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- Background -
Jamie XX has been hot news recently after spinning out a few epic remixes (you got the love - Florence and the machine, Rolling in the Deep - Adele and most recently Bloom - Radiohead) as well as a few single releases that have turned heads. His fresh production style brings something new to the UK dance scene, with a genre bridging concoction of UK funky House, Dubstep, Garage and a bit of Soul for good measure.
This Album, released in 2011 was a collaboration with one of the all time greats of funk/soul/jazz and spoken word poetry - Gil Scott Heron. Having brought out his new album on XL records, after just being released from Prison, Gil was told about a new up and coming producer from the band The xx, who may be able to do something really special with the album - I'm New Here.
The result - We're New Here - incorporates the vocal tracks from Gil's album with fresh cutting edge production from Jamie XX that really puts a brand new take on his beautiful words.
- Tracks -
1. I'm new here:
Beautiful track that sets the scene for the album - genius call and response technique pitting Heron's atmospheric voice against an old sample from Gloria Gaynor, which works so well and builds the song up into a climactic ending.
Bit more of a chilled out one, with more of the soul flava of Gil's singing voice, but again with fresh take, creating a clanking and almost eerie feel to the track.
3. I've Been me
Interlude of sampled drum breaks and Gil's poetry, old and new.
This track smashes back in after the interlude, with a really energetic feel. Again the booming voice of Heron counterpoints the pounding dub beat and hot production. Great track.
5. My Cloud
Back down again with a chill out session, with an almost trip hop like feel and the intoxicating voice of Heron, broken yet elegant.
6. Certain Things
Another interlude, good for breaking up the different feels to the tracks.
7. The Crutch
Atmospheric ebb and flow of bass and synth with a catchy more up tempo beat. Less Gil on this one but still works well with the high production value.
8. Ur Soul and Mine
This track brings it back to some old school banger territory, but with the distinctive twist that Heron brings to the timbre. Track also includes a sample of Touch me by Rui Da Silva, which Jamie XX has recently put out a cover of with the artist Yasmin - also great.
Another Short interlude
10. Piano Player
A long introduction to the next track which is an atmospheric piano piece, slowly getting louder and more frantic as it builds up to the beat drop of the next track NY is killing me! - Recorded in a church in Philadelphia.
11. NY Is Killing Me
Probably the best track on the album, this was one of the most successful singles released and was often to be heard on the London Club scene. Really energetic club banger, with heartfelt words from Gil about his love/hate relationship with the City he grew up in! Cracker!!
Another Short interlude, this time a bit more jazzy with a few breaks, sets up nicely for the finale!
13. I'll Take Care of You
The best Track on the album hands down. This track was so good it has been used on the new album by Drake featuring Rihanna and is the inspiration for the title of that album "Take Care".
Heron's Raspy voice works so well with the old school house vibe production and comes together brilliantly for an absolute classic tune! Great for lounging in the sun with.
- Verdict -
Basically, this is a great album. The theory behind it is that it is supposed to be an expression of all the ups and downs of a night out on the town, with ebbing and flowing, loud and soft, hard and slow, all mixed in together to form a truly great listening experience.
Also, since Gil Scott Heron Tragically died last year, this is the last album that he will ever make, and deserves to be heard!
Dance album of the Year 2011!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I'm New Here
3 I've Been Me (Interlude)
5 My Cloud
6 Certain Things (Interlude)
7 The Crutch
8 Ur Soul and Mine
9 Parents (Interlude)
10 Piano Player
11 NY Is Killing Me
12 Jazz (Interlude)
13 I'll Take Care Of U