Mos Def Sings the Blues

I love Mos Def.

While it takes alot of patience to be a Mos Def fan, with him putting out films frequently but albums sparingly and unpredictably, he never fails to surprise and please. While he can surely disappoint (on songs like "Quiet Dog" from his new album he pretty much mumbles over a danceable but repetitive beat), his hits are so good that they shatter all the other music out there.

My favorite side of Mos Def is his singing. Since Mos Def seems largely unconcerned with having his albums translate into radio play or ringtone sales, his singing style deviates from the typical R&B and rock fare. He takes his time and lets his soul out. This is alot closer to the rock and R&B over the 1950s, 60s and 70s than what our attention deficit culture is used to today, and, since I was born in the wrong decade, I have no problem with that.

Probably realizing that he too was born in the wrong generation, on the soundtrack for film Cadillac Records Mos Def pulls a Joaquin Phoenix, taking his hand at playing classic rock and blues. The result is surprising, with Mos singing faster and with higher notes than I'm used to hearing. He doesn't sound like he's totally baked as he does on many of his albums.

Mos Def - Nadine
Mos Def - Promised Land
From the album Cadillac Records


le chat noir | February 2, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I liked Quiet Dog!

good post.

Michael | February 6, 2009 at 10:40 AM

I did too, but I ended up deleting it after a few days. It got monotonous after a while.