Thursday, December 20, 2012

Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them

by Blu & Exile

Blu and Exile are fantastic collaborators.  Their first album together, Below the Heavens, was an instant underground classic, and neither of them have done as well on their own or with other artists since.  Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them has them working together again, with Exile producing and Blu providing some amazing lyrics.

This album shows that both artists have grown in the years since they first worked together.  Lyrically, Blu is a monster, best shown on tracks like 'A Man' and 'Maybe One Day', where his laid-back, laconic flow serves him particularly well.  Exile, meanwhile, has gotten both richer and a little weirder in his sound.  He often uses cartoonish or childish samples on one track (like 'Good Morning Neighbour', which samples Mister Rogers), and then gives us lush pianos and a Tom Waits sample on another (the sublime 'Seasons').

There are guest appearances by other Exile collaborators like Johaz (of Dag Savage) and Fashawn, as well as Homeboy Sandman and Black Spade.  Many tracks feature flutes by Randal Fisher, which helps add to the general wealth of sound.

I'm not sure if this album is going to capture new listeners the way Below the Heavens did, but it's definitely one to return to time and again.

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