Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx: We're New Here – review

(XL Recordings/Young Turks)

Jamie xx's perceptive reworking of I'm New Here, Gil Scott-Heron's first album in 16 years, finds the pair united via the spiritual lineage of "music to dance by, to jump up and down on", as Heron intones on Jazz (Interlude). While the original album put Heron's ragged baritone front and centre, We're New Here submerges his bluesy confessionals in versatile, dance-inspired tempos, threading his sometimes painful reveries through soulful electro rhythms. It veers from shimmering dub on the Gloria Gaynor-sampling opener I'm New Here to nostalgic rave on the unexpectedly tender I'll Take Care of You, and UK bass culture meets the Big Apple on the eerie, booming dubstep of NY Is Killing Me. Throughout, Scott's old-soul narratives are reborn through Smith's atmospheric beats.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

The GuardianTramp

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