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Untitled (Black Is)

SAULT

2020

Untitled (Black Is)

Album Summary

Untitled (Black Is) is the third studio album by the British R&B musical group Sault, released on 19 June 2020 through the independent record label Forever Living Legends. The album has been met with positive critical reception.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.17

Votes

4762

Genres

  • Soul
  • Funk
Reviews
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View Author
Thu Oct 21 2021
4

Boom the first track hits! then I got in tune with my inner blackness which is weird cause Im 43 and a chubby white dude from CA.

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Sat Nov 06 2021
4

Wow, an album from 2020. Must be one of the most recent albums on the list. One of the things I love about this project is that I listen to things I normally wouldn't. Some of those things turn out terribly as expected, but others, like this one, are really pleasant surprises. This album just exudes a warm feeling that envelopes the listener. Really nice. 4 stars.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

Genre bending all in the service of this intense introspection. Don't Shoot Gun Sound then turns that into an immediate regrounding in the physical. This is cool to listen to as an art piece, but I don't know that I would come back to it. Clearly its a masterpiece.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

NPR ranked "Untitled (Black Is)" as it's #1 album of 2020, and while it's not my #1, SAULT certainly made an album of the moment that captured the zeitgeist and feels timely and cathartic. There is a lot of variety on the album, yet it still feels cohesive. It is pleading and desperate at times, and hopeful and uplifting at others.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
2

I appreciate the concept of this album but only liked one song well enough for a relisten

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Wed Dec 15 2021
2

When I first saw it, I was really looking forward to listen to it. I expected and emotional album with deep messages. Unfortunately it did not catch me as I expected. Some tracks were good but all in all its too long in my opinion.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
2

How does this have so many 5 stars? I don't find this groundbreaking or even really interesting. If you like the same repetitive beat, repetitive lyrics through an entire song then this is for you.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
2

I gotta be honest, I’m pretty tired of the incessant racial propaganda in America in 2022. Our culture worships black people. It doesn't take a genius to notice that blackness is ONLY praised, and whiteness, we're told, either doesn't exist, or is inherently evil. Every media outlet portrays blacks as empowered and every movie/show portrays whites as dumb, weak or evil. Every corporation glorifies blackness. BLM protestors unironically think they’re fighting the system when every news source and company and TV show and advertisement and CEO “coincidentally” say the exact same things they do. This racial tension only benefits the ruling class, and distracts from real issues of economic inequality or climate change. All over the internet it’s normal to hate white people for their color. Hell, even the week I’m writing this, a black man who had talked about killing white people online went and shot up the NYC subway. 15 years ago few people even THOUGHT about race, and we were on track to a world where race didn’t affect how you were seen. But today, everyone is rabidly fixated on race, and people’s entire personalities are centered on the color of their skin or their sexuality. People aren't proud of their accomplishments, no, somehow they are proud of their skin color. Years ago MLK promoted peace and harmony, but today, blacks are told to be perpetually angry and bitter. It reminds me of the constant war machine in Orwell’s 1984; if the people are consistently angry, their anger can be harnessed. Today there is a “forever war”, a constant stream of manufactured outrage. SJWs scour the internet to find ANY tiny example of oppression, usually in the form of 10 year-old tweets, so that their sad worldview remains intact. But the demand for racism is higher than the supply, so isolated events are blown out of proportion and used to justify dismantling everything about society. There is no aspect of life that isn’t viewed through the distorted lens of oppression. Our culture’s fatal obsession with identity has caused rifts that will take a century to heal. Identity politics only divides us all; it’s thinly veiled tribalism. Identity politics has destroyed honest political discourse among groups: every person is viewed mainly as a member of a group and not an individual, and it’s not the truth of what you say that matters, but whether you belong to the right group. Anyway, I didn't vibe with this album. “Black lives matter” is completely true as a STATEMENT, obviously, but as a MOVEMENT, it is destructive and counterproductive. Identity politics is a complete disaster. A post-racial world was within our grasp, but instead we are more divided today than we have been in decades, and it makes me sad. The music was 3/5. -1 point for the fact that a third of the tracks are just cringey racial affirmation ASMR. 2/5

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View Author
Wed May 25 2022
2

Does the fact that the band doesn't do press etc make the music more interesting or does it just help it get past hipsters? It's fairly minimal album musically and has a mix of detached vocals. It's desperate for you to know that it's MAKING A COMMENT. This is an IMPORTANT ALBUM. Fair enough for trying, but the music lacks soul. From the themes that it addresses, I'm sure there's meant to be emotional involvement but it feels more like a cynical grab to hang on to BLM and hope no one notices. There are many other albums out there that do it better than this. Best Tracks: Wildfires; Bow; Monsters

