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Music Review: Robert Glasper smooth on 'Black Radio 2'

Music Review: Robert Glasper smooth on 'Black Radio 2'

Robert Glasper Experiment, "Black Radio 2," (Blue Note)

October 31st, 2013 by BIANCA ROACH, Associated Press in News

After winning the best R&B album Grammy this year for "Black Radio," the Robert Glasper Experiment returns with a new release that could easily put them in the running for another.

The Experiment - which consists of pianist and producer Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Mark Colenburg and saxophonist Casey Benjamin - continues their revival of jazz and neo soul on "Black Radio 2," which takes the band's rebellion against genre integration one step further.

The album kicks off with "Baby Tonight (Black Radio 2 Theme)/Mic Check 2," a soothing piano intro with short snippets of his featured guests prepping you for what's to come. Here, Glasper is a beast on the keys. That's followed by the motivational "I Stand Alone" with Common and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump. The genre mashup is a perfect example of the jazz band's resistance not to be categorized.

Glasper's array of famous friends on the album include Brandy on the laidback, yet addictive "What Are We Doing," and Jill Scott, sounding like butter, on the smooth lead single, "Calls." Other standout tracks include the Norah Jones-assisted "Let It Ride," a groovy and upbeat track, and "Somebody Else," which gets a boost thanks to the elegant vocals of Scottish R&B singer Emeli Sande.

"Black Radio 2" works because Glasper has comfortably picked the right artists to collaborate with. There's nothing to dislike here.