Review: Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
Uh... there are three members of Young Fathers just in case that needed explaining. Three people, six hands, six... you know what, you're clever people, you figured it out. Where was I? Oh yeah, fuck M People!
It was easy to describe Young Fathers' debut album as straight-up hip-hop. In fact tracks like 'NO WAY' and 'JUST ANOTHER BULLET' have a similar confrontational swagger as other political rap bands who I used to shut myself in my bedroom and listen to as a teenager.
Except none of those bands had fuzz-riddled party smashes like 'GET UP' or beautifully heartfelt tracks like 'LOW', or a deeply esoteric Doseone influenced production. Looking back I now realise The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy wouldn't have been any fun to hang-out with anyway.
On White Men Are Black Men Too, any thought to sticking to the hip-hop genre has been chucked in the bin. Instead we have moments of pure vocal soul (in the Tom Waits vein, rather than a smooth R&B way), mixed with driving electronic beats that sound directly lifted from TV on the Radio's first album. This combined with moments of joyful euphoria, juxtaposed with occasionally macabre imagery ('27') and a title that defies you not to think about racial inequality throughout its length. It's a satisfyingly multi-layered listen.
White Men Are Black Men Too is still a celebratory album though, and probably more accessible than their debut, although it does contain enough leftfield swipes to keep it just as interesting. Also in 'Rain and Shine' there's one of the best uses of an organ since DJ Shadow's 'Organ Donor'. So a triumph then.