Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY!
Jamila Woods' debut HEAVN was an extraordinary foray into her history soaked version of R&B. She was taking up the mantle from the greats in the genre who saw their words not only as smooth numbers to dance too but also artists with powerful stories to tell. HEAVN was released in what seems like a completely different era, but it was only 2016. Political unrest, Black Lives Matter and other social justice activities were well in effect, but the the Trumpian dilemma had not fully reared it's ugly head. This new album comes with that perspective and instead of connecting outwardly Jamila dives inside to find answers. It becomes a vibrant image of self actualization. The music is rich and composed, each drum beat distinctive and important. Woods shares her perspective as a young African-American living in Chicago. Her voice is unique yet can resonate with nearly anyone. Even though she has some jazzier tendencies her music never feels unapproachable, like you can easily slide into listening to anyone of her songs and just watch the world melt away. She doesn't have this urgent frantic energy that a lot of artists do today, She has a distinct knack for letting shit just roll off her tongue. That doesn't mean she doesn't value craft, because with the varied and wild production on this record you can tell something being pitch perfect is incredibly important to her.
Songs like "MUDDY" really instill the ethereal sense that runs through this whole record. While the ideas feel grounded in real emotions, the language feels like its coming from outer space. Jamila's voice isn't the most powerful in the world but it speaks such truth to the songs she chooses that you can't help but buy in. "BASQUIAT" feels like one of those all time tracks that exists somewhere beyond time and taste. She celebrates so much of what it means to celebrate the self like on "OCTAVIA" where she lays it out plainly how to treat yourself better, but it is all wrapped up in this totally funky beat. The albums opener makes a remix appearance at the end under the "(for boogie)" moniker and is an absolute switch up and an absolute bop. A stellar record top to bottom LEGACY! LEGACY! is one not to be missed. Don't sleep.
9.0 out of 10