Georgia Anne Muldrow – Overload

7/10


Overload showcases the talent and futuristic sounds of Georgia Anne Muldrow, an artist with more than a decade of experience in the music industry. With its unique selection of sounds, the album invites listeners to broaden their musical horizons and enter into new spaces of rhythm and groove.

Georgia Anne Muldrow is not a new face on the scene. Woven into the LA hip-hop/jazz/soul community since 2005, the vocalist, songwriter, and producer has earned the respect of artists such as Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Bilal and Robert Glasper. Muldrow’s powerful vocals are featured across many records and she picked up  “Jazz Album of the Year” for Octotea at the 2011 Giles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards.

Overload lands as her impressive 16th album, her first release on Brainfeeder, Flying Lotus’s label. In contrast to previous albums which have been largely self-produced, Overload is a collaboration between Flying Lotus, Aloe Blacc, and her partner Dudley Perkins, whose vocals are also featured on the album.

Across the 13 songs there is refreshing variety in length and style. Refusing to be confined to one genre, the album spans psychedelic fashioned neo-soul to classic hip-hop beats fused with R&B.

Themes of romance and love run deeply through the album. The words “I’m on overload and overdrive/I’m overwhelmed” “I built this lifetime trust up in you” echo throughout the title track, intertwined with prominent high-hats and bass-heavy production for a soul-tapping R&B sound. ‘Balm’ breaks through the romance with a more political tone, ending repeatedly with, “Before I’ll be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave”.

Muldrow’s stacked vocal harmonies that breeze through the trap beats are consistent throughout the album. This is prominent in tracks like ‘Aerosol’, but at only two minutes long, it has a slight lack of musical and emotional progression. The pronounced base and jazz infusion in ‘Play It Up’ seems to lack cohesion and feels discordant . This encourages multiple listens to consider the journey of creating the album that Muldrow describes as “an experimental restraint.” More rhythmic, upbeat sounds come through tracks like the ‘Williehook’ skit and ‘These Are The Things I Really Like About You’.

The cover artwork for this record is not to be overlooked. The illustration of Muldrow’s face radiates soul and musical wisdom; eyes closed, afro free, and thick gold hoop earrings that unapologetically command attention in a similar way to her music. Her expression encapsulates the thought and time that should be given to music, something that is often lost with much of what is produced in the current day.

Overload is a reminder that music is a craft for appreciation, not designed to please at all times. Muldrow is an artist to be respected for her expertise, creativity, and confidence in continuing to produce music that is true to herself and avant-garde in the current climate. In this way, she sets an example of true artist mentality with a stimulating collection of songs.


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