Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio 2

Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio 2
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Robert Glasper's experiment continues, and his follow-up to the Grammy-Winning Black Radio has taken a decidedly R&B turn. Glasper's Black Radio 2 largely features original songs, and if you haven't already figured out that Glasper is spearheading jazz's evolution, the over one-minute interlude spoken by Michael Eric Dyson on Common's triumphant "I Stand Alone" will enlighten you. At its least experimental, straight R&B tracks featuring Faith Evans, Marsha Ambrosius, and Anthony Hamilton offer little to advance his sound, but at Black Radio 2's best, Brandy, Jill Scott, Norah Jones and Emeli Sandé capture that transcendental, expansive feel of its predecessor. Brandy's cognac-warm vocals in "What Are We Doing" are a sophisticated pleasure — for those who haven't listened to her since the '90s, the song begs you to take a second look. Scott's distinctive voice requires no introduction and her sweet'n'sultry vocals on the jazz-dusted "Calls" do what they do best: make love sound blissful. Standout "Let it Ride" couples Jones's cool, languid style with Glasper's driving jazz, resulting in an incredibly sexy pairing. Luke James's "Persevere" and Dwele's "Worries" help to round out this celebratory album. Black Radio 2 will leave fans hungry for Black Radio 3. (Blue Note)