34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Still Burning Brightly,
This review is from: I'm New Here (Audio CD)
Once upon a time Gil Scott Heron was a dangerous man.
A visionary, brave and inspirationally dangerous man.
Having listened to 'I'm New Here' three times I put
on my 1971 vinyl copy of 'Pieces Of A Man' (it's more
than a bit scratchy and jumpy now!) to remind myself
of just how much of an iconoclast he was. Unafraid to
challenge the very foundations of enduring inequality
under Richard Nixon's tainted kingdom of deceit and lies,
his contribution to the development of black musical
culture and its relationship to political challenge and
progress was both fearless and uplifting in equal measure.
'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' still packs one
hell of a punch. A heroically scathing cris de coeur.
The last decade seems not to have been a walk in the park
for Mr Scott-Heron but here he is once again with a fine
collection of new songs, interspersed with reflective
poetic interludes. Short and sweet and very moving in
its austerely focussed intensity.
The voice still commands attention. Deeper now and more
than a little rough around the edges but still a unique
instrument with an incalculable ability to communicate
raw emotion and uncomfortable truths.
The contrast between the terrifyingly dark imagery of
'Me and The Devil' and the sweet and tender blues of
'I'll Take Care Of You' could not be greater.
This is a reflection of one of his greatest strengths
as a songwriter and performer : the ability to juggle
hope and despair and to survive the differences.
The stripped down incantation 'New York Is Killing Me',
with its eerily disembodied electronics, crackling and
chaotic percussion and fierce gospel harmonies is as
good as anything he has recorded in his long career.
The siesmic rhythmic pulse accompanying the
distorted vocal treatment of 'The Crutch' creates
a unique soundscape within which the stark lyrics
deliver an almost Biblically apocalyptic wallop!
Richard Russell's uncompromising production brings
great understanding and dignity to Mr Scott-Heron's
fragile but undiminished powers.
The flame still burns brightly!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Feb 2010 17:50:46 GMT
I totally agree with The Wolf. An excellently written inciteful review, which sums "I'm New Here" up far better than any of the professional music critic-written reviews I've read!
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Feb 2010 18:38:28 GMT
The Wolf says:
Thank you for your very kind comments (Blush!)
Posted on 13 Feb 2010 14:38:51 GMT
Definitely agree it's a great album. It's short, but delivers all it needs to within that time frame.
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