Yesterday, everyone was freaking out over the release of Kendrick Lamar’s secret album untitled unmastered. Not me. I listened to it. It’s good and I will come back to it later. Right now my ears are too preoccupied with Esperanza Spalding’s latest release, Emily’s D+Evolution, to take notice of anything else.
I, like many other fans, have been waiting 4 years for Esperanza to release a new album. The length of time I’d been waiting for Rihanna to put out a new joint. The length of time it took me to get through college. The length of time it’s been since my grandmother passed, because I remember having just bought her last album Radio Music Society and playing it in the car with my mom and cousin as we drove through Mobile, Alabama. That’s where my mom’s side of the family is from. Not to get too melancholy on you.
Radio Music Society is one of my favorite albums of all time. I actually went out and bought it. And the people that know me well know that I don’t buy albums, unless I love them. And that album spoke to me, just like her newest release does. Emily’s D+Evolution picks up where Radio Music Society leaves off, but it has more of a story to it. This album takes you on a journey with Emily. Esperanza’s lyrics weave an interesting, abstract tale of Emily as she falls in love, deals with conformity, and just gets over fear of living her own life the way she wants to. In some spaces the album reminds me of Janelle Monae with it’s quirky, funky sound at times, but with more fusion jazz mixed in. To put it simply, the album is amazing and you should listen to it.
Not convinced? Listen to Esperanza and her band perform the whole album live during NPR’s “First Listen Live” segment. You’ll love it!