Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Herbaliser return

Herbaliser Micro Site

Ok, so I’ve never been to sure about my stance on The Herbaliser. I’ve always had a respect for the fact that they’re clearly talented fellows with a number of highly regarded albums under their belt. However, at the same time I’ve grown up to associate them with sitting in smoky rooms rooms with bunch of fools giggling to themselves. Perhaps, then, you can understand why I was a little sceptical when venturing into the realms of their fifth album, Same As It Never Was. I was greeted with a nice surprise in that listening to a few of the tracks from the album I was surrounded by lush melodies , blessed out soul and funky beats, the like of which would have made Blackalicious circa 2001 jealous.

Having had guest spots from such luminary rappers as Roots Manuva and MF Doom on previous outputs, one of the big differences on the fifth LP is the use of but a single vocalist in the form of London’s Jessica Darling. Which has turned out to be quite the decision as her voice seems to complement everything that Jake and Ollie (aka The Herbaliser) have laid down the new record. They’ve also relinquished a little of their creative control and collaborated more on the record with Ralph Lamb and Andy Ross, resulting in The Herbaliser becoming a quintet at the core, to all intensive purposes.

Never ones to stick to conventions, Jake and Ollie have, throughout their career, constantly tried to innovate Hip-Hop away from the standard beats/sample/rap format that so many stick with to this day (some who take the formula and make it sound magnificent and some who com across like the brothers of Jal on Skins). A task at which they have once again succeeded with here, blending mixtures of R&B, funk, Jazz, Soul, early electro and more in the melting pot to create a sound sound so fresh and breezy you’ll be hard pushed to find anything else you want to listen to on an afternoon in the sun with your friends, One to watch out for.

The Herbaliser - You're Not All That feat. Jessica Darling

Released 26th May 2008.




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