|All Artists: Gil Scott-Heron|
Title: I'm New Here
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: XL Recording
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 2/9/2010
Genres: Pop, R&B
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
I'm New Here
Genres: Pop, R&B
Gil Scott-Heron is one of the most influential and important singer/songwriters to have come out of America in the second half of the last century. Much can be said about why this Gil's lyrics are so original and powerful ... more »
Listen to Samples
Gil Scott-Heron is one of the most influential and important singer/songwriters to have come out of America in the second half of the last century. Much can be said about why this Gil's lyrics are so original and powerful but ,it is important not to overlook his utterly singular voice which is so distinctive and rough and tender. It is a voice of experience.A new record from Gil Scott-Heron, forty years after his first solo album, is a cause for major celebration and something that the world needs now more than ever.
A battle for your soul and mine
Scott D. Gribble | Baltimore MD | 02/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The past decade has been tragically ironic for the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. The man has been the voice of a revolution whose impact reached well beyond the scope of his music; striving to rescue people from the pitfalls of society. The idea that the same man would be severing multiple prison sentences, battling drug addiction and facing a rumored HIV diagnosis in his later years is beyond belief... few have fallen from such heights. Yet, often the most masterful works result from the worst tribulations. Immersed in his personal demons "I'm New Here" follows this mold.
Followers of Scott-Heron's career might be thrown off by this record. No, he hasn't lost his mastery of words. Gil is as poignant as ever. His spoken word cuts are comparable to his earliest works and he knows exactly how to use his ailing voice to favor. It's musically and topically where this album is a grand departure from anything he's released. Scott-Heron sounds like he's literally been through hell. He touches on his demise, the fate of his soul, and living with the pain left by the sins he's committed. Tracks like the "New York Is Killing Me" are a kin to "Home is Where the Hatred Is", only further exemplified by the fact that he's no longer playing a role: he's lived it. The production of Richard Russel meets this tone head on by providing a sinister soundscape which is a perfect counterpart to the lyrics. It is more inline with the recent works of Portishead, Burial and Massive Attack than what one would naturally expect from the soul legend. Combining the man's ragged voice and the despair in his words with the dark production is a simply haunting experience.
I would honestly NOT recommend this album for people who are ONLY looking for a return to Gil's work with Brian Jackson. Even the tracks that break the bleak mold, borrow more from Hip-Hop than neo-soul. If the idea of combining Small Talk at 125th and Lenox with the atmosphere of American IV: The Man Comes Around over a Live with Me backdrop sparks your curiosity then I would highly recommend the record as the experience will be gorgeous and heartbreaking.
While Gil Scott-Heron still commands a response from his audience, he urges in a way that he never has before: that of a tortured soul, begging others not to follow his path.
4 1/2 stars-- Uncompromising and intense-- in short, everyth
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 02/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been quite some time now since Gil Scott-Heron's last record (Spirits) came out, long enough to make me question, between the inactivity of recording and his recent legal problems, whether or not Scott-Heron, whose political activist voice we so desperately missed during the Bush presidency, would ever return. Featuring a modern vibe from producer Richard Russell, Scott-Heron mixes blues covers, originals and spoken word pieces to great effect-- passionate to the point of painful, disarming in its honesty and at times fierce. In fact, if there was a criticism to make, it's that the record is brief (around 30 minutes). But brief as it may be, "I'm New Here" is a powerful record, and certainly one we've been waiting for.
The album has that feel of exorcism to it, whether it's the demons of stereotype ("On Coming From a Broken Home") or those more recent (the title track). Sparse instrumentation in a highly modern context-- more modern than you think an elder statesman of music like Scott-Heron could pull off, provide a backdrop for his world weary voice, having lost some of its smooth delivery but still capable of summoning extraordinary depth of emotion. I never thought I'd hear anyone match the haunted Robert Johnson, but Scott-Heron takes on the blues great on "Me and the Devil" and matches him. Likewise, he expresses a pragmatic tenderness on "I'll Take Care of You" and an odd regretfulness on "Running".
Something stops me from thinking of this like Scott-Heron's masterpieces of old-- maybe its the lack of political commentary, maybe it's the lack of explosive joy that his previous records all seemed to have-- there's no "Red, Black & Green" or "Your Daddy Loves You" or "B-Movie" on this one. But look, it's hard to speak of what could have been on an album I never expected to see. It's a great record on its own merits. Highly recommended."
Too little too late
Scott Woods | Columbus, Ohio United States | 05/09/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Only sounding like the Scott-Heron of old on the spoken word parts - of which there are too few - this album tries to be a lot of things but fails at all of them. It is not a welcome return to form, it is not the return of an artist at the level of master, it is not engaging, it is not accessible.
Scott-Heron expresses a lot of wear-and-tear here, more than most people are probably prepared for that don't know he's had a rough go of life for the last couple of decades. This record makes it abundantly clear that he need not put out another record unless a) he stops trying to sing altogether and focuses on spoken word pieces, and b) he spends more time crafting more poignant spoken word pieces. The background work is mostly forgettable and loose, probably to accomodate an artist well past his prime, settling for dirges and riffs. The album isn't risk-taking; it's bad.
If you're a completist, knock yourself out. If you're a fan, this might make you more sad than anything else."