New Band of the Month: February – Reflection

This marks the end of my second month of the new feature.

For my second month of the New Band feature, I chose old school rap group, Digable Planets (read my initial thoughts and intentions here).

So, after 29 days of listening, what are my thoughts?

Digable Planets fit nicely into the ‘socially conscious’ type of hip hop that was prominent in the early 90s and still has its purveyors like Talib Kwali.  While I enjoy some songs by Jay-Z or Kanye, I’ve generally always been drawn more to lyricists with a little more heft in their writing, so Digable Planets is right up my alley.

They only produced two albums, their debut, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) and its followup, Blowout Comb.  While the second album is strong (and “Black Ego” sounds very ahead of its time; I hear a Portishead vibe in it), I didn’t get into it nearly as much as I did the first album.  Reachin‘ is pretty great from front to back, with a lot of stand out tracks that manage to marry very incisive lyrics with fantastic rhythms that bridge the (small) gap between jazz and rap.

Will I Buy An Album?  I think I’ll pick up a copy of Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space).  In my listening habits, I rarely listen to rap albums front to back, but this is one of those albums that I could listen to straight through or pop on just about any track from and really enjoy.

Favorite Song: Where I’m From” is a perfect showcase for all three members of the group, working with an infectious groove.  “La Femme Fetal” has some of the most powerful lyrics in any genre that I’ve read in awhile, and it never sounds like a preachy song.  Sadly, in an era when Rick Santorum is a legitimate candidate for the presidency, “La Femme Fetal” is still relevant.  If I had to choose between the two (and I guess I do), then I’d say I dig “Where I’m From” most.

Next Month: Like a Boss