Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Renaissance

by Q-Tip
Q-Tip is one of the people who I credit for inspiring much of the underground - his work with A Tribe Called Quest remains a cornerstone of the genre, and it's really nice to see that he is still recording, and creating good music.

Sadly, it's not great music. This is very much a commercial album - hip-hop Adult Contemporary if you will. There is nothing wrong with any of the tracks on this disk, or with the overall feel of the album, but at the same time, it doesn't really stand out all that much. It's fantastic background music, and the kind of hip-hop album you can play when you have people over that don't really like hip-hop, and they'll be cool with it. It just doesn't do much to advance things.

Q-Tip handles the production on all the tracks, except for 'Move', which features a beat by J Dilla. Two actually, as it splits itself into two songs, which could have each held their own as separate tracks, especially when the second one is the best part of the album.

There are some lovely guest appearances by Norah Jones, Raphael Saadiq, and D'Angelo, but again, nothing particularly noteworthy (I liked Jones's appearance on Kweli's last album better). Q-Tip can still write and deliver some excellent lyrics - I just wish this album was a stronger example of that.

No comments: