In a recent interview Gil Scott-Heron described himself as being ‘more heard of, than heard’.
That’s a crying shame. Whilst there are plenty of acts that would benefit from being heard less (insert your own suggestions here…I would start with anyone who’s appeared on The X-Factor) the legendary New York poet, novelist, rapper, musician, he ain’t one.
The arrival of I’m New Here, his first new studio release for 16 years, is therefore a double cause for celebration.
First there’s the album itself – whilst perhaps not a landmark new beginning like the first of Johnny Cash’s American Recordings – it is an intriguing and satisfying mix of classic Gil lyricism and modern tense and unsettling, dubstep inspired, soundscapes. For me the stand out tracks include Me And The Devil, I’ll Take Care of You and New York is Killing Me.
Reason two for celebration is the excuse is offers for old fans and new, if excuse be needed, to dig out Scott-Heron’s superb back catalogue and rediscover his amazing collection of classic tracks including ‘The Revolution…’, Johannesburg, Winter In America, Shut ’em Down, etc etc
Anyone looking for a place to start might like to have a look at this….