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This album is 28 minutes long. Let me say that again. This album is 28 minutes long. 15 tracks, 28 minutes. Sounds a bit budget to me.
Except, there are more ideas suggested and delivered within these 28 minutes that you'd normally get within 280 minutes of another artist's oeuvre. This isn't an album. It's a tease. It's the suggestion of at least six other albums, all new, all different, all brilliant.
This is Gil Scott-Heron's first album in 16 years. He's new here (where here is in the use of modern instrumentation rather than in the music business per se). But what strikes you immediately is, as a veteran, not just how fresh this sounds but how organic. It's almost like a two-fingered salute to artists like Kanye and Common who have seen Scott-Heron's old output as a mere source to drawn upon and sampled. Scott-Heron is a man that made but has been subsequently been dismayed by hip-hop. And he's here, new in 2010, sounding more innovative and angry and relevant than those that could claim to have picked up his legacy. He's may or may not be new here. Whatever way, he's more welcome here than ever.
I'm New Here is Heron's latest cd (out in 2010) braking a long quiet period from this legendary musician. This album is very different from Heron's earlier material, and it is evident in every single one of the tracks on it. The musical style has changed (more electronical touches here) and the lyrical focus has shifted. Heron in his latest incarnation is no longer a radical social commentator. Instead, he is a mature musician who has been through a long journey and has lived to tell us about it. Most of the songs are very personal and are deprived of a wider social context. As a long time fan of his older work, that was hard for me to adjust to. Also, the cd runs for a total of 28 minutes, which leaves much to be desired.
The few full songs that are there, are undeniably good. there is no doubt about the exceptional talent of this man, and even a decade or more of a personal struggle with drug addiction did nothing to hinder that.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 On Coming From A Broken Home
2 Me And The Devil
3 I'm New Here
4 Your Soul And Mine
6 I'll Take Care Of You
7 Being Blessed
8 Where Did The Night Go
9 I Was Guided
10 New York Is Killing Me
11 Certain Things
13 Crutch, The
14 I've Been Me
15 On Coming From A Broken Home