Album review: Fantastic Negrito – The Last Days Of Oakland
- Credit: Archant
A buzzing, broad and exciting ‘debut’ from a multi-talented, blues-inspired musician for our times
Describing his sound as “black roots music for everyone”, Xavier Dphrepaulezz’s debut record as Fantastic Negrito had an inspiring genesis after an incredible life of ups and downs that all feed into its sound.
The rough’n’ready blues of Leadbelly and Skip Woods was his springboard, but the sounds of …Oakland take in R&B, ‘80s funk, gospel, jazz, roots and rock, mixed with the experiences of a young life making money from drugs and hustle on the streets, the promise of international success and a near-fatal car crash.
It won him a Grammy award earlier this year for Best Contemporary Blues Album and now it’s rereleased with two new tracks, just in time for his London gig next week.
For anyone yet to come across his record, it’s got a rare breadth, vitality and originality, shot through with an earthy, compelling energy.
You may also want to watch:
His version of blues classic In The Pines is stripped down and low-key, performed with a hushed restraint that serves only to amplify the pent-up contributions of gospel backing singers, Hammond organ and expressive electric guitar.
Push Back, one of the new tracks, has a brittle ‘80s feel to it, a pumping bassline and insistent piano raising his heart rate before he cracks with “stress… anxietyyyy”, but the heart of the record lies in the theatrically charged bluesy duet About A Bird and Scary Woman’s honky-tonk vibes.
- 1 Arsenal pub Tollington Arms listed 'to prevent it being turned into flats'
- 2 'Obscene gestures and racist abuse' made at Islington Council meeting
- 3 Police search for man who exposed himself on Islington 393 bus
- 4 'No consultation': Anger Islington cricket pitch could replace park
- 5 Five times Islington has featured in films and TV series
- 6 Islington man charged with murder of shooting victim Taylor Cox
- 7 Appeal to trace missing Islington school girl, 14
- 8 Jailed: Businessman bombarded Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs with 'vile' emails
- 9 Largest beer garden in North London being built for Euro 2020
- 10 Changes made to St Peter's LTN after Packington Estate used as rat run