Whether the issue was black political power or nuclear power, Scott-Heron didn’t mince words. His comeback record, ‘I’m New Here,’ doesn’t mince words either, but instead of political battles, these songs suggest he’s fighting personal ones.
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The upshot here is that Gil Scott-Heron is still a warrior, even if the front lines have moved. He’s made a record not without hope but which doesn’t come with any easy or comforting answers. In that way, the man is clearly still committed to speaking the truth.
‘Rhye’ clearly plays with notions of sexual identity, and it has made a concerted effort to keep its own identity mysterious. Its love songs are gender-neutral, the members have declined to appear in their own videos, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a photo of the duo that doesn’t cast them in shadows.
Comeback records always worry me, especially when they’re made by one of my heroes, and I’d heard stories about Gil Scott-Heron recently, about drug arrests and prison terms and other troubles. I wasn’t prepared for the ravaged shakiness of his voice on this record or the raw spoken word pieces or the dark electronic backgrounds.
Adele Adkins’ retro-soul debut, ’19’, was striking less for her songs than for that voice: a voluptuous, slightly parched alto that swooped and fluttered like a Dusty Springfield student trying to upstage her teacher, or at least update the rules.
|Birth:||27th December, 1960|
|Profession:||Author, Broadcaster, Critic, Journalist|
Will Hermes is a longtime contributor to Rolling Stone and to National Public Radio's All Things Considered. His work has also appeared in Spin, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Believer, GQ, Salon, Entertainment Weekly, Details, City Pages, The Windy City Times, and Option. He is the author of Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever, a history of the New York City music scene in the 1970s.
Today's Anniversary - 3rd June
- 1804 - Richard Cobden
- 1895 - Robert Hillyer
- 1928 - Donald Judd
- 1926 - Roscoe Bartlett
- 1635 - Philippe Quinault
- 1657 - William Harvey
- 2005 - Leon Askin
- 1861 - Stephen Arnold Douglas
- 2002 - Lew Wasserman
- 2000 - Leonard Baskin
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