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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is Saul Williams' emotionally intelligent Volcanic Sunlight out of step with times?

"For this album, I wanted to put words that didn't get in the way of the music, you know. Before I always let the words dominate. Music had been more so a release of my anger or of my angst. And that's part of what I was letting go — because I'm on to the new, I'm on to the next." — Saul Williams, on recording his forthcoming album.

November 11, 2011: That's the U.S. release date that's emerged for wordsmith and music experimentalist Saul Williams' album Volcanic Sunlight, released last May in Europe. For several months, the former Grand Slam Champion and Morehouse alum has been teasing the LP with videos, like the one above, in which he talks about why he chose to record in Paris and why the resulting Volcanic Sunlight is a fuller expression of his personality than 2007's Trent Reznor-produced The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! or older releases.

vs_cover_saul_580.jpg
Perhaps the City of Love infected Williams, because Volcanic Sunlight is also the avant-guardist's first attempt at love-themed pop album — "It’s my attempt to articulate what I feel when I feel love,” he's said — which hasn't necessarily been received with welcome arms by early reviewers who've come to expect something more challenging from Williams. Of course, such critiques have everything to do with the politically-charged times we're living in and the resulting hunger people have for music that speaks directly to that. But maybe the late-comers to the conscious party should just peruse his back catalog. Dude's been there, done that. Time to evolve.

Plus, what could be more revolutionary right now than love? Judging from the album's first videos — for the songs "Explain My Heart" and "Dance" — Volcanic Sunlight is going to be a hell of an emotionally intelligent groove.

See both vids below the jump:

"Explain My Heart"

"Dance"

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