've previously mentioned Cory Chisel before, and here is a live version of the Sam Cooke's classic "A Change Is Gonna Come". I think the song was recorded at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel in Appleton, WI (Aug 15th, 2008), and the song comes as a break for Chisel to do his solo acoustic-thing.

 01/19/2009 07:18:34  vu ()