Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Everything Is Everything

I remember hearing Sa-Ra’s The Hollywood Recordings back in 2007 and feeling a bit caught off guard. It wasn’t the best thing ever or make my end of year list, instead what made Sa-Ra special was all of the genres that they were able to navigate. Arriving after the neo-soul party had winded down some years ago the album had that kind of feel, and at the same time sounding nothing like the artists of that era. There were more electro flavors, even landing in some minimalist Dub ground at times. If they had shown up circa 2001, when everyone was in the groove, it might have been either too early to appreciate or too crowded get noticed.

Even now I don’t think they are really getting noticed. I would claim that the reason for that is not only the eclectic nature of their sound, which can be distracting, but also how the albums linger on a bit too much. I can understand a group with this much musical talent not wanting to leave any muscle un-flexed but it begins loose direction after a while. That said, I won't stand around while critics damn a lack of creativity in Hip-Hop without talking about Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love. Their sound has expended even more while at the same time coming into greater form. “My Star” is a radio ready R&B track with seductive guest vocals by Erica Rose. My favorite track on the album has to be “Death of a Star (Supernova).” It’s full of disco energy that begs for a dance floor. It all comes to an end with the free-flowing jazz of “Cosmic Ball.”

These guys might never make a Top-Ten list but they should care less since artists shouldn't pay much mind to conventional criticism. However, more critics should be laboring for hours in midnight lit rooms, filled with smoke, heat on full blast, and numb fingers that grow weary with definition. Sa-Ra is that real.

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