Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color by Brother Ali | 826257015228 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

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by Brother Ali
     
 

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Using Old Glory as a prayer rug on your album cover is certain to drive some people away, and with one quarter of the guest list here occupied by Dr. Cornell West (author of Race Matters and no friend to "the Establishment") underground rapper Brother Ali's 2012 effort certainly looks like a "target audience" album. "Preaching to the converted" would be the

Overview

Using Old Glory as a prayer rug on your album cover is certain to drive some people away, and with one quarter of the guest list here occupied by Dr. Cornell West (author of Race Matters and no friend to "the Establishment") underground rapper Brother Ali's 2012 effort certainly looks like a "target audience" album. "Preaching to the converted" would be the more dismissive way to put it, but an objective ear can hear that there's an unexpected amount of beauty, hope, and grace in Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, especially when West is in the building. The duo's opening "Letter to My Countrymen" is a soft and sound uplift, with jazzy mallets hitting warm vibes while Ali embraces it all, "Beautiful ideals and amazing flaws," and pledges "I wanna make this country what it says it is," a goal he maintains throughout the album. West's bit on the track is no lecture, but a warmer thing, somewhere between a lullaby and a prayer. "Only Life I Know" professes soulful love for the U.S. of A. and its flaws, with funky beats, gospel shouts, and tales of those tattooed girls on the street corner, but as Ali watches the rents go up and living conditions decline, the anger grows. "Mourning in America" is mostly venom and blood-spattered speakers, as the system eats its innocent victims to a boom-bap beat, while the gritty, guitar-driven "Gather Round" is like Ali fronting Rage Against the Machine -- and another interesting choice from the album's producer, Jake One. Later, it's the deep blues as "Work Everyday" hands out woefully small paychecks, and then there's a wondrous cross of Sly Stone and Marvin Gaye for the personal evolution number called "Namesake," which relates Muhammad Ali on the U.S. Olympic team to Brother Ali's own proud journey from Christian to Muslim. Layered viewpoints, bittersweet situations, and complicated anger flow out of this articulate effort, but the sweet trick of the album is how approachable it is, living up to its title with equal shares of Mourning and Dreaming.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2012
Label:
Rhymesayers
UPC:
0826257015228
catalogNumber:
70152
Rank:
51309

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brother Ali   Primary Artist
Lincoln Adler   Saxophone
Joe Mabbott   Choir Director
Samantha Kravitz   Vocals
Baby Jaymes   Vocals
Max MacVeety   Percussion,Drums
Steve Gardner   Violin,Viola
G. Koop   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Xylophone
Bryan Forrester   Choir, Chorus
Aby Wolf   Choir, Chorus
Omaur Bliss   Choir, Chorus
Plain Ole Bill   scratching
Sam Wishkoski   Organ,Guitar,Keyboards
Brianna Keig   Choir, Chorus
Azhar Usman   Vocals
Matthew Keig   Choir, Chorus
Martine Lizarna   Choir, Chorus
Mario Sweet   Vocals
Marc Garvy   Vocals
Malice Sweet   Vocals
Kim Forrester   Choir, Chorus
Dave Richards   Brass
Sharita Renee   Vocals

Technical Credits

Vitamin D   Engineer
Joe Mabbott   Engineer
Brother Ali   Composer,Engineer
Jake One   Producer
G. Koop   Arranger
S. Daley   Executive Producer
J. Dutton   Executive Producer
A. Newman   Executive Producer
Nick Brongers   Producer
Sasha Brookner   Publicity

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Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Z-Dot More than 1 year ago
This album taught me to love America and Hip Hop again...the lyricism isn't wrought with disconnected analogies or 6 syllable rhyme schemes....which are hallmarks of the modern lyricist's technique. Rather, these tracks are wrought with INTENTION AND PURPOSE, along with clever comparisons and vivid imagery that touches the soul. I bought this album for almost everyone that I know.