Mr. Risk came home with a few new CDs yesterday that I'm sure will be setting the mood for everything I do for the next while.
The first is the new Talib Kweli album "Beautiful Struggle". I love the title (it's brilliant) but am somewhat disappointed by the album. No Nina Simone! A lot of the songs are just straight up RnB badness. However two songs, "I Try" (with Mary J. Blige) and "Black Girl Pain" (with Jean Grae) really touched me and made me a little teary. I'm sure there will be a lot of fans who will blast him for this album but the way I feel about music is if you can create even one incredible song in your lifetime that's something. He has already made so many songs that have deeply inspired me in some way. I credit the Blackstar album for keeping my sanity intact through a trying time and Train of Thought was nearly perfect all the way through. I wasn't too hot for Quality but "Get By" is still on regular rotation on my walkman.
By-the-way there are a few gorgeous photos in the liner notes.
The second album is Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown 1973-1980. My brother lent me this album of soul covers done by Jamaican musicians a while back and I remember being really in love with the cover photo but then I forgot about it until we heard it while having lunch last week. I'm especially excited by the cover of Curtis Mayfield's "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue", a song that has been on regular rotation on my walkman over the last month or so. There's also a cover of Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together?", another long-time fave. The only thing missing from this album is Horace Andy's version of "Ain't No Sunshine" which is far better, in my opinion than the Ken Boothe version on the album. Coincidently this is another album with beautiful photos used in the liner notes.
The last album is Miles Davis The Complete Birth of Cool but I haven't listened to it yet.