Black Radio 2

Black Radio 2

5.0 1
by Robert Glasper Experiment
     
 

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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.See more details below

Overview

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:
0602537433834
catalogNumber:
001866102
Rank:
14867

Tracks

  1. Baby Tonight (Black Radio 2 Theme)/Mic Check 2  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  2. I Stand Alone  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  3. What Are We Doing  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  4. Calls  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  5. Worries  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  6. Trust  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  7. Yet to Find  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  8. You Own Me  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  9. Let It Ride  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  10. Persevere  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  11. Somebody Else  -  Robert Glasper Experiment
  12. Jesus Children  -  Robert Glasper Experiment

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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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