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Album Review

Involved with so many recordings since the 2006 album Olesi: Fragments of an Earth, avant-R&B/hip-hop queen Georgia Anne Muldrow could be accused of spreading herself thin. There was Pattie Blingh & the Akebulan 5 (very nearly a one-woman show) and G&D (with Dudley Perkins), smaller-scale collaborations (highlighted by Erykah Badu's "Master Teacher"), and several productions (most recently showcased on Eagle Nebula's Cosmic Headphones and the Ms. One compilation). Released the same day as Perkins' Holy Smokes, an equally lengthy disc for which she also served as producer, Umsindo is a sprawling and somewhat disjointed 74-minute album. Placing an exclamation point — or maybe an interrobang — on Muldrow's creative energy, it is a prime example of the new school rhythm & blues where progressive soul, experimental jazz, and organic hip-hop are indivisible. Even if you're up on the Zulu terms, like the album's title (which means "Sound") and "Nsamanfo" ("Ancestral Spirits"), or know that there is more to John the Conqueror than the root of the same name, a vast and complex volume of information is thrown in your direction. Production-wise, this is the most varied set of tracks Muldrow has made. Tribal hand percussion clashes with piercing and haunted synthesizers, lurching breaks dance with cobwebbed pianos, tangled funk guitar contends with fuzz-bass slabs and blunt drum thumps — and that covers only the first three tracks, one-eighth of the album. Though much of her time is divided between honoring her lineage, castigating irresponsible and ungrateful parents, criticizing foreign policy, and dishing out wisdom that belies her age, the relatively lighter moments are just as affecting. Just as Roy Ayers could effectively place something as carefree and simple as "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" beside deep and thoughtful material like "The Third Eye," Muldrow mixes it up with "Roses" (reprised from Mos Def's The Ecstatic, albeit without the MC's contribution), where her swooping, off-center voice sings of the simple therapeutic joy that comes with doodling. Even that song turns out to be deceptively substantive, alluding to a level of resilience that might be required for the sake of remaining sane.

Customer Reviews

audible beauty

just plain beautiful emotion and sounds. G.A.M.'s songs dedicated to Africa are so vibrational and spiritual. You gotta just let it play over and over and over and you'll find yourself pulling lyrics from different songs at any given moment. Standout tracks: Uhuru Flight ("do the answers travel in the form of a ray?"), Daisies - dedicated to her father ("i am a part of you so take me where you going"), Sermonette, Caracas, Slice It ("Work & Play... got to keep on til they're the same thang!"), Roses ("i have found the perfect feeling... smiling cuz I'm grateful"), Kids ("take care of your own kids, cuz they grow up to be people just like we did"), ESP - dedicated to Dudley's daughter ("rise and shine your smile's the ray"), De Wiz, Roses pt. 2 ("I can feel it everywhere, everything's gonna be alright")! Longtime G.A.M. fans and new fans who just discovered her from the Mos Def album, click "buy now." & Play, then Repeat Repeat Repeat. Once you adjust your frequency, you won't be disappointed. "Take a little chance on love... You won't regret it..." Love & Light from Frolab! -- And make sure you search for Dudley Perkins "Holy Smokes" produced entirely by Georgia Anne Muldrow (aka Ms. One)

Love Georgia's Music! Simply amazing!

Sitting down now to listen on repeat for a long time; filling myself with positive soul vibrations from Georgia! Beautiful artwork by Tokio too.

Medicine Music! Thank You, Georgia!

Georgia Anne Muldrow does it again! Wonderful Vibrations! Georgia's Music Is Truly Medicinal! Enjoy This Album And Have Yourself A Fonky Day!!!!

Biography

Born: 1983

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Georgia Anne Muldrow grew up in a musical home in Los Angeles, her father an instrument inventor for Eddie Harris and her mother, Rickie Byars, a singer with the Pharoah Sanders Ensemble and co-founder of Sound of Agape Rhythms. After relocating to New York, the young musician/producer/vocalist recorded seven songs for her 2005 self-released EP, Worthnothings. The album got the attention of Sa-Ra and the Platinum Pied Pipers, who both asked her to write songs for them. Stones Throw Records owner...
Full Bio
Umsindo, Georgia Anne Muldrow
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