Opener "Nina's Charm," with its drifting keyboard melodies, sputtering hi-hats and samples of Nina Simone over a spectral gospel choir, leads brilliantly into one of the best tracks on the album, "Work Song." An homage to the American work-song tradition, bouncy percussion is overlaid with plucked strings, piano, brass and even what appears to be a vocal snippet from earlier work "Down the Line (It Takes A Number)." "Roots" and "Rainbow" go more of a house route of house (the latter pays homage to the gay rights movement via disco in the '70s), while tracks like "Ray's Foot" and "Lover Man" make use of disjointed synths, smudged vocals, and chaotic chords.
While it's easy to go overboard making an album like this and lose a track by burying it in too many samples and obscure references, Projections keeps its focus, and balance, by never using more than necessary. (Ninja Tune)