Sunday, June 10, 2012

Radio Music Society

by Esperanza Spalding

I'm not quite sure where I stand on the topic of Esperanza Spalding.  I think she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and I absolutely love her voice and admire her musical skill, but it doesn't somehow all add up to my loving her music.

I was excited to listen to Chamber Music Society, her last album, but was ultimately disappointed with it.  I approached Radio Music Society, her newest offering, with a great deal of optimism, and again, it's taken me a while to develop an appreciation for it.

I think the problem is that much of the music, while technically very well put-together and lovely, lacks something.  The tracks here often feels more academic than heart-felt.

I don't want to sound like I'm bashing things too much though - this is a very pretty album.  Songs like 'Black Gold' and 'City of Roses' are among the best I've heard all year.  I got the Deluxe Edition album, which includes videos for each of the songs on this album, some of which are bland, as most music videos are, except for Spalding's lovely image.

I would love to see Spalding collaborate with artists like Georgia Anne Muldrow or Madlib.  Perhaps that's just my musical biases speaking, but I feel like they could supply some of the soul or funk that would strengthen her sound.

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