(2006) Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth

Georgia Anne Muldrow

... read moreIf nothing else, it can be asserted that Georgia Anne Muldrow is unconventional. To say only this would be to seriously undermine her talents, but the fact that Muldrow refuses to stick to modern (or past, for that matter) definitions of song structure and composition is probably the most...

47′:33″ 21 Songs

1
Georgia Anne Muldrow
New Orleans
5:26
2
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Melanin
1:45
3
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Wrong Way
2:24
4
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Feet
1:38
5
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Frames
1:46
6
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Lovelight
2:09
7
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Radio Wnk
1:05
8
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Because
3:08
9
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Speakervision
1:31
10
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Wheels
2:35
11
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Birds
2:08
12
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Amrh (Interlude)
0:42
13
Georgia Anne Muldrow
West Coast Recycler
1:49
14
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Boom
1:38
15
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Patience
4:46
16
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Blackman
1:15
17
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Leroy
2:34
18
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Nowadayz
3:04
19
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Skaw Da Beast
3:04
20
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Epilogue
1:32
21
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Blackman (Reprise)
1:34
Released 22 August 2006, 2006 SomeOthaShip Connect

Review

If nothing else, it can be asserted that Georgia Anne Muldrow is unconventional. To say only this would be to seriously undermine her talents, but the fact that Muldrow refuses to stick to modern (or past, for that matter) definitions of song structure and composition is probably the most conspicuous characteristic of her full-length debut, Olesi: Fragments of an Earth. The album is comprised of 21 tracks, most of which are well under the three-minute mark. This actually ends up working rather nicely, because Muldrow's style -- a kind of stream-of-consciousness, vaguely disjointed, meandering delivery that draws from modern creative jazz, spoken word, spirituals, and soul -- can be hard to follow at times. This made her EP a little difficult (or at least tiring) to listen to, but here, with shorter songs, the repetitive phrasing, the atypical melodies, the sometimes dissonant grooves are all kept to a manageable level, so that they can be enjoyed and appreciated for what they are, which is a really, really good thing. Muldrow's unlike anything to come out of neo-soul in years: innovative and introspective, questioning yet still confident in herself and her power to survive, with a strong bass (the instrument, in fact, around which the songs gather) and precise, almost cautious drums, the occasional keyboard chord or line coming in for added emotional emphasis. And while she mostly expounds on love or other abstractions, she isn't afraid to make more overt political statements, like in "Patience," in which she sings "Show me the way to go, they're killing babies in the Bronx/Revolution's what I want" over a dark, haunting bass and a bittersweet guitar. The depth in her songs -- and there is depth -- comes from not only the richness of her voice but in how she layers everything. Muldrow, who also produced Olesi, uses her voice as yet another instrument, from the a cappella of "Nowadayze" to the rapping of "Frames" to the passion that screams through as she sings about "water" in "New Orleans," giving her music a lushness and intensity rarely found. But it's her unwillingness to stay within what is "normally" done that makes her so refreshing, anyway, and that's why we're likely to listen to Olesi: Fragments of an Earth over and over again, hoping each time to understand a little better what she's done. ~ Marisa Brown