Day 291: Curtis Mayfield – Curtis

16 Dec

Move On Up

The very first thing that I noticed about Curtis Mayfield’s debut album, the actual first thing, is that some of the songs sound like they could easily be the source material in a few good Justice tracks.  It’s weird how this stuff loops around—Cu was recommended to me because I was listening to too many Justice rip offs, and this music sounds like Justice itself could have ripped it off.  You start to notice things after getting home from a Wilco concert at 1 in the morning.

While I typically think of disco music when discussing Justice samples, this is most definitely a soul album.  I know this because I can listen to it while maintaining a straight face and not feeling like a terrible, disco-listening human being.  Epic, fast-paced horns abound, over the typical soul thing that goes wah-wah-wah-wah really quickly.  I have no idea what instrument that is, but you know what I’m talking about. What I’m saying is that it’s all catchy, but it’s also got substance.

When I say it’s all catchy, I don’t mean that the whole record is catchy.  The catchy songs are really catchy.  You know what I’m saying.   Pretty much every track has some social commentary, and some songs revolve solely around Mayfield’s politics.  Those ones are considerably less catchy.  They’re still cool, though, because they give all kinds of insight into racial disparities and whatnot.  It’s late, though, and I really want to go to bed, so I’m not going to delve too far into those tonight.

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One Response to “Day 291: Curtis Mayfield – Curtis”

  1. Young Gifted and Chops December 17, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Glad you enjoyed, Mr. Ear, even after 3+ hours of Wilco for the third time. The guy who has gotten the most play out of recycling Move On Up lately has been Kanye for Touch the Sky but best use of a Curtis Mayfield vocal was by Bran Van 3000 who took the last vocal he recorded before he died, mixed in a bit of Move On Up and made a worthy tribute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUNWhKq80_s.

    That guitar sound you are hearing? I am guessing that is a wah-wah pedal. A guy who made a boat-load of money off the wah-wah is Chef from South Park – Isaac Hayes. If you have never seen this clip from Wattstax (“the black Woodstock”) you owe it to yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2cHkMwzOiM. Yeah, and that’s a wah-wah all over Chocolate Salty Balls too.

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