Sunday, February 05, 2012

Jamie XX & Gil-Scott Heron and S.C.U.M

3. Jamie XX & Gil-Scott Heron- We're New Here

When I heard the Jamie XX version of the Gil-Scott Heron record, I knew it would be on my top 10 for the year. Not because I immediately enjoyed it, or that I heard big "hits" on it, but mostly because it immediately sounded important. It didn't sound like a gimmick. It didn't sound like a youngster trying to help a "forgotten legend." It sounds like art. Good, meaningful, heartfelt and emotional art, begging to be listened to.

The addition of Jamie XX's production isn't an add on, and GSH's original material is not an afterthought. This is what happens when two extraordinary musicians create something new. (And yes it drives me crazy that Drake uses Take Care of You as a... No, I'm not going to call it a sample because they didn't even do that. It's not a cover, it's not a sample, it's just abuse. And legions of kids are not going to hear this record and instead will think Drake is a genius. There is no justice in the world.)

4. S.C.U.M- Again Into Eyes

First of all, this is the record The Horrors should have made. It is the next progression from the sound the brought on their last record (which ranked very highly in last year's top 10).

Secondly, what makes this record so good, is that it represents perfectly the difference between imitation and inspiration. S.C.U.M have taken the litany of 80s and 90s British goth synth shoe gaze art rock and brought it back to life, but without stumbling over the tropes and signifiers. They look right, they sound right, and they have the perfect attitude about the whole thing. It should serve as a great record for kids who fit the profile and need this as solace in their most frustrating years, but also will serve to remind older people who were there the first time, why they loved this kind of music in the first place. I hope this record inspires a hundred pretenders.

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