ar·cane (är-kān') adj. requiring secret or mysterious knowledge;

Mos Def – The Ecstatic

Posted in music by arcanedufresne on July 13, 2009

I have always enjoyed the intelligent delivery and freshness Mos Def brings with each of his releases.

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However, one complaint I always seem to have is that he draws on so many influences and styles, it sometimes makes it hard for the album to create cohesion across it’s duration due to the constantly eclectic tempo and style shifts within one offering. The Ecstatic kicks off with the hard-hitting Supermagic and Mos Def’s wordplay is once again on point. The track is a rock-backed Black Jack Johnson offering similar to the songs off of The New Danger, but smarter in its craft. Mos follows suit with his shape-shifting sounds, but he has seemingly toned it down enough to allow the tracks to form a unity that makes this an album instead of a collection of songs.

Listen to History (featuring Talib Kweli) here.

The Ecstatic has potential to become my favorite Mos Def album as he demonstrates his prowess over BK bangers (Life In Marvelous Times), tribal anthem (Quiet Dog Bite Hard), Spanish sonata (No Hay Nada Mas) and 70’s era funk (Casa Bey) among others. The guest appearances are few on the album but are showcased well as Rick spits his pirate flow over the GZA influenced Auditorium and Talib laces his verse on the soulful History. The only real miss is the clunky Roses, whose piano intro has promise but falls apart quickly. All in all, Mos Def has finally managed to refine his global taste and gift into a solid drop with The Ecstatic.

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