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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

When Smoke Rises

Mustafa

2021

When Smoke Rises
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

When Smoke Rises is the debut studio album by Canadian musician and poet Mustafa. It was released on May 28, 2021, through Mustafa's Regent Park Songs imprint. The album was produced by frequent collaborator and executive producer Frank Dukes with contributions from James Blake, Jamie xx, and Sampha, among others. The songs "Stay Alive", "Air Forces", "Ali", and "The Hearse" were released as singles prior to the album's release. The album is self-described as 'inner city folk music' and is thematically centered on Toronto's Regent Park community. The album was shortlisted for the 2021 Polaris Music Prize. Mustafa began working on demos in the late 2010s. Formal songwriting for the album began in 2019 in London with Swedish producer Simon Hessman also known as Simon on the Moon. Following the songwriting process, frequent collaborator Frank Dukes came in to produce the album. His production was inspired by the Smithsonian Folkways anthologies of Sudanese and Egyptian music which he samples throughout the record. Additionally, tracks on the album were produced by London-based musicians James Blake, who contributed to "Stay Alive" and "Come Back", and Jamie xx, who produced "Air Forces" and "The Hearse". Mustafa has noted that the songwriting of the record was influenced by Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen, as well as Sufjan Stevens' 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. The album's name is in reference to Smoke Dawg who is featured on the cover art alongside Mustafa.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.94

Votes

54

Genres

  • Folk
  • Soul

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Reviews

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Thu Apr 04 2024
3

Unique and not what I was expecting, but as with many artists, the thing that prevents me from fully getting into this is the voice.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
4

Some strong Bon Iver vibes, which I have nothing against, and it asserts its own distinct sound. Really interesting and promising stuff.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

Short and sweet, just like I like 'em. And also fairly unique in the modern sound palate.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
4

When Smoke Rises is delightfully full. When All hits, the song could cap the album, but doing so would abridge the already baffling length. "Slowly grows" feels like a strange way to describe a twenty-minute disc; Nonetheless.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
4

A very nice way to spend 20 minutes, and a great reminder not to judge an album by its cover.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
3

Nice sounding neo-soul record. I appreciate its short duration, so that feels like a brief moment of relaxation with some beautiful songs

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Sat Apr 06 2024
3

Like Bon Iver but not as overrated. Pretty nice overall, not my favorite genre but I can appreciate it. 3 stars.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
3

This was pretty laid-back, and provided a nice backdrop during my work.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
2

Eh well this is boring. 2/5.

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Mon May 13 2024
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: Stay alive, Air forces, Capo, Ali, What about heaven

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