Questions – Us3

Label: Us3

Jazz, funk, rap, hip-hop. Say this enough times and it begins to sound less and less like a recipe for disaster. Listen it enough times though and your initial impression was right. This is as awkward and as self-satisfied a record as you’re going to get – not falling bravely into either of the above camps, but instead teetering unhappily between cocktail schmaltz and over privileged urban muzak.

‘Questions’ is the fourth time out for Us3 debuting in 1992 not only as Harvard graduates, but as distinguished curators of Blue Note Jazz records. Joining the Us3 fraternity this time around, however, are two new vocalists – London-based singer, Mpho, and Brookyln-native, Reggi Wyns. And true to expectations, they do a tremendous job. The problem lies with the rather pedestrian and half-arsed approach to song structures. It’s consummate and professional enough, but sudden fade-outs define a body of artists who just may be not exciting each other musically: the raps and the flows exhibiting particular rigour mortis.

With a distinctive Latino R&B vibe, and stand-up world issue philosophy, it may strike a contemporary nerve but be warned; this is music for grown-ups and librarians.

Release: Us3 - Questions
Review by:
Released: 27 September 2004