Smooth Monday Jams: Check Your History

There are still a lot of people out there who have a negative connotation when the words "smooth" and "music" are combined, and I’m the first to say that not all smooth music is necessarily good. This isn’t your generic, corny smooth jazz CD or your boring easy-listening station (although there are some gems in those genres, as well). I’m attracted to the smooth tracks from all genres, of which there are more than you can even imagine. To ease the pressures off your Mondays, I bring you the “Smooth Jams” series, my favorite smooth tracks of the week.

Be sure to check out Sea Level tonight and every first Monday of the month at Tender Trap in Brooklyn. Free smoothness for all begins at 9 PM. I promise you’ll hear songs like this and many more to start your work week off on a smoother note.

Software – "Island Sunrise" (1988)

Shots out to Mamiko Motto for putting me onto this one (tune into her show Hepcat Radio on NTS every Wednesday 8-9 PM GMT). Anything beginning with the sounds of the ocean is off to a good start, but the ethereal pads, synthesizer chimes, and overall musicality of this track makes me melt.

Mya – "Smilin" (1997)

This unreleased gem by Mya is produced and arranged by Devante Swing, one of the most under appreciated musical geniuses of our time. Check your history!

Toro y Moi – "Touch" (2012)

Whoever said that no one is making any smooth jams anymore, is straight up wrong. Toro Y Moi serves up a tasteful and laid back groover. (pro-tip: mix into this.)

Toto – "Human Nature" (1983)

Toto basically recorded this entire song before showing it to Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. I love this version almost as much as the hit most people know off Thriller. Toto were the unsung smooth heroes of the late ’70s and early ’80s: they were studio musicians on so many of the best tracks.

The Doobie Brothers – "Minute by Minute" (1978)

Gotta end with some yacht rock from one of the godfathers of smooth, Michael McDonald. AND I SAY CHURCHHHHHHHHH (shout out Meek Mill).

Morning Links: Jonah Hill Slims Down, Lil Kim Beefs with Biggie’s Mom

● Jonah Hill showed off his svelt new at the Espy’s this week, admitting that his new diet and exercise regiment is “not fun” but “important.” [NYDN] ● From the annals of celebrity baby names: Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy have named their newborn Bing, not after the Microsoft search engine, but as in Bingham, Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name. [Us] ● Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is crowdsourcing his next horror movie, Inside, pulling plot twists and even actors from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels developed for the project. [Slate]

● Rihanna is the most popular girl on Facebook, racking up 2 million more “Likes” than even Gaga. [Glamour] ● Emmy-nominated Glee star Chris Colfer first heard that this season will be his last where most people hear things these days: on Twitter. [People] ● If Biggie’s mom want’s Lil Kim’s verse cut from Monica’s new “Who Shot Ya” sampling single, Lil Kim’s verse gets cut. Lil Kim just can’t win. [RapRadar]

Morning Links: Jonah Hill Slims Down, Lil Kim Beefs With Biggie’s Mom

● Jonah Hill showed off his svelt new at the Espy’s this week, admitting that his new diet and exercise regiment is “not fun” but “important.” [NYDN] ● From the annals of celebrity baby names: Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy have named their newborn Bing, not after the Microsoft search engine, but as in Bingham, Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name. [Us] ● Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is crowdsourcing his next horror movie, Inside, pulling plot twists and even actors from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels developed for the project. [Slate]

● Rihanna is the most popular girl on Facebook, racking up 2 million more “Likes” than even Gaga. [Glamour] ● Emmy-nominated Glee star Chris Colfer first hear that this season will be his last where most people hear things these days: on Twitter. [People] ● If Biggie’s mom want’s Lil Kim’s verse cut from Mya’s new “Who Shot Ya” sampling single, Lil Kim’s verse gets cut. Lil Kim just can’t win. [RapRadar]