The two titles, ‘Warning: No Bars’ and ‘I Swear’ and ‘I Really Wanted to Make a Rap’, caution those expecting a classic rap album, perhaps inspired by the ’90s.
After 17 years of silence, we’ve listened to the new album from former OutKast member André 3000, making a surprising comeback to the music scene with ‘New Blue Sun’.
The album may not have disappointed those familiar with André 3000‘s preference for the flute, his instrument of choice. However, true nostalgic of the duo hoped for something closer to traditional rap, his distinctive style. Yet, even from the titles of the tracks ‘Warning: No Bars‘, ‘I Swear’, and ‘I Really Wanted to Make a Rap‘, it was clear we were in for something different.
‘New Blue Sun‘ presents itself as an ambient album that gently caresses the listener instead of delivering a punch, as often happens in traditional rap. The audience’s reaction has been polarized, shifting from praise like “I believe this could be an album that represents a new sound for future generations” to criticisms such as “André 3000’s album is terrible in at least four musical genres“, coming from music experts writing for authoritative publications, as reported by Rolling Stores.
Some labeled it as “A New Age album for wealthy Californian yoga parties“, highlighting the diversity of opinions on its sonic aesthetics. Nevertheless, ‘New Blue Sun‘ is an album that positions itself coherently within André’s background and the current music landscape. It doesn’t invent anything new, as some argue, but at the same time, it’s neither redundant nor derivative, as others claim.
‘New Blue Sun‘ is a consistent album.
Consistent with André’s paradigm shift, choosing to live in Venice Beach, California, after Atlanta and then New York. Consistent with his proximity to Rick Rubin, the relaxed and mystically inspired environment he has been immersed in for years, and his lifelong love for the flute.
These elements were crucial in opting for an album that emphasizes emotional and psychological well-being rather than engaging in the complex reinterpretations of current rap. The use of the flute is a constant in the album, enhancing André 3000‘s natural abilities as a great musician. Additionally, a lineup of high-caliber musicians, including Niño, Surya Botofasina, Deantoni Parks, joined the project, elevating its artistic impact.
André Lauren Benjamin, also known as André 3000, one of the most brilliant hip-hop artists of all time, hasn’t decided to experiment with a different genre or diverse sounds but rather a different approach to the mechanics dictated by the music industry.
‘New Blue Sun‘ is a work that challenges the system entirely, resonating as a mockery of corporations: it goes against expectations, mocking million-dollar marketing campaigns systematically associated with album releases, spanning all genres.
A brilliant feat from this perspective.
However, from someone who has fearlessly been labeled the heir to Prince, one might have expected a more audacious musical choice. Yet, André 3000 has chosen a path that deviates from the norm, offering the audience an unexpected and imperfect sonic experience.
‘New Blue Sun‘ is enjoyable and encourages not taking it too seriously. In the end, the title itself suggests something similar, and now the ball is in the audience’s court to comment on the Instagram post and share their opinions.