First Impressions of "Black Messiah"

December 15, 2014

I think I understood 10 words he sang on the whole goddamn thing. The rest just kinda dribble from his lips into a puddle around his feet.

 

Otherwise:  oh, I likes.  I'm assuming all of these tracks were worked on at various points over the last 14 (freakin') years, so a couple tracks seem from the Like Water For Chocolate era, a couple sound closer to the Voodoo sessions, etc., and some tracks are stronger than others, but the overall product is more than satisfying.

 

"1000 Deaths" has gotten much denser, murkier, and noisier from the leaked version; I half-expect Chuck and Flav to start chiming in after that intro.  Would've liked a couple more tracks to follow this direction, cuz we need a new There's A Riot Goin' On.  I keep going back to "The Charade" (and it rhymes with Parade for a reason), but that "Really Love" string intro, that southern-fried front-porch "The Door" whistling, that "Betray My Heart" bassline, everybody's got their favorite.

 

I don't have a personnel list handy, but obviously I can hear ?uesto, Pino, and Hargrove are on hand; curious to know who else.  As far as riffraff musicians like myself go, I'm wondering how the biters think they're gonna imitate this, like they did his first two albums.  There isn't really a definable stylistic element (mellow Rhodes-'n'-rim-clicks or behind-the-beat sloppiness) for them to latch onto, so I guess they're just gonna have to write good music, imagine that.

 

All this analysis is useless if you're not feelin' it;  most everyone appears to be feelin' it (fuck Nicholas Payton), and I sure am.  Certainly nothing else this year (hell, very little from the past ten years) has come this close for me.  We needed something like this right now.

 

- J.

 

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