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Black to the Future Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

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  • 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: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 100
    An 11-track album that finds them at their most dynamic and urgent.
  2. May 11, 2021
    100
    This is the group’s masterwork to date, a thrillingly rich tapestry that combines passionate reflections on the meaning of black power, sharpened in particular by last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, with sonic love letters to black culture past and present.
  3. May 17, 2021
    90
    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. 80
    Never once do Sons of Kemet compromise on their fiercely individual sound.
  5. Jun 4, 2021
    80
    The ground covered on Black to the Future is immense. The visceral passages really slash deep, the moments of unbridled energy are exhilarating, and the meditative moments reach crescendos of total beauty.
  6. May 17, 2021
    80
    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.
  7. May 21, 2021
    74
    Black to the Future is highly accessible, politically engaged jazz that’s more focused on communication than individual experimentation.

See all 15 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
    9
    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