Release Date: Feb 9, 2010
Record label: Ubiquity
Genre(s): R&B, Soul
Kings Ballad, following Umsindo by only six months and released on Ubiquity instead of her and husband Dudley Perkins’ SomeOthaShip, is Georgia Anne Muldrow's most direct, least idiosyncratic release, if only by a shade or two. Once again, Muldrow the do-it-all provides an organic, modern brand of psychedelic funk, a sample-less fusion of several black music forms that, depending on the song, could provide the backdrop for children playing double dutch or a political rally. Less sprawling than Umsindo (it’s 25 minutes shorter), its centerpiece is the title track, a gracious tribute to family friend Michael Jackson that carries a deep bass rumble, an elegiac organ, and a cascading piano line that enters -- stunningly so -- as Muldrow joyously sings, “We love you, Michael/We needed you, Michael.
On June 28th of last year, Georgia Anne Muldrow and her husband, fellow Madlib associate Dudley Perkins, dropped a duo of albums that went largely unnoticed in critical and especially popular circles. It was a real shame considering Muldrow’s high-profile work and influence on recent Erykah Badu and Mos Def projects, but those who caught wind of Umsindo found one of the year’s great highlights and an immediate contemporary to Badu’s first New Amerykah record and Dudley’s Holy Smokes. Entirely produced by Muldrow, the disc revealed how funky and George Clinton-indebted much of her current aesthetic is.
Georgia Anne Muldrow's latest album, Kings Ballad, was supposedly crafted against the backdrop of Barack Obama's early days in office. And just as Obama is, for better or worse, an inspiring figure whose influence isn't quite in sync with his accomplishments, Muldrow can sometimes come across as an amazing artist in theory: She hasn't totally delivered on the promise hinted at by her debut album, Olesi: Fragments of an Earth. It's not her inspirations or intentions that are in doubt.