Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx: We’re New Here

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Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx
We’re New Here
(XL Recordings)

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One is an influential poet and musician who is responsible for classics like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The other is a producer and member of one of 2010’s favorite bands, The xx. Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 album, I’m New Here, received praise upon its release, but the remix treatment given by Jamie xx deserves praise in its own right. Each song has been infused with electronic layers that add a new depth to the tracks. It’s a matter of enhancing rather than obscuring the original content and, in this case, the puzzle pieces work together effortlessly.

The churning synths on “My Cloud” perfectly complement the soul song of Scott-Heron’s vocals, drawing them forward rather than masking them over. “I’ll Take Care of U” takes on strings that make it seem like an indie sleeper classic, mashing up varying dancefloor tastes in one smooth go. There are a few brief interludes between songs, including “I’ve Been Me” and “Jazz,” which stitch the album together better as a whole.

This album has drawn Gil Scott-Heron out of his typical genres, and now, broader audiences may look back and become familiar with more of his work thanks to the loving touch of Jamie xx.

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