Thursday, September 4, 2008

Writer's Block: The Clutch Part 1

Something The Chronicles prides itself on is giving you music news and updates from all angles of a track. From the producer to the writer to the janitor, we want to make sure you know who does what for any track. For this new series titled Writer's Block we are going to focus on the writers of some of your favorite Timbaland, Danja, and other producers tracks. In the next few weeks we are going to update you on the writer's extraordinaire club, The Clutch, calling on some guest writers (The Keepers) to The Chronicles so sit back, enjoy the music, and get ready to learn a little something.

If you've been watching Making The Band you'll know Donnie Jas the guy that didn't make it to Day26 but did get a deal for some reason - expectations were low and his album generally lived up to those, save for one exception. The latest in the growing string of Danja/Clutch songs, the seemingly Zeke-heavy "Catch My Breath" is somewhat of a triumph. They without a doubt have amazing chemistry but where many of Danja's beats tend to push the vocal part of a song more or less into the background, the music here is simple and broken down. A guitar and [real] drum-driven track accompanied by piano is about as crazy as Nate went this time, it's almost un-plugged when compared to his usual heavy electronic touch - the track thrives on how flawless it works as a whole but Danja doesn't fail to impress with his ever-morphing sound - the same however can be said about The Clutch, the mature lyrics and vocal production heard in their more recent efforts such as "Catch My Breath" and Chris Cornell's "Long Gone" show more and more versatility and growth in their swiftly growing resumé, they again prove to belong to a small group of people that still really seem to add something to today's market. All in all, "Catch My Breath" is a savage beast unleashed in the cage full of fluffy cotton-candy bunnies that is Donnie J's debut album, which also includes collaborations with the likes of Mario Winans, Terius 'The-Dream' Nash & Chris 'Tricky' Stewart, Mary Brown, The Soul Diggaz, Shanell Woodgett and The Artist Formerly Known As 7 Aurelius. Just A Rolling Stone is in stores this week but the fact that it already leaked in full weeks ago probably won't help sales.

Donnie Klang "Catch My Breath" (produced by DanjaHandz)

If you have been watching MTB, you'll know Donnie has been working with Jim Beanz as well - only one track title, "Beautiful Escape", was revealed, a song that was recorded very early on in the process but didn't make the cut. We did however get a glimpse of the session, check out the video here:

Donnie J "Beautiful Escape"

An unreleased session from Donnie that [b]did[/b] see the light of day is "Defensive" - but it seems The Clutch weren't quite able to re-create the magic they made with Danja on "Catch My Breath" on this poor Mario Winans produced effort. Winans obviously tried [and failed miserably] to make it sound like a genuine Timb beat but it came out sounding generic, the vocal arrangements are almost pleasant and catchy but it's not quite up to the standard they've set.

Donnie Klang "Denfensive" (produced by Mario Winans)

Sterling Simms' Oak-produced "By The Hand" unfortunately didn't quite reach that level of genius we've sort of gotten used to from The Clutch either - the hook is definetly the catchiest part but nevertheless fails to really leave an impression, the production is awkward, there is too much going on with the hats and it's hurting the song. The music and lyrics make it very dated, and it doesn't help change the thought that Sterling is a capable singer that I'm not sure has what it takes to really stand out from the all the other R&B singers in their mid-twenties. Especially being on the Def Jam and having worked on his album with the likes of Sean Garrett, StarGate, Bangladesh, The-Dream, Bryan-Michael Cox, Tha CornaBoyz & DarkChild since they were kneading the first breads, it's expected to be released September 2043.

Sterling Simms "By The Hand" (produced by Oak)

-this episode of Writer's Block brought to you by Tom of The Keepers


  1. i think defensive is better than catch my breath it sounds more unique catch my breath is just another song

  2. Catch My Breath is a beast...... Danja is really doing it big with his versatility man. Its a pity that his fire seems to be going to the wrong people.

  3. I just realised that Danja added sum pads/synths and sum strings to the album version... The album version is even fuller now.

  4. Another crappy danja track...where is the fast forward button?


    I got that from its a cool blog so check it out

  6. Oh my gosh I like defensive its not poor in my oppinion!!!

  7. Defensive is hot to me I think mr winans has really captured the old timbaland sound quite WELL ACTUALLY!! this soundS like a track from playa!! It has an aaliyah vibe to it.

  8. I think the problem is donnie I think I would prefer the songs if it was just J.que and Zeke singing donnie don't have the soul man!! He has that "white boy sound" he wul be better off doing some rock songs man.

  9. Catch my breath shows Danja's versatility.

    Defensive drums is weak. Else its a cool track.

    By The Hand lacks the killer blow.


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