Banging on Gil Scott-Heron by Tony G.

Over the years, I have banged on & on about Gil Scott-Heron - but the new album is fantastic. Do not come to it expecting The Bottle, this is old school Gil (the poet/rapper), against modern beats creating a stark soundscape that sets his musings off to perfectly. The Robert Johnson cover of "Me & The Devil" is worth the price of the album alone!

When news came out about the album last year, it mentioned that it was going to be stripped down sound and I was expecting the tinkling of his old Fender Rhodes, similar to how he starts many live shows. However, when snatches of several songs became available with this contemporary beat back drop, it was a master stroke. It makes Gil as relevant now as any time in his career - however, despite the marketing push - I am sure he will still be tragically ignored.

My only negative is that at 28 minutes - it is a short album and you have to pay out a further £20 if you want to get the ltd issue double lp, that features a couple of extra tracks. I hope that they make these available as downloads soon, as the bonus tracks include new versions of "Winter In America" & "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" - two of his most compelling songs.

For those that can access it, Craig Charles' Soul & Funk show on BBC 6 Music this Saturday features an interview with Gil. Normal service will now be resumed!

Tony G

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