Thursday, July 5, 2012

Owed to Mama Rickie and Seeds

by Georgia Anne Muldrow

Georgia Anne Muldrow has got to be the most prolific artist working in the soul/hip-hop/r&b field.  She's recently dropped two albums which go a long way to showcase her talent and unique vision.

Owed To Mama Rickie is a thirteen-track tribute to her mother, who is herself quite accomplished in the world of the arts.  This album, which is completely produced by Muldrow, contains a mixture of soulful songs and Muldrow's incredible beats.

The usual Muldrow themes are present throughout - the songs about God ('Mother, Father, God', 'Whollyspirit'), positivity ('Dr. Feelgood'), and philosophy ('Zulu (The Mind)').  There is a touching tribute to her partner Dudley Perkins ('Love Letter'), and a few playful tracks ('The Jump Rope Song' and 'Moonsong Lullabye').  There's even a dubstep interlude.

My favourite track on this album is 'More & More', which features guest vocals from Bilal, and is remixed as a bonus track.  In all, this is an album that shows Muldrow's range musically and in terms of her beliefs.

Seeds, which came out just after Owed, is a much dirtier, spacier offering, being completely produced by Madlib.  These are two artists who are perfect to work with one another, as they seem to challenge one another musically.

This album covers the same themes and ideas as the first, but is perhaps a little weirder, with songs like 'Kali Yuga' that simply repeat that god's name over and over, or 'The Birth of Petey Wheatstraw', which addresses the concept of 'original man'.  Muldrow's indefatigable positivism imbues every track on this album, like the lovely 'Best Love', which reassures listeners that 'we can make it better if we try.'

Dudley Perkins shows up to rap over one track ('The Few'), which always feels right.  This is one of the best, most consistent things that Madlib has done in a couple of years; he feels much more focused here than he did on his Medicine Show outings.  Both of these are essential albums.

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