Review : Georgia Anne Muldrow - Kings Ballad
PopmattersOn June 28th of last year, Georgia Anne Muldrow and her husband, fellow Madlib associate Dudley Perkins, dropped a duo of albums that went largely unnoticed in critical and especially popular circles. It was a real shame considering Muldrow’s high-profile work and influence on recent Erykah Badu and Mos Def projects, but those who caught wind of Umsindo found one of the year’s great highlights and an immediate contemporary to Badu’s first New Amerykah record and Dudley’s Holy Smokes. Entirely produced by Muldrow, the disc revealed how funky and George Clinton-indebted much of her current aesthetic is.
Luckily, Muldrow’s back with another full-length less than a year later, and she shows no signs of slowing down creatively. Muldrow’s brand of free-form soul continues to evolve. Dudley Perkins believes this is Muldrow’s most pop effort yet, and with songs like “Doobie Down”, “Summer Love”, and “Can’t Stand Your Love”, it’s easy to see why. Her choruses there are infectious and simple compared to her usual rhetoric-laden theses. But don’t start thinking Muldrow is grasping for pop audiences, because no pop star would put a strong stance like the one on “Simple Advice” so early in their record. The first portion of the track slowly builds on a refrain of “Take it from me / You don’t want to be / Who you don’t need to be” and a funky background. Halfway in, the album breaks into Muldrow rapping about education and mainstream media, eventually paraphrasing Good Will Hunting—“Regurgitating books that you read / Gotta be your own book, follow your own lead”....full text
TheskinnyFresh from collaborating with Mos Def, Georgia Anne Muldrow returns with an offering of 19 of her own fonk-packed tracks. Such a sprawling, skit-free track listing is impressive enough in hip-hop, but when you consider that Muldrow is also finishing her first year of motherhood, it becomes an even more admirable. The album is littered with jittery beats, which fortunately manage to avoid sounding clichéd in an era of J Dilla wannabe wonkiness. In addition, there's a distinct George Clinton vibe to Summer Love, stripping away the misogyny of G-Funk and coating it in feminine loveliness. Not content to traverse the jazz-hop territory she’s become known for, Muldrow experiments with garage rock (Room Punk), and buzzing electro (Thatch), the former featuring a charmingly censored utterance of the phrase “mutha loving”. The first decent hip-hop release of the year, and one that conjures up hope for an all-too-distant summer.[Joe Barton]...full text
EyeweeklyDespite moans about critics’ best-of-’09 lists being too homogeneous, discovering Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Umsindo through them justified the whole exercise for me. Now, the multi-instrumentalist Los Angeles native drops her third full-length only six months after her last. Crammed with basslines that squirm around her tracks like octopus tentacles, oceanic synth pads and Muldrow’s serious-as-your-life crooning, King’s Ballad is a messy but rewarding snapshot of an R&B dynamo at work. “Doobie Down” is a sonic swamp anchored by chicken-scratch guitar, while “Summer Love” crosses a low-rider-rocking bassline with a J Dilla–indebted groove. Some of the short tracks deserve expansion and “Thatch” is just a mess, but even if King’s Ballad isn’t the equal of its predecessor, it’s proof that Muldrow is in a very creative place....full text
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