This album was a long time coming for artist/producer/composer Howard Bernstein. Folk is a lovingly soulful display of dynamic vocals blended by lush exhibits of organic beats and hearty atmosphere. This man knows how to pull a track together. Though, much harder to obtain than his other releases, Folk is well worth the search. Every composition on this album felt more nurtured and appreciated, by the artist himself, over any other Howie B production I have heard to date. As much praise as Howie's Daddy Longlegs project (1999) and fusion with Sly & Robbie (1999) received, they only knocked on the door of brilliance. I'm not sure there's anything Howie's done prior or after that can top Folk's utterly honest beauty within.
The most alluring part of Folk's appeal is its sheer curiosity - how it almost mimics the way we would hear the world, through Howie's ears. His exquisite production executed to a point of levitation, heightening our ability to hear the music exactly as the artist intended. Pure and raw, without flaws and fumbles through idea and concept, this man delivers a full spectrum of his talents combined with those of others, proving collaborative efforts applied means genius results are the only consequence.
It's sad that albums like this aren't made every day, or even every year for that matter. I've always believed that music was a way for us to connect with one another through sound. A way for us to communicate how we feel to a greater audience - a force with opinion and subjective reason to love us or dismiss us. And as much there is nothing dismissive about Howie B's Folk, it's unfortunate how many people won't deem the privilege to hear this superb creation by one the 21st century's most underrated talents.
Thanks, Howie. But I must beseech you, please make MORE like this. Please!