Jun 13, 2016

#ICYMIMonday: Emily’s D+ Evolution - @EspeSpalding

Esperanza Spalding’s new album Emily’s D+ Evolution has shown us how Spalding herself has evolved. While it has jazz and blues, it does it with a contemporary twist. By the way, she does all the  herself. She did the whole album without any featured artists. And to be honest, she doesn't need it. It may be something you could play for your Jazz-loving grandmother or share it with a friend who appreciates creative sounds and good artistry.

Good Lava: This one of my favorite songs of the album. Check out my write up on this song here

Unconditional Love: This is not a typical love song. It's more of a song about the superficial love songs, and it takes a stand against false romanticism. Not an anthem, but also not happy indie either. It's sort of a happy medium.

Judas: “He’s not evil” is what she calls the most hated man in biblical history. In this track, Esperanza points out the sins that people commit out of desperation.  Sometimes the choice isn’t easy.

Earth To Heaven: Spalding shows more of her vocal range here. The song changes tempo frequently though, which makes it less catchy. Not a song that will get stuck in your head.

One: A groovy track that every girl can relate to, and the first single from the album that I covered here. 

Rest in Pleasure: This is one for the hipsters. Spalding has found her “long last bliss."  Her tone reminds me of Florence and the Machine, with an alternative sound resembling their track We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Ebony and Ivy:  The intro here is in the style of spoken word. Kind of. It sounds like slam poets speaking inaudibly fast. The rest of the song calms down and is hauntingly slow.

Noble Nobles: This one combines the lightness of the acoustic with the heaviness of the bass

Farewell Dolly: A short song, but not an interlude. Very mellow and steady music in the background. Her voice and the lyrics are salient here.

Elevate or Operate: This is a contrast to the previous track. She tells her audience “don’t interrupt me,” clearly a woman who has a message. The message seems to be aimed at girls like her.

Funk The Fear: An electric guitar intro accompanied with a chant of people saying “funk the fear.” This seems like a continuation of previous track. It’s a track that you can jam out to, whether in your car or bedroom.

I Want It Now: The final song on her album resembles a four year old's birthday wish. She admits that if she doesn’t get what she wants she's “gonna scream.”

Artistry like this isn’t enjoyed by everyone. Yes, Spalding’s sound is different and definitely an acquired taste, but it can still be appreciated. I love that Esperanza stays in her own lane, but at the same time uses other sounds that influence her. She pays tribute to funk and blues and rock without trying to recreate it. A lot of people try to do that, but you can't copy the greats, you can only thank
them by making something else that’s great on your own terms.


Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Mary Pollard
Mary Pollard

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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