SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on November 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Q-TipRenaissanceNote: This is the A Tribe Called Quest MC’s second officially released solo album, technically making it the long-awaited follow up to 1999’s Amplified. However, he has recorded at least two (if not three) albums in the meantime (promo copies of 2003’s Kamaal the Abstract were even sent to press and reviews were published before the album was recalled and shelved), but they were either deemed not commercial enough for release or held up due to record label red tape (or both).
Sound: A classic return to roots – smooth but energetic hip hop grooves that incorporate elements of jazz, funk, soul and r&b and blend live band instrumentation with samples and turntable scratches. Q-Tip’s flow is warm and velvety as usual as he handles all the rapping, while allowing plenty of room for hooks – which generally come in the form of throwback samples or guest vocal appearances by crooners like Raphael Saadiq, Norah Jones and D’Angelo.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Gettin’ Up” “Johhny Is Dead”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Official”; “ManWomanBoogie” featuring Amanda Diva; “Life Is Better” featuring Norah Jones; “Won’t Trade”
Recommended: Despite the long layoff between official releases, Q-Tip is at the top of his game here on the mic. This isn’t the forward-thinking move that his debut album was, and presumably it’s not as bold and ambitious as his unreleased albums. It’s a pretty safe album that strongly recalls the days of Tribe, and it makes for a satisfyingly enjoyable listening experience.
Grade: A-

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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