The Herbaliser Same As It Never Was
- Words: Scott Thill
- Label: !K7
- XLR8R Rating: 7/10
Hopscotching across downtempo and hip-hop to jazz and soul, The Herbaliser has stayed fresh. But Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba have gone back to the ‘60s in this rousing paean, with mixed results but always with masterful grooves. The ever-reliable Jean Grae shows up to spin some patented wake-ups on “Street Karma (A Cautionary Tale).” The newcomers are solid as well: U.K.’s MC Yungun’s carbonated flow keeps the bounce of “Just Won’t Stop” in a healthy gallop, and Jessica Darling’s funky pipes on “On Your Knees” and “You’re Not All That” manage to hover somewhere between Sharon Jones and Joss Stone without getting in the way of the grooves. Herbaliser’s usual gifts lie in their potent instrumentals, like the revelatory “Same as It Never Was” or the swampy tropicalia of “Amores Bongo.” But on a team or on their own, Herbaliser still packs punch. Inhale with confidence.
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