Blu & Exile
Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them
When much-revered left coast rap fixture Blu snuck out a rough edit of the then entitled Give Me Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them late last year, ravenous fans anxiously pining for the return of the Blu & Exile partnership after the 2007 release of their seminal debut set, Below The Heavens, offered a mixed, though roundly enthusiastic response. While the unmixed nature of the release left many a little underwhelmed, the fact that a record Blu today admits was actually recording back in 2009 and never meant to amount to anything was shown so much love is what pushed the duo to clean it up and give it the proper release fans deserve. The new version sounds exquisite in comparison, made so much more colourful with the addition of live and re-recorded instrumentation throughout, along with re-chopped samples, new backing vocals and a handful of choice cuts absent from the set's original tracklisting. Of the new songs, the poignant "A Man" brings the most lyrical potency, with the thoughtful MC dissecting the futility of religious conflicts, squabbles and false praise while giving it up to his creator over a nicely split choir sample. Conversely, easy-going head-nodder "Ease Your Mind" best personifies the record's feel as a whole, its warbly backdrop and sing-song-y hook denoting the carefree mind set you sense was present during the disc's creation. Whether or not Give Me My Flowers lives up to expectations as a proper sequel may be of some debate, but this album in its finished state definitely impresses.
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