Muhsinah - Daybreak (2008)

Muhsinah
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When you here the word experimental in the realm of music, many times people tend to be afraid of the experience. Well, when Muhsinah took her imagination and laced it with her uncanny affinity for melodies, a gem named Day Break 2.0 was born. Essentially on the same sonic level as a Prince bootleg, a Coltrane exhibition, or a Yesterday's New Quintet collaboration, Muhsinah has singlehandedly landed us all in a new yet comfortably familiar hip hop soul laced sound. Of course, to stop there in the comparison would be an insult to her artistry!

When you here the word experimental in the realm of music, many times people tend to be afraid of the experience. Well, when Muhsinah took her imagination and laced it with her uncanny affinity for melodies, a gem named Day Break 2.0 was born. Essentially on the same sonic level as a Prince bootleg, a Coltrane exhibition, or a Yesterday's New Quintet collaboration, Muhsinah has singlehandedly landed us all in a new yet comfortably familiar hip hop soul laced sound. Of course, to stop there in the comparison would be an insult to her artistry!

To make it as clear as possible, imagine if Bjork were from Philly and decided to produce her own sound in the shadows of J Dilla's vybe. Or how about this... Muhsinah is how Groove Theory would sound if Amel Larrieux worked exclusively with Madlib. Yes yes y'all, Muhsinah is all of that and more. Though these offerings are small in size, the effect will linger long after. Her production at times may be as simple as a sample on rewind, yet her ear can place the sonic oddity in a light that becomes a hypnotic harmony. Then she weaves her own voice to the tune in order to add a calming affect to the experiment. That's right, this entire effort from start to finish is written, produced, engineered, conceived, blessed, vocalized, and realize entirely by Muhsinah and her ability. The result is truly a unique experience. Her voice can playfully master a track as Marsha did in her days with Floetry or she can woo your soul with jazzy harmonies as Choklate did in her amazing solo debut. But what Muhsinah can do vocally is an almost timeless jazzy vybe that wildly makes sense of the complex beats that she utilizes.

As she playfully floats into this effort with a dedication to Alice Coltrane in "A.M.," Muhsinah wastes no time showing her basic intent for this album...nod your head, get into it, and move to it. Tracks like "Construction" and "One Again" will have the most resemblance to a Dilla-soul effort. But the journey that makes Muhsinah so unique as an artist is displayed in it's full glory in tracks like "Discovery" and "Yiy." Much in the same way a classic emcee would take a familiar hip hop sample or break beat and make it theres with their own vocal charisma and lyricism, Muhsinah builds these tracks as only she could. Where others would be focused on a catchy hook, Muhsinah crafts these tracks into jazzy offerings of her voice in sync with mood of the beat. Never too hyper, never too calm, always an energetic cool.

So take in the beginnings of an artist that has no boundaries, no limits, and no form. Just a beautiful realization of the purpose of voice and how it should be married to music and love. Muhsinah is about to make a mark not only on hip hop but on soul and music as a whole.

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A NC-native, B.J. Brown is an amateur freelance writer and published poet cycling between entertainment reviews (music and video games) in the chilled reaches of CT. Also a father and engineer, he recently released a poetry book via PublishAmerica.com entitled "Diary Of An Affair" and is busy at work crafting a second poetry book/compilation.
www.myspace.com/Bunneh3000 

 
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