This is so good, and I can’t even tell you for sure what I just heard. Church Boy Lou’s Weep is the finest take from Waajeed’s project, and it’s unlike any take on electrified soul music I’ve heard before. Electronic music that veers from the norm is often hard to approach and difficult to listen to. Weep on the other hand is warm, friendly and inviting – and still thrillingly off-kilter and daringly original.
“Show Me” is a good example of the overall approach. It starts with a sound that you can pick up, examine and drop into a little box marked “Gospel,” though channeled through the roots of the spiritual song. By the time it hits the break, it nearly caught my breath. The whole EP is filled with sonorous voices (including Paul Randolph’s, featured on “Alright”) that simultaneously stroke and intimidate the ear with their righteousness.
I don’t know if I can completely nail down for you the hows or the whys. The eternal, dignified hum of “Alright” is backed by a simple, almost tribal drum. This is true minimalism – a piano hook, simple drums and claps and the Voice of God – and gives you a glimpse of what it would sound like if it was taken back by the people. There’s nothing you can take away from here – there’s nothing superfluous, nothing you can add. It’s what perfection sounds like in modern soulful music.
But is Weep being played? I know it’s being sold (a number of mail order joints report they’re out of stock), but that’s not quite the same thing. Weep should be in heavy rotation. It’s everything that a modern soul record aspires to be.