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Black to the Future Image

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critic Reviews What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the Shabaka Hutchings-led jazz quartet features guest appearances from Angel Bat Dawid, D Double E, Joshua Edelin, Lianne La Havas, Moor Mother, Kojey Radical, and Steve Williamson.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 100
    An 11-track album that finds them at their most dynamic and urgent.
  2. May 12, 2021
    It doesn’t feel like as much of an instant classic as 'Your Queen Is A Reptile', but it has all the makings of a slower, more thought-provoking, ultimately more accomplished project, the likes of which will remain relevant for decades to come.
  3. May 17, 2021
    Black To The Future is both musically and thematically bold and important. It is a major statement contextualising the present, aiming to better understand the past and, hopefully, providing a provocation for a better future.
  4. Mojo
    May 11, 2021
    It's sonically deeper and more emotionally engaging, from start to finish, than any previous SOK release. [Jun 2021, p.83]
  5. May 17, 2021
    Jazz tempos have always posed an implicit challenge to the 4/4 order, but this is an album that really wants its transmissions to be received.
  6. May 12, 2021
    The music is raw, melodic and explosive, and captures the inner reflection one must undertake to properly envision the future.
  7. The Wire
    Jun 29, 2021
    A curious lack of urgency pervades. [Jun 2021, p.66]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. May 22, 2021
    Whereas Your Queen Is a Reptile is more contagious (comparisons can't be helped, but they're amicable rather than formulated for the sake ofWhereas Your Queen Is a Reptile is more contagious (comparisons can't be helped, but they're amicable rather than formulated for the sake of labeling), Black to the Future isn't any less dynamic or thrilling. Think of Home is joyful as hell, Hustle & For the Culture are the absolute showstoppers with their vocal features, that final section of Let the Circle Be Unbroken is just wicked, and Joshua Idehen's intro-&-outro spoken word contributions (for a consecutive time) are arresting and reflexive. Sons of Kemet/Shabaka Hutchings are up to something truly special, and I think Black to the Future is similar to their final warning; their craftsmanship and musical identity is one of the most captivating in any genre today. They might not be the first artist that's coming to people's minds when thinking about who's addressing this moment of black culture and culture in general, but in my opinion this humble, yet powerful, record is one of the most impressive works of the latest that have done so. Expand

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