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Wed Dec 15 2021
1

Here's the thing: I stopped listening at the track "Black". And this track is everything I dislike about the album so far and I couldn't listen further because of how uninteresting and unappealing this experience was. I appreciate every artist who doesn't just make music for the masses and just for the grooves, but with greater meaning and passion for an important theme, on this album its black identity, black empowerment, black pride etc. But if you want to spark some thoughts or have a listener feel something, you need to show some emotion - be angry, be sad, be happy, be eccentric or powerful or raw. I didn't hear anything of this at all on this album. Just one track after another being as unappealing and repetitive as can be with bland messages and no clear statement at all. What is the point being made on this album? "Black." "I'm black." "We all know black is beautiful, you know? Well now you do." What are these lyrics? The instrumentation on this thing also is as minimal as can be. Either there's just one instrument looping around some chords or it's just a beat that every time goes on way longer than it needs to be. There are some beats on here that I liked, but the repetition and length of it took the patience off me every single track. In the last two years I digged deeply in the Hip Hop culture and found some great artists which by now count as some of my most favourite artists ever, some of theme are often making music on or around this topic as well like Kendrick Lamar on good kid, maad city or especially on To Pimp a Butterfly. I watched the fantastic Beyoncé live concert from a couple of years ago and saw some great power and determination. It wasn't exactly my type of music but I loved how full of expression one can be when you are passionate about something. I'm sure SAULT didn't do it for nothing and I am a bit curious if the other records pull it off better because I heard it on some other reviews, but this record just doesn't do it for me and renders a honorable concept extremely bland and boring. And that's a shame.

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Sun Nov 07 2021
2

“Dancefloor positivity idealized and politicized, most militantly on this third album, which surfaced just in time for a BLM moment we're free to pray lasts approximately forever.”

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Thu Dec 23 2021
2

bad

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Mon Jan 31 2022
2

Didn't realise the list went up to 2020. Not for me.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
1

Some nice beats but mostly shite

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

I already fell in love with this album.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

Cool vibes

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

The last three albums from Steely Dan, Janis Joplin and The Who were classics that pegged my rating needle at 5, so I can’t help but worry about following those up with something I have had no concept of from 2020. Within the first minute all that was swept away. This is an incredible work that stuns me with its gravitas and unflinching examination of the racial trauma of our time in a moving, emotional piece of art. I was absolutely entranced by this album. It directly expresses outrage, grief, anger and fear imbued with such beauty exuding pride and affirmation that it lifts and inspires. I marvel at the talent that was able to pull off this seemingly impossible feat. This album speaks urgently to our time. If only everyone could listen...

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

I loved this. Hopeful, uplifting, great music. Really great.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

This album from 2020 was unexpected, being so recent. It was unfamiliar and it was stunningly beautiful.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

This album took me on so many journeys, both with its beautiful, varied music and its beautiful, varied messages. It is so very much about today, and yet a very old story. I was moved, I was taught, I was heartbroken, I was inspired, I was hopeful.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

A 2020 album... Wow. Super enjoyable, a quieter new funk style that I really click with. Put it on next time you have a backyard BBQ party, people will love it.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

This album has a sound and a swagger that is rare and special. "Monsters" in particular is an amazing song.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Solid listen.

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Wed May 11 2022
5

Amazing album! To the point and effective

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Wed May 11 2022
5

An artful mixture of an outpouring of urgent grief and emotion, interspersed with snippets of the intimate daily lives of Black people and people from Black origins. I haven't ever taken a deep dive into SAULT's music before but I love the variety of styles and sounds and samples. I love that they hardly interact with the media and fascinated that they never do live shows. I'd love to meet them and talk to them about their processes and choices, so interesting. I particularly love more vintage R&B with the woman vocals/hook like Hard Life but also love their original take on that. It's like a battle march/war cry mixed with a house track! All of the voices are mesmerising I especially love the appearance of Michael Kiwanuka (I'm a big fan) on this album. It's a real snapshot of an intense and shocking point in time in June 2020.

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Sun May 22 2022
5

very cool

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Superb album. All Sault albums are worth having!

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

Listened to Air recently which I loved for the Stepney/Reich vibes in equal measure. That's nothing like this, I've only heard bits before, enough to know that Air was a departure, and that they released music faster than I could keep up. This is pretty wonderful. Never stays the same, never dips in quality. Fully justified inclusion, hopefully will withstand the brutal culls that more modern albums suffer with each new edition.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

Super-dope tunes.

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

Power and resistance through understated funky grooves. Even spoken word nonsense can't bring down the vibe on this one. Best track: Wildfires

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Mon Aug 01 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Stop dem, Hard life, Don’t shoot guns down, Wildfires, Sorry ain’t enough, Bow, Black, Eternal life

