16 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The man who once gave us “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and inspired a generation of rappers returns after spending much of the previous decade in and out of prison on drug charges. His gripping baritone handles the spoken-word pieces with his usual authority, but it’s the surprising musical turns that make this a true comeback. Robert Johnson’s “Me and The Devil Blues” is given a facelift with hip-hop beats haunting its steps. The title track features Scott-Heron covering a Smog tune as a ‘60s folksinger with acoustic guitar supporting his community-activist bones. “Your Soul and Mine” adds ominous synths and a solid, mechanical backbeat to his comforting but unflinching wise man’s delivery. “The Crutch” speaks from inside a drug addict’s head. The R&B classic “I’ll Take Care of You” receives an unnerving interpretation where the promise sounds more like a threat.  “Where Did the Night Go” pumps with a palpable fear under its tough talk, while “Running” works as pure menace. “New York Is Killing Me” is surprisingly sparse. While the world has become more uncertain and Scott-Heron’s music reflects this, Scott-Heron is back and ready for a good fight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The man who once gave us “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and inspired a generation of rappers returns after spending much of the previous decade in and out of prison on drug charges. His gripping baritone handles the spoken-word pieces with his usual authority, but it’s the surprising musical turns that make this a true comeback. Robert Johnson’s “Me and The Devil Blues” is given a facelift with hip-hop beats haunting its steps. The title track features Scott-Heron covering a Smog tune as a ‘60s folksinger with acoustic guitar supporting his community-activist bones. “Your Soul and Mine” adds ominous synths and a solid, mechanical backbeat to his comforting but unflinching wise man’s delivery. “The Crutch” speaks from inside a drug addict’s head. The R&B classic “I’ll Take Care of You” receives an unnerving interpretation where the promise sounds more like a threat.  “Where Did the Night Go” pumps with a palpable fear under its tough talk, while “Running” works as pure menace. “New York Is Killing Me” is surprisingly sparse. While the world has become more uncertain and Scott-Heron’s music reflects this, Scott-Heron is back and ready for a good fight.

TITLE TIME
16

More By Gil Scott-Heron

You May Also Like