Lift Off (ft Shafiq Husayn & Mic Check): Damn, this is such a great way to start this album off. Such a great groove provided by the Experiment - it's smooth, sulty, funky, and futuristic, and done oh so well. The transitions from A to B are great as well, they bleed right into one another. Great spoken word by Shafiq Husayn - his voice is so smooth and calm, it makes you feel so relaxed. I love the modulations Glasper throws in at towards the end. Man, this mic check is on point - gotta love hearing the voices of those featured on the album before getting to their song. Of course it starts and ends with Miss Badu, 'cause she's the queen, and because her song is next.
Afro Blue (ft Erykah Badu): So this is becoming one of my favorite Badu tracks, and that has so much to do with the groove on this one. This sounds like where music used to, and needs to be, and it makes me so happy. Erykah's voice goes with this smooth groove so perfectly, like peas in a pod. Love the addition of the flute in this - makes for a very sweet, open feel. I also love that Glasper isn't afraid to do his own thing behind the melody, and the simplicity in Erykah's vocals gives him the perfect forum to do that. Love how the beat loops at the end. This song is perfect.
Cherish the Day (ft Layla Hathaway): I got the chance to see Miss Hathaway perform at the Roots pre-grammy jam in Los Angeles, and she was incredible. She was recently at my school, and I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to see her perform again...especially after hearing this song (a Sadé cover). There is a great eeriness to both her voice and the groove that is so funkily appealing. I'm not sure that any of that made sense, but it's how I like to describe it. Layla's low tone really shines in front of this groove, and it's making me feel lovely. Love the addition of the doubled vocals on the melodica - they really work great together, and that's a difficult thing to pull off. Sweet ending solo. The gradual breakdown at the end is executed really well, and gives the listener a chance to listen to all parts of the groove.
Always Shine (ft Lupe Fiasco & Bilal): Thank you, Robert Glasper for giving Lupe Fiasco a chance to redeem himself from that ass that was L.A.S.E.R.S., because that was just not up to Fiasco par. Thankfully, this is! How I missed you, Lupe!! And the fact that Bilal is on this just takes it one step further. In terms of grooves, this is probably my least favorite of the day, but I still love it. The experiment is solid. I love the intensity Bilal's voice brings - it's an automatic build in the song. Solid stuff.