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

Sublime

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

What a great album, great sounds, great lyrics great message. Loved it

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

A tricksy album to discuss, in that it took me several days to write this. Exceptionally well-made, the cover itself tells us that discussed within are serious, emotive issues. Such an undertaking behoves that both the album and the listener adopt a suitably mature attitude, as frivolity easily could turn to offence. Largely, the album succeeds so. Yes, I proffer minor caveats, but not enough to upset anyone, I hope. The genesis of SAULT and this album are rather commentable on their own. SAULT are a black music collection, apparently based in Britain, who have never given a definitive list of band members, let alone performed live or released a video. Emerging in 2019 with the album 5, they would also publish the album 7 in the same year, then this album and Untitled (Rise) the next year. Untitled (Black Is) was released in June 2020, a month after the death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer. George Floyd's death would sparks protests across not only America, but much of the world, and this album is a declared revolt against systematic racism, of which police brutality is just one symptom. As I said, this is an album to take seriously. The parenthesised title serves as the leitmotif of the album, especially during the spoken word sections, with lists declaring what black is. And here's a caveat: I recognise the intended positivity of these parts, but that didn't prevent me finding them a touch platitudinous. Obvious messages will seem obvious: me saying democracy is a good thing is clearly right, but hardly paradigm-shifting, despite the prevalence of dictatorships in our time. Another caveat: invoking God and religion never stirs me all righteous in protest works. Is religion that effective a mechanism of social improvement? Couldn't God just solve all this right now? Don't millions think God is on the side of that racist traitor Tr*mp? Appealing to Christianity didn't really work on What's Going On, doesn't really work here. (And yes, I believe I have failed in my ambition to avoid upsetting anyone). I think that's the end to the caveats. The most conspicuous aspect of this album is its production: it's dauntingly good, warm yet crisp, like a good roast potato. The second most conspicuous aspect is its kaleidoscopic eclecticism. Although this site classifies the album as soul and funk, the album respectfully passes through gospel, doo-wop, reggae, hip-hop, R&B, and even African polyrhythms. Thankfully, the album avoids the senselessness that occasionally arises when artists try so many genres so rapidly. But the album stands on the resonance of its message. In that regard, they've shown their workings (although when they sing the line "From Egypt to Libya", they forget that the two countries border one another, so it's not really continent-encompassing). It's worthwhile, indeed it's slightly humbling, to listen to the album whilst reading the lyrics. For all the album's focus on racial justice and equality, it's also a profoundly feminine album. With some exception, the voices of this album are exclusively female, and the album bombards with love, reassurance and optimism. For all its justified outrage, this is an album that wants to hug the world, and pleads with the world to justify its hug. An album with a wonderful heart, and one a damn sight nobler than Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet going all anti-Semitic, methinks.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Wow. Powerful messaging delivered in a great package.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

As a band, they blew my mind. Absolutely love this album. 5*s

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Great journey

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

amazing, beautiful. vocals are on point and the whole album is just gorgeous. the messaging moved me as well.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

i can’t believe i’ve never heard of this group before. they’re on my list now, this album was excellent.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

Some really great tracks here. I enjoyed this album and that feels pretty unusual coming from a modern band Id never heard of

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Sun Oct 30 2022
5

super cool album like a non-stop wave on unique styles all coming together in really neat ways definitely one of the best alternative albums I’ve heard 10/10

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

Listening to this was filling a gap between Little Simz and Michael Kiwanuka, and I loved it. I also imagine that this music is something Gambino listens to, which inherently elevates it.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

I loved this, I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

October 27, 2021 This broadened my horizons and was an enjoyable listen!

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Never heard of this band before but they're pretty cool. Starts off a lot stronger than it ends, and it's quite a mixed bag at points, but overall really enjoyed it.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

I like all of their stuff but slightly preferred the other one released in this year.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

My second time this week getting an album from the recent five years thinking meh, modern music doesn't grip me and for the second time I'm floored. I can see why SAULT is classified as R&B/Soul but there is so much more to this album that doesn't fit into those genres. There's some Jazz, 80s Pop, New Wave elements. It's a very poetic, easy listener of an album. 4.5/5.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

R&b. Interesante

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

Really good

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

Figo, mi piace. Black power!

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

An interesting one

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

At first listen this album has a great groove but it was repetitive. As I thought about it, I realize the repetition was to drill the very important messages about being black into our brains. Powerful.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

Very good heard this when released and I preferred untitled (rise) - but after listening to this again I thought this one is way better

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Sat Feb 19 2022
4

Very good, and a very distinctive sound. Puts me in mind of Masters at Work output. In terms of production and polish maybe a little inconsistent - but that’s a very minor quibble.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

SAULT are making some great records. Love the retro feel they manage to have while still sounding modern. Possibly too long, but putting out three albums in a year would have been ridiculous does make it feel a little more like a mixtape than an album to my ears though. I generally prefer the more 'up' first half to the second, but it's all good.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

Väldigt bra! Gillar hur det hålls själfullt trots det faktum att de flesta beats är väldigt simpla.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Funk-soul suave. Me ha gustado. Un 4.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

I liked this album at first, then it got pretty experimental, then it got good again. Not music meant for me but it’s still really good and the Spotify radio that came on after it was great and I’m still listening to it

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

A good discovery.I loved the voices and the tone. Although after the 7th song it gets a little repetitive, it is a good album.

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Sun Mar 27 2022
4

very 2020 but the subdued vibe mixed with the vocals hits

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Tue Mar 29 2022
4

Pretty cool album with some influences that are hard to define, but still with a clear purpose. It's hard to establish that it will some kind of classic in the future, but for sure it will influence the next classics.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
4

Probably the best of all the "completely new to me" suggestions from this app. Definitely will revist.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Terrific music, such a great downtempo feel, sinister and dark

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Mon Apr 04 2022
4

Really liked this. Feels like Common for some reason

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Loose, hypnotic, and rich with atmosphere. Goes down smooth. The group's approach of sidestepping media interaction and live performances is intriguing.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

well-tempered

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

Yes, Black certainly Is. Well done everybody.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
4

Ok. I like this a lot....Love the sparseness of the production...I know nothing about the band/collective but will investigate more...as 50yo white male i realize that I may not be the average target/consumer of this. (am I racist to say that?) Anyway it has class and its amalgam of modern funk/soul/jazz is highly appealing. Great stuff.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Really cool!

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Really enjoyed this! I knew a bit about SAULT but was pleased to read more, a very unusual album but loved a lot of this

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Wed May 11 2022
4

Unique. Creative. Art. I don't know that I love the music, but I love that it's different.

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Tue May 24 2022
4

Funk-soul suave. Me ha gustado. Un 4.

