Esperanza Spalding
Emily's D+Evolution


4.5
superb

Review

by ShakerFaker USER (32 Reviews)
March 5th, 2016 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: devolution burns inside me

For a musician who's often associated with her afro, Esperanza Spalding has completely stepped outside her former body on Emily's D+Evolution to inhabit, in a way, her original body. Now, she has returned to her roots, i.e., her adolescent self, with a pair of fresh eyes and ears to embody, enliven, and color her youth with hindsight. In Emily's D+Evolution, Spalding seems to feel a sort of loss and disillusion from her adulthood, which she appears to recover by tucking away her maturity, containing everything she has learned in sleek braids, and looking at her world through young Emily's (what she was called as a child) blocky lenses once more.

Although Spalding hasn't been one to constrict herself, she has always stayed within her trademark Jazz lane; however, in D+Evolution, Spalding relinquishes tradition to drift from one to several lanes, where she experiments more than ever before. Here, Emily can be seen clearly, because instead of producing music to affirm her long-trained strengths, Spalding embraces a childish, fanciful spirit, as well as her once limitless dreams, which came at a time in her life when she wanted to be many things as opposed to one thing: a bassist (who sings).

Straightaway with album opener “Good Lava,” Spalding jumpstarts Emily's spirit with a mantra that repeats several phrases: “see this pretty girl flow,” “watch this pretty girl flow,” and “let this pretty girl flow,” which together find a sense of release. In this track, Spalding becomes immersed in"good" lava. Though this flowing lava initially emerges in rock-ish texture, that rocky layer hardens, only to be overwhelmed by another, funkier one. The multi-textured presence found on "Good Lava" permeates D+Evolution, as Spalding infuses her characteristic techniques with liveliness, sass, and edge throughout. There's a carefree quality everywhere, almost as if Spalding is perpetually unraveling. On “One,” she sings, “I would dive in all who delight me,” highlighting a basal instinct, as well as a carelessness frequently associated with immaturity. However, for Spalding, this carelessness doesn't turn messy but blooms instead, opening up possibilities she hadn't considered before. That being said, this album itself isn't uncharted territory, but rather, innovative to herself, which seems to fulfill D+Evolution's intention.

D+Evolution is Spalding's personal awakening, where she finds things about herself, first by devolving into wacky time signatures, unexpected but groovy riffs, and untimely screeches and coos; and then, by evolving - patching everything back together with her smooth, skillful voice and a resounding bass. As sung on “Funk the Fear,” rather than heed to a careful reality, Spalding just wants “the dream to come true.” And D+Evolution definitely succeeds in bringing her dreams, wild as they may be, to life.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Asdfp277
March 5th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is some wanking

Digging: Black Barrel - Last Frontier

ShakerFaker
March 5th 2016


215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

feedback appreciated!

ShakerFaker
March 5th 2016


215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what's wrong with it?

Gyromania
March 5th 2016


26825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well, to be honest it's self-indulgent. you obviously like adjectives a whole lot, i mean you constantly over-explain and reiterate, like here:



"For a musician who's kind of built herself around her afro, so to speak, where her bodily representation from her clothes to hair to physique is almost as important as her ability to play her instrument and sing her songs - where physicality is as crucial to her success as mindful talent, both conceptually and literally, inasmuch as she affects her music through her body (flowing from her arms and buzzing around her bearing, position and posture), Esperanza Spalding has completely stepped outside her old body on Emily's D+Evolution, and jumped into new skin that is actually, as it were, her original body."



you said the same thing 3 times over. "her bodily representation[...] is almost as important", "physicality is as crucial to her success as mindful talent", "inasmuch as she affects her music through her body". talk about beating a dead horse. and then there's lots of flowery writing, like "(flowing from her arms and buzzing around her bearing, position and posture)" also that whole thing i quoted is just 1 sentence lol



anyway, i was surprised to see a review for this. just read pitchfork's review a couple days ago and checked her out. pretty decent stuff, might pick it up

Gyromania
March 5th 2016


26825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Esperanza Spalding has completely stepped outside her old body on Emily's D+Evolution, and jumped into new skin that is actually, as it were, her original body."



also this is circular. i won't deconstruct the entire thing but i do have some advice for you: try to adopt a more conversational tone. try reading it out loud, and it sounds like purple prose, tone it down a little and make it more informal. there's no need to describe the same thing 3 different ways either. try to be more concise

ShakerFaker
March 5th 2016


215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if i take that part out/cut it down, will it read okay? or is there anything else i can do?

Gyromania
March 5th 2016


26825 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you made the first sentence worse since i quoted it lol. too many commas, reads really awkwardly

ShakerFaker
March 5th 2016


215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh. i'll work on it for a bit

DoofusWainwright
March 6th 2016


19991 Comments


'Excuse me ma'am could you please step outside of the afro and put your hands where I can see 'em'



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