Album Review: Something About April II by Adrian Younge
Great, Based on 4 Critics
Pitchfork - 80 Based on rating 8.0/10
For most of his career as an artist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and band leader, Adrian Younge has devoted himself to a particular brand of soul, heavily indebted to the blaxploitation sounds of the early '70s, starting with his soundtrack to 2009's Black Dynamite—a theatrically-released spoof of the genre. While the movie was a sendup of the tropes of all things superfly and jive, the soundtrack was an earnest homage, full of wah-wah's, the vibes and echoes of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, and 24-Carat Black. His next effort, 2011's Something About April (presented by his band, Venice Dawn) was also a soundtrack.
Those who were hip to Adrian Younge by 2016, following Black Dynamite and albums with his Venice Dawn, the Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, Souls of Mischief, and Bilal, knew not to anticipate anything off-speed with the sequel to 2011's Something About April. The psychedelic/cinematic soul specialist achieves a slight variation on his previous output by retaining a few of his regular comrades, such as complementary singers Loren Oden and Saudia Yasmein and guitarist Jack Waterson. Like a modern peak Quincy Jones or Norman Connors, Younge shrewdly enlists a deep roster of known and relatively unknown collaborators.
Adrian Younge has, after years of backing resurgent projects from Ghostface Killah, PRhyme, The Delfonics, and Souls Of Mischief, found his own musical honey pot on Something About April II. Younge has earned a reputation throughout his span of musical odysseys as an audacious, genius craftsman. Weaving the tonal blanket albums like PRhyme, Twelve Reasons To Die 1 and 2, and There Is Only Now lay down upon.
Los Angeles law school grad turned self-taught composer extraordinaire Adrian Younge has had a stealthy ascent following 2012's Something About April. Since then, Adrian Younge has collaborated on full projects with the Delfonics, Bilal, Souls of Mischief and two albums with Ghostface Killah. He has carved a niche that is both untouchable and shockingly consistent.