Listeners, you’re in for a treat: DJ Nathan Stevens did an out-of-this-world review of THEESatisfaction’s new album EarthEE
Scroll down to see why you need to check out their latest space-aged album.
Have you ever looked in science journals from the 1950s? Seen their grand predictions of what the year 2000 would be like? It’s a beautiful place; jetpacks, flying cars and free energy in cities that floated in space. As hilariously far off as they were, it’s still fun to read all this conjecture. You have to wonder what was going through these artists and writers’ heads, outside of the fact that everyone wants a jetpack. These false futures that were painted and avoided perhaps peek into an alternate universe, one where I have a jetpack.
There’s an odd wave in modern music that’s parallel to the drawings in those journals. The recent output of Flying Lotus and Shabazz Palaces seems to be tapping into music five years, a decade, maybe even a century into the future. It’s impossible to tell if music will follow the tropes they present, but this mad mixture of hip-hop, soul, jazz, electronic and the kitchen sink operates on a new plane, refusing the usual genre labels and restrictions. Shabazz Palaces’ labelmates and cohorts THEESatisfaction glide with ease into this new black wave with their brilliant sophomore album EarthEE.
If you want to put some genre labels on it so your head doesn’t explode, it’s soul at its core. But that’s only a single percent of the equation. Wonky, glitchy and sexy, EarthEE defies the box that contains most R&B and soul records. Stasia Irons holds down the mic for the raps and Catherine Harris-White takes over with her captivating pipes. Their chemistry is pitch perfect as they wade through politics, race and sex…a whole lot of sex. This isn’t like “Darling Nikki,” EarthEE’s view definitely leans toward the making love ideal, as sensual as it is elegant. Thanks to those desires being embedded in the very DNA of the album, EarthEE is all groove without a single sour note to throw off the album’s mesmerizing game.
It’s hard to even pick out single songs, as the entire album flows together into one hypnotizing package. There are stellar points that jump out like the bonkers beat change up on “Recognition,” Ishmael Butler proclaiming he doesn’t want to “hear no sober raps” on the laid back “Badlands” and the feverous duo of “Fetch/Catch” and “Nature’s Candy,” but really, this is an album to get lost in. Turn the lights down low, get a great pair of headphones and set off into the void.
– Nathan Stevens