This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
It Is What It Is
MUCH like 2017 breakthrough Drunk, the new album from Los Angeles bassist and singer Stephen Lee Bruner, aka Thundercat, is a delicious sprawling smorgasbord of styles, taking in jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop and soft rock.
And, like Drunk, it's co-produced by Flying Lotus, with a who’s who of gifted artists guesting on the record.
I’m guessing it’s jazz pioneer Kamasi Washington blowing his horn on Interstellar Love, while the furious drum and bass assault of I Love Louis Cole — featuring Cole himself — is reminiscent of Outkast’s hit single B.O.B.
Childish Gambino, guitarist Steve Lacy and funk veteran Steve Arrington all guest onThe Black Qualls, which has shades of the neo-soul of Frank Ocean.
Inventive and often overblown, there is no denying Thundercat’s raw talent and ambition, though I suspect some may find proceedings a little unfocussed.
The Night Chancers
WHILE the cover image shows Baxter Dury with a New York City subway train roaring by, the contents of his sixth album feel very English.
No, that’s too general — it’s a very London set, full of characters traversing the darker, seedier side of life. Inevitably one thinks about the work of his father, Blockheads leader Ian Dury.
“I’m not your fucking friend,” are the unfriendly first words on opener I’m Not Your Dog, the propulsive synth-pop creating a nocturnal mood that threads through many of the record’s short-story songs.
Elsewhere, Dury’s gruff spoken-word vocals describe looking up an ex’s new squeeze on Instagram on Carla’s Got a Boyfriend — “He’s got horrible trousers/And a small car” — while the astonishing strings-laden break-up tune Daylight sounds like Dry Your Eyes’s older brother.
Night-time economy poetry to rival The Streets.
From Liberty Street
WHAT a delightful find this is.
Having met in high school and played in various musical outfits, Sam Blassucci and Clay Finish formed the soulful country-rock band Mapache in 2016, with From Liberty Street their second album.
The record comes out of living and recording in the same communal house on Liberty Street, in a Mexican-American part of Los Angeles. This cultural melting pot points to the record’s wonderful contents, with several songs sung in Spanish.
Most noticeable, though, is the band’s popular-music influences. Blassucci’s gorgeous lead vocals shift from sounding like Stephen Stills on Cowboy, Roy Orbison on Face Is Blue and Gram Parsons on the yearning opener Life on the Road. And their close harmonies on Read Between the Lines have a real Flying Burritos Brothers vibe.
Easy on the ear, Americana fans will love Mapache.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.