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Black Radio 2

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On Black Radio 2, the Robert Glasper Experiment attempts the near impossible: create a sequel that delivers fully on the promise of its groundbreaking, Grammy-winning predecessor. Glasper's group -- bassist Derrick Hodge, Casey Benjamin on vocoder and synth, and drummer Mark Colenburg -- again enlists a stellar cast of vocalists. Instead of relying on covers, this set is almost entirely comprised of originals. There is an organic feel as well: there are no programmed loops on the record; everything was played live. Standout "I Stand Alone" juxtaposes hip-hop and pop as Common raps about growing up in Chicago, with a sung refrain by fellow Illinoisian Patrick Stump of Fall ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On Black Radio 2, the Robert Glasper Experiment attempts the near impossible: create a sequel that delivers fully on the promise of its groundbreaking, Grammy-winning predecessor. Glasper's group -- bassist Derrick Hodge, Casey Benjamin on vocoder and synth, and drummer Mark Colenburg -- again enlists a stellar cast of vocalists. Instead of relying on covers, this set is almost entirely comprised of originals. There is an organic feel as well: there are no programmed loops on the record; everything was played live. Standout "I Stand Alone" juxtaposes hip-hop and pop as Common raps about growing up in Chicago, with a sung refrain by fellow Illinoisian Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. Michael Erik Dyson adds an inspiring spoken word outro. The set's first single, "Calls," features vocals by Jill Scott. It's a dreamy, repetitive, nocturnal, neo-soul groover with Glasper's Rhodes and Benjamin's synths sparkling above the clipped rhythm. The RGE weds neo-soul to hip-hop to very fluid jazz on "Worries" with Dwele. The popping snare and toms are accented by Glasper's acoustic piano and a bumping, bubbling bassline from Hodge, as the vocalist alternately sings and raps. Anthony Hamilton offers an exquisite, deeply moving vocal on "Yet to Find," a tune that weds adult contemporary R&B to modern gospel seamlessly and convincingly. Faith Evans underscores the pop/R&B notion on "You Own Me," a track illustrated by Glasper's crystalline middle-register piano, Benjamin's winding, circular synth line, and Colenburg's ticking, in-the-pocket hi-hat. The set's most bracing cut is "Let It Ride." It was written by Glasper and Munsinah, and driven by Colenburg's dazzling breakbeat snare, which is so accurate it could be a loop. It's mixed far above the acoustic piano vamp, an atmospheric Rhodes, layered synths, and a sparse, seductive bassline. Norah Jones' slippery, slurry, vocal phrasing rises over the top, making the track an expansive, syncopated meld of dubstep, jazz, and pop. The set closer is a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Jesus Children." Introduced by the RGE in a nearly modal mélange of acoustic piano, electric bass, and skittering snare, vocalist Lalah Hathaway finds the melody and adds her signature utterance, which is equal parts gospel, old-school soul, and bluesy jazz. She trades verses with Malcolm Jamal Warner, who delivers a searing, spoken tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, thereby exiting the set on a poignant note. Black Radio 2 is much more subtle than its predecessor. While it's true that it possesses fewer standout performances, it's wholly consistent, and on some level, it's braver for relying on original material to carry it. It requires more listening to appreciate fully. Taken as a whole, however, it serves and fulfills the role of a sequel: the album deepens the band's music-making aesthetic, and further establishes their sound not only as a signature, but even, perhaps, as its own genre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/29/2013
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • UPC: 602537433834
  • Catalog Number: 001866102
  • Sales rank: 38,123

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Baby Tonight (Black Radio 2 Theme)/Mic Check 2 (4:23)
  2. 2 I Stand Alone (4:53)
  3. 3 What Are We Doing (3:34)
  4. 4 Calls (5:42)
  5. 5 Worries (3:37)
  6. 6 Trust (7:29)
  7. 7 Yet to Find (4:40)
  8. 8 You Own Me (4:25)
  9. 9 Let It Ride (7:07)
  10. 10 Persevere (4:35)
  11. 11 Somebody Else (3:43)
  12. 12 Jesus Children (5:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Glasper Experiment Primary Artist
John P. Kee Vocals, Guest Appearance
Casey Benjamin Synthesizer, Saxophone, Vocoder
Derrick Hodge Bass
Robert Glasper Synthesizer, Piano, fender rhodes, Indexed Contributor
Wayne Brady Vocals, Guest Appearance
Michael Eric Dyson Vocals, Guest Appearance
Jahi Sundance Turntables, Guest Appearance
Mark Colenburg Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Snoop Dogg Composer
Andy Taub Vocal Engineer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Brandy Composer
Chris Athens Mastering
Common Composer
Eli Wolf Producer, Executive Producer
Casey Benjamin Composer
Jill Scott Composer
Derrick Hodge Composer
Marsha Ambrosius Composer
Dwele Vocal Engineer
Robert Glasper Composer, Producer
Nicole Hegeman Executive Producer
Patrick Stump Composer
PJ Morton Composer
Lupe Fiasco Composer
Claude Kelly Composer
Greg Magers Vocal Engineer
Anu~Sun Composer
Muhammad Ayers Composer
Artia Lockett Composer
Keith Lewis Engineer
Josh Mosser Vocal Engineer
Mark Colenburg Composer
Emeli Sandé Composer
Terrace Martin Producer, Vocal Engineer
Luke James Composer
Andrea Martin Composer
Munsinah Abdul-Karim Composer
Any Sun Vocal Engineer
Larry Whitt Vocal Engineer
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