Friday, February 5, 2010
Roots Manuva - Awfully Deep
Ermph. Reasonable. Not Tricky.
I can't figure why YourZ thinks I'll like this, there's too much rappin' and not enough melody. It just made me want to play Blue Lines full bore to remind myself what good Sarf London dubby-stuff is like, especially when you mix it with good melodic lines sung by great-voiced girls.
I liked the lyrics on some of it.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN/THROW IT OUT (can't raise enough interest to decide) (YourZ sez: c'mon, you have to pick one or the other) (Mine says: whatever YOU say we should do, darling)
I went through a phase where I brought a lot of hip hop, mainly because I was working with a young MC, writing and producing backing tracks for him. I saw this as a way of educating myself about the variety of sounds and production techniques used by various artists around the world. I knew I wasn't interested in any of the established black American artists mostly because I didn't (and don't) like their misogynistic attitudes and conspicuous consumption - bling culture has never interested me.
But there are artists making great, interesting music in the genre. Artists like Handsome Boy Modelling School, The Roots and Mos Def make truly intelligent and innovative music. While I get what he does and enjoy some of the tracks, for me Roots Manuva, unfortunately, can't be included in this group.
While named by some as the one of the innovators of the British grime movement, Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva, makes music that is almost Tom Waits-ian in its production with literate, intelligent lyrics and lots of deep overdubbed voices. There is also a bit of a nod to his Jamaican roots in some of the beats and use of horns. But it is not particularly joyous music. It is dark and challenging and often depressing in it lyrical content.
To be honest with you, hitting on this merely reminded me of how much crap I've added to the collection over the last half dozen years or so. It actually kind of annoys me because I could've used my hard earned dollars to buy a lot of music we both like as opposed to music I considered necessary to have at the time. Damn it, I should've been more selfish.
Anyway, not to beat that puppy to death, while Mine and YourZ (truly) regularly go through our various collections (believe me, the music one is nothing compared to the book one), a lot of that stuff has managed to avoid the Great Axe of Disinterest (patent pending). But not any more.
VERDICT: THROW IT OUT (can you believe it, Mine, huh?)
For more information: http://www.rootsmanuva.co.uk/
In our collection we also have Run Come Save Me and Slime And Reason