I was listening to some Mos Def earlier on this week and I got to thinking what his best album was. I don’t want to debate that subject so I thought I would talk about his Ecstatic album which is an album that I believed to have such an international sound. You can tell right out of the gate from track 1, Supermagic, that this is true. The excerpt that starts off the album is powerful and dead serious. The guitar riff from Oh No’s Heavy mimics the melody of a snake charmer’s fluke.
This sample just gives Supermagic that hippy feel. Mos’ flow is crazy on the track.
The powerful horns used in Twilight Speedball just make the song sound so epic. This particular song definitely has that Neptune sound to it. Mos’ lyrics are so personal and serious at times. The tones during the chorus give the track that caribbean feel. What you notice immediately when the album starts is that the album flows well and the transition from song to song is flawless.
Auditorium is one of my favorite tracks, mainly because my man Ricky D is featured on it. The song sounds like it should have been on Aladdin. “and it’s volumes and scriptures when I breath on a beat“…so deep. I would have liked to seen what state of mind Mos Def was in when he recorded this song. The song is so free and doesn’t stick to the customary format, especially when the beat basically fades away in between verses. Slick Rick’s verse contains another great story and somehow he managed to capture the reactions and thoughts of a traveler in the Middle East and his/her encounters with the locals. It’s amazing how he could imagine up something so vivid and convert it to audio beauty. Listen
Madlib smh, crazy production!
Wahid has that international sound to it as well. Mos Def confronts the changes of the times and the fakeness of some people. I didn’t really like the little breakdown near the end of the song but it was at the beginning of the song and I didn’t really notice until after a few listens. Mos Def speaks the truth in his verse. I like how that violin whines in the background of the track.
Priority is a song that contains the same feel as the song that was playing in Godfather 2 when the godfather’s dad’s casket was getting carried to the grave. The drums are hard on this track and the piano loop is soulful. “homegrown from the greatest grain“….it’s crazy how Mos pieces together his words and delivers a continuous flow.
For some reason I know where the excerpt came from at the beginning of Quiet Dog but I can’t recall it to save my life right now. The song makes you want to move your body for sure and Mos’ words reflect that. There’s so many pieces of this song that form one wonderful puzzle, i.e. the sensual woman’s voice and the police sirens.
Life In Marvelous Times, is a song that I feel Mos could have left off the album but the relevance of his lyrics in this song are so gully. “this is Bedstuy ’82, 9-4-3, tiny rooms, one view“. The singing doesn’t sound right on this song.
The excerpt at the beginning of The Embassy is funny in some manner with the pilots with the guns. If you doubted that I was wrong when I said this album has an international feel then you might change your mind whenever the beat drops for this song.
No Hay Nada Mas is a beautiful hispanic song. I think that Mos Def did well on this song and I especially love the harmonizing. I have no idea what he is saying but is sounds good lol.
Pistola was my favorite song when I first got the album mainly because of the hook used in the song and the melody. I can always sing along with the chorus and bob my head to the pace of the drums. The story in this song is about pain and love. “I rememberrr, ooohhhh baby when we used to play, cowboys and girls“….soulful!
Pretty Dancer is just pure funk, I guarantee that your head will move from beginning to end. Mos’ best verses sound like he should be spitting out in the cold in a cypher over a fire in a barrel, this song definitely contains one of those types of verses. It kind of reminds me of Ms Fat Booty in some manner.
Workers Comp is recently one of my favorite songs off this album. “Fonzies’ frontin in leather……..tell the tough guys we tougher than tough times“. The production is soulful and it’s got that caribbean feel to it.
The beat to Revelations is funky and Mos Def’s lyrics just take it to another level. “louder!” The kid voice lol
Roses what can I say? Just a soulful song and it’s so smooth.
After listening to this album for the first time in a while I just want to make sure that others don’t forget about it amongst the greatness of albums like Black on Both Sides and Black Star. This album contains pure and good music that will survive through time. The elements taken from different cultures was risky but it worked well for Mos Def. I remember when I first heard that this album was coming out and it would have a song featuring Slick Rick, I was so happy to hear that he was going to be up there. I was more excited after I heard his verse. At the end of the day, if you don’t have this album synced to your pod, maybe you should give it another listen.