Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX

We’re New Here

XL Recordings

This album works best as an electronica singer/songwriter album. Jamie XX’s music here, enhances Scott-Heron’s poetry and singing with swoops, swirls, samples, and good rhythms. Jamie should do this with his own band, the XX. As a remix of Scott-Heron’s critically acclaimed 2010 album, I’m New Here, breathes life into an album that originally was about death.

The best lyrics of the original album fit wonderfully into the remix, making them even more powerful. There is no faux feminism at all, as there was on the original, which was I’m New Here’s one big flaw. As one song says, there is no such place as away, so you can’t run there, nor can you run for cover. It sounds even wiser than on the original album. On a new piece, a very short one Gil scolds young people for not listening to their parents. Listen to his words, bop around the room if need be, but in the main, chill-out to an album that will make you think. []

Andrea Weiss

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