A Lil' Light
produced by: madlib
guests: yesterdays news quinted
year of release: 2003
You need a front porch or a back yard to make this record work. At home, inside, in a car even, at the beach, and there's a million and one places more this album doesn't work. But on the front porch. Yes. In the back yard. Yes. Chill, drink, smoke, watch the water sprinkler, even put one or two feet in the blow up pool. Let the sun shine in. Sit back, relax. Zone out. Enjoy the light. A lot of light. A lil' light will not do.
And maybe, just maybe, try not to focus on Dudley Perkins singing. Or moaning. Or rambling. Or off key recitals. Because he seems to make things up as he goes along, and most often it doesn't work. He's struggling to even fit his rhythm over "The Light". His voice is not taking him far either, with it cranking, crumbling and struggling to hit any notes. There's many yellow sounds on here, especially everything on the hidden cut after "Gotta Go", a bastardization of a hippy favorite, where the targets stand unscratched.

1. You Really Know Me?
2. Momma
3. The Light
4. Money
5. Washedbrainsyndrome
6. Yo' Soul
7. Muzak
8. Falling
9. Solitude
10. Worship feat. Yesterdays News Quinted
11. Flowers
12. Lil Black Boy
13. Forevaendless
14. Lord's Prayer
15. Just Think
16. Gotta Go feat. Yesterdays News Quinted
Well, nevertheless, there's something soothing about it too. Dudley is often bad, but he's good at being bad. His freestyle singing is just careless and fits these times of hardly anyone wanting to commit to anything. There's a casualty about the songs, when they speak on obvious topics like his "Momma" and "Money". However without a real message, without any real content, but just with drug induced anything goes. While Dudley himself proves that he could do so much better, like on "Falling" that's giving us a good Dudley, with him talking, coming up with deep thoughts, him sounding focused, him sounding smart, him sounding excellent. Same thing on "Solitude" or on "Flowers", where he seems to know what lines he wants to sing.
So what if you're stuck in your office and you got to listen to this record, for whatever odd reason: try to focus on the beast. As Madlib is masterfully creating a musical extravaganza again. With the vibes going from the somewhat stricter hip hop "Washedbrainsyndrome" and "Lil Black Boy", to the gritty "Muzak", to the Mediterranean "Solitude" and heavy smoothness of "Flowers".
For good or ill, the meaning of this record might be totally over the head of some people. There's maybe a subculture of this style, affectionatoes that cherish this like a burp from their guru. There's maybe more artistry in the unreliability of Dudley's singing. There's maybe a lot more in here than meets the ear. You need to acknowledge that. However, there's still a lot of people that will be left puzzled.
review: tadah
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