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Tue May 24 2022
4

Not the kind of thing that I usually listen to, but I really enjoyed this album.

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Wed May 25 2022
4

un album rafraichissant, une belle balance de bon grooves et d,expérimentation. Blues, electro, pop, etc. Tout y est mais bien balancé et ca s'écoute vraiment super bien 4

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Première fois que j’entends parler de ce collectif. La groove de Stop Dem est excellente et sa position après la douceur de l’ouverture par Out the lies est parfaite. Beaucoup de sonorités intéressantes dans cette production. Belle surprise. Pièces préférées: Stop Dem, Monsters, Black

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

Super intéressant. Le propos cherche à améliorer l’estime de soi des personnes de couleurs. Je trouve ça très bien, mais puisqu’il ne s’adresse qu’indirectement à moi, ça devient lourd à mi-chemin de l’album. Le groove, le son, les effets, ... tout ça est super le fun et rafraichissant.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
4

it's a 4 all day. Found it over lockdown and it manages to be overtly political but pretty chilled at the same time

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

SAULT is a band that I got into back in 2020 when they released their two big albums: Untitled(Black Is) which was released on Juneteenth and a few months later Untitled(Rise). The group is an enigma. Apart from the the Producer Inflo, most of the musicians on their albums are anonymous. They've never done interviews or released any videos. Their album Nine only came out for 99 days on Bandcamp and streaming services making it a "true" limited edition. The music is great and explores many style throughout their releases. This album and Rise is full of songs about positivity, struggle and protest. The production and musicianship and strong throughout and the theme of the album stays consistent from start to finish.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
4

la grosse conne qui écouté le mauvais album (il était super cependant)

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Tue Jun 21 2022
4

J'ai dû l'écouter 3 fois pour être sûr, mais je pense pas que ça vaille un 5. Très bon nonobstant

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Tue Jun 28 2022
4

This was very good. Seems like it came out in response to the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 and the themes clearly reflect that. I had never heard of this album or this group before, but I will be checking out their other music for sure.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
4

I think this is very, very good, but not an all-time classic, an honor many critics bestowed on on it upon release. A great combination of styles - in a way that defies categorization. There are elements of funk, soul. afro-beat and R&B, all melding in an impressive manner. As a protest album it swings for the fences in terms of scope. It may be the best mainstream all in protest album since What's Going On. Nice company to keep.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

pure wibes

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

A long one to kick things off! First time listening to 90% of this album, Wildfires I think is the only familiar song to me. The punchy darker songs of "Hard Life" "Why we cry why we die" and "Sorry Aint Enough" I also liked as an honest exploration of the black experience at the moment. Particularly enjoyed the afrobeat of "Bow" with Michael Kiwanuka as a mid album change of pace. Miracles I think was my highlight of the album, really enjoyed the "choral" vocals and resilience portrayed in the lyrics. But there are a lot of gems in this one. Great album to start with. "Pray up stay up" was also a warmer end to the album, appreciated.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

Liked it but didn’t listen all the way through

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Sun Jul 10 2022
4

A brilliantly crafted statement album by this anonymous collective, which sounds completely fresh and bops along with an infectious energy.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

Subdued, yet celebratory. Love the influences on this thing, and the production is crisp and nice. Think it gets a smidgen navel-gazey at times, but otherwise it's solid. Favorite tracks: "Bow", "Stop Dem", "Miracles"

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

The most excellent and righteous mixtape.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

In this day and age, "Sault eschew interaction with the media, they have never played a live show, given an interview or released a music video in support of their music and features an array of unnamed collaborators," is an astonishing sentence. Been on my list of things to get around to listening to for ages

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Sun Jul 31 2022
4

Impressive showcase of creativity and musicianship fueled by strong and important beliefs. Efforts like these give a reason for publishing a new version of '1001' each year. A bit too few strong, memorable tracks to hit a 5/5 rating.

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Sun Aug 07 2022
4

Stylish, deep, funky, rootsy, spiritual, angry, hopeful…proud. Politically and socially charged for sure, but for once I didn’t feel bludgeoned over the head by the message of an album of this type and so ended up enjoying it a lot.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

It's well intended and funky and I enjoyed the sparseness of the arrangements that dip into R&B, world, jazz and gospel with chilled vocals. Lyrically, they keep the message simple but it works for and against; they words are at odds with the sensual, feel good nature of the music. If you're wanting to change the world (which I assume they do with political agenda) and you want to be heard, then you need to SAY IT LOUDLY. That said, as a listening experience, it's actually quite a pleasant album. Maybe they should have stuck lyrics on about yoga or meditation?

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

Mjög næs fönkí R&B með mjög alvarlegum undirtónum í textum. Set þetta band á skoðunarlistann.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

There is an urgency, a conscience, a soulfulness, and a solemnity to this album that I find enthralling and encouraging. Black Lives Matter! ... and the fact that there has to be a movement and a slogan and marches and lives lost to get people to understand that fact is absurd. And yet, despite the struggle and the forces at play against this foundational truth, there are those that find beautiful ways to make that phrase ring in the ears and minds of many. That hopefulness and creativity in the face of struggle, is an inspiration and a reminder to others that we can all be the good we want to see in the world.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Of all the recent albums to be on the list, this is a really interesting choice. It wasn't one of my favourites of the last couple of years but, going back to it, it's inclusion fully makes sense A diverse blend of genres, with thought-provoking spoken word on important abd always-relevant topics throughout, it has a lot of depth and I'm sure there's still a lot more to get out of this record on future listens. On a surface level I'm torn between a 3 and a 4, but think a 4 is more appropriate with this in mind

