"Olesi: Fragments of an Earth" by Georgia Anne Muldrow

Georgia Anne Muldrow
Olesi: Fragments of an Earth

Stones Throw Records
2006

Review

Georgia Anne Muldrow is Soul music's version of Hip-Hop's producer/MC. Just replace the MC'ing with Singing. If the idea of original, soulful, Hip-Hop production beats and techniques applied to Soul music excites you, then Georgia Anne Muldrow is a good fit for you.

With Georgia's music, it seems that the music goes one way and she goes another. In fact, I'd find it nearly impossible to find another person who could match Georgia's off-beat any-which-way singing cadences; you aren't going to find Georgia Anne Muldrow on any Karaoke bar playlist because not only would nobody know who the heck she was (except you, now) but nobody would be able to match the rhythm of her singing.

Vocally, Georgia reminds me of an "alterna-soul" Lauren Hill minus her acoustic guitar sensibilities Although Georgia never breaks into full MC'ing mode ala Lauren, it is easy to imagine another version of the album with no singing and all MC'ing.

The songs on the album are very short, and there are 21 tracks on it. Not all of the tracks work in that sometimes Georgia's approach to non-linear singing really get away from the music. But that is easy to dismiss when there are so many tracks on the album where everything works very well.

The modus operandi here is to bring Georgia's off the wall cadence and lyrics to traditional Hip-Hop beats. So it makes sense then that her approach to lyrics is reminiscent of what an underground Hip-Hop MC might come with. Check out the following lines from "Wrong Way"

Live my life from different places like a space cadet
Folks on planet earth act like love's the hardest thing to get to
Spirit must reside in my flesh cause the sunlight's here

It is different and sort of bold in spite of the simple premise (is it Soul sensibilities brought to Hip-Hop beats, or Hip-Hop beats applied to Soul sensibilities?) and any fan of Soul and Hip-Hop should find something they are going to like - the standout tracks "Lovelight", "Wrong Way", and "Speakervision" and a good place to start.

3.700 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. New Orleans (05:26) 3
2. Melanin (01:44) 4
3. Wrong Way (02:24) 5
4. Feet (01:37) 4
5. Frames (01:45) 4
6. Lovelight (02:08) 4
7. Radio WNK (01:04) 3
8. Because (03:07) 4
9. Speakervision (01:31) 4
10. Wheels (02:35) 3
11. Birds (02:07) 4
12. Amnrh (interlude) (00:42)
13. West Coast Recycler (01:48) 4
14. Boom (01:38) 4
15. Patience (04:46) 3
16. Blackman (01:14) 3
17. Leroy (02:33) 3
18. Nowadayze (03:03) 4
19. Skaw De Beast (03:04) 3
20. Epilogue (01:32) 5
21. Blackman (reprise) (01:33) 3