Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The final tracks are on deck for today: "African Song," "Queen of the Night," and "Below Yellow Bell." Pretty solid way to take the album out. "African Song" has a super mellow vibe to it that I really like. Feel like I should be sitting back on the beach, or on a safari, or some cool shit like that. Yusef sits nicely above the chill groove going on, which I dig. No instrument is sticking out, it's just a nice blend between all members. Dig the keys sound going on, gotta love that Rhodes. This track is short, simple, and to the point. "Queen of the Night" is the only track that I wish Yusef wasn't as forefront on. Don't get me wrong, he sounds awesome, but I really like the groove on this one, and I think I'd like it even more if he was just turned down a taaaaaad to blend in with the band a little more. The guitar solo is cool, it's definitely got a 70s sound to it, and I like that another instrument was featured. The groove is solid, so I dig it. "Below Yellow Bell" is definitely a trippy (and kind of creepy) way to take this album out...but I like it! These dudes were definitely high or something, but most likely high. The bass parts are pretty cool, I like that there are two. There's a lot of chaos in the structure, but that's what makes this song cool. It gets gradually more chaotic as the song goes on, but it's subtle enough not to be weird. The fact that the keys, percussion, and the bass are keeping with the groove helps hold everything together. Overall, a pretty solid day.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Got tracks 3-5 for review today: "Hey Jude," "Jungle Plum," and "The Poor Fisherman." "Hey Jude" is obviously a cover of the famous Beatles track of the same name, and Yusef definitely does it justice. At first I was a little confused, because the track starts off really low, so low I couldn't even hear it, and it slowly builds as the song progresses - I like and dislike it. The build is really cool as it goes right alongside the feel and intensity of the tune, but I wish that I could hear everything the band is doing clearly, because it sounds like they're grooving their asses off. I dig how rockin it gets at the end, especially the guitar - definitely sounds like they're having a good time. I don't really understand the cut at the end only to come back 2 seconds later and then abruptly cut off again, seems a little off putting. Otherwise, solid cover. First of all, I love the title "Jungle Plum," that's a fucking cool song title. The keys on this track are probably my favorite part, they've got a killer sound to them. I like the hits in the B section - gotta love some good hits. The track is definitely focused on Yusef (as the whole album should be), and he for sure brings it on this one. Really dig the vocalizing he incorporates in his solo, it adds nice texture to what he's playing, as well as showing the audience that he has a clear idea of what he's playing. Solid track. Similar to "Lowland Lullabye," "The Poor Fisherman" has got a Native American kinda vibe that I dig, and it's solo Yusef (no cello this time around), so that's cool. Yusef on his own gives the track a kind of eeriness that I dig, it definitely makes you pay attention. It makes me feel like I should be out star gazing or something. It's nice and short, which is also good, because it would probably lose some of the softness that keeps your attention. A nice little way to take the day out.