Now on heavyweight 180g vinyl! Soothing west coast soul from child guitar prodigy Shuggie Otis. Many compare him to Jimi, Prince, and Sly, but in fact he's a strange blend of them all. This is his third solo album, one that really brought his diverse styles together. At this point Shuggie was working with complex, but simple harmonies and the integration of drum machines. Best heard on "Island Letter" with its heavenly guitar rhythm, and warm drum machine sound. A truly beautiful song. The guitar intro was sampled on Digable Planets first LP. In the same vein "Aht Uh Mi Hed" reminds me of Timmy Thomas' classic drum machine ballad "Why Can't We Live Together." Strangely track 6 marks a switch to a completely instrumental album. The most upbeat track of this side, XL-30, truly shows why Shuggie was seen as a revolutionary songwriter in his time. The organ melodies are so radical, and with the drum machine, it sounds like the 70s version of 80s electro. The album ends with a straight up guitar, live backing track which puts into clear view Shuggie's skills. A truly interesting listen. Recommended.
reviewed by the mgmnt 10/2005