Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thanks, Georgia Anne

I have a top five list. It goes like this: Chaka, Erykah, Van Hunt, Bilal, and Georgia Anne Muldrow. The list is not intended to be read in any particular order. I've got a different story about falling in love with the music of each artist. They've each been the backdrop for different phases, places, ideas and so forth. I've taken a break from each of them too. But Georgia stands alone.

This is not a value judgement; I wouldn't dare say she is any better or worse than the others. But she is the least terrestrial and the most versatile. As a producer, singer, songwriter, rapper, instrumentalist, and innovator, Muldrow's output is nothing short of prolific, especially when you consider that she's in her mid-twenties. I won't pretend to own or have even heard all of her work. I've gotten used to stumbling across new albums, EPs and alter egos, usually at a time when I need them.

What makes Georgia special for me is that, unlike any other artist I've ever heard, she consistently opens herself up as a vessel for the spirit to move through. That's what I mean when I say she's the least terrestrial. Of all my favorites, she seems less concerned with the matters of the ego, and more concerned with that which is bigger than herself. I have been healed, encouraged, enlightened and inspired by her music, time and time again. Very little of her music is about...her. Better yet, she possesses the ability to make it feel like she's talking directly to you. Probably Because she is. Check out "Never a Day in Vain" below.

The label of "musical artist" is the easiest for us to assign to her, but she is actually a healer. Muldrow moves out of the way and lets her music be the panacea for what ills us (Check out a delightfully tongue-in-cheek "problem/remedy" analysis of Early on Frolab.). She's matter-of-fact ("Well I love the mess out the children/ The children mean so much to me"), she speaks right to your spirit (And when I feel worthy to receive/ The universe opens up to me./ I'm a wide open vessel/True love expression'/I'll never live a day in vain."), she's unabashedly revolutionary (all of "Caracas" from Umsindo), and more than this little blog post can describe.

Her album, King's Ballad is probably her most accessible, but I'll refrain from recommending where to start. Early and Olesi: Fragments of a Future get regular airplay in my world, as does whatever else I dig up by her.

I'm no sycophant, nor am I a celebrity-worshipper. But Muldrow deserves her just-due for getting out of the way so we can all hear the spirit through her music. Thanks, sis.