#89

July 13, 2010

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Umsindo
soul, funk, hip-hop
2009

To me, this album feels a lot like a spiritual companion to Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Part 1 (4th World War), so it’s hardly surprising Georgia Anne Muldrow - Umsindothat I adore it, given that Badu’s release is a major favourite (one you can expect to see higher up the list). Georgia Anne Muldrow’s biggest drawcard here might be the unpredictability of her songwriting, as her half-soul-half-hip-hop vocal leads each of these twenty-four (!) tracks along various unforseen pathways and surprising, meandering detours. The music, which consists of a dense melange of bubbling basslines, neo-soul vocal harmonies, strutting percussion and a host of influences derived from funk, hip-hop, electronic and world music, ebbs and flows in her wake, popping through unexpected stylistic shifts which never conform to your expectations yet always reach infinitely satisfying outcomes. Plus, there’s a handful of instantly graspable cuts, like the super-groovy “Daisies”, to keep the listener from losing themselves in the depths completely. Umsindo is complex, but it’s a truly rewarding album – an immense, sprawling work of bold creativity that rewards repeat listens with rich detail and masterful musicianship.