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Cool ,fellow and a very laid back vibe

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Amazing new band

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Interesante disco hip hop.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

Wonderful journey

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

Thoroughly enjoyed this album. 4/5

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

loved the vibez

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Wildfires best vibes from this great album

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Different, very eclectic, some really good tracks in there.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Powerful lyrics

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Smooth and sultry.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Great vocals, production, mixing and spoken word. Chill and soulful (typical thing to say about black artist music but my vocab is failing me). Beautiful moments throughout.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
4

Che figata

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Sat Sep 24 2022
4

The newest album on the list so far seem to be an ensemble on artists and musicians from Great Britain. The collective creates music in various different styles, mainly electronic, funk, r'n'b, reagge and indie. This album, together with another untitled one from the group, was motivated by George Floyd's death, which is very visible in the lyrics. Many of the songs sound like anthems for a bigger movement, or are just a commentary of the sad reality that we are facing today. Although the issue is still far from resolved, the album probably would seem even more powerful to me, if I first hear it in 2020, not two years after. Untitled (Black Is) has an interesting composition - there are 20 songs, with many short bridge-songs in between, providing more commentaries or just changing the mood and feeling of the album. There is few songs, that are really good without the context of the record, like for example "monsters". Heavy hitting song, but with a nice vocal and great beat, really stays with you for a while. I feel like this type of an album couldn't be rated just from a musical or instrumental point of view. This is more of a performance, reaction to the situation in the world, which is closer to me than what, for example, Bob Dylan was singing 50 years ago. I will gladly come back to this album again, trying to understand the message and definitely I will listen to few more of the songs on my usual playlist.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
4

Very good, not something I'd usually listen to but worth a go

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Tue Sep 27 2022
4

Molto figo, non lo conoscevo. Originale, ritmico, elettronica pop e rap. molto bello

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Very cool album! Wasn't aware of this album/band, surprising given how recent it is. Lots of great acts contributing to this one, and it definitely has the conglomerate feel to it. Themes and message are strong, music is also strong, some really cool tracks on here. And I can say I enjoyed the interludes. Wouldn't crack my year-end list or anything, but definitely a great album. Favorite tracks: Stop Dem, Bow, Black, Eternal Life, Pray Up Stay Up. Album art: Simple, effective. 4/5

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Very cool album, and the newest on our list. A couple great songs on here and an overall great listen. Loved their album covers for a few albums too.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

Io ho un debole per R&B. Caldo, bel ritmo. Il massimo lo avrei dato se avesse avuto qualche chicca. Mi dispiace per le altre 4 stelle che ho messo ad album storici ma al cuore non si comanda.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

Black Lives Matter

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

I hadn't listened to the full album and it was interesting to listen to it given the context of the summer of 2020.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

Pretty good album. It's all very consistent, but the song "Black" should've been shortened by like half cuz that song drags on with it's annoyin ass ding diddly dong ass goofy ass silly ass melody. 7/10

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

Love it

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

very good, not many albums in the 2020s are good like this!

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Mon Oct 31 2022
4

4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this. Started kind of slow and took a bit to get into, but it really picked up toward the middle and onward. Standouts are "Bow" and "Eternal Life" and "Monsters".

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Good combination of dub triphop gospel and black power in one. Downloaded their 5 new albums, wonder how they are.

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Sat Nov 12 2022
4

Mixed. Künstlerkollektiv

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Sun Nov 13 2022
4

This one was a difficult one to work while listening to. But it was very well written, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

Soulful and groovy with a kind of What’s Going On meets afrobeat vibe filtered through a London 2020 streetwise production. Thematically it’s all about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement, but not aggressively or unpleasantly like Gangster Rap, but poetically and obviously and often positively. Maestro producer Inflow uses Michael Kiwunaka in a few songs and it definitely sounds very much like a Kiwunaka record. I love Bow which reminds me of Fela Kuti. Soulful, political, afrobeat and groovy. Worth the critical acclaim.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

Yeah i dug this. It's similar to other things I've heard before but blended differently, somehow. There's dub and afro-beat and doo-wop and hip-hip and other stuff all mixed together in an understated and chill way. My daughter dug the vibe. I don't normally go for empowering spoken word interludes, but here it worked. also, i could listen to that woman speaking all day long. I'm not sure if it's an "album I needed to hear before I die," mostly because it's kind of inoffensive and it sounds like the kind of music you'd hear in a hipster coffeehouse. But then again, I'd never even heard of this group before this, so ultimately, I'm glad it was on the list. I enjoyed the whole thing, it had a great flow, and can see returning to it. Monsters was a standout for me.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

I went into this completely blind — no idea what this was about, no idea who the artist(s) is, I even skipped looking at the release date. I totally enjoyed the album. Took a hit, geared up, took Tophee on a chilly walk after sunset along a dark country road, and listened to this album. I found it inventive, loved the variety of styles, I appreciated the lyrics and message. There were some compositional elements that got a bit overworked, but that's a negligible criticism considering the scope of the material.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

