July 28, 2009
As promised, I’m back with the review of Ms. Muldrow’s tribute to the Ancestors; Umsindo which drops July 28th, yup, that’s tomorrow! A cohesive album that reminded me of the era when there was gusto in a woman’s voice. A time when you heard the words, but you felt the soul. A soul that lives throughout this body of work, and stays true to the name and definition of the album… Umsindo… “sound” in the Zulu language.
With 24 noteworthy tracks it’s easy to speak about the album as a whole. It has a “let’s kick it and listen to some good music, and maybe have a jam session” kind of vibe [a la Fonky Day]. You don’t have to be solely paying attention to the album to hear it. It reaches out to you even if you’re fully engaged in conversation. The instruments used to manipulate each song grab your attention. The words, you can’t help but hear em. It’s like you’re going about life being productive and you hear something profound, the good thing is you’re able to hit rewind to see what exactly she said.
“Walk in happiness & don’t let it go , even if this world grows cold… You got it, complete & whole, you’ll be fine cuz you’ve got soul” Words to live by, sum’n to motivate you thru the day. Words like that you’ll hear in Generation/You Got It. Jina Langu Ni Afrika (My Name Is Afrika) and Idlozi are just two of the tracks that would appeal to any dancer because of the drumming. Accompanying her singing &/chanting are the drums. Growing, swelling, then fading as it subtly controls your every move [and repeat].
To keep on her constant path to enlightenment and education she speaks truth & life into John De Conqueror, Uhuru Flight, and Caracas. She speaks of past struggles, current battles and the hope of moving forward over ill intricate loops, sounds, and beats. Voicing her opinion in ways that may piss off some; she flows ever so sickly as she switches between rapping and singing to get the desired effect… to get your attention.
Ms. Muldrow delivered with the reverberation that is Umsindo. The stellar production that can be found in anything Muldrow touches is clearly on display in this her 3rd studio album. The beautifully written personal invitation into her world via E.S.P and Roses is such a testament.
For the aforementioned reasons Pink Bubblegum gives Umsindo 6.5 out of 7 Head Nods.
Head Nod Scale
1=Don’t waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there’s “two and a possible”.
5=It’s a “good” album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the “Rewind Factor” more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.