Release Date: May 14, 2013
Record label: Masterworks
Genre(s): Jazz, Vocal, Gospel, Pop/Rock, Religious, Post-Bop, Vocal Jazz, Spirituals
No one should ever dismiss Bobby McFerrin. It’s easy to forever associate him with the theme from The Cosby Show and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, but that disservices the listener far more than it does McFerrin. Yes, his innovation in the realm of a cappella is what he is best known for, but beyond the rhythmic body lies a voice so incredibly emotive.
Bobby McFerrin will always be remembered for his 1988 omnipresent hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," which is fine, really, because that song perfectly reflects McFerrin's belief that music should calm, heal, soothe, and redeem, and all of his recorded work before and after that breakaway hit fits right in line with that philosophy. On spirityouall, McFerrin centers things around black spirituals, a genre he sees as at the epicenter of American music, full of a kind of musical strength that puts joy, persistence, redemption, and a belief in personal and collective freedom up against the horrors, pressures, marginalization, and pure evil the world can generate in our lives. The album is also a tribute to his father, Robert McFerrin, whose 1957 album Deep River brought black spirituals into the world of the concert hall and high art, and like that groundbreaking release, this album opens with the same song, an easy rolling "Everytime.
This is the same gospel and African-American roots-music repertoire that improv vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin performed in London in March, but here with star singer and double-bassist Esperanza Spalding as his partner. It manages to preserve the defiance, drama, faith and heart of the original gospel classics, while making them sound like contemporary music, with all that entails in terms of global references, urban nous and erudite fluency. Swing Low is gentle and rapturous rather than holy-rolling, cajoled by quiet slide guitars and softly played drums.
Deerhunter MONOMANIA As the singer, songwriter and leader of Deerhunter, Bradford Cox has built himself a woozy universe, where all structures are shaky and songs can be engulfed in noise or dissolved in reverberation at any moment. With “Monomania” (4AD), Deerhunter’s seventh studio album, he has found a way to strut through that universe. The new songs have the rhythmic backbone of 1960s garage rock and the instrumentation of garage rock too, though the amps might well be cranked up past the point of overload.