Gil Scott-Heron coined the term “The revolution will not be televised”. He released a string of albums since that cult-classic album. He's utilized a whos-who of stellar musicians since his first album, and his albums have ranged in musical genres from soul to pseudo-rap to funk to jazz. Heron recently released a track called, “New York is Killing Me” on his first album in 16 years, “I'm New Here”.
Heron spent most of the last 16 years of silence not on hiatus or retreat, but behind bars at Rikers Island for cocaine possession and parole violations. This new album features fuzz-jazz, low-fi beats, some synth loops, and airy, ghostly, foggy backgrounds to Heron's unique poetry, bluesy, spoken-word, pre-rap, anger, hurt. One could just string descriptive terms together and you'd still have to hear it for yourself. The only way to truly experience this album is sit down and focus on it. This is an epic album, and Heron's best yet.
Listening to “I'm New Here” allows one to experience the tension of prison, and the anger of New York. The last time blues like this were recorded was in the early 1900s. This is an album of emotion captured on paper and then tape albeit, digital tape, and it captured the underlying angst inside Heron.
I'm New Here is a must-buy, and at least a must-listen especially since the tracks are up on Heron's website for free. As of this writing, you can hear the album in its entirety on his website, gilscottheron.net. This is an outstanding album from a tortured soul, from the depths of addiction and prison, to the the recording studio, with a background of music spanning multiple genres. It just doesn't get better than this.
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