First, I'm not sure any (or very few) recordings from the most recent (say seven) years should be included in a must listen to before you die list. I think an album needs to be tested by time to reach this status. I do appreciate being introduced to new music that are hitting some current hot topics. I wasn't very impressed with the first few songs... musak with a drum beat. As I listen to the rest, I did find a few songs with a little more groove to them but most of the songs felt empty and unfinished. I did like the song "Bow" but it sounded too different from the rest of the album. I want to hear more of Michael Kiwanuka's music. I have mixed feelings about this album. It would probably be better if half the songs were cut. Overall it's still a better than average album. I'm between 3 and 4 but I give it a 4.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Loved this. Enjoyed the experimental sounds and spoken word. The lowkey vibe on most the album really drew me in. The vocals are smooth and sweet. Enjoyed from front to back.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
4

Ridiculously prolific, this is perhaps the album that catapulted them to wider awareness. It's not really 20 tracks, more a soundscape in 20 parts, some of which like Monsters and Wildfires are beautifully rendered modern R and B, some of which are spoken word, some instrumental. Really needing to be devoured in one sitting (maybe a coffee break after track 10).

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Sat Nov 26 2022
4

I LOVED the sound of this record, the vibes were immaculate. The lyrics hit hard, the spoken word breaks were cool. The thing holding it back for me is that too many of the songs felt half-finished, or like they needed more refining, like they had an idea that didn't get baked long enough in the oven. It gives the album an interesting looseness, but I think it detracted more than it added. I definitely will be checking out more from them though; there is something very special here.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
3

My first modern album from this project! It was definitely musically interesting (and clearly politically powerful) but I'm not sure I'd come back to listen again. I enjoyed the soul vibes. My top pick was the popular 'Wildfires' - a beautiful and serene protest song #BLM

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Thu Oct 28 2021
3

Not my favourite, but one I'll probably come back to, might not it more after a couple of listens. Very modern, hip hop without the rapping

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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

Very good. Very impressive. Very clever. Just didn't love it

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Thu Nov 11 2021
3

meh

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

I like the stripped down music. There isn’t too much complicated, and I think that’s a benefit considering the music alone. The lyrics however, are another story. There is far too much repetition of the same line over and over again. And it’s not just one song. There are several. When considered with the lyrics, the music isn’t interesting enough to hold this album up. It’s still something worth listening to though. My real problem is the the 1001 list picked the wrong Sault album from 2020. I was very excited when I saw Sault come up because I thought it was Untitled (Rise), which was a pandemic discovery for me. Untitled (Rise) was released several months after Untitled (Black Is) and it’s better. The repetitive lyrics are still present, but to a lesser degree. And the music has more layers, providing more interest. The 1001 editors made a mistake, not in picking Sault, but in the 2020 album of their’s that they chose.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

I appreciate the concept, but ultimately the music is too repetitive to hold up well to repeat listening.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
3

Banda sonora d'un any punyent, 2020, i específicament del moviment Black Lives Matter, el disc és representatiu del seu moment, també en l'aspecte musical, amb un alternative r&b elegant i sumptuós, que agafa elements del jazz, soul, black music en general. Només li falten cançons més encisadores

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Sun Nov 28 2021
3

Nije loše, zaintrigirao me i održao pažnju pošteno

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Sun Nov 28 2021
3

Nisam očekivao ovako novije na ovom, pošto sam naviko na sve staro u vražju mater. Iznenadilo me ovo, inače za njih sam čuo preko bandcampa, međutim nisam ih slušao. Mislio sam da je to neki rap, ali jok. Nekakav instrumental uz r&b, soul elemente, ritmično je i dobro je. Bilo bi vjerojatno bolji album da su se neki filleri od pjesama izbacili, ili makar skratile pjesme. Favoritne: Hard Life, Hold Me, Monsters, Pray Up Stay Up.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
3

jag gillade det. lite för konstigt emellanåt och för långt.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
3

A new band and new music for me. There were a few tracks that I would be tempted to skip during a re-listen. This is not my favorite music, but there were tracks that caught my attention. I probably will never re-listen to this, but it was an okay one-time experience.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
3

Great music, unfortunately not my kind of music.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
3

I had never heard of this album or group until today. It was interesting and a pretty enjoyable listen. I will probably come back to this one again some time.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
3

This is a toughie. The production is great, the message is essential, but the lyricism and vocals seem designed to appeal to the blandest Guardian music pages Radio 2 I buy one album a year and it's usually by Ed Sheeran type bore. Are the lyrics kept simple and unchallenging so that they don't alienate these people? Are the vocals so MOR to ensure more people get down to the message eventually? Everything about this album should appeal to me, but a lot of it seems to be kept so tame when right now it feels like it should be time for action, rather than a strongly worded letter. The problem with What's Going On by Marvin Gaye is it made a revolutionary message sound so pleasant nobody went away remembering the important bit. This album seems to fall into the same trap. Sod it though, I'm the worst sort of white, liberal bore myself. Maybe it's not aimed at those who want parity between people of colour killed unlawfully by the police and police killed (ideally both should be zero, and the police should have more stringent firing policies for racists, homophobes and misogynists). It's not aimed at people who would happily pay good money to watch everybody involved in GB News killed slowly in a pay per view. They probably know much better than me - I couldn't have made this album. Ah well. It's a good album with a big problem for my ears.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
3

It was fine background music. Once again I feel like I need to adjust my ratings otherwise everything gets a 3.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
3

Very listenable but I too am in danger of giving everything 3*

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Fri Jan 28 2022
3

I love the variety in styles, but most of the tracks felt repetitive

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

Definitely an important listen-- powerful, moving, and timely! I especially liked the spoken word parts. Due to the protest nature of the album, it's not one I'll go back to for casual listening but I found it well done and emotion inducing!

