Roots Manuva – Slime and Reason

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Artist: Roots Manuva
Album: Slime and Reason
Label: Big Dada
Rating: 3/5

. . . in any which way we’re survivalists now. . . .

He’s been called the “voice of urban Britain.” And other than Estelle, Roots Manuva, né Rodney Smith, has provided one of the best British imports that I’ve come across this year with the 2008 release of Slime and Reason.

I’d have to say that this is a producer’s album; one of those compilations that a musician’s musician would appreciate for its artistry in sound. Tracks like C.R.U.F.F. caught my attention featuring the playful sounds of various synthesizers (skip to the last thirty seconds if you want to get to the good stuff). Buff Nuff is also one to check out with its throwback rhythm pattern. Let The Spirit is my favorite track. Manuva keeps you guessing how each musical theme and element is gonna drop- I love that. I wasn’t too fond of Its Me Oh Lord, though. Too much electronica and not a good mix of the elements- but hey, I’m not gonna like em all.

I must confess, however, that I’m not up on all of the British lingo, so I did not catch on all of the nuances of his lyricism. Despite the fact that Manuva’s delivery is simple and tends to drag, I’m still lost somewhere between the King’s English and Manuva’s Jamaican patois. For example, on Do Nah Bodda Mi (do not bother me) it took me a minute to figure out what he was saying-i’m shaming my west indian grandmother as I type that-but that conversation is more a critique on cultural styles of hip-hop. And this is no senior thesis. . . .

I would definitely recommend this album if you like seeing sounds (to all my N.E.R.D folk). Better yet, if you really want to see Manuva, he’s got a plentiful YouTube collection- which is much more entertaining than checking on your retirement fund. . .

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