Friday, March 23, 2007

Gil Phones It In

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson - 1980

This is the third of the missing three GSH records from the end of the me decade. They were being reissued at a snail's pace on TVT until Gil ran afoul of the law a few years back.

Bluntly, this is no Bridges. The album has a similar sound - synths, jazz, Fender Rhodes, etc. And Gil isn't going to all of the sudden start singing soprano. But the songs are not at the same level.

A couple places, the record kicks into higher ground - Shut 'Em Down is a favorite, 1980 is pretty good. But there is a sleepiness to this record that suggests bad drugs to me.

From here, Reflections is actually pretty good all the way through, but the other Arista albums are worth avoiding. The 1993 comeback album (some comeback, Gil) is worth a spin, and is some god-awful EVH guitar away from being a nice return to form. I still hold out hope that Gil will get it together for a monster record before it's all over, although I hear his health is pretty bad these days.


Sem Sinatra said...

Thanks for posting this album. I love it and haven't heard it for a long time. However beware that the mp3 tags are all wrong. Still a great album.

deconstructo said...

I guess I've been out of the loop. What problems did GSH have with the law? And why is his health bad? I can make some guesses & make some inquiries, but I'd really like to know. I've got all of these on vinyl still (I think, I haven't looked lately).

deconstructo said...

Nevermind. Found it on Wikipedia. Guess he's back in the slam. What a damn shame. The man is Poet Laureate of the Real America and should be honored as such.

Burning Blue Soul said...

Can we get one more re-up of Bridges? My iPod shitted. Thanks.