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Sun Feb 13 2022
3

Album is consistent in style and approach yet each track takes a different idea and works with it well. In the first few songs, we go from spoken word to psychedelia to gospel to afrobeat to R&B pop, back to spoken word followed by neo-soul. The spoken word tracks act more like politically charged skits characteristic of golden age hip hop. Very different yet the mood is the same, united by the appreciation of black culture and the unjust deathly bias in American society. The songs are decent themselves, production and mixing are fantastic, and the instrumentals and vocals are great. I think I just have two related major issues. The first is that the songs are fairly repetitive. They have a strong idea but they never take them anywhere, so hardly any of the tracks blow you away. You hear the first minute of a song and you pretty heard it all. The second is that the lack of mixed styles is a bit underwhelming. They clearly demonstrate skills for interlaying elements of such genres, but they don't even do anything with it. It's no wonder they were able to write 80ish songs over just 2 years if they just come up with a simple idea and go with it. Fortunately, none of the songs drag on long, and there's enough diversity to keep you entertained despite the hour length. It's a chill experience that most people should enjoy. Favorites: Hard Life, Wildfires, Black, Monsters

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Tue Feb 15 2022
3

Not sure how to rate this. Parts of this album truly irked me, but there were other aspects that felt truly affirming. I have to applaud the ambition on display, too. I am, however, in no particular rush to listen again

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Tue Feb 15 2022
3

Nothing really grabbed me here, but I did like the sort of kitchen sink production of it. Which I've probably said before. But I liked the flow of the album - it felt like one piece. But it also had that feeling of IMPORTANCE that was distracting to me - but that was probably because of the Wikipedia page, which I shouldn't have read. Anyway, not one I would listen to again, but sounds like a lot of work went into it.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
3

3.5/5. Def alotta great and powerful ideas/affirmations here, but imo a lil too sparse and meandering sometimes

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Wed Feb 16 2022
3

Never heard of this group before. Here we go... Smooth. I thought it might be metal, it's more hip hop R&B.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
3

An album full of grief, anger and hope. Wildfires is the obvious stand out.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

Peak 2020, I guess? Not necessarily for everyone, but for black Americans. So, how did SAULT delivered the rage, the pride, the sorrow, the frustration, and the joy of the black experience in the USA? Particularly in 2020, when the infamous murder of George Floyd sparked protests and even riots across the globe? Boring, monotonous electronica beats, of course! Sprinkle in some little speeches that sounds like ads for a beauty soap bar to reinforce the message. I mean, I respect it. It has great beats, and a (hopefully) genuine cause. But it gets boring very quickly. It felt bland and emotionless, but I guess it's minimal emotions mirror the experience of many common black people in the USA. It's decent, genre bending too I guess, bit it's not as revolutionary as for example, Kendrick's "To Pimp a Butterfly", released four years before this, and maybe Beyonce's self-titled too, released even earlier. In 2020? Imo, it can be overshadowed by Run the Jewel's surprise album, "RTJ4". Still, I enjoyed listening to this, but it made me want to revisit the intoxicating frustrated energy of the mentioned albums - which are about the American black experience too.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
3

Some fresh beats on here, important themes and the like. I would put it somewhere between 3-4 stars, may listen again

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Wed Feb 23 2022
3

Really enjoyed it, good music, strong message and quite enjoyable 3.5/5

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Wed Feb 23 2022
3

I really enjoyed this album and the message behind it. Loved the vibes as well.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

A good sounding album that never really goes for any emotional or musical highs, just stays in the middle ground. Pretty cool

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

Slatt

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Wed Mar 02 2022
3

This is good

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Thu Mar 03 2022
3

It’s a gorgeous album with a powerful and eternal message. I’d like to come back to it to see how it hits me a second time.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
3

A good one, but started fading after first several songs

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

Ik kende een paar nummers en had hier daarom zin in. Een heel album was toch een beetje teveel.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
3

Not my favourite, but one I'll probably come back to, might not it more after a couple of listens. Very modern, hip hop without the rapping

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Mon Mar 14 2022
3

I thought this album was cool, but it didn't ultimately keep my interest all that well

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

More fun than I expected, but not my cup of tea.

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Sun Mar 20 2022
3

Good, and fine production, but it didn't do much for me (though again I don't think I'm the audience)

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Tue Mar 22 2022
3

alright

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Wed Mar 23 2022
3

Best Song: Wildfires. The best straight song that I could imagine listening outside of the context of the rest of the album. Worst Song: Don't Shoot Guns Down. The lyrics were a bit too on-the-nose to be poetic. Overall: An intensely political album that feels at time like spoken word poetry. This isn't music that can (or probably was intended) to be listened to in the background. It demands your attention. At many points it feels closer to theatre than music.

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Sat Mar 26 2022
3

It has character, but I don't need to listen to it again

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Sun Mar 27 2022
3

Modern soul with a slight electronic/dance vibe. I'm usually not much into that kind of music, but I somehow liked this. 3/5

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Fri Apr 01 2022
3

-Hwatever vocal effect (duplicates?) On the lyrics "We are the original people / And we don't believe in evil" in "Stop Dem" is pretty cool. Also a chill drum-based backseat and bass line -"Bow" has been the stand out song so far. Cool afro-beat vibe, but also mixing in electronic music and like a rock and roll guitar -There were a few okay tracks, with "Bow" really standing out, but much of the rest was pretty weak

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Mon Apr 04 2022
3

I really liked the vibe of this one and would love to know a bit more about it

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Wed Apr 06 2022
3

I like what they are going for, but musically it doesn't hit as hard as I want it to.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
3

The album has a great message, obviously, but musically it isn't very interesting. Most tracks are just a beat with some voice samples.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
3

Interesting. 2020 album in the top 1001. I’d like to know the history. Was good.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
3

Not objectionable, one stand-out track that I remember (Bow) but mostly I'm left feeling a little bit underwhelmed. I prefer more whelm in my music.

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Wed May 11 2022
3

Liked this. Never heard of it before. Reckon it would improve on a second listen but yeah it was good

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Sat May 14 2022
3

pretty cool

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Tue May 17 2022
3

Seems decent, again didn't engage me too much on the first listen.

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Tue May 24 2022
3

Cantan muy bien, vale, y? Nada más

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Mon May 30 2022
3

Musically I’m not there with this album but I appreciate its political importance

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Sat Jun 04 2022
3

Putting the dominant message aside for a moment: I like this album's music, especially some of the bass riffs; on the other hand, I find it inconsistent, quality wise, with some great tracks (Wildfires, Monsters) mixed in with a lot of -alsos. Then there is the matter of the artists' remaining anonymous. On one hand, it feels pretentious; on the other hand, given that message again, I can see why they'd want that extra layer of personal protection. Overall, I like this album, not as much as for its music (I prefer Sault's later albums for a start) as for the artists standing up for a good cause.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
3

3/5

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Fri Jun 17 2022
3

These guys came up as a recommended similar artist after listening to Kiwanuka. Not as good, but still decent. Bow (with Kiwanuka) had a great beat. A couple others started with strong beats and then fizzled. I might've taken Don't Shoot Guns Down more seriously if it didn't have a weird quasi-robotic voice. Wildfires is waaay better - I'd recommend it to anyone. Undeniable messages here but too many throwaway or half-baked tracks. Felt like a chore to get through and it shouldn't have.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
3

A valuable, but pretty uneven listening experience

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Wed Jun 22 2022
3

wasnt a fan..

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Tue Jun 28 2022
3

Very interesting concept, politically charged album with dialogue about black culture. Not all the songs were great musically. But very interesting message overall. This band is strange in a good way.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
3

-This is already opening up VERY cinematic. -Drum production on Stop Dem is crisp. Using kids vocals is eerie, but fitting. It's like Sesame Street meets Apocalypse Now. -Hard Life again, good production. Sorrowful gospel. -Solid basswork throughout this album. I dig the bongos on Sorry AIn't Enough. -LOVE the talkbox effect on Bow.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
3

An interesting and powerful album. Ultimately, the music wasn't anything super special to write home about, but the message made up for it in a lot of ways. A little repetitive after a while, though.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
3

There's a lot of 'lazy' two word reviews for this album floating around - "its great" or "it sucks". In my view - it's OK, not amazing, but certainly not rubbish. I'll attempt to give a bit more justification for my rating. Firstly - it's an electic mix of lo-fi chill soul/rnb and funk, with live drums mixed together. it works, it's easy to listen to and interesting enough Secondly, it's a mix of actual 'songs' and then short poetry based skits. It's unusual, so I see why it's highly rated. The songs themselves are mostly well written and produced, the lyrics are a current topic, and though the overarching theme is clever, the actual music and lyrics aren't particularly ground-breaking. It's a chill out with a glass of red wine at 11PM whilst thoughtfully overlooking the city lights with this in the background kind of album. It's a innovative idea for an album, and executed reasonably well. 7/10

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Fri Jul 15 2022
3

love noise.. love instrument

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Tue Jul 19 2022
3

I had never heard of this and the fact it's so recent, I'm surprised this made the list. I'm not sure what i think of this? It has a good beat, the lyrics are okay and I don't hate it, so it was fine. Not a fan of this style of music, so I can't say I'll listen again, but I can appreciate the effort.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

Listened to on 7/21/22 3.5/5 Favorite song: wildfires This album was SO powerful and the best social commentary on race in 2020

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

There's some interesting tracks on this. Not really my bag though

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Sat Jul 23 2022
3

Powerful black voices, would not be a typical choice but I enjoyed it.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
3

Always feels like an amalgamation of music with sault

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Fri Jul 29 2022
3

I’ll give this a 3, but I know Sean would have given it a 1

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Fri Jul 29 2022
3

Fully convinced that the guy who made this list decided to put this album in instead of posting that black square on social media. Monster and Black are bangers, lotta cool sounds on this album but as a whole it's just not for me. (obviously?)

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate Juneteenth release. Filled with anger, sorrow, power and a demand for change. The production is so raw and in your face (especially the drums) that at times it almost hurts. Absolutely brilliant! Unfortunately I also knew what to expect when I saw the 20 song tracklist… And this album doesn’t change my mind regarding the overflow of interludes. The lyrics in general are strong enough to get Sault’s message across. There really is no need to keep hammering the same nail; even when delivered via whispering poetry. Best: Stop Dem / Bow / Why We Cry Why We Die / Monsters Worst: Don’t Shoot Guns Out / Black / Pray Up Stay Up / almost every interlude (but especially June Child)

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