Gil Scott-Heron – Spirits (1994/2019)

Posted by Green on July 7, 2019as

320 kbps | 131 MB | LINKS

On this 1994 release, his first new recording in more than 10 years, Gil Scott-Heron revives all the phases of his career. He turns to biting social commentary on “Message to the Messengers,” a diatribe about antisocial, often nihilistic trends in hip-hop; then, on “Work for Peace,” he critiques American militarism with a particular focus on the Gulf War, offering the tidbit, “The military and the monetary / Get together whenever it’s necessary / Turning our brothers and sisters into mercenaries / They are turning the planet into a cemetery.” The title track and “Don’t Give Up” (which was produced by Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest) recall Scott-Heron jazz-funk classics like “Lady Day and John Coltrane.” The singer-poet also does a savvy updating of his 1974 hit “The Bottle,” interpolating it into a three-part suite called “The Other Side,” which features affecting guitar and keyboard solos. Unlike many of Scott-Heron’s live shows, which are laden with nostalgia, this release looks back and ahead with equal power. –Martin Johnson

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