The Message Uni Versa

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Stones Throw singer/producer Georgia Anne Muldrow has hardly been known for her straightforward approach to songwriting; her compositions are off-kilter, filled with spacy key riffs that layer and spread under her meandering vocal lines. Add her equally quirky labelmate, the singer Dudley Perkins (the two had collaborated on the fantastic track "T. Biggums" from Oh No's 2006 Exodus into Unheard Rhythms), and you get G&D and their Funkadelic-inspired ("I was sent by the divine forces of the universe to bring a message of funk and light to the good people of the planet earth!" Perkins exclaims in the bizarre intro, "Ye Olde Skit"), Left Coast neo-soul debut, The Message Uni Versa. The message intended is one of love and acceptance and music, and these sentiments are reiterated throughout the entire record, from the squelchy bass of "One" to the sparse, nearly disjointed "All 4 U" to the lovely "GodUnit" (which, alongside "War Drums" and "The Message" show Muldrow's versatility, her ability to write poppier, hookier songs alongside her more esoteric ones). Or course, these artists being these artists, there's a fair amount of the avant-garde on The Message Uni Versa: short instrumental and vocal clips are interspersed throughout the record, and "The Stomp," despite its title, is not a dance song but rather a five-minute assembly of voices and piano noises, bits of dialogue making their way through instead of actual conversation. It's certainly an interesting collection, and while the occasional lack of focus, both production-wise and lyrically, can sometimes make moments of the album difficult to comprehend, it doesn't detract from the overall significance of the work, the creative expression of hope and peace and "fonk with an O, through your stereo," a message that is impossible to ignore.

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