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Boomkat Product Review:
Jamie XX's hugely anticipated rework of 'I'm New Here' - 2010s universally adored return from Gil Scott Heron - lands in fine style, and we can confirm it's a right Bobby Dazzler. In a stroke of A&R genius the enviably talented member of The XX has sensitively overhauled thirteen tracks from the original, re-arranging, re-asserting and re-contextualising Gil's soul-rich delivery with an up-to-the-minute yet timeless production patina whilst pumping new blood into the heart of each song. For instance the solemn march of 'The Crutch' becomes a stunning wash of synths and itchy jazz drums, and 'Running' is flipped as a road-ready HipHop banger, bringing forward the latent, underlying rhythm of the original while retaining it's melancholy sense of intent. In stark contrast, 'I'll Take Care Of You' is diverted from it's deep soul moorings to become a potential piano House anthem with serious credentials. And then there's the Rui Da Silva-sampling liberties of 'Ur Soul And Mine', where the essence of the original is traded for something which could be accused of superficiality, yet equally affecting in its own post-modern sense. It's possible to say that the production obviously take precedence over the original message of each individual piece, so, short of him time traveling back to the studio and re-writing each track with Gil, he's pulled off a sterling effort, hopefully opening Gil's oeuvre up to a whole other generation of conscious listeners and confirming his relevance in an age when revolutions are televised 24 hours a day. Highly recommended!