Now Playing: the push bin w/lou on wfmu.org
Topic: 2006 reviews
Year of release: 2006
It was around summertime last year that Aloe Blacc was gettin' dap for his work alongside DJ Exile as Emanon. However, it is through his debut album for Stones Throw that the world will come to know his many talents. Kinda easy to see why some heads dubbed him "the indie R. Kelly" - brother's on some nasty mon business on a number of tracks, particularly the dancehall-bumpin' "Are You Ready" and the straight outta 12 Play talk on "Arrive." Later on during "Want Me," Aloe warns, "this ain't a love song - i'm tryna put it on ya." (At least the brother's honest.) Thankfully, this isn't the only trick he knows how to turn. "Busking" sounds like an old folk song made up on the spot at a bus stop, and is easily one of the album's most memorable moments. Check the midtempo Latin shuffle of "Bailar," where Aloe sings and rhymes in Spanish. For further reminders that the brother can spit, listen to "Caged Birdsong," with its social commentary and inner city pressures. The brother also crafts his own beats, with two exceptions on this album: Madlib's behind the boards for "One Inna" and Oh No pitches a beauty for the Sam Cooke cover ("Long Time Coming"). Furthermore, I propose that "I'm Beautiful" should be taught to every child in elementary schools nationwide, if not the world. Why can't all R&B albums